Success through the lens by ProQuest


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Automotive company tells vision success story,
gives advice to vision systems newcomers
By Evan Wollak

and Brian King                ndustrial vision systems are versatile; so ver-    machine and wire it into an existing electrical
                              satile, in fact, Borg Warner Automotive Sys-       system within a day or so. Complete the cam-
                              tems in Bellwood, Ill., uses vision systems to     era programming in an hour for simple applica-
                          detect visual defects, define parts for a robotic       tions. This quick deployment makes the system
                          pickup, confirm unique identification mark-              ideal for responses to customer complaints or
                          ings, and, most importantly, stop assembly lines       product launches with tight timelines.
                          when defects are present.                                 Vision systems are also useful to reduce
                             If there is not an easy way to mechanically or      changeover times. Machines that have mechan-
                          electrically detect the defect or process varia-       ical inspections and run multiple part types of-
                          tion, consider a vision system. There are many         ten need part-specific tools. A camera system
                          products targeted toward specific applications          can change the inspection parameters auto-
                          (low-cost simple cameras, high-resolution cam-         matically and drastically reduce setup times.
                          eras, or cameras with serious processing pow-
                          er). Using the right camera for the job will help      Job evaluation
                          bring the solution to the plant floor quickly and       Any poka-yoke device requires regular rabbit-
                          under budget.                                          testing or calibration to remove any variation in
                             Most of the best candidates for vision in-          the process when performing coordinate trans-
                          spection are those presented with a random             formations. Whenever performing a vision mea-
                          orientation. The cost of engineering a me-             surement and comparing it to limits defined in
                          chanical system to orient parts and present            millimeters or inches, check the camera’s defi-
                          them to a mechanical poka-yoke (mistake-               nition of a millimeter or inch. This procedure
                          proof ) device is high; however, the time need-        is different for each system and will ensure the
                               ed to develop and implement such a sys-           system performs as intended. Just like a mi-
                                       tem is usually the largest constraint.    crometer or coordinate measuring machines,
                                           You can mount a camera sys-           a camera that uses a standard measurement of
                                                    tem with an off-the-shelf    length needs calibration.
                                                            lens or light to a      Within a normal production setup, use “rabbit
                                                                                            parts” to test the system. Rabbit parts
                                                                                                are known defects presented to
                                                                                                  the vision system. If the system
                                                                                                   performs as intended, the rab-
                                                                                                   bit parts are marked as defects
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