Vision System For Automotive Tier 2 Supplier

A leading supplier of injection-moulded components for automotive radiators has commissioned a vision inspection station from Olmec UK to eliminate the possibility of mis-labelled parts reaching the radiator manufacturer. Many component parts with only minor differences are manufactured, and the original manual inspection process involved operators attaching a label from pre-printed batches to an inspected part. Attaching the wrong label led to major problems at the radiator assembly stage.

In the new vision system, an operator presents a part to the inspection station, where it is interactively inspected and a label automatically printed only if the item passes the inspection. The information content of the label is precisely defined by the Tier 1 supplier, right down to the content of the QR code. The label also contains part number, supplier number, incrementing number and date. The label is then attached to the component for correct identification at subsequent stages of manufacture.

The system features a 1.2 MPixel colour camera with overhead LED illumination. The top and the two sides of the component all need to be imaged and measured. Instead of using a complex 3 camera set-up, precisely angled mirrors allow both sides and the top to be imaged simultaneously using a single camera. User control is provided through a touch screen HMI which also allows results, statistics and images to be displayed and also to indicate the cause of particular failures.

This inspection system checks each radiator component against a number of pre-defined specifications. This includes checking for missing product and any defects such as faulty or missing brass inserts. If the inspection fails the part is manually rejected and no label is issued. The control and measurement software features at least 12 measurement tools. Different measurement recipes can be selected using the touch screen according to the specific type of component being inspected.