With today’s increased consumer demand, the manufacturing market has become more competitive than ever in trying to produce safer and more efficient products. Defective parts will be rejected by the end customer, so performing robust inspection becomes a must. Identifying process defects within plastic part inspection can be very challenging, and can only be achieved through deploying high-speed, precise machine-vision systems.
Applied Robotics, based in Sydney-NSW has been building automation machine systems for over 35 years with over 1000 system installations worldwide. Founded by Dr Paul Wong in the 1980’s, the company is now the leading supplier of innovative automation and robotics systems.
Applied Robotics, a system integrator for Omron, has been using Omron products for many of their applications. Recently, they have been using Omron’s One Total Solution for a QC Machine. The team at Omron’s Sydney office have worked in conjunction on this project, which entails the detection of defects in a small molded plastic component, and discarding all faulty items. The products include Omron’s FH high-precise vision system, Adept eCobra 350 SCARA robot, 1S servos and drives, safety, NY IPC with HMI, NJ Machine Automation Controller with database connectivity) and Omron’s uninterruptible power supply.
The FH Vision system is the industry’s fastest vision system, featuring a compact camera that can capture high-sensitivity and high-resolution images at very high-speeds, without complex programming. Using the advanced Shape Search III algorithm, and powerful controllers, this system measures and detects faults in the plastic workpiece. Each image is immediately processed and the results data displayed and logged for traceability. For this project four cameras are utilized to make hundreds of measurements in the less than five seconds cycle time per part! Omron-Adept’s eCobra 350 SCARA robot makes this machine highly autonomous. It provides high-performance transfer and handling of the small plastic parts with user-friendly interface software. It includes Adept SmartController motion controller with 8 kHz servo update rate to improve path following and control.
This highly integrated solution is industry’s first-of-its-kind QC machine that improves reliability through continuous operation. It has little human intervention and a fast QC inspection time of only 5 second inspection per part. This reliability and speed would have not been possible with human eyes.
"This project has seen some great ingenuity used, through the combined efforts of the Applied Robotics & Omron Engineering teams. It helps keep Australian manufacturing at the forefront in today's competitive world, by utilizing Omron's latest Automation Technology", said Mr. Greg Field - Managing Director of Omron Australia and New Zealand.
Overall, the system improves efficiency of detection and gathering QC data stored into a database on the fly which is not possible with human process. The team will continue to improve the overall performance of the machine through testing.
‘We are very pleased with Omron products and also the service from the Omron support team and engineers. The widespread Omron product range makes them an ideal single source for the components of a multi-functional machine - basically a one stop shop for the Vision System, the OCR cameras, the Robot, the PLC, the PC, the Servo Systems and the Safety Controller. As these machines will be shipped to clients all over the world including USA, Europe and Japan, utilizing Omron solutions means that we can simply “plug-in” to Omron’s established service and support system world-wide. Overall, we are very happy with the outcome of the project and as always, we are here to develop and commercialize leading edge robotic systems worldwide’ said Dr Wong.