Distributed and Programmable Applications of In-Process Vision Monitoring for Assembly 1999-01-3240
A new approach to in-process monitoring has been described in earlier papers, based on non-contact sensors mounted right in the assembly weld tools. The current paper describes new approaches to sensor implementation, which have been developed and field tested in the past year.
Several cases of broad distribution of sensors throughout assembly lines are described. These implementations include use of sensors both in-tool and at end of line stations. The networking of multiple stations to present data at multiple locations, as well as use of plant networks to allow users to view and analyse information at their desks is described.
Recently, similar sensors have been applied with robots to provide multi-function inspection capability in a programmable station, ideal for use in a stamping facility. Such systems reduce the need for visual inspection as well as eliminating the need for individual part check fixtures. The robotic system is described, with a discussion of accuracy and cycle times obtained. Typical applications are described as well as savings available from implementation.