Thursday, April 22, 2010

Machine vision application stories

Two good machine vision applications are described in the April 2010 issue of Assembly.

The first concerns a large assembly cell where vision is used for robot guidance and part presence: “This Assembly System is a Real Beauty”.

The second, “Vision-Enabled Vibratory Bowl Feeder Handles 400+ Parts,” is a little more detailed. It describes how a Cognex InSight 5401 is being used in conjunction with a Mitsubishi robot to improve the flexibility of a bowl feeder.

The latter story really interests me because it addresses a fundamental weakness in bowl feeders: they need part-specific tooling, which makes them only suitable for higher volume production. But with this approach, there’s no special tooling required to handle many parts, providing they occupy a similar envelope.

Also, from the developers point of view, there’s a real possibility of selling multiple systems, thus meeting my “develop once, sell many times,” maxim.

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