To help manufacturers achieve high levels of dispensing precision, even on inconsistent parts, adhesives specialist Intertronics now supplies the FIS F4000AKIT-VISION Camera Vision System.
The product is a modular plug and play add-on to Fisnar ADVANCE series dispensing robots and provides a powerful and intelligent CCD vision-based programming and fiducial adjustment system, for both simple and complex dispense programs. The system helps manufacturers improve quality and production yield, while reducing processing time and costs.
The product is unique in that it includes two cameras, so manufacturers have the option to watch dispense programmes live for additional process assurance. When the robot is running a dispense cycle, engineers can audit a live, full screen image displayed on the monitor to check the fluid is being dispensed correctly onto the component part. This is valuable for verifying first runs of a new program, or for 100 per cent affirmation on ultra-critical assemblies.
The vision system’s auto-part alignment function guarantees fluid is dispensed at the exact required location. This is achieved by the system capturing an image of two separate fiducial locations on the component and using pattern recognition software to compare the live image against a stored image of each one. If a difference is found in the position of either or both of the fiducials, then the dispense program co-ordinates are automatically adjusted in X, Y and rotation to align the dispense path to the component.
Also available is a Height Sensor, which automatically adjusts the dispense tip height from the workpiece. By comparing the actual workpiece height against the original stored datum value in the robot program, any deviation found in the workpiece height results in the z-axis coordinate data being automatically offset accordingly. Multiple height checks can be made within one robot program in the event of multiple workpieces being processed or a single workpiece with differing heights.
Using the supplied Fluid in Motion software, users can use the vision system to create dispense programs. The operator employs the displayed camera image to move the dispensing needle to the exact dispense location, then selects the planned operation — such as dispense a dot or start a line.
“Dispensing robots provide a high level of repeatability in the placement of material,” explained Kevin Cook, technical manager at Intertronics.
“F4000 ADVANCE Desktop Dispensing Robots are robust and durable systems for long term precision dispensing. Where parts have some irregularity, camera-based vision systems can improve precision further, guaranteeing fluid is dispensed at the exact required location.
“For manufacturers who value precision, such as in aerospace or motorsports, or in highly regulated industries like medical device manufacturing, Camera Vision Systems can provide an added layer of control,” continued Cook.
“This Camera Vision System is easy to install onto a F4000 Advance 3-axis robot due to its plug and play design. The hardware is mounted directly onto the robot, reducing space requirements.”
The Camera Vision System includes an auto three-axis dispensing tip calibration function, an auxiliary camera to monitor dispense processes live, an LED light with adjustable brightness to optimise image contrast and definition, and a high-resolution CCD camera for image capturing. An industrial Windows-based PC system is included, CAD data transfer is simple and fast, and the system is quick to set up and program. Manufacturers can store images for quality and process control purposes.