To become an international player, a business needs two things: top quality and high productivity. Arndt Fenstertechnik GmbH & Co. KG from Gattendorf, Germany, combines both to perfection in its new cutting center in which the In-Sight® Micro 1100 vision system from Cognex, incredibly small and yet extremely powerful, plays an important role.
Tighter insulation regulations and rising energy prices are fueling the demand for plastic windows. Plastic combines good insulating properties for both heat and noise with low maintenance costs. Even in terms of aesthetics, plastic windows have overtaken wood and aluminum in popularity because of their wide variety of colors and designs. Growing variety and rising demand require production lines to be more flexible with higher throughputs.
A hurdle just before the finish line
Just before completing the planning phase for the new cutting center, Arndt Fenstertechnik realized that the process had issues in the material feed area, one of the first steps. Incorrectly-fed frame parts could damage the line, resulting in costly down-time. Hundreds of different types of profiles, need to be distinctly identified in a matter of seconds.
The company searched for a reliable, low-cost solution to optimize this important step. After intensive research, they selected the In-Sight Micro 1100 in collaboration with Peter Scholz Software+Engineering GmbH of Weiden, Germany.
100 types in seconds
A central IT unit indicates which tubular profile should be placed upon the conveyor by the operator. The In-Sight vision system recognizes the profile cross-section and matches the previously programmed data to ensure the appropriate tube has been put into place. The window frame profiles can differ in terms of both external contour and the internal chambers and many vary only in terms of their dimensions.
The smart vision system, measuring just 30 mm x 30 mm x 60 mm, can guarantee up to 100 profile switches a day, maintaining a reliable process. And equipped with a VisionView® user interface, the operator can monitor the current production process.
Easy training for high-speed cycles
The In-Sight Micro 1100 is a standalone vision system. A PC is required only to "teach" new profiles. Arndt Fenstertechnik intends to network the vision system to the company’s central IT system to enable authorized employees to access the vision system from any PC within the network.
It is important to Arndt Fenstertechnik to put the maintenance and installation of new profile data in the hands of its own employees. As the extensive product portfolio of window profiles is continuously expanding, the goal is to minimize the costs of frequent reprogramming. One of the great strengths of the In-Sight Micro 1100 is its EasyBuilder® configuration software. New profile detection patterns can be programmed with a few strokes of the keyboard. The intuitive, user-friendly interface leads a user through the entire set-up process until the application is complete. Once configured, the In-Sight Micro 1100 ensures short cycle times and correct parts feed without any PC input at all, enabling successful production of window frames on one of Europe’s fastest lines.