Cooling Module Inspection
Vision system inspects 30+ features to substantially improve quality
Automotive cooling modules require multiple features to be inspected: confirmation of module type, module position, dimensional analysis of electrical connectors and hose clamp position. A typical approach is to use an automated inspection station using multiple pneumatic actuated linear slides fitted with contact probes and vision systems complemented with a variety of sensors to inspect the individual components. The challenge with this approach is that each slide costs approximately $15,000 and the slide has to be replaced whenever the cooling module specification or design is changed.
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Flexible Solutions for Cooling Module Inspection
Replacing the slides with cameras mounted in a fixed position would require as many as 30 different vision systems and necessitate a specific lighting solution for each. Alternatively, a single Cognex® In-Sight® vision system mounted on a robot provides a less expensive and more flexible solution for cooling module inspection. With this configuration, a robot is used to move the vision system to the correct position. An In-Sight vision system captures multiple images and processes them on the camera without the need for a separate computer. PatMax® vision tools provide the location of the cooling module, hose clamps and matting. A measurement tool calculates the distance between the matting and hose clamps. Histogram tools confirm the presence or absence of the other essential components in the cooling module. The vision system also reads barcodes to validate that the correct part number is present.
Removing the linear slides and contact probes and replacing them with an In-Sight vision system minimizes the risk of product recalls and improves product quality because more items can be inspected than before. Because the robot and vision system can be reconfigured for a new product type, downtime and retool costs are significantly reduced.