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Automotive Manufacturer Traces and Verifies Products Using Machine Vision

Cabi IT Automotive

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Vision sensors and vision systems eliminate the risk of error

For the production of engine motors, Italian automotive manufacturer Cabi cannot take any chances when it comes to part safety and quality control for their high-profile automobile clients. These criteria have become of the utmost importance in this industry, meaning that complete traceability of each part is essential. Cabi chose Technifor to ensure this traceability using direct part marking (DPM) on the surface of each product. Cabi is also using Cognex vision sensors and In-Sight vision systems to eliminate the risk of errors in the production process as well as to read and inspect directly marked codes at each point of production.

High profile means high standards

Cabi’s production site has different work areas. Each work area is dedicated to a different client. Each piece has a specific graphical symbol identifying the client. In addition to client identification, a 2D code ensures traceability of each single part.

This two-tier identification is initially performed by vision sensors for symbol detection and then by vision systems for code verification and reading. A Cognex vision sensor is used to detect the presence of each symbol before the part is laser marked with a 2D code. Cabi had never used vision sensors before. Previous systems proved incapable of verifying the code or even checking for its presence, and thus the company sought the advice of Technifor and Cognex.

Technifor was entrusted with the mission of marking and reading the codes during the production of each motor. They used a laser marking process to mark 2D codes onto the surface of each part. The reading and verification of these kinds of codes in high speed, industrial circumstances require a robust and high-performing solution. Cognex In-Sight vision systems are deployed at the point where each code needs to be read, verified, and recorded. Each production inspection is recorded so that at each control point, an accurate trace is kept on each part. These details are automatically entered into a database which is integrated into the client’s operations. The fact that the code has been read, verified, and inspected at this point is recorded, and the result is put into the database.

Multi-tasking: Cognex vision solutions handle all kinds of constraints

The nature of the manufacturing environment and the challenging circumstances of the application meant that machine vision was the only solution. A Cognex vision sensor is used to check for the presence of the symbol on each part, ensuring that the correct part is marked with the correct code. This application required robust vision systems owing to the technical constraints of marking by laser. This process is extremely effective and chosen for its durability yet requires a high performing vision solution capable of reading 100% of the codes while coping with low contrast and surface reflection difficulties.

Cognex In-Sight cameras with IDMax software proved the only reliable means for code verification and reading as well as being capable of cooperating with the data collection process. In-Sight vision systems are high performing even in the most difficult environments. Advanced software tools are capable of reading 1D, 2D, RSS, CS, and DataMatrix codes regardless of print quality or surface characteristics. IDMax, the code reading feature on In-Sight ID readers, can handle low and poorly formed codes as well as read, track, and verify.

Competitive technology: Machine vision error-proofs Cabi’s production process

Cabi is able to respond to the demands of its clients thanks to the capabilities of Cognex vision systems. Cabi can now assure their clients that the entire process of production is controlled, inspected, and recorded from start to finish. They can also prove that each piece is completely traceable and has been correctly inspected. By taking advantage of the best of advanced technology, Cabi is ensuring they maintain a competitive edge and pass the benefits onto their clients.

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