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Quality admits no compromise

Weidmuller Ceres DE Electronics VisionPro

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Major reduction in measuring times thanks to 2K11 universal inspection station with VisionPro

Over the years, suppliers of electronic components have been obliged to constantly raise quality standards in order to compete. In today's highly diversified market, business success is most definitely decided by quality. Working in cooperation with Weidmüller GmbH & Co. KG, Ceres Vision GmbH has now developed a new universal inspection station that simplifies complex testing procedures, greatly reducing measuring times, and increasing quality assurance to a new level.

Weidmüller GmbH & Co. KG in Detmold, Germany, is known for quality assurance. It has a no-compromise objective: a zero defect strategy—a difficult challenge with a volume of some 33,000 products. The world's leading provider of solutions for electrical connectivity, transmission, conditioning and processing of power, signals, and data sets the bar very high, particularly when it comes to developing new components. Working under the overall control of Ceres Vision GmbH, Bielefeld, Germany, Weidmüller has come up with a completely new type of automatic inspection station designed to speed up and simplify complex inspection processes on a sustainable basis. The 2K11 universal inspection station now performs such operations up to ninety times faster than was previously possible by manual means. The 2K11 station has become a highlight in the recent history of this vision specialist. Since 2002, Ceres Vision has helped businesses with challenging applications involving inspection, measurement and identification.

Extreme sharpness of focus – no matter the depth of view

The 2K11 universal inspection station is used by Weidmüller for quality assurance as an offline inspection station with sample assembly/disassembly for geometric measurement. Spot checks are carried out before and during the production of parts destined for the electronics industry. The system offers these major benefits: simple operation during inspection and the creation of new test applications, as well as time savings in comparison with manual control. While this normally takes between 30 and 45 minutes for each object to be inspected, the 2K11 universal inspection station can examine the same part in just one-half to two minutes.

When using the new inspection system from Ceres Vision, different parts with maximum dimensions of 100mm x 65 mm x 70mm are placed on a V-shaped product carrier for checking. A choice of three or six positions is available at this point, depending on the size of the parts. The system uses two 11-megapixel cameras with telecentric optics vertically aligned to the inspection areas. The telecentric lenses with a diameter of 120mm register the parts to be tested in a single pass and with accuracy in the µm range. Mounted on linear shafts, both cameras deliver optimum image results even with objects located at a depth of up to 65mm on different planes of focus. It is possible to move the cameras into seven positions, with fully automatic focusing, eliminating the need for human intervention. The arrangement of the two cameras at right-angles to each other means that VisionPro® software from Cognex is capable of evaluating the parts to be tested as 3D pictures.

The product carrier uses transparent panes of frosted glass for diffuse illumination as well as two incident lighting units to supply red light in parallel from above. The transmitted light system guarantees that the picture will have very sharp outlines, required for precise inspection of the edges of each part. Overhead lighting allows the camera to look both onto and into the object to be examined.

The component geometry of the specimens can be measured with an accuracy of 0.02mm.

An easy task on the surface

The user software of the 2K11 universal inspection station is based on the intelligent vision software VisionPro. Intuitive operation is ensured by the Ceres Vision Smart-Builder software, which helps users quickly learn how to use the measuring system. They will be able to create inspection procedures themselves with the extremely user-friendly tool library in no time.

In particular, the simple drag-and-drop link between tools provides for the fast transmission of values. The simple operability of the system saves an enormous amount of time and so ensures high acceptance by users. This provides for a significant reduction in production downtimes while boosting productivity. All relevant test features such as distance, angle, and diameter can be defined as a measuring process by the operator without extensive prior knowledge thanks to this helpful user interface. Stored as a recipe in the article database of the system, they can be called up at any time for repeated measurement.

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