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Automotive Manufacturer Traces and Verifies Products Using Machine Vision

cognex camera mount Cabi IT Automotive

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Cabi, Italy: Identification and quality control, Cognex has all the answers

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 using Cognex Checker® 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: 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. This means the production process is error-proofed from the word go. In addition to client identification, a 2D code ensures traceability of each single part.

This 2 tier identification is initially performed by Checker for symbol detection and then by In-Sight® for code verification and reading. Checker, the innovative vision sensor is used to detect the presence of each symbol before the part is marked using laser 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 requires 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 with the result being fed 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. Checker is used to check for the presence of the symbol on each part thus ensuring that the correct part is marked with the correct code. Checker is an innovative and cost efficient new sensor from Cognex providing a new approach to error detection in production. 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 Data Matrix codes regardless of print quality or surface characteristics. ID Max, 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 their clients thanks to the capabilities of Cognex vision systems. Each part leaving Cabi is traceable from « cradle to grave » ensured by Technifor « mark and read » relying on 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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