Reliable circuit breakers inspection
09 October 2007
The Osiswitch Compact line at Télémécanique, a Schneider Electric brand, makes circuit breakers. This production line allows the possibility of creating up to 2000 different product types from just 100 different components. Each circuit breaker is manually assembled, meaning that a 100% reliable inspection of the individual components is essential in order to verify each breaker before packaging.
When considering the sheer variety of the product types, it became evident that a mechanical system would not be up to the inspection job at hand, and so vision technology was employed instead.
Global presence and high quality technology were the decisive criteria for Schneider Electric when it came to selecting a vision supplier. Cognex and its partner integrator Esox did a feasibility study and proposed an inspection method that responded to the demands of the application.
The vision system allows complete assembly inspection of each component of the different products by analysing the product references. This analysis depends on the vision platform developed by Esox using VisionPro from Cognex, which allows a “multi display” of images.
The vision station is made up of two cameras and five LED light sources, plus a laser beam. The first high resolution camera (1600 X 1200 pixels) inspects the underneath part of the piece, and checks the code inscribed on the contacts; the second camera performs the inspection of the upper part of the piece. The acquired images are recorded in the inspection data base. Considering the extent to which the specifics can vary, putting in place a correct lighting system represented a serious challenge. Esox conceived an optical system with a software tool programmed to operate according to exposure times. This system allows the lighting to be adapted according to the product reference, so several lighting variations could be called upon in sequence depending on the product family.
Depending on the complexity of the ongoing product inspection, the system displays one or more images for each product component. Up to 12 images can appear in such a way in the form of frames, the system having acquired each of them by using the most appropriate lighting. Each image is then processed by the software, and the results of the inspection appears on each of these frames as labelled red or green - allowing the operator to visualise any problems rapidly.
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