Consisting of just two cameras and lower cost than the competition, R-Tech’s visual inspection system is used by PSA (Peugeot S.A.) to inspect the car door panels of its Peugot 508 sedan
The door panels for PSA’s Peugeot 508 are manufactured on semi-automated lines. Three operators working on four different lines assemble components that are then welded together.
The front and rear doors of each Peugeot 508 have 24 different options. Door handles, inserts, power-window buttons, speaker foam, cloth, plastic-coated fabrics and leather are fitted and protected with plastic film. The only things not yet assembled are the sill lights and wiring.
The doors are then inspected by a vision system, particularly since their components are fitted by hand. Cost and quality considerations make this system a must. Not only must it check the placement of door components, it must also have sufficient resolution to be able to spot differences in the door covers – like the slightest difference between plastic-coated fabrics, (artificial leather) and natural leather – and distinguish between different colours and stitching.
A number of companies offered systems with three cameras on each side. However, R-Tech, a firm based in the southeastern French town of Marignier, designed a system with a total of just two cameras and a much lower price tag.
“We believed that we could deliver the necessary results with just one Keyence camera on each side,” explains R-Tech Director Nicolas Galmiche. “No other solution on the market can match Keyence’s performance in terms of resolution and processing speed.” R-Tech chose Keyence’s CV-5000 Series vision system. With its 5 mega pixel resolution (2432 ? 2050 pixels – 61 ms processing time), this model is unique to the market. CV-5000 Series models are controlled by a high-speed colour image processing engine and a high-speed RISC (reduced instruction set computer) CPU. Both are supplemented by two DSPs (digital signal processors) designed specifically for image processing. These four processors are used to achieve specific processing and attain the fastest processing speed possible.
Detection was also complicated by the fact that the interior sides of the car doors contain openings and an LED. R-Tech designed a specific lighting system that solves this problem. First, it illuminates both doors, one side at a time. The captured images are then filtered to black and white. Then the light is shut off so that the vision system can easily detect the LED. As a result, the inspection is reliable and successful each time.
“The other advantage for both us and our customer is that we worked with an existing vision system. There was no custom development involved and our customer has a non-proprietary solution,” says Galmiche.
The barcode on each door is scanned by a reader that sends this information to the vision system via Ethernet so that it can perform the necessary checks.
The information is then fed to the company’s central quality control system. With only around 12 seconds in which to perform the entire set of checks, time is of the essence. “The Keyence camera has no problem keeping up with this rate,” says Galmiche. PSA’s plant uses a JIT production system in which the time between electronic order and delivery on its lines is just 3 hours. The vision system has been operating flawlessly since being installed in early 2010. Already a leader in vision system technology, Keyence is now also a leader in vision system software with a completely revamped offering thanks to the CV-5000 Series Second Edition.
Keyence’s software offering features processing functions that stand out for their stability in varying conditions, speed, and ease of use. For example, the ShapeTRAX tool ensures stable detection without being influenced by ambient light or shaded areas on targets. ShapeTRAX is a powerful positioning tool that is easy to set up regardless of the target. The new ShapeTRAX function is ten times faster than conventional positioning tools and ensures repeatability of 1/40th of a pixel.
“We’re completely satisfied with how Keyence has revamped its software solutions. The system is very intuitive, capable of displaying completely in French, highly reliable, and the new filters really are very useful.” “It’s worked out great and we’re considering deploying it at PSA’s other sites,” says Galmiche. Based in the heart of the Arve Valley in France’s Haute-Savoie region, R-Tech offers many turnkey solutions. It uses its industrial experience and organizational structure to create comprehensive applications that meet the specific requirements of its customers. Its automation and mechanical solutions are designed and manufactured in-house. R-Tech deploys its solutions in France, Spain, Slovakia, Belgium and Germany.
(Keyence India Pvt Ltd, Chennai. Tel: 044-49630900. Fax: 91-44-49630901. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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