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‘Human assistance’ camera improves manual assembly

19 November 2018

The Ricoh SC-10A camera inspection system is designed to both provide assembly instructions to operators and verify each step has been completed correctly. The simple, self-contained camera system is having a major impact in many different manufacturing environments in Japan is now available in Europe exclusively from STEMMER IMAGING.

A set of work instructions are loaded into the camera and displayed on a monitor while the camera scans the workpiece. The human operator follows the on-screen assembly instructions and after every action the system compares the result to the correct stored image before the next step can be taken. This reduces errors, helps operators learn new tasks and provides a digital audit trail of all operations.   

The RICOH SC - 10 series automatically checks the assembly status and identifies incorrect or missing items by using either pattern matching, colour verification or identifying the presence of textures. In addition, when used in conjunction with a Barcode scanner it can record the part number and select the job instruction set, record the serial number and user ID.  Each step completed is recorded in a CSV file including the time spent and an optional image of the inspection can be saved. This means that it can be used for assembly work analysis and traceability.

The camera features in-built software, which can be set up with a directly attached mouse and keyboard via USB. An HDMI monitor can be connected to display the assembly instructions and inspection state. No PC is required. Job configuration and instruction along with the inspection audit report can be stored either on the inbuilt SD card or on a network storage location via the in-built Ethernet port. 

Typical functionality includes:

• Checking the presence of the correct number of parts necessary for assembly 
• Checking the arrangement of similar parts 
• Checking whether work is progressing according to work instructions displayed on the monitor 
• Checking for missing parts on mounted assemblies
• Checking all of the assembled products/parts for mistakes in installation
• Visual checking to eliminate human error, saving labour rework costs
• Confirm whether packed items of the product are bundled according to the instructions

The Ricoh SC-10 is available in a standard and high magnification versions. The addition of the high magnification lens allows smaller parts to be inspected, for example on PCBs, and the inspection of a wider field of view.

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