Thyssen opts for Cognex vision

05 June 2008

Bremen, Germany based ThyssenKrupp Krause said it boosted quality control on automotive assembly lines after it turned to vision supplier, Cognex. Thyssen is a supplier of automation technology and develops and manufactures assembly lines for the automotive industry.

Vision technology has become a central element of the quality assurance system and an important factor in the optimisation of production steps.

‘This company has already installed hundreds of thousands of systems throughout the world, is extremely experienced and offers a highly efficient international support program,’ Dr Trittin, of Thyssen, said.

In the last year the Bremen site installed 120 In-Sight sensors. In the six years prior to that over 320 vision sensors, from the In-Sight product family and around 24 PC-based systems with VisionPro were integrated at the same site. The sensors are placed on robotic arms on the assembly line in order to verify engine motor assembly.

Furthermore, Cognex supplies Patmax software. This uses the basic geometric structures of objects such as edges dimensions, shapes, angles, curves and shading to localise them. By analysing the geometrical data of features and their spatial relationship to each other Patmax can define the position of an object while coping with the changes in the position, orientation or scale.

Thyssen maintains an in-house vision laboratory where staff produce feasibility studies and develop solutions for difficult tasks that require advanced vision applications. Throughout the process chain, all vision applications are connected as part of the quality assurance system allowing requirements for complete traceability to be met. Product traceability is, however, only part of the quality management system. 2D code readers are used on a production line to trace which part was installed while other readers are used to determine the correct part for assembly. For example, injection pumps of a particular kind are matched to the corresponding injection nozzle control module. This is designed to prevent production errors further down the production line.

Staff at the Thyssen plant are not machine vision experts. Therefore, the company wanted a solution that would be easy to operate. Cognex said it tackled Thyssen’s concerns with an intuitive development environment and vision tools that are integrated with the production controllers. The In-Sight Explorer development environment programmes networks of vision sensors and integrates them into the automation process and into company communications. They communicate via an integrated Ethernet interface in an effort to make them easy to use and familiar.

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