When a Tier 1 supplier of automotive exhaust system components turned toward automation for quality inspection, it reached out to NEFF to develop a machine vision system that verifies not only the integrity of a specific part, but also its proper assembly to shipment. 

For the vision aspect of the system, NEFF chose a Cognex In-Sight 7200 smart camera, which features an 800 x 600 CMOS image sensor that acquires images at 102 fps and is equipped with the company’s PatMax pattern detection algorithm. To illuminate the parts in question, the company chose two LM45 lights from Smart Vision Lights, which offer four LEDs and feature MultiDrive and OverDrive strobe technologies. MultiDrive enables users to employ either light in continuous operation or OverDrive strobe mode, depending on wiring method.

The machine vision system also runs two Cognex PatMax algorithms, one of each “half-moon” side of the part. NEFF taught the pattern on the full, intact part and set the match percentage high enough to fail any defective parts. Parts that pass inspection are welded and sent on to the next phase. Failed parts, however, are manually removed and placed into a “failed” containment system to be reworked.

 

By utilizing the Congex In-Sight 7200 and the LM45 Lights from Smart Vision Lights, as well as the Cognex PatMax algorithms, NEFF was able to automatically identify defects in the valves, while also verifying the correct assembley before parts are welded and shipped to customers. 

 

To read more about this project, check out the Vision Systems in-depth discussion.