Automating your operation can be an intimidating task.  With so many options for technology out there, it can be difficult to decide the best way to accomplish your goals.  It’s easy enough to say that we offer vision systems, laser systems, safety systems, and trace-ability, but one often still ends up asking how that all applies.  A good way to approach that concern is to take a look at how some of these systems work and where they’re used.

Vision Systems

Vision systems might be the most widely used quality control automation tools on the planet.  Advances in technology allow modern vision systems to inspect products at break-neck speeds.  These systems are ideal when inspecting products for:

  • Presence or absence of a given characteristic
  • Deformation of a feature
  • Anomalous characteristics
  • Color conformity
  • Sizing conformity

These are not the total extent of the capability of vision systems, but rather just the most popular uses in place today.  When tolerances get tighter, it’s common to turn to a laser system, or laser profiler.

Laser Systems

While vision systems are amazingly accurate and precise, laser systems are able to measure to tolerances within microns…and they are able to do it quickly.  The most common uses for laser systems in quality control are checking dimensional tolerances and 3D profiles.  In general, these systems are used to make sure that products are the correct size and shape.  Here are some places laser systems are used and why:

  • High tolerance dimensional checks
  • 3D shape/profile inspection
  • Surface texture inspection
  • Extremely high speed applications
  • Applications where lighting is unreliable/unavailable

As these systems progress, their applicability and availability continues to grow.  If dimensional or profile integrity is an are you’d like to get a tighter handle on, you might consider looking at a laser system.

Parts Marking and Tracking

Strange as it may seem to say out loud, if more companies started with part marking and tracking there would potentially be much less need for the above two categories.  Certainly that isn’t the case with everything, but it would be a lie to say that we haven’t encountered many applications where a quality control system was put in place to fix an issue that could have been solved upstream more economically and reliably with proper marking and tracking.  Today’s marking and tracking have gone beyond the print-and-stick barcodes of the past.  Modern high-speed printers can etch, laser, carbon print, or perform a host of other operations to apply unique markers and codes to your products.  The large breadth of capability in this market has opened doors to the needs of both high-speed users and low-speed, those with thousands of different parts and those with only a few.  Go beyond inventory.  Parts marking and tracking is great for:

  • Ensuring the correct parts and tooling are being used
  • Tracing issues back to their origin
  • Identifying good/bad batches of product
  • Kitting and packaging
  • Assisting in automation tasks
  • Added value for end-users

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple marking and tracking system.  It could be the silver bullet for your operation.

Safety

Automating safety has become part and parcel to almost any complete system.  We all know that safety is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Advances in technology have made integrating advanced safety measures a real possibility for businesses of all sizes.  Some of the more popular applications for safety integration…

  • Laser curtains
  • Wide area sensors
  • Floor sensors
  • Interlocks (doors, panels, etc.)
  • Motion sensing

That’s not the whole list, but the sky is nearly the only limit when you’re considering safety in your automation.  Either way, you can expect to have safety figured in when Padget Technologies is automating your system.