FactorySmart Sensors To Drive I4.0 Automated Factory

At LMI FactorySmart® is not just another buzzword it has meaning and purpose. FactorySmart represents smart sensors working seamlessly within the modern automated factory environment to improve production based on the principles of Industry 4.0.

The main goals of the LMI FactorySmart approach are:

•    Increasing productivity (build more widgets)
•    Eliminating manual error or inconsistency (creating better product quality)
•    Minimizing waste (optimizing input)
•    Enabling greater factory automation (using robots)

Smart Factories Need Smart Sensors

Smart sensors are the cornerstone of the LMI FactorySmart platform allowing users to not only acquire scan data at high-speed, but to easily interpret that data and share results with factory infrastructure by networking with other factory machinery to support downstream decision-making.

All-in-One Design – No External Controllers Required

All-in-one design is one of the key principles of FactorySmart and means that everything is built-in to the sensor head itself including scan, measurement, and control decision-making capability.

Where standard sensors require external controllers and/or PCs to process data, apply measurement tools, and communicate downstream control decisions, smart sensors offer this entire range of functionality within a single device. Plus, all-in-one design has a profound impact on lowering total system cost and complexity on the production floor.

FactorySmart design makes ease of use paramount which include a web-browser driven, point-and-click environment for rapid control and configuration; factory pre-calibration for out-of-the-box measurement; and rich I/O for communicating results to factory equipment.

Real-Time Data Processing Onboard

FactorySmart devices provide real-time, onboard measurement capabilities that minimize the lag between scan data acquisition and decision outputs, which means engineers can inspect a greater number of targets, and faster, without sacrificing measurement reliability or repeatability.

Factory Interconnected

FactorySmart is about interconnectivity, which is one of the pillars of Industry 4.0. A smart sensor achieves this by seamlessly connecting with factory infrastructure to report measurement results, monitor trends from a web browser, upgrade sensor firmware over the Internet, or network with other factory machinery to exchange or combine data to achieve the best optimization results.

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A smart sensor has the flexibility to simultaneously output data and decisions to a wide variety of I/O. It also allows engineers to easily communicate with existing hardware using PLCs and robot controllers via Modbus TCP, EtherNet/IP™, Profinet or custom ASCII strings.

Out-of-the-Box and Ready-to-Measure

FactorySmart sensors are pre-calibrated by the manufacturer to output data in engineering units (as verified by a traceable calibration artifact). Without this ability, the sensor cannot perform dimensional analysis (metrology). And because a smart sensor is pre-calibrated, the user can power it up and immediately start scanning to generate optimal results, right out-of-the-box, with no extra time, cost, or effort required.

Built-In 3D Measurement Tools

Today most 3D sensors require the purchase of additional software in order to carry out measurement on your scan data. A “dumb” sensor has to transfer data to a PC where your application runs. This is not scalable in a factory environment where hundreds of sensors are deployed.

A smart sensor, on the other hand, has built-in measurement tools that provide a drag-and-drop environment with full 3D visualization and allows the user to add custom measurements based on the specific feature that needs to be inspected. The tools execute on the sensor and only pass/fail results are reported to the factory effectively reducing the tremendous amount of 3D raw data down to a small decision set. This makes life much easier for production engineers, more cost-effective and leads to a simpler overall management of sensor technology.

The LMI Gocator 3D smart sensors have over 40 built-in measurement tools with more than 170 unique 3D measurements.

Support for Multi-Sensor Networking

The modern production line demands high-resolution scanning of individual parts and assemblies. Building these high-density scans of any single part often requires many sensors. Unfortunately, standard sensors do not normally provide the ability to align and stitch 3D data to build larger models.

Smart sensors, on the other hand, offer built-in support for assigning multiple sensors in a flexible layout in order to create a single, dense 3D point cloud ready for measurement. This is very important in industrial applications where the target is larger than a single sensor’s field of view, or when the engineer needs to generate a 360º scan of the object.

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Sensor customization allows advanced users to develop and embed their own measurement algorithms directly into the firmware itself with the same functionality and ease-of-use as built-in native tools providing process engineers greater control over their unique inspection challenges to achieve optimum results.

For more information: www.lmi3d.com

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