Robotic System Makes Production Measurements Flexible and Scalable

The Marposs FlexiFeed robotic system comes from the need to make production feeds flexible and scalable, in order to adapt to product evolutions, and is able to maximize return on investment and adaptability over time. From production lines to quality control and packaging, it responds to various needs of application in multiple sectors. Flexifeed aims at annulling retooling.

The FlexiFeed, exhibited at the recent EMO, exhibition exemplified the functioning of a possible cell configuration to measure and test bulk fed objects. The processed component was a high-pressure fitting whose morphological characteristics allowed showing the operation of the integrated eXactum AEROEL micrometer instrument for non-contact measurement of diameters, since the part to be inspected was shaped with a thread and collars. A T3 TECNA air tightness test was also applied to the part which had a through-hole along its length.

FlexiFeed consists of a rotary table, six-axis robot and a vision system to individually find and then place a part into the different inspection stations while being fed from a common parts hopper. An operator loads up to 7 hours worth of parts into the hopper and the FlexiFeed selects and identifies the component and selects the predefined recipe matrix which defines what needs to be tested and measured before presenting it to the first station.

The robot-guided camera, recognizes the parts lying in bulk on a rotating plane and picks them up in an oriented manner to then position them in the reading area of the gauge. Measured data is stored in the Quarta BLULINK software. With a view to Industry 4.0 the measurement task can be completed with a laser or ink marking system for part traceability with direct correlation with test data.

Automation can be used for quality control, classification, and packaging of components as well as for the possible servicing of subsequent processing steps. Thanks to the total integration of the platform, FlexiFeed does not require the integration of heterogeneous external systems. Furthermore, it does not require the skills and experience usually needed with similar technologies, thus solving any skill-gap issues between operators using the machine.

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