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Inspecting All the Small Things

Prosilica GT provides the vision solution in Artemis Vision’s visionStation™ inspection system.

The inspection of small parts like screws and bolts, used for the assembly of laptops and computer, is very challenging. Small parts manufacturers must find ways to complete inspections in a precise and cost-efficient manner. Artemis Vision's visionStation™ is precision machined from aluminum and fitted with a high-resolution Prosilica GT camera and lighting that is tailored to suit the type of inspection performed. 

The challenge

Automation instead of human inspection

In the realm of inspecting small parts, there are existing challenges that must be overcome.

  • Space constraints: Some small parts manufacturers have limited space for inspection equipment. Looking at the main components of an inspection system such as, the digital machine vision camera, lens, light source and processing unit, the size of a complete system can vary greatly. 
  • Accuracy and repeatability: Inspecting small parts by eyesight alone can be a daunting task.  Fatigue can set in after some time and can increase the likelihood of operator errors and missed defects.  Furthermore, maintaining a consistent method or process of inspection (receiving, placing/loading, inspection and removal of the part) can change from person to person.
  • Recognizing/cataloging defects: For any part inspection to be successful, the manufacturer must know what defects they are looking for.  While some defects are obvious to the naked eye, others may be so miniscule that they go unnoticed.  It becomes extremely important for a manufacturer to catalog all known defects.  However, this catalog can be extensive depending on the part produced.  A human inspector would have to check against the catalog to ensure the part is without defects, which can be a time-consuming and costly process.

The solution

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Artemis Vision's visionStation™ is an operator-loaded unit that can be used as a standalone inspection station or integrated into an existing operation. It is offered in two sizes, the small and larger system measuring 1 and 1.5 cubic feet, respectively. The small system can accommodate parts up to 2 inches (5.08 centimeters), while the large system can hold parts up to 6 inches (15.24 centimeters). The minimum defect size allowance for each system size is: 0.003 inches (76.2 micrometers) for the small station and 0.01 inches (254 micrometers) for the larger station.

The visionStation™ utilizes Microscan’s Visionscape and Artermis Vision’s proprietary visionWrangler software providing 100% product inspection, tracking and reporting for stand-alone production systems, or as part of a global network.  Also, it can collect and store data and images from inspections for later use.
To further ensure precise inspection, Artemis Vision builds a visionStation™ system based on the parts a manufacturer supplies and intends to have inspected. Once the specific requirements have been determined, the system is built, tested for ergonomics and ease of use. This tailored approach allows manufacturers to quickly setup the system and gain the peace-of-mind that their inspection needs are being met accurately.

The benefits

Flexible automation and repeatability

"The visionStation™ is ideal for customers who need to run approximately 20,000 parts per day or less," states Tom Brennan, President at Artemis Vision.  He continues, "At 3 seconds per cycle, an operator can load about 10,000 parts per shift. Customers who need flexible automation and repeatability between operators and production batches without necessarily wanting or needing full inline automation where parts are conveyed on a belt."

We selected the Prosilica GT because of its high resolution and excellent dynamic range.

The camera: Prosilica GT

High-resolution camera for rigorous conditions

"Artemis Vision selected a  Prosilica GT camera because of its high resolution and excellent dynamic range," explained Brennan. He continues, "The dynamic range plays an important part when imaging the shiny areas of a part, created by the lighting source. Furthermore, the Prosilica GT can handle the rigorous conditions the visionStation™ may be used in."  The Prosilica GT is designed to operate in tough environments with its rugged camera design and offers numerous features such as camera temperature monitoring, Trigger over Ethernet (ToE), and Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Highlights at a glance

  • Solution based on industry leading hardware and software

  • Optimized inspection and automation processes

  • Tailored approach allows manufacturers to quickly setup the system

  • Camera's dynamic range can cope with shiny areas of a part, created by the lighting source.