Case Study

RoboVis systems installed to dramatically improve throughput and functionality of a machine tending application at a UK component manufacturer of fluid control products

Norgren is a world leader in motion and fluid control technologies. With well-established manufacturing facilities in the UK, Norgren has an eighty year history which has led to a clear understanding of the UK industry with thousands of industry leading pneumatic motion and fluid control products stocked for same day despatch and rapid delivery.

We partnered with Kawasaki Robot UK who assisted in the re-programming of existing robots to make best use of our systems features.

Norgren has a number of flexible automated machining cells integrating equipment from a variety of manufacturers. Two of these systems required a vision system upgrade to improve throughput and enhance functionality. These machines regularly need to produce relatively small batches and hence change-over time needs to be short and simple. The cells can machine a wide range of parts many of which are ‘handed’ requiring multiple models to enable the robot to know how to handle the part.

We installed our RoboVis system on both cells. These systems make use of our proprietary Multi-Sort and Multi-Pick technologies to ensure a wide range of parts can be handled and maximum throughput achieved. Multi-Sort calculates how many parts are in the field of view such that conveyor indexing is minimised. Multi-pick identifies the correct part, position, orientation and hand. Anti-collision tools are used to ensure the robot has a clear approach to the part. The vision system keeps supplying co-ordinates to the robot until no parts are left to pick, or no parts can be picked (due to potential collisions with adjacent parts), at which point the conveyor indexes.
Overhead LED lighting from a Vision & Control FALKD300x240-R area light illuminates the pick area with conveyor material chosen to maximise part stability and minimise reflection. A Basler GigE camera is used to capture the image of parts on the conveyor belt.
No changes were required to the existing feed system (other than replacing the conveyor material). The robot was re-programmed to make best use of RoboVis’ features and provide a highly integrated overall solution.
When a batch changeover is required, the new part type is selected from RoboVis. When the robot is placed into auto-cycle it requests the component type from RoboVis. In this way no errors occur with the wrong component being selected at either point. The components are named (both in RoboVis and the robot) using the Norgren part number, further simplifying the task.

Founded in 2004 as FS Systems, and now Fisher Smith, has over 35 combined years of experience of machine vision and industrial control systems. During that time they have built solid, long-term relationships with their customers and suppliers. Part of the success has been down to the emphasis placed on service, and part down to an insistence on supplying only technically excellent, robust and reliable products and working with suppliers who share our approach to quality and reliability.