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Metal part identification and recognition

Mikron Assembly Technology

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Polyfeed feeding device provides maximum flexibility with Cognex vision

Time to market is a deciding factor in manufacturing. Mikron Assembly Technology based in Boudry, Switzerland, understands this concept and makes it a defining factor when designing their production lines and notably their Polyfeed feeding devices.

The Polyfeed is a flexible feeding device that is part of a turnkey assembly solution that serves many industries such as automotive, medical, electrical and consumer goods. The Polyfeed is based on the use of vision recognition and vertical vibration systems to identify parts in their various forms and positions. The vision system inspects the components on the tooling plate and identifies which ones are suitable for being picked. The coordinates are sent to a four-axis Cartesian robot. The robot then picks all identified components from the plate and places them, properly orientated, into a nest on a link that transports the parts to the assembly machine.

Mikron chose Cognex’s PC-based PatMax® technology for part recognition in the Polyfeed application after speed, robustness and precision benchmarking was done with several vision algorithms. The vision system ensures the optimal or “intelligent” placement of the parts to maximize efficiency. This feeding method, unique in the industry, is patented and enables oriented customer parts to be fed that would be impossible, or very difficult to feed with conventional systems. A variant change can be made quickly, requiring only a few minutes delay before production can restart. A new product can be made production ready in only a few days.

As “time to market” becomes an increasingly important element in feeding components into a machine to make parts, Mikron and Cognex provide concrete solutions for shorter lead times.

Mikron to date has sold over 20 of the Polyfeed machines in Europe and they are all standard equipped with Cognex PatMax® vision. Mikron uses vision on almost all of their machines and have a team of vision specialists that pioneer the use of vision in many revolutionary applications.

Mikron's assembly system manufacturing philosophy is based on the utilization and high standardization of the base machines and processes ensuring proven and stable platforms. This enables their project teams to concentrate their efforts on the customer specific requirements.

Mikron integrates “state-of-the-art” technology in the assembly systems to keep their customers a step ahead of the competition. Part of this state-of-the-art technology is the aforementioned PatMax technology, which provides a very wide-range of vision tools for object location, defect inspection, gauging, and part identification, as well as a variety of specialized functions.

Flexibility – Reusability – Reliability – Quality – Precision – Highly productive

are the words to define the solutions built by Mikron Assembly Technology. Cognex Vision solutions in collaboration with Mikron Assembly Technology achieve excellence in machine building to meet the challenges of an ever more competitive environment.

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