In the injection molding and assembly area at the plastic pipe manufacturer Wavin, three of their robot cells get new vision systems.
At Wavin, a supplier of plastic piping systems for the water, waste water and plumbing industry in Europe, the vision systems had to be updated and streamlined on three of their robot cells in the injection molding and the assembly departments, so that the different visions systems of the machines among other would have a similar interface.
For the update of the three robot cells, DIS assisted with selecting and replacing hardware, designing new vision software, and designing a shared interface for the three vision systems, despite the diversity of the systems.
Two of the robot cells had the hardware, software and interface upgraded and are now able to do a complete 3D scanning of the entire surface in a moment. From the 3D information, an item is located, and the coordinates are sent to the robot to grab the item. The third robot cell kept the up-to-date hardware, but had the software and interface replaced.
3D vision made user-friendly
A large part of the interface is about getting to know new items, where a simple and uniform procedure has been developed for this purpose.
- For the machine to learn about a new item it only takes a CAD-file, where the robot’s grabbing point is marked as well as a setting of 4-5 parameters that can be left in the default setting. The vision system handles everything else and makes sure to direct the robot to the grabbing point, unless the item is positioned in a way that makes it impossible to grab. In this case, it is possible to learn an alternative grabbing point simply by creating another CAD-file where the alternative grabbing point is marked, explains Jesper Bjerre, Project Manager at Wavin.
In the future, Wavin wish to be able to move hard-to-handle items to one of the three machines. This indicates an upcoming upgrade, where the option of any number of alternative grabbing points must be learned, so even these items will be able to be grabbed one way or another. So far, hard-to-handle items have only been handled manually.
- We have worked with DIS several times over the past 10 years, and once again it has been a good cooperation. We chose DIS for this task based on their strong knowledge within vision, and because DIS had the necessary test facilities required for the task. It is exciting to work with vision systems, but also quite complex, it is a technology that progresses constantly, so although the way we made the system has already evolved, our set up is how we want it to be, says Jesper Bjerre.