After installing an automated cell consisting of part-handling robots and six machining centers to produce engine flywheels, Daco Inc., North Aurora, Ill., realized that its part-inspection process wasn't up to speed. Automating inspection, the engine-component supplier realized, would improve inspection information consistency and free up qualified personnel for other value-added work. However, instead of investing in a new shop-hardened CMM, the shop upgraded and enclosed its existing, standard bridge-style machine.
For integration, the existing CMM needed both software and hardware upgrades, and Daco turned to Mitutoyo America Corp. for solutions. While these updates were relatively painless, the more challenging task was integrating the CMM with the cell's control system. For this, Mitutoyo sent its system analyst, Jay Elepano, who installed the company's Universal Inspection Inter-face (UII). This allowed the CMM's software and the manufacturing cell's PLC to communicate.
This link lets a robot pull a part off the line, send it to the CMM, and then transfer a signal to the PLC through the UII. This instructs the CMM's GEOMeasure software, also from Mitutoyo, to run one of up to 2,400 inspection programs. After the completed inspection, the software notifies the UII and PLC of the inspection results, and the PLC directs the robot to handle the part accordingly.
Mitutoyo America Corp.