Data Collection Points
At a Tier-I automotive plants in Mexico cylinder heads are marked with a dot-peened 2D matrix-style barcode for traceability, immediately after casting. Locating that code is a critical step in the cylinder head machining process, involving camera to read the barcode on the side of each casting, then collate the serial number with the different part measurements, for collection in a centralized database.
Surface Roughness is Tough
Due to the castings’ rough surface, scanning the barcode can be difficult. “It’s tough to read anything on a casting,” according to Nathan Ritter, controls engineering manager for Vantage. “Laser marking, dot-peen, or mechanical stamp, it doesn´t really matter—the irregular surface tends to scatter light in all directions, so you can´t see much when you view it with a camera.”
Shedding High-Intensity Light on Problems
The Keyence LumiTrax system uses a high-intensity, multidirectional lighting source to capture up to 16 separate color or monochrome images, and then analyzes the relative brightness level at each pixel to separate irregularities from background surface patterns.
Cutting Through the Surface
“The LumiTrax system cuts through all the surface noise to give you exactly what you´re looking for,” Ritter said. “I’m confident in the readings, and there was no need for any trickery with the lighting.” The lighting makes it possible to locate the dot-peen markings quickly, reliably, and accurately, to maintain high-volume finishing rates.
Let There Be Light
The Keyence LumiTrax system has built-in software algorithms and imaging technology to generate shape and texture images of a target, which eliminates surface variations and ambient influences that otherwise prevent stable inspection.