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FEATURE INSPECTION & MEASUREMENT


POTENTIAL FOR robot with sight


The flexibility and intelligence of a robot with an integrated vision system from FANUC offers an automated solution that is able to mimic the hand-eye coordination of a human


A


dding ‘sight’ to a robot can expand its potential by speeding up packaging


and palletising capabilities. FANUC’s integrated vision solution option for its robots features both software and hardware components. Coming as an optional software module of the R-30iB controller, iRVision is suitable for use in food and packaging applications. Within the iRVision package are


iRVision 2D, iRVision 2.5D, iRVision 3D, iRVision 3DL (laser) and iRVision 3D area sensor together with associated hardware components. Cameras can be high/low resolution or colour, depending on the application requirements. The flexibility and intelligence of a robot with the benefit of vision enables high level functions including picking, inspection, bar code and data matrix recognition and line tracking to be achieved. It offers an automated solution that is able to mimic the hand-eye coordination of a human and can accurately pick random products off a conveyor. In the food sector robots can be used to automate numerous vital inspection, positioning and orientation tasks while its code reading capabilities can play a key role in helping food companies to meet product traceability requirements. “Integrating vision into the control package allows food companies to


28 MARCH 2014 | FACTORY EQUIPMENT


incorporate features such as visual line tracking into their robotic setups without the need for external PCs,” explains technical manager Darren Whittal Visual line tracking involves a camera


looking at products moving along a conveyor belt. The vision system identifies the position of an object on the conveyor and passes this information to a robot further down the conveyor which can then pick the product. “FANUC now has the ability to offer a user-friendly and graphically driven way of programming visual line tracking applications and enables single camera/ multiple robot applications,” continues Whittall. “In simple terms this feature allows one robot to look after the camera and line tracking capability, passing the data on to the others. This solution enables less hardware to be specified.”


COST-EFFECTIVE VISION iRVision offers the most cost-effective vision solution for users of FANUC robots. Because it is an integrated part of the controller, no third-party software is needed to run or programme the vision system so no additional integration costs which would be required to enable a third-party system to communicate with the robot. Set-up is via the iPendant Touch which acts as the interface between the operator and the controller.


iRVision – a simple, plug and play vision solution


“iPendant Touch offers impressive graphics capabilities which makes it easy to set up vision applications,” continues Whittall. “Its 3D graphics capability allows users to see line tracking system parameters in 3D which helps to visualise the application. FANUC Robotics is able to organise training courses for vision novices and in complicated vision applications we can bring in our own vision experts to advise on system set up and lighting requirements.”


PLUG-AND-PLAY Why would users would choose an iRVision solution when there are so many vision systems on the market today? “The easy answer to this is because it


works out of the box. There is no need to implement your own communication protocols between the camera and the robot. iRVision can offer a truly plug- and-play solution. If you are using a FANUC robot with an R-30iB controller it is the simplest vision solution. “FANUC manufactures all of its equipment and designs its own software so everything naturally works well together without the need for a huge amount of integration work.”


FANUC Robotics


T: 02476 518415 www.fanuc.eu


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