By Karen Hanna
Counting objects no bigger than the thickness of a credit card presents a challenge traditionally resolved with scales.
But part counting by weight can be inaccurate. A company that sped up the process with cameras that grab visual data as parts plummet from above has upgraded its approach with improved Industry 4.0 compatibility. Compared with weight-based counting systems, it says the technology reduces errors by as much as 5 percent.
Data Detection Technologies' 360° ICI vision-based counting system uses a counting head, available in several diameters, set up along a vertical chute, through which objects pass at a uniform rate. The system is modular and scalable to accommodate a range of parts or production speeds.
“With no need to feed parts one at a time at specific intervals, our advanced ICI bulk-parts-counting machines can reach counting rates of up to 25,000 objects per minute and can count parts as small as 1mm and up to 25mm,” said Sorin Nucham, VP of development. “Moreover, our sophisticated real-time algorithms ensure near-100 percent count accuracy at a speed that is virtually the same as the speed of weighing.”
The equipment can be installed at the outfeed of an injection molding machine, and, unlike weight-based counters, does not require that products travel over separate lines, or be fed one by one or in intervals, to be counted for packaging.
Data Technologies’ proprietary software controls the counting head, and multiple counting heads can be linked to one HMI.
Nucham said the system can handle a wide variety of objects, including parts for the aerospace and medical industries, and hardware and electronics components. The system is valuable in its “ability to deal with an unending array of different/odd-shaped objects [and] the ability to count very small items while maintaining extremely high operation speeds,” he said.
In the last year, Data Technologies has developed platforms to allow remote access and control of its systems. It also has made it easier to integrate its systems into automated production lines; as an example, the systems now are compatible with the bagging machines of all major manufacturers, Nucham said.
Depending on users’ needs, the systems also can be integrated with peripheral devices, such as bar-code scanners and label readers. To see the systems in action, visit https://youtu.be/DtMOBdNc5Ow.
Karen Hanna, associate editor
Data Detection Technologies Ltd., Simi Valley, Calif., 972-73-2204451, https://data-technologies.com