Four Ways A Robotic Vision System Shortens Product Line Changeovers

Four Ways A Robotic Vision System Shortens Product Line Changeovers

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As a manufacturer, you incur a cost in downtime during line changeovers. Some estimates of a typical changeover can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Every hour of lost production is an hour of lost profitability, so the shorter you can make your changeovers, the better. One way to cut time when converting a line or machine from processing one product to another is to use a robotic vision system on your manufacturing robots. Let’s first take a look at changeover losses.

The Cost of Changeovers

The cost of changeovers is all about time. When your line is changing from one product to another, the clock is ticking. There are three types of time loss, known in lean manufacturing as The Three Ups:

  1. Clean-up: Time required to remove previous products, materials, and components from the production line
  2. Set-up: Time required to set up the equipment for the next production process
  3. Start-up: Fine-tuning required after the equipment is up and running

Robotic Vision Systems

Robotic vision systems give industrial robots human-like sight and hand-eye coordination. They typically consist of a camera and lighting mounted on a robot and connected to a computer. The computer uses specialized software to process images and interpret what the robot sees.

Robotic vision systems guide industrial robots to perform several complex tasks, such as load products, assemble products, select parts, and unload pallets.

1. Recognition Robotics’ systems reduce your installation times

When you look around the marketplace for robotic vision systems, you discover that some systems require weeks or months to install, set-up, configure, train staff on, and fine-tune. One advantage of Recognition Robotics’ systems is that they take little time to install and train. You can be up and running in just a few days instead of several weeks.

2. Recognition Robotics’ systems reduce set-up time

One of your goals during a line changeover is to keep your machine set-up time to a minimum. Recognition Robotics’ robotic vision systems make changeovers quicker because they require far less set-up time than is required with robotic vision sensors and competing solutions.

Competing robotic vision systems require operators to learn Computer-Aided Design and Drafting or a 3D modeling language, but systems from Recognition Robotics use a novel and simple “click-to-teach” interface instead. The camera takes an initial image where the operator then erases any unwanted shadows and background. The software then analyzes the image and triggers the robot to perform the designated task every time an image matches the initial image of the object regardless of its presentation. The process is quick.

3. Recognition Robotics’ systems increase changeover flexibility

Plenty of robotic vision systems on the market must be specially calibrated or targeted to a particular robot. They work when paired with that robot, but not with any other robots. This is not the case with Recognition Robotics systems. Our systems can be operate on multiple robot brands, and can be changed out quickly and easily with minimum interruption to production.

4. Recognition Robotics’ systems reduce changeover costs

Another advantage of using robotic vision systems from Recognition Robotics during your next changeover is that they lower your expenses. You can use the same Robeye® system on multiple robots on multiple lines over many years.

You do not have to buy a new system each time you change over or install a new robot. Robotic vision systems from Recognition Robotics are reusable, and can be disconnected from one robot and attached to another quickly and efficiently.

Get Back Up and Running Quickly

You don’t have to be a disciple of Lean practices to know that time is a type of waste. Processes that take too long must be shortened, lead times that take too long must be reduced, and changeovers that take too long must be minimized.

One way to cut your changeover times drastically is to use robotic vision systems from Recognition Robotics. They are quick to install, quick to train, easy to move from your old process to your new one, and work well with all manner of industrial robots. If quicker changeovers are on your agenda, let’s talk, or request your guided demo.

For more information, fill out the form below or call us to request a demo, have your questions answered, or speak to a representative.

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