Drives and Controls Magazine
Ready-to-run vision system will cut costs and save time
Published:  22 December, 2020

The German sensor-maker Sick has announced a ready-to-use machine vision system that can perform code-reading, and 2D or 3D inspection duties. It says that the MQCS (modular quality control system), which combines hardware with pre-written software, will cut the cost and time needed to set up automated quality inspection and logistics applications. The package makes it easy to configure even complex 2D and 3D image-processing applications, including upgrades to existing machinery.

Originally developed for 3D inspection of chocolate moulds, the MQCS has been adapted for other applications, such as “right product/right packaging” code matching, counting and aggregating, monitoring the cycle life of materials-handling equipment, and other inspection and measurement tasks.

“In the past, often there has been no option but to start from scratch when developing machine vision applications for specific applications – generally a time-consuming and laborious process,” explains Neil Sandhu, Sick’s UK product manager for imaging, measurement and ranging.

“Now, with the MQCS, you can take our ready-made package and adapt it easily for the task in hand. It’s scalable, easy to configure with other sensors or devices, and has the versatility to integrate with higher controls. So, users can get the accuracy of a high-speed, high-resolution vision sensor without the need for extensive programming skills they would normally require.”

The package includes a control cabinet with a touchscreen HMI, as well as an application controller, which can be combined with Sick vision sensors such as its Lector image-based code-readers or Ranger 3 cameras. There is also a PLC interface module for real-time processing of the sensor outputs, as well as a network switch.

Additional application plug-ins make it easy to configure specific machine vision tasks such as pattern matching, shape evaluation, counting, OCR verification and quality inspection.

Sick’s ready-to-run machine vision package combines all of the necessary hardware elements with preconfigured software

Data is logged automatically and can be viewed via the HMI or a Web server. Digital outputs allow users to set up alerts and alarms to monitor process quality and efficiency.

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