AdduXi provides complex components and assemblies for the automotive industry. They were looking for an affordable vision system, offering stability and ease of use. They installed eight Keyence vision sensors on four production lines, where the devices operate around the clock.
AdduXi is a tier-2 automotive supplier focused on zero defects and automating its production lines. In a highly competitive market, the company has more than doubled its turnover in the last five years and boasts a customer portfolio that includes names such as Bosch, BWT, Brose, Continental, Delphi and WABCO. It employs a workforce of 210 and operates production sites in France and Switzerland, engineering and design departments for mould sets and special machines, and two subsidiaries in Germany and Spain. AdduXi's core business is plastic injection moulding, but overmoulding and assembly now account for half of its turnover.
"We advocate using vision systems for in-process inspection, but some highly advanced systems are not suited to all applications. In other words, not only were we looking for affordable vision systems, we also needed a solution that was highly stable and utterly simple to use. You see, our facilities operate 24/7 but our vision specialists go home at the end of the day," says Christophe Paviot, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at AdduXi's site in Bellignat, France.
"We looked at a number of vision sensors of similar type. However, either their detection capabilities weren't optimal or they were too complicated to operate. Keyence's solution proved to be the best one. It was very easy to set up and we had it up and running on our production lines in no time. Best of all, no extra lighting was necessary; all we added was a filter. There are now eight vision sensors operating at our facilities round the clock and without any stability issues," adds Mr Paviot.
The IV sensor offers high detection stability thanks to a range of innovations. Its HP-Quad lens contains 4 layers of glass to achieve low aberration and gather a maximum of light. The HS-HDR function broadens the light-receiving sensitivity range when dispersion occurs in reflections and a polarised filter eliminates glare from shiny targets.
"Although the IV sensor is quite recent, we've already installed it on four production lines. We use it on three assembly lines to detect the presence or absence and correct positioning of inserts as well as on a coil overmoulding line to check for the presence of material across the entire surface to be covered," explains Mr Paviot.
The sensor takes about a minute to set up, even by a novice. It meets 80% of vision needs with a high level of accuracy and is an advantageous alternative to using one or more sensors to detect targets of varying position. The outline recognition technology allows automatic position compensation. The IV Series performs all normally needed adjustments in real time. The Intelligent Brightness Adjust function (IBA) automatically adjusts the brightness of the built-in lighting. The autofocus function ensures sharp images and is driven by a motor engineered specifically for the IV Series. Furthermore, the vision sensor offers both colour detection and autofocus capabilities.
The IV Series is thus a flexible solution that in most cases can meet a large portion of the needs of production facilities. There are eight different sensor heads to meet the specifications of each application - detection distance (up to 2000 m), field of view and exposure time (up to 1/25000 for high rates).
"Not only do Keyence make quality products, they are also always on hand to help us find the best detection solution for our needs. They come out at a moment's notice to conduct tests with their equipment so that we can choose the best sensor or vision system solution for our needs," concludes Mr Paviot.