To control the laminating film on table tops, HTH is now one of the first to implement 3D solutions.

HTH kitchen elements in 3D

HTH in Ølgod is ensuring that the laminating film on their table sides is correctly mounted with a Ranger E 3D-vision solution. By using a 3D solution instead of a 2D solution, they do not have to change the setup every time they change the type of laminating film. This makes for easier control, removes the extra time spent on setup changes, and thereby increases production.
When building a new production line at their factory in Ølgod, HTH, in collaboration with their advice partner, Nicholaisen, decided to look at traditional 2D technology for solving the control task. CIM came onboard to look at the vision task, and had based the offer on a conventional 2D system without signal processing. It was quickly realized that the many different surfaces, patterns and colors of the laminating film caused serious problems for the 2D solution. This could be solved by continuously adjusting several parameters, but was not a sustainable solution, particularly in relation to the introduction of new laminating films.
CIM had looked at 3D before, but had considered it to be a very heavy technology, this was, until they were introduced to the new 3D solutions from SICK IVP. They now saw the possibility of solving a difficult task with a simple solution - SICKs Ranger E camera. 


The material is beamed with a laser to perform a trigonometric measurement.

The Ranger E solution - simple and different

Two CIM employees, took a course at SICK IVP, at which they gained a detailed knowledge about 3D-vision.  Where 2D-vision is based on the processing of data from a traditional 2D image, 3D makes it possible to bring out geometrical data.
This meant that the task was no longer about recognizing the various colors or patterns of the surface, but instead about registering the differences between a raw, and thereby uneven surface, and the smooth surface of the laminating film.
HTH can now alter their laminating film, without having to worry about the effect is has on the vision control. They can use plastic or metal laminates of widely different colors and gloss.
In collaboration with SICK, CIM has put together a camera system, which consists of a Ranger E camera with a Gigabit Ethernet interface and a laser from StokerYale.
The machine is constructed with four of these camera systems, distributed on two control spots.
Over a distance of 50 meters, the two camera systems on each control spot, sends data to a single PC through a Gigabit Ethernet. This PC handles the signals. If 2D had been used, a second external PC per control spot, would have beennecessary , and the system layout would be far more complicated.

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The controler is a standard PC

The technology - The world's fastest chip

The vision camera has a high resolution (512*1532 lines) vision chip. Every line has its own RISK processor, which turns the data from all 512 points of the line, into one result. By only sending the final result and not the data from every single point, the SICK IVP 3D chip becomes the worlds fastest.
A laser sends a line of intensive light onto the surface of the material. All changes in the particleboard are registered. The signal is then sent via a Gigabit Ethernet to an ActiveX module and on to the development software. The fact that CIM could use the same development software, "Labview", as before, greatly reduced the production period. They now have a platform for future solutions.

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Camera and PC's are connected via Gigabit Ethernet

Three types of cameras

It is the application that determines which development platform is the best suitable. Primarily there are 3 types of vision solutions.
Smart camera is the fastest solution to set-up. It has all the necessary components: Laser, camera and a PC with the software, all contained in an IP65 housing. The set-up is done by using SICK IVPs strong, but simple Studio program, from an external PC. When the solution has been put together, it is stored directly in the camera, which then functions as a stand-alone device.
The Ruler version is the second possibility. Here the physical components are also placed in a single housing, but this time the data, which has been calibrated in mm's, is sent to a PC where the evaluation takes place.
The Ranger version is the third type of camera and all the components are put together freely. The data is not calibrated and is sent via an API to the customers' own development environment, where the rest of the programming is handled.
To have the greatest possibly influence on the result, CIM uses a system that is put together freely, and configured for the task at hand. 

Ranger E 3D Camera specs.

Performance: Up to 35.000 3D profiles per second.
Interface: CameraLink or Gigabit Ethernet
Language: C++ (VS.NET 2003) or C (VS.NET 2003)
Evaluation software: Ranger Studio
Camera dimensions: 100x50x50 mm
Synchronizing of data: Encoder- Port directly in camera
Extras: IR filter