Scandinavian Brake System (SBS) is a renowned manufacturer of custom-made brake pads for for all sorts of vehicles and rotating systems – from racing motorcycles to wind turbines. However, the custom-made products challenged SBS’s production line, because of the need to adapt to new product types very quickly. Materials, shapes, and sizes change all the time, and SBS needed a flexible vision system to manage the more than 1,200 different brake pad combinations. The goal was to make it easy for an operator to configure the system and create a vision inspection template from scratch depending on the product under test.
CIM used NI vision tools and LabVIEW software to build a highly flexible and robust vision system for the brake pad production line – CIM was the only supplier that could offer this. The pickup tools that were needed before became obsolete because the vision algorithm now tells the robot where to pick up the brake pad with a simple suction cup. The vision algorithm also ensures fast and reliable geometric matching, which greatly increases throughput. It has been very easy for the staff to learn how to operate the new system, and they can now run tests without assistance from R&D, which frees up manpower and increases productivity greatly. Moreover, the system can easily be scaled to cover even more production steps in the future. Direct resuseability of the code also make the new applications much less expensive to code – and because the code is reused, the modules have already been tried and tested, which drastically cuts down on implementation overhead.
The production line now has zero maintenance stops per day, which saves a great deal of operation time. The modern and well-tested vision matching algorithm means the system has a near 100 percent match rate and virtually no downtime. That means SBS can focus on optimizing more failure-prone systems in its production line. All in all, the solution has resulted in an overall more robust and cost-effective production line.
Mick Pelby, Business Development Manager