At VASCO group, Brugman produces radiators in a mass-production environment. Each single unit can be different. All Brugman radiators are categorized automatically according to physical properties such as height, width, convector spacing and colour. The challenge:
- 11.000+ different products (measurements, geometry, assembly, logo)
- Variations in specifications and materials (use of different suppliers)
- Accessories (barcode labels) placed between the convectors
- Random positioning on roller track and conveyor belt
- Long radiators causing substantial vibrations on the track
- Dirt on the conveyor belts
- High-speed movement at varying speed, stops and slip
- Future types and brands to be handled
Brugman’s large variety of products and unique characteristics requires a rather complex vision system. Different lighting set-ups and camera-techniques are needed for identification and to inspect all unique features in a robust way. To process each captured image we developed a set of vision algorithms, turning images into data and measurements. At the same time, we analyze the big-data intelligently to determine which unit is being inspected.
Given the rough factory-environment and circumstances the system is equipped with extra functionality to ensure its robustness. One of these features automatically compensates for a contaminated conveyor belt. Another example facilitates easy and time-saving handling for operators. The radiator may randomly be placed on the conveyor belt. The vision-system automatically locates the product and its characteristics. Directly after the vision inspection, the transport division is initiated and the radiator is sent to a specific packaging and printing line. As a result of the high requirements of VASCO Group/Brugman, vision became a key-system, one of the central nerves of the factory.Vision is fully integrated and reliabilty is undisputably important. Our system communicates with the printers, collects real-time data and feeds the ERP system. If the vision-system would fail, the entire packing line stops. The strategic importance has been respected as a requirement throughout hardware set-up and commissioning. Contingency routines are implemented to ensure 24/7 operation.
“ this far reaching automation is the only way for us to preserve quality levels at competitive commercial conditions whilst being able to handle increasingly decreasing product series ”
Laurens Wytzes – Director Operations VASCO-group, Plants The Netherlands and Poland
VASCO Group and Beltech have signed a stringent service agreement to ensure a long life-time of the system in perfect condition. With this Service level Agreement (SLA) in place, both parties have the guarantee that the system will keep doing what was promised. Below you can find a short movie about this application.