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Baumer cameras power socket manufacturer’s asset monitoring system

Asset monitoring doesn’t get more laborious or indeed labour-intensive than manually inspecting more than ten million plastic parts a year. But that’s exactly what one German socket cover manufacturer had to endure. That is until they deployed an automated asset monitoring solution from AUMO that utilises Baumer CX cameras to maximise product quality and traceability.

SchoPlast, a German state-owned company in the early 1970s and re-founded in 1992, boasts decades of experience. Being a well-established manufacturer of mainly thermosetting plastic parts for electrical installations, they asked AUMO to develop an asset monitoring system for socket plates. These ubiquitous parts are manufactured in large quantities and undergo complex inspections to satisfy SchoPlast’s high demands on quality.

Quality requirements refer to dimensions and precise outer contours. Identifying even the smallest defects, such as scratches and surface imperfections, is particularly demanding. SchoPlast produces ten million socket plates per year, which were always manually inspected. A Herculean task! This prompted them to look at alternative options to streamline this task. SchoPlast approached AUMO to learn if they could develop an automated asset monitoring solution.

AUMO asset monitoring system

As it happens, AUMO could. With their asset monitoring system, which has been in operation at SchoPlast since April 2018, two socket plates per cycle are picked from the bin and placed next to each other on a complex conveying system. In the next step, the plates pass several inspection stations. All inspection tasks are image-based, except for two tactile operations to measure material thickness and so-called pot size.

To do so, there are four measuring boxes hosting ten cameras in total and illumination units with ring lights as incident or transmitted light for surface illumination. Passing the boxes, the cover plates are automatically turned and positioned for backside inspection. As the final step in the inspection process, the socket plates are sorted according to good parts or defect type.

Baumer cameras provide “eyes” for asset monitoring solution

The ten Baumer cameras are integral to this successful asset monitoring solution. “We were looking for an open system with standardised lens connection and data interface to output grey images,” says Rösler. “Other manufacturers only offered complete systems, which we found insufficient in terms of flexibility.”

The Baumer camera VCXU-53M with USB 3.0, lens connection 35 mm and 1.4 aperture was the perfect match. Integrating ON Semiconductor PYTHON 5.3 Megapixel Global Shutter sensors, the cameras deliver excellent image quality with up to 73 fps. In the SchoPlast application, the cameras acquire an image every 3.67 seconds at exposure times between 0.125 and 0.5 milliseconds.

Asset monitoring system boosts traceability

The camera data is delivered to two industrial PCs, which in parallel control illumination. The computers run specific AUMO-developed evaluation software. The results directly enter the SchoPlast quality management system and can be retrieved years later for traceability reasons in the event of frequent error occurrence at later points in time.

AUMO doesn’t only use the Baumer VCXU-53M cameras for the SchoPlast asset monitoring system either. Baumer cameras do their jobs – contour inspections on objects – in at least two more applications at other customers. “We chose this camera because it has exactly what we need,” says Rösler.

For more information, visit www.baumer.com/gb/en.

Company Profile

Find out how Baumer IO-Link solutions are driving OEE efficiencies

The Baumer Group is leading at international level in the development and production of sensors, shaft encoders, measuring instruments as well as components for automatic image processing.

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