Sensor Based Error Proofing – As easy as 1, 2, 3

Error proofing your manufacturing processes can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. You should be able to freely deploy error proofing in all appropriate locations in your plants without concerns regarding costs and long-term support or stability. It all starts by first identifying your trouble spots, then implementing a detection method, and finally establishing a process to handle the discrepancy. Let’s discuss the detection methods using sensors, as well as the process, for handling discrepancies.

By utilizing sensors as opposed to vision systems or other passive approaches, the cost of implementation and maintenance is reduced. With the new generation of low-cost lasers, sensors are now more affordable and easier to implement.  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) brings new opportunities for handling non-conforming products. By tagging the individual part, assembly, or lot, products can be directed to the appropriate rework or scrap area.

These methods will allow you to implement more error proofing in your manufacturing lines to save thousand of dollars in scrap or rework and avoid the potential for costly containment.

Top 5 questions regarding error proofing…

Q1: What are the typical manufacturing errors that sensors identify?
A1:  Almost any assembly operation or sequence can be quickly and easily handled by a sensor. Typical problems are missing component, component orientation, wrong component, missing fasteners, loose fasteners, color matching, rework process and sequence mismatch.

Q2: When is a sensor not appropriate?
A2: If a part is not well secured or if you are looking for a randomly located feature, a sensor is not the best choice. A vision camera would be more appropriate.

Q3: How is RFID used in the rework lane?
A3:  It is used to trigger entry into the lane and then to identify exactly what’s wrong. Afterwards, a repair record is generated.

Q4: Is in-line testing considered part of error proofing?
A4: Yes, many assembly variables can not be detected unless an in-process test is performed. The results are handled the same…scrap or rework the part.

Q5: Why would you perform error proofing applications in a gripper?
A5: In some applications a part is never in a solid fixture. However, when in the gripper, the part is held perfectly for a sensor based error proofing solution.

Click here to …

  • Understand how to address reoccurring quality issues by implementing simple sensors.
  • Learn how the new generation of laser sensors give you real-world solutions.
  • Discover how RFID can track non-conforming products.

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