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Title:
OPTICAL INSPECTION MACHINE FOR THE QUALITY CONTROL OF PARTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/208516
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An optical inspection machine for the quality control of parts, in particular gaskets, comprises a rotary table on which parts to be inspected are placed and, above the rotary table, at least one viewing unit for inspecting one or more outer and/or inner surfaces of a part, a first part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a first external conveyor for compliant parts, and a second part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a second external conveyor for rejected parts. The viewing unit and part ejection stations are positioned on the rotary table with an angular distance between them, and are connected to a central mounting member that is coaxial to the axis of the rotary table and is movable vertically in relation to the rotary table.

Inventors:
BERSELLI HEMILIANO (IT)
Application Number:
IB2020/053302
Publication Date:
October 15, 2020
Filing Date:
April 07, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DOSS VISUAL SOLUTION S R L (IT)
International Classes:
G01N21/95; B07C5/342
Foreign References:
CN206557127U2017-10-13
JP3205511B22001-09-04
TW201710671A2017-03-16
CN204255875U2015-04-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHIMINI, Francesco et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An optical inspection machine for the quality control of parts, in particular gaskets, comprising a rotary table on which parts to be inspected are placed and, above said rotary table, at least one viewing unit suitable for inspecting one or more outer and/or inner surfaces of a part, a first part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a first external conveyor for compliant parts, and a second part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a second external conveyor for rejected parts, wherein said viewing unit and said first and second part ejection stations are positioned on the rotary table with an angular distance between them, said machine being characterized in that each viewing unit and each part ejection station is connected to a central mounting member that is coaxial to the axis of the rotary table and is movable vertically with respect to the rotary table.

2. A machine according to the previous claim, wherein said central mounting member is movable vertically between a lowered work position and a raised rest position allowing an operator to gain access to the rotary table for the maintenance or replacement thereof. 3. A machine according to either claim 1 or claim 2 wherein said central mounting member is movable vertically for a fine adjustment of the position of each viewing unit and each ejection station in relation to the rotary table, for example as a function of the height of the part to be inspected.

4. A machine according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the central mounting member is movable vertically by means of a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator.

5. A machine according to any one of claims 1-3, wherein the central mounting member is driven by an electric shaft.

6. A machine according to claims 3 and 5, wherein said electric shaft comprises an electric motor provided with an encoder.

7. A machine according to any one of the previous claims, comprising at least one surface viewing unit suitable for inspecting the upper surface of a part, and at least one peripheral viewing unit suitable for inspecting the outer and/or inner side surfaces of a part .

8. A machine according to claim 7, wherein the surface viewing unit comprises a substantially cylindrical frame with a vertical axis that slidably supports at least one video camera provided with at least one downward-pointing optical unit, at least a first focusing drive unit suitable for moving the video camera in the vertical direction, and, at the base of said frame, a surface illuminator suitable for illuminating the part to be inspected.

9. A machine according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the peripheral viewing unit comprises a substantially toroidal peripheral viewing frame with a vertical axis that defines a substantially cylindrical axial cavity and that slidably supports a plurality of peripheral video cameras resting on a substantially horizontal video camera plane, and at least a second focusing drive unit suitable for moving the video cameras in the vertical direction .

10. A machine according to any one of claims 7-9, wherein the frame of each viewing unit is provided with a lateral plate for connecting to the central mounting member .

11. A machine according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the part ejection stations are pneumatic stations and each one comprises an air-jet-emitting nozzle connected to the shaft of a pneumatic handling unit suitable for adjusting the radial position of the nozzle as a function of the dimensions of the part.

Description:
DESCRIPTION

"OPTICAL INSPECTION MACHINE FOR THE QUALITY CONTROL OF

PARTS"

[0001] The present invention refers to an optical inspection machine for the quality control of parts, in particular gaskets.

[0002] There are known optical inspection machines for the quality control of parts. In one embodiment described in the preamble of claim 1, the machine comprises a rotary table on which parts to be inspected are placed and, above and/or below said rotary table, at least one viewing unit suitable for inspecting one or more outer and/or inner surfaces of a part, a first part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a first external conveyor for compliant parts, and a second part ejection station that is activatable to eject a part from the rotary table to a second external conveyor for rejected parts. The viewing unit and part ejection stations are positioned on the rotary table with an angular distance from each other.

[0003] The viewing units and the part ejection stations are secured to a central mounting member.

[0004] In some machines of this type, the rotary table is transparent, for example made of glass, since a viewing unit needs to be allowed to acquire images of both the upper surface and the lower surface of parts.

[0005] Such rotary tables, especially ones made of glass, are very delicate and can be scratched.

[0006] For this reason, the rotary table needs to be replaced or repaired on a somewhat regular basis. Doing those operations on the table currently requires disassembly of a good portion of the machine's components to allow an operator to have access to the rotary table so that it can be removed from the machine. This involves stopping the machine for several hours, in part because, after reassembling the rotary table and machine components previously removed, a machine recalibration process needs to be performed, requiring a great deal of time .

[0007] The purpose of this invention is to propose an optical inspection machine of the aforementioned type that overcomes the problem mentioned above and allows the rotary table to be replaced or repaired much more quickly and safely.

[0008] This purpose is achieved with the machine according to claim 1. The dependent claims describe preferred embodiments of the invention.

[0009] The features and advantages of the machine according to the invention will become clear from the description given below of preferred embodiments, given solely as non-limiting examples in reference to the enclosed figures, wherein:

[0010] - figure 1 is a perspective view of an example of a machine according to the invention;

[0011] - figure 2 is a perspective view of the machine without the viewing units so as to show the mounting member in a lowered working position;

[0012] - figure 3 is a perspective view of the machine without the viewing units so as to show the mounting member in a raised rest position;

[0013] - figures 4 and 4a are two elevation views of the moving mounting unit in the lowered work position; and

[0014] - figure 5 is an elevation view of the moving mounting unit in the raised rest position;

[0015] - figure 6 is a perspective view of an example of a surface viewing unit of the machine; and

[0016] - figure 7 is a perspective view of an example of a peripheral viewing unit of the machine.

[0017] In these drawings, the label 1 refers to an optical inspection machine for the quality control of parts according to the invention, as a whole.

[0018] Machine 1 comprises a rotary table 10 on which the parts to be inspected are placed. For example, rotary table 10 is made of a transparent material such as glass.

[0019] At least one viewing unit 12 suitable for inspecting one or more outer and/or inner side surfaces of a part is placed above rotary table 10.

[0020] In addition, a first part ejection station 14, which is activatable to eject a part from rotary table 10 to a first external conveyor 16 for compliant parts, and a second part ejection station 18, which is activatable to eject a part from rotary table 10 to a second external conveyor 20 for rejected parts, are positioned above rotary table 10.

[0021] Viewing unit or units 12 and first and second part ejection stations 14, 18 are positioned with an angular distance from each other on rotary table 10.

[0022] Each viewing unit 12 and each part ejection station 14, 18 are connected to a central mounting member 30 that is coaxial to the axis of rotary table 10 and is movable vertically in relation to rotary table 10.

[0023] In one embodiment, this central mounting member 30 is movable vertically between a lowered work position (figure 2) and a raised rest position (figure 3) allowing an operator to gain access to rotary table 10 for the maintenance or replacement thereof.

[0024] In a preferred embodiment, central mounting member 30 is movable vertically, not only to allow for easy access to the rotary table for the removal thereof from the machine, but also for making a fine adjustment of the position of each viewing unit and ejection station in relation to the rotary table, for example as a function of the height of the part being inspected.

[0025] In one embodiment, central mounting member 30 is movable vertically by means of a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator .

[0026] In a preferred embodiment shown in the drawings, central mounting member 30 is driven by an electric shaft 32.

[0027] Electric shaft 32 comprises an electric motor 34, optionally provided with an encoder.

[0028] Electric shaft 32 and central mounting member 30 therefore form a moving mounting unit 40 shown, in particular, in figures 4 and 5.

[0029] In one embodiment, machine 1 comprises at least one surface viewing unit 12 suitable for inspecting the upper surface of a part, and at least one peripheral viewing unit 120 suitable for inspecting the outer and/or inner side surfaces of a part.

[0030] In greater detail, surface viewing unit 12 comprises a frame 50 that is, for example, substantially cylindrical with a vertical axis, that slidably supports at least one video camera 52 provided with at least one downward-pointing optical unit 54, at least a first focusing drive unit 56 suitable for moving the video camera by translational movement along frame 50, preferably in the vertical direction, and, at the base of frame 50, a surface illuminator 58 (shown in figure 1) suitable for illuminating the part to be inspected.

[0031] In one embodiment, peripheral viewing unit 120 comprises a peripheral viewing frame 122, for example in a substantially toroidal shape with a vertical axis, that defines a substantially cylindrical axial cavity 124 and that slidably supports a plurality of peripheral video cameras 126 resting on a substantially horizontal video camera plane, and at least a second focusing drive unit 128 suitable for moving video cameras 126 by translational movement along frame 122, for example in the vertical direction.

[0032] In one embodiment, frame 50, 122 of each viewing unit is provided with a lateral plate 50', 122' for connecting to central mounting member 30.

[0033] For example, each lateral plate 50' , 120' is suitable to be secured to a corresponding counter-plate 50", 122" integral to a translation shaft 35 of moving mounting unit 40.

[0034] In one embodiment, part ejection stations 14, 18 are pneumatic stations and each one comprises a nozzle 14', 18' suitable for emitting an air jet to eject the part from the table to corresponding conveyor 16, 18. [0035] In a preferred embodiment, each nozzle 14, 18' is connected to the shaft of a pneumatic handling unit 14", 18" suitable for setting the radial position of the nozzle according to the dimensions of the part.

[0036] In order to satisfy contingent requirements, a person skilled in the art could make modifications, adaptations, and substitutions of parts with functionally equivalent ones to the embodiments of the machine according to the invention, without exceeding the scope of the following claims. Each feature described as belonging to a possible embodiment may be implemented independently of the other described embodiments.