Monday, March 3, 2008

Optical Tester

So at St. Clair, we build wire harnesses for cars, RVs, trucks, etc. and some of our harnesses have fuse boxes on them.Our operators add the fuses/flashers/breakers etc into the fuse boxes, and until recently, we only had a visual check system. That means that another operator would look over it and see if everything was present and in the right place.
Well as you can imagine, we had lots of errors, because visual check systems just don't work out. If the quality checker has a few too many drinks before work, or gets bored, or whatever, you start getting errors, which come back and bite us in a big way.

We needed a cheap check system for our fuse systems, so the old wheels started turning...
I set up basically a big, light controlled cavity on a build desk that the operators can stick the fuse assemblies into when they've been assembled.

A hole

There's a webcam mounted at the bottom of the hole that takes pictures of the fuse boxes

I used my dremel to rout out some acrylic masks to put over the fusebox so that the operators would be more inclined to put all the pieces in the right spot, then i painted them flat black.

I'm thinking about switching to the lucrative profession of hand-modeling
PS. I love my dremel

Before harness/fuses

Fuses in place

I mounted a high-resolution webcam at the bottom of the cavity that will take a photo of the fuse assembly. This photo will be compared to an original photo of a fuse assembly that is correcly assembled. So this means computer time.
I wrote a program in that will pull up the most current image from the camera, based on the harness number, and it will compare it to what it should look like. And then spit out an image of where the errors are in pink.


You can also zoom... WOW it's like You're in the future.

then it will either FAIL the harness with a screen saying where the error is, or it will PASS the harness and print out a beautiful little adhesive sticker like the one below, which tells the part number, date, image number, and stuff.
This ticket goes on a branch of the harness when it leaves the station.
The ticket makes it so that when our customer calls and complains because the fuses are screwed up, we can look at the photo saved on our PC and tell if it's true or not
So yes, i know the system looks pretty ug. But it only cost about $2k, including the PC. And I did it all by myself, so that counts for something right. Plus it works. Being ugly doesn't matter much when it works. Maybe version 2.0 will be more attractive.


B said...

Thuis is the kind of stuff my dept. gets involved with.

The first thing that popped into my mind was the digital subtraction we used in the early days of digital angiography. You snapped a before picture, then started subtracting the after pictures and displaying the result. Those problem areas really stood out! Of course, it was all done in Fortran running on a DEC PDP 11/23, and the storage was on a huge 474MB hard drive. Portable storage was on an 8-inch floppy, we could pack three 300KB images on one. Woo-hoo!

Aaron Tunell said...

I don't think you said that with your system there have been 0, yes 0, errors with the fuse boxes. You are the coolest! Love you baby


Aaron Tunell said...

guess i left that part out. didn't want everybody to think i was TOO awesome...

Aaron Tunell said...

Do you guys work with digital imaging? maybe you can give me some pointers for version 2.0...

Anonymous said...

Awsome site. I get it now. Maybe you could patent it and market it to other competing companies for huge money. Or does St Clair own rights to your creations?