Flexible pick & place application for tool manufacturer Festool

Electric Components & Solar | Machinery | Calibration | Matching

Attentra GmbH, MVTec Certified Integration Partner, implements sophisticated solutions in the fields of machine vision, software development, optical inspection systems and robotics.

They develop flexible, intelligent and turnkey complete systems for automation and quality assurance with combined hardware and software. Their portfolio also includes standardized products for pick & place and feeding systems with camera, software, shaker and robot.

Challenges of pick & place applications

Pick & place application at Festool

Due to the very high complexity, pick & place systems can only be set up and converted with expert knowledge. When changing a component, for example, expertise in image processing and robotics is always required. This often results in high follow-up costs. Companies therefore prefer to think twice before introducing a pick & place application.

Attentra has solved these problems with the introduction of EligoPart, a robotic camera system for standard pick & place applications. It enables automatic calibration of the camera and components as well as hand-eye calibration of camera and robot. Pick & place applications can thus be realized quickly and easily as well as adapted without expert knowledge in machine vision and robotics.

EligoPart and HALCON in use at Festool

Detection of the isolator

In a production cell at the customer Festool, star-shaped insulators, so-called end stars, are picked up by a SCARA robot and attached to armature packs. The end stars are placed between the armature packs, which later form the rotating core of an electric motor.

In addition, an EligoPart system with two cameras is installed: a 10MPx camera and a high-resolution 20MPx camera. Both are hand-eye calibrated for the necessary accuracy. The final stars are fed to a separation in the shaker. The anchor packages pass under the second camera via a conveyor belt. From the SCARA robot, image processing sequences are started on camera 1 or 2 via a TCP connection, depending on the cycle state, to detect an end star on the shaker surface or an anchor packet on the conveyor belt.

The EligoPart controller uses the RobotVisionCenter software to control the image acquisition at the corresponding camera under component-specific parameters. The component detection developed with the machine vision software MVTec HALCON is executed on the captured image. The RobotVisionCenter software processes the results and sends the pickup positions via TCP back to the SCARA robot, which can thus approach and pick up the parts directly. In a joining station, the anchor packages are then joined to the insulation disks one after the other in several deposit positions.

The machine vision software HALCON is used for the following technologies

  • Hand-eye calibration (between robot and camera)
  • Shape-based matching for the detection of parts in transmitted light
  • 1D and 2D metrology matching

Why Attentra chose HALCON

"The variety of modules included in the HALCON toolbox enables us to solve the challenges we face." (Roland Loy, Managing Director, Attentra)

Festool now benefits from a solution that...

  • can be flexibly expanded.
  • reduces changeover times.
  • improves productivity.

Video: Pick & place with assembly of electric motors

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Text and images are kindly provided by Attentra.