Tire manufacturing is a complex operation that consists of many steps, with stringent requirements for quality control throughout the process.
Quality control of tires involves inspecting many components, with each component having to satisfy precise location and finished tire specifications. Given the complexity of this process, machine vision systems used for inspection need to be as simple as possible and operate with a high level of efficiency.
Integration and Installation Simplification
One of the most effective ways to minimize system complexity is by simplifying integration and installation. You can do this by implementing factory calibrated 3D smart all-in-one sensors into your tire inspection system.
“Smart” sensors provide tightly integrated acquisition and control logic inside the sensor, and eliminate the need for external hardware and related development. The result is reduced cost and lower maintenance, with the added bonus of increased system reliability.
Built-In Measurement Tools
Yet another challenge for tire inspection technicians is the the need to develop custom software development for analyzing profile images for geometric parameters such as grooves, found on many components in the tire building process.
This is a very specialized and time consuming task.
Again 3D smart sensors offer an elegant solution with built-in, application-specific measurement tools. The smartest of today’s 3D sensors include tools to measure width, depth and centerline position of U shaped, V shaped and open grooves, and have the ability to measure multiple grooves over the width of a profile with measurement compensation for product tilt.
These tools also make it easy for users to generate recipes for new product designs through a simple browser interface.
Communications with other machine elements can also be complex, particularly with the broad variety of PLCs and robot interfaces today. Communication issues can be simplified by selecting a smart 3D sensor with built-in standard protocols for common industrial PLCs as well as general Gigabit Ethernet output.
Product Changeover Simplification
Many tire manufacturers will change recipes several times per shift, and must accomplish changes rapidly to achieve required throughput.
3D sensors deliver the required accuracy, as well as a large enough range and field-of-view to cover the full range of part geometries, which eliminates the need to reposition sensors on changeover. For wide field-of-view applications, several sensors can be mounted side-by-side for complete high resolution profiling. This task is simplified by using sensors that can be easily scaled to provide a single synchronized profile output.
Changeover can also be simplified with sensors that can store multiple jobs or recipes. The ability to store multiple geometry configurations in the sensor makes changes between different recipes quick and simple, which is critical to minimizing downtime for operations that make model changes multiple times per shift.
Integrating, installing and operating 3D sensors in tire manufacturing can be complicated and expensive, but today’s 3D smart sensors can dramatically simplify these issues and minimize system complexity to produce optimal results.