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Part ID & Part Presence

Part ID & Part Presence

It is common practice to identify (ID) parts in plants and factories, not only for easy identification as they pass through the manufacturing cycle, but also to ensure traceability, authenticity, and to keep tabs on quality. Part ID is also vital in the case of product liability issues and recalls.

Part ID is done according to various industry regulations, including ISO 9000 for direct part marking (DPM), using a number of different marking methodologies.

Historically, industry relied on product information that was marked on parts by forging, casting, or molding. Mechanical engraving, electro-chemical and vibration etching, mechanical embossing, and rubber ink and hot stamping were all designed to be readable by humans. In addition to common errors in data transposition, these marking methods did not provide the high contrast and high-resolution needed for machines to read them in automated manufacturing. As a result, the parts identification industry started refining marking methods so two-dimensional (2-D) symbols could be used. Equipment developed includes automated engraving and dot-peening machines, as well as thermal printing machines. Laser marking methods, including laser etching, laser engraving, and laser bonding, were also introduced.

Part ID is vitally important, but even once parts have been identified, it is essential to ascertain that they are present in the correct place in the production line. It is also important in other situations, for example, the inclusion of multiple identical components in the line when only some need to be machined.

Sometimes referred to as “part absence and presence inspection,” part presence is a basic sensing application that uses digital signals. Based on a simple concept, it involves searching for components or parts, locating them, and then if the part has to be machined, sending it to the correct machine.

Some parts look very similar and it can be too monotonous for a person to sort them out manually. It can also be very time consuming and expensive, not only in terms of time spent (which involves labor costs) but also because of the risk of costly human error. The part presence vision solution is automated, reducing cycle time and making the entire process more flexible. It is an excellent option for production applications that require a specific part to be identified or selected, whether the part is being packaged or placed on an assembly line.

Both part ID and part presence vision systems can also be used to verify that all parts are present in a unit, such as on an assembled piece or in a package.

Part ID and Part Presence Systems from MESH

The MESH Automation team can design, build and program vision systems to solve your most difficult production challenges. These systems can be programmed to identify specific parts based on an endless list of specific criteria – whether the purpose is to identify subtle differences in parts that appear the same to the naked eye or to select a part based on coding or part numbers.

We have the in-house staff and resources to integrate vision systems into your existing processes and equipment. Alternatively, we can design and build brand new machines with automated vision systems.

Contact us today to discuss how reliable vision solutions, including part ID and part presence, will help your business optimize productivity, increase efficiency and potentially cut costs, increasing your bottom line.