Sensor ensures safe car braking

Dean Palmer reports on a sensor for the automated production of car parts by monitoring the correct assembly of O-rings at the flange of pumps used on car braking systems

A sensor camera unit has been developed that can detect the presence of an O-ring used in the automated assembly of a pump for a car braking system. Sensopart UK's new FA30 area sensor monitors the correct assembly of an O-ring at the flange of a pump used on the vehicle's anti-lock braking system (ABS). LUK, a German supplier to the auto industry, is using the FA30 sensor for this task by making use of the sensor's 'pattern matching' function. The sensor detects the presence and potential multiple layers of the O-ring used as a pump seal, and, at the same time, the function 'position control' ensures that the O-ring is in the correct position. The sensor therefore contributes towards the fully-automatic testing of the ABS pump flanges on a revolving transfer table, with any bad parts being reliably rejected with a digital switching signal. The sensor detects all error types, including 'no O-ring', 'two O-rings' or a 'slipped O-ring'. The FA30's simple 'yes/no' digital information ensures reliability of the process and optimum quality of the product or part being assembled. The sensor comes with easy-to-use PC software and is initially configured and then continues to monitor the production process as a standalone system. Richard Taylor of Sensopart UK commented: "The FA30 was launched around eight months ago at Hanover in Germany. It's being used mainly in the automotive industry with Johnson Controls, the Leer Group and TRW. TRW is using it to monitor the correct orientation of an oil seal in a brake slave cylinder. Other auto manufacturers are using the sensor to check the orientation of connecting rods on automated production lines. The sensor is also being used in packaging and pharmaceutical applications. The great thing about the FA30 is that you don't need to be an experienced vision system user to get to grips with it. It takes only ten to 15 minutes to be trained to use it. "We're launching the FA45 at the Hanover Fair this year. It's an IP67-rated sensor camera unit with a stainless steel housing which will be reverse compatible with the FA30 and will have industrial Ethernet connectivity. It can also read bar codes and 2D data matrix codes through 360 degrees," he added.