New vision inspection system

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By Grant Bacon | Jul 30, 2020
Inserting metal inserts into a plastic housing

When a California-based medical company was assembling its new infusion pump, they knew it was critical for every part to work perfectly and be free of defects. One of the most important parts was a custom rear housing that encases all of the internal components of the device. Having worked extensively with GMN in the past, they knew they could trust our team with the production of this vital component.

The housing was complex, featuring an injection-molded plastic casing, 15 separate brass inserts, electromagnetic shielding, and a latch closure. While each component was inspected at various stages of the production process, given the complexity and the assortment of components involved, it was still possible for an issue to be overlooked. While it was rare, this occasionally resulted in a defective part making it through to the next phase of production, where it would be flagged and removed from the production line. Upon further analysis, it was discovered that these occasional defects stemmed from the improper positioning of the brass inserts. Even a single missing or misaligned insert could cause issues during assembly.

To resolve this issue, the experts at GMN decided to implement a custom vision inspection system. This vision system would automate part of the inspection process, lowering the total possibility for error as well as making the production process more efficient. After some experimentation, the team ultimately decided to integrate the inspection system directly into the heat stake where the brass inserts were positioned and inserted.

The vision system consisted of two cameras located directly above the platform where heat staking took place. This allowed the system to verify the presence and proper alignment of all the brass inserts before being injected into the assembly. As a secondary measure, the vision system checked the alignment of the inserts after they were heat staked into the housing.  

After adopting the vision system, the defect rate dropped to nearly zero. It significantly reduced the production time, allowing more defect-free parts to be fabricated in the same time frame. The vision system has earned a permanent place at GMN’s Beaverton, OR plant to uphold the quality of the infusion pump housing.  

This is just another example of GMN leveraging custom technologies to enhance the quality of its products and improve manufacturing processes. To find out how GMN can help with your next product, request a consultation with our experts.