The Keyence is a visual inspection system, that uses a series of lights, sensors and cameras to provide automated and instant measurements of components; instead of using verniers, callipers etc.
In simple terms, it works in a similar way to a overhead projector; which you may well remember from your school days. Placing a part on the bed of the machine creates a shadow, and this shadow is “projected” using a series of lights and lenses to a screen. As long as the dimension is in the field of view of the system, anything on the screen can be measured, including overall length, diameters, angles, thread depths etc.
What is more impressive, is that once you have set the measurement parameters for once part; it is then completely repeatable where you can just take the part off the bed, place the next part on, and it will automatically check for the same dimensions again.
Advantages of using a Keyence:
- Highly accurate measurements
- The image on the screen can be magnified numerous times, allowing you to get right into any indentations or cut-outs in the parts
- No human error
- The software has built in automatic edge detection so all measurements are consistent, and any subjectivity is eliminated.
- Measurement data is available in seconds
- Compared to using manual instruments, such as verniers as depth gauges, it is much quicker (and also more repeatable at a much quicker rate) to use a Keyence or other optimal measurement devices
- Very simple to setup and use with little training required
- You don’t necessarily need to be a trained member of the quality control team to use this system, so time can be better utilised elsewhere if required.
- Simplicity of the system
- The basic simplicity is both advantageous, and also a downfall of the system. As components become more and more complex, the technology is still limited to measuring what the system can physically “see”. Any internal dimensions which aren’t visible in the ‘shadow’ would still need to be measured in a different way.
- One part at a time
- Although the system is repeatable, other more advanced systems now allows you to place numerous parts on the bed to be inspected at once. The Keyence can only check one part at a time, so an operator is required to keep putting replacing the pats on the bed of the machine.