Color sensor helps Lego get heads on straight

New toys almost always pose new automation challenges. This time it was transparent and translucent miniature figure heads.Denmark-based Lego Systems Inc. produces about 31 million miniature figures per year, from plastic molding to decorating and assembly. In the process department at Lego's U.

09/01/1998


New toys almost always pose new automation challenges. This time it was transparent and translucent miniature figure heads.

Denmark-based Lego Systems Inc. produces about 31 million miniature figures per year, from plastic molding to decorating and assembly. In the process department at Lego's U.S. manufacturing facility (Enfield, Conn.), several machines assemble the figures' upper bodies. Engineers there need to make sure the figures' heads are facing forward, but ran into orientation problems with existing sensing techniques when transparent or translucent heads were introduced recently.

"When you have a clear head with many colors painted on it, it's very difficult for a standard photo sensor to stop the head in a certain position," says Jim Janik, Lego's senior production engineer. After trying several fiber optic and laser solutions that usually saw through the heads, Mr. Janik tried Omron's E3MC RGB color sensor and found it could perform accurately and keep up with the assembly machine's rapid cycle times. Because head placement was previously done on a machine fitted with a slower, more expensive vision system, Mr. Janik says using the E3MC increased Lego's miniature figure production speed. For more information, visit www.controleng.com/info .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me