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Case Studies

Timex is America's leading watchmaker and is present in more than 80 countries. Fralsen, its French entity, makes watch movements and used contact sensors and conventional comparators and was looking for a way to improve their inspection process.

The Problem: The automated tray loader will occasionally load a tray improperly on the conveyor track. This misloaded tray eventually crashes the production line creating downtime, machine damage and potential danger for operators.

The Problem: The operators switch between jobs to keep fresh, however some components are not always placed onto the assemblies. This can create several scenarios. The first is that the assembly damages parts within the automation equipment.

The Problem: Gauging was performed using hand gauges, contact-type gauges, or some other less accurate indirect methods. Having no standard developed practice, workers at the plant were not taking reliable measurements.

The Problem: Each medical cartridge in the nest must contain only one bead of blood. What was happening is the cartridge would get by with no bead in it or more than one. All of these beads are forced down a tube by air.

The Problem: It was determined that there were two major problems with the current method of measurement.
- First, the measurements being done by hand were very inconsistent. The material being measured was not rigid, and thus the measurements varied as the amount of force applied to the micrometer by the operators changed.
- Second, the process problems that caused the thickness variation occurred very quickly, and the current “spot checking” method uncovered the problem often times too late. Thousands of dollars worth of “out of spec” material had been produced, only to be scrapped.

The Problem: During assembly, if the diaphragm is not seated in the right place, the two halves will not seal properly creating a defective product. One half with a smaller diameter fits inside a larger one with the gasket acting as a cushion in between. During seating, a diaphragm can become “pinched” during the process sometimes creating tears and/or not allowing for the necessary tight seal required by the part.

The Problem: Stand-alone style terminals have touch screen panels that act as the interface between the customer and the machine. They needed a way to alert the Kiosk when a customer approached the machine. This would enable the machine to “shut down” during periods of inactivity. This shutdown would have numerous cost savings through the life of the machine.

The Problem: Keyence was the first to develop LED micrometers. Compared with conventional laser systems, LEDs are typically too dark to achieve high-speed performance. Using a megapixel CCD receiver for high accuracy results in a further reduction of the amount of light per pixel. A number of different methods were tried, resulting in failure after failure.

The Problem: The customer could not stop the line due to the sintering process or the time needed to cure in the oven. Due to the time interval in between the measurements, sometimes good product had to be thrown out along with the bad, costing production time and money. Calipers could potentially damage the product and the readings were inconsistent from shift to shift.

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