The manufacturing sector is facing challenges by increasing measures on traceability and regulation compliances. Manufacturers are demanded for complete visibility of their supply train, including the origins, make, and origins of the goods they receive from the suppliers. On the other hand, today’s consumer-driven market escalades the demands for high precision and efficiencies in the production phases. Therefore, automated logistic systems combined with machine visions and robotic arms are more precise and faster for repetitive routines, such as container-fill level, seals, label check, unit counting and barcodes, than traditional manual packaging and sorting. To accomplish the integration of machine visions and robotic arms, a high-performing embedded computing system is required to drive robotic guidance and vision inspection technology in order to improve traceability, automated sorting and inventory tracking.
To establish an automated packaging and sorting system, the following components are required:
All-in-one Embedded PC
A high-performance embedded PC with all the needed I/O ports will function as the brain and heart to perform real-time image processing, vision analysis, IP camera recording, and motion control.
Packaging by Robotic Arms
Articulated and delta robots are implemented with synchronized conveyor belts to perform fast and precise pick-and-place operations. To coordinate the robot arms and vision systems, proper connections and protocols for robotic controllers and PLCs shall be established.
Package Traceability by IP Cameras
Automated logistic chains are essential for the precision of packaging and sorting processes. To ensure all the steps performed properly, IP cameras are installed to monitor the processes and decode the barcode information. For optimal results, the barcode reading must be performed in a rapid manner as goods are tracked using 1-D/2-D barcodes located on various sides of packages and they are moved in repetitive successions.
To fulfill the requirements for factory automation system, Lanner presented LEC-2580 as the vision inspection controller that integrates high-performance processor, rich I/O connectivity for multiple cameras and protocols for PLC to connect and coordinate robot controller and sensors in conveyor belt.
LEC-2580 is a box PC empowered by Intel’s 6th generation Intel® Core™ i7-6600U/i5-6300U/i3-6100U. LEC-2580 supports up to 16GB of DDR3L memory. With high-throughput processor and memory, LEC-2580 is capable of intensive graphic processing in machine vision applications.
The four PoE connectors of LEC-2580 enables the connections with IP cameras, while the two LAN ports can serve data streaming, remote control and other networking purposes.
Regarding connections with factory peripherals like PLCs and robotic controllers, LEC-2580 provides four (4) RS-232/422/485 ports as the protocols for peripheral coordination. For display purpose, LEC-2580 provides dual HDMI ports for monitor and HMI interfaces.
Other significant functionality include wireless connectivity by mini-PCIe interface and fanless design. LEC-2580 is well-positioned for industrial automation and embedded computing for machine visions.