Creative Electron’s TruView™ Parts Counter uses X-ray imaging techniques to inspect the parts and counts them by using image processing algorithms. As we look to the future of advanced manufacturing, the next evolution of this product line is to create a modular X-ray Parts Counter that can be used in standalone mode or docked/embedded assembly machines or component storage systems. Toward this end, we are really excited about our most recent patent and the products it foreshadows.
Factories of the (near) future
While the move toward Industry 4.0 and the intelligent factories of the future is happening slowly, make no mistake, it is happening. Our latest patent is among Creative Electron’s efforts to provide X-ray inspection tools that support modern manufacturing. The effort is particularly challenging with regards to parts counters that will need to interface with inventory storage equipment as well as assembly equipment. Present labor market conditions, however, serve to spur momentum in developing such systems.
An intelligent Parts Counter
The ultimate parts counter will be able to maneuver seamlessly between inventory storage systems and assembly equipment. When retrieving reels, tubes, or trays from inventory, it will verify that they are the correct components, count, and distribute required parts to assembly equipment. The system will then count and return unused components to inventory storage and update ERP or other management software systems. The transport between the storage/assembly unit and the Parts Counter is automated utilizing robots and/or conveyors. This approach will improve efficiency as well as inventory accuracy.
Labor efficiency/inventory accuracy
Efficiency gains will not be limited to the speed and accuracy of building boards. Current practices rely heavily on manual approaches that can suffer from inaccuracies and are monotonous for operators. With the process fully automated, talented labor will be redirected to more productive and rewarding tasks. In the face of labor shortages, especially in manufacturing, adopting equipment such as automated, intelligent parts counters will help transform the manufacturing jobs of the future into desirable tech jobs.
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