3D machine vision lifts wall panel automation, quality control

Finland’s Elematic Oyj and North America’s Elematic Inc. answer growing demands for precast element productivity and verification with Comcaster. The new automatic casting system eases quality control in wall panel production, detecting possible errors early. It scans the casting table using a 3D machine vision system, making sure all of the details are placed correctly: shuttering, reinforcement, lifting hooks, and spots for different electric wall sockets or other inserts.

Comcaster is best suited to high capacity sandwich or solid wall panel casting with the Elematic EDGE Wall production line, encompassing a manufacturing execution system, automatic machinery, and table circulation. For smaller-scale operations, the scanning system can be detached and turned into a separate quality control unit for collecting and logging production data.

Global manufacturers have integrated machine vision into their plant equipment offerings. Thanks to the growing interest, Elematic officials note, technology and applications are developing and becoming more affordable. Machine vision obtains information about the surrounding environment for further analytical processing. It uses image capture and analysis to automate tasks such as inspection, gauging, and counting, and supports robotic functions and process data collection, along with quality control.

Precast production presents a very challenging application for machine vision, Elematic engineers contend. Creating the automatic Comcaster demanded deep know-how and intense testing, they add, and system development remains a work in progress. — Elematic Inc., Brookfield, Wis., 262/798-9777; www.elematic.com

Even if precast fabrication is connected to a building information model, openings and inserts are often installed manually, adding the possibility of human error. The Comcaster addresses such conditions.