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CUSTOM AUTOMATION

Custom automation designed and engineered specific to suit your application needs.

IRIS Factory Automation leverages our expertise in automated inspection, robotics, and data collection to serve a multitude of industries and applications. Our custom automation is purpose-built to support our clients in their mission to automate those jobs that are repetitious, dangerous, or hard to fill.

Customers appreciate our out-of-the-box approach to design, our modest footprints, and consideration for product flexibility and changeover.

Custom Automation System Examples

See below for just a few of the industry-specific systems we’ve deployed.

AEROSPACE SERVO CONTROL INSPECTION SYSTEM

Not only do we design systems that utilize machine vision to guide robots, we use robots to guide vision systems! For a key client of ours in the aerospace industry, they asked that we provide a system to inspect parts of many different sizes and varieties and to be able to do it in-line and amongst other operators. To do so we leveraged a Universal Robot and Gigabit Ethernet inspection system to design a system that was accurate enough to execute inspections like OCR while flexible enough to allow for the customer to add their own recipes and inspections long after the initial deployment of the system.

PHARMACEUTICAL INSPECTION STATION

IRIS provided a system that would assist this client in identifying two primary items. The first was the quality of the medical substrate that they were producing to be sure it was complete, positioned properly, and didn’t have any inherent defects or contaminants. The second item was verifying that the correct packaging is being mated with the correct substrate. To do this the system utilized optical character recognition to verify the correct package and data code. This system met 21CFRPart11 standards and also incorporated High-Level Data Collection.

CLOSURE INDUSTRY OEE TOOL

As a provider of Data Collection we are often asked by our clients to utilize the information that we are collecting with our inspection equipment and merge it with general production information to capture an extremely accurate OEE. The distinct advantage that our data collection tool provides is that it not only tells you what is happening in terms of Availability, Productivity, and Quality, but because it’s integrated with the machines control system and inspection equipment, it can actually tell you why, how many, and for how long certain conditions are happening. This provides our clients the ability to diagnose issues, defect by defect, or error code by error code to improve their productivity.

HIGH SPEED MEAT PROCESSING INSPECTION STATION

Having a diverse industry skill set is part of what makes us a valuable partner. Often we find ourselves leveraging lessons learned in on industry and applying them in another. In this case we leveraged our experience in high speed measurement and rejection in the closure industry to provide this major meat processing customer the ability to inspect, measure, and reject breakfast links at over 500 links per minute. This was important not only to segregate defective links, but also manage their varying lengths which had an impact on the quality of their downstream packaging.

AUTOMOTIVE TRANSMISSION FILTER INSPECTION STATION

Starting with just a simple service call on a system installed by another vendor, we very quickly recognized that the approach that this client was taking was actually damaging their parts, but also causing them to miss out on key opportunities for inspection. Once we sorted through their exact needs we provided them a system that incorporated 5 high resolution cameras and a very unique carriage style backlighting system to provide them the inspection consistency and effectiveness they needed.

LABEL VERIFICATION STATIONS FOR FOOD INDUSTRY

In high speed labeling there is often a risk in that the wrong labels can be loaded and especially in the case where a client has similar labels, it’s difficult to tell at rate if the correct label is present or not. The most simple way to verify this is a high speed bar code reader, but the challenge that many customers face is that they don’t have the digital infrastructure from a recipe management perspective to make it simple and intuitive for their operators to select and manage recipes. By combining our experience in inspection, data-basing, and custom interfaces, we provided this major food client the ability to have stand-alone stations that manage recipes, inspect labels, and ultimately verify that the correct product, container, and label are all married together as expected.

SINGLE SERVE BEVERAGE FILTER INSPECTION SYSTEM

As a key vendor partner to one of the largest single serve beverage providers in the world, IRIS has provided over 400 cameras inspecting for filter quality, weld quality and contaminants. This technology is not only applicable to the beverage industry, but nearly all single serve food applications. It consists of 8 Gigabit cameras, full data collection, and intuitive operator interface screens.

HIGH SPEED CLOSURE INSPECTION SYSTEM

With some of our team growing up in the closure industry, we have key understanding of the challenges that closure manufacturers have including short shot, flash, incorrect liner, clipped liner, and TE seal inspection. We have considerable experience designing and building fully automated systems to orient, inspect, and reject at rates in excess of 500ppm.

AUTOMOTIVE BODY GAP INSPECTION

Many major equipment manufacturers especially in the Agriculture or Heavy Equipment space still find themselves utilizing manual processes to inspect for body gap alignment on their final assembly lines. Traditional robots coupled with inspection systems would drive the need for large workspaces, caged environments, and little to no flexibility. By utilizing collaborative robots in conjunction with cutting edge 3D profiling we are able to provide a work station that not only automates the inspection process, but also provides a flexible piece of automation with an extremely small footprint.


METAL STAMPING DATA COLLECTION

Metal Stampers are often faced with the realization that their presses are largely mechanically driven so it’s very difficult to extract information from their equipment. That makes it very difficult to understand uptime, downtime, scrap, and overall OEE of their equipment. Traditional OEE systems require major infrastructure changes to networks, servers, and communication media. IRIS has developed and deployed many systems that utilize point of use sensors, controls, and databasing to collect, analyze and display key metrics pertaining to OEE. We present this information at the press, overhead, and in the front office enabling owners and managers to better understand their true cost of manufacturing and where opportunities for improvements may be hiding.

SANDWICH COOKIE INSPECTION STATION

High Speed Inspection of Food products presents many challenges. Not only do you need to design a system to food safe sanitary standards, but one that can stand up to the rigors of high speeds, organic product variation, and wash down environments. For this application we designed a system utilizing a 4 Camera Inspection system looking for cracks and defects in cookie wafers, excessive filling of center media, and missing top wafers. We then rejected these cookies while the line was running over 400 cookies per minute.

BULK PROFILING SYSTEM

This client provides premium commercial gardening soil to growers. Their product contains multiple organic additives and different levels of moisture that often relate to changes in weight. Previously they sold their product by bulk weight measured by a truck scale, but the moisture level would impact the amount of product their clients were receiving. To ensure their clients received the proper amount of product, they had us design and build a bulk scanning system for their manufacturing lines. By interfacing this system with the data collection interface we developed, we were able to help them better understand the specific volume of product they were producing and selling and how their product responded to different amounts and types of additives.

PATTY PROFILE INSPECTION SYSTEM

Another unique application, we were commissioned to design and build a system for a major food processing customer that helped identify quality issues with their frozen patty lines. Specifically, this customer was dealing with broken or chipped patties, drippings, or double stacked patties that were exiting the freezer. By leveraging 4 High-Speed 3D inspection heads, we were able to inspect each patty and identify whether or not it was conforming or non-conforming based on the inspection results.

AUTOMATED CORNER PLACEMENT SYSTEM

A system to automate the process of placing corner posts, slip sheets, and pallet skirts on pallets moving through the manufacturing or distribution process.  Typically a very manual process, we’ve taken the risk out of a job that was synonymous with injury due to long reaches and repetitive motions.  Our system is able to handle multiple sizes for multiple height pallets and allows our customers to have over 300 posts in queue.

3D SEAL INSPECTION SYSTEM

A system designed and built to acquire both 3D and line scan images of injection molded parts with embedded seals in them. This system uses 2D and 3D inspection technology to profile the height of the key attributes of the part to determine if they are conforming or non-conforming.

CASE PLACEMENT SYSTEM

A system designed to automate the process of acquiring and placing cases into case packers. This is a task that is typically very manually intensive and not ergonomically friendly. This system helps relieve the operator of a difficult task and create a safer and more efficient plant floor.

STATION SOAP CARTON PLACEMENT SYSTEM

A system designed to automate the process of acquiring and introducing carton stacks into cartoner systems. This is a task that is typically very manually intensive and not ergonomically friendly. This system helps relieve the operator of a difficult task and creates a safer and more efficient plant floor.

We look forward to learning more about your business!