Cisel ensures traceability, safety and quality by testing printed circuit boards with a cobot

07 April 2022

Italian company Cisel recently chose an OMRON TM5 collaborative robot (cobot) to automate the electrical testing of boards used in the power steering system of a leading automotive manufacturer.

Cisel, who specialises in the design and production of flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) for the automotive, civil engineering and manufacturing industries, needed to automate some of the manual and repetitive tasks performed in its production facility. 

These included picking the individual boards; placing them on the tester to check the insulation of the 38 micron dielectric (which separates the copper part from the printed circuit and the aluminium support); and depositing the PCBs on collection trays (separated into approved and discarded). 

The OMRON TM5 cobot was ideal for carrying out all of these manual activities. It has a reach of 900mm and can take a payload of up to 4kg. Its integrated camera enables it to detect the Landmark that is used for the automatic calibration of the cobot. If there are even minimal deviations in the three axes used, the cobot can self-calibrate at the new position without any reprogramming being needed. 

A safe, high quality solution

The cobot complies with all the relevant safety regulations, due to the connection of an OMRON OS32C laser scanner with a 270° wide-angle camera. This supervises the presence of any personnel in the surrounding area. This enables the cobot to gradually slow down the speed of execution if someone is detected within a distance of three metres, before stopping completely when they reach very short distances of one metre or less. 

The entire solution is managed via Modbus TCP through an OMRON NX102 machine controller. This presides over both the recipe control element and communication with the SQL database for the collection of all production data - including statistics on tested pieces, rejects, cycle times and any anomalies. 

With the OMRON TM5 cobot, Cisel is now able to test up to 400 pieces per hour, effectively and rigorously, for two consecutive eight-hour shifts. Any human error (which can be a quite common feature in repetitive work) has been completely eliminated. 

More information on Cisel may be found at: www.cisel.it.

More on Omron here.

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