For more than 50 years, Eberhard AG has been offering top level automation solutions in the field of connector and PCB manufacturing.
In the automated manufacturing of connectors inline inspection of true position and pin length is a big challenge. In the past Eberhard used two different stations to measure or check true position and pin length. These methods which are partly contacting require very complex and expensive adapters. With decreasing pin cross sections contacting inspection methods are not applicable anymore since they could affect the inspection result negatively.
Eberhard AG as manufacturer of highly automated connector lines has therefore decided to raise the bar and develop a new inspections system which measures true position and pin length contactless in one station. The position of the pin tip will be measured in relation to a reference geometry on the plastic housing. Minimal pin dimensions of at least 0.4x0.5mm should be measurable inline with the cycle time of the pin insertion unit (4-10 sec).
Market-based tolerance ranges from 0.3-0.6mm as well as the finely structured geometries of the pin tip require a minimum resolution of the measuring system of 15-20µm. Because of the typical geometry of a connector it also has to be avoided that the connector pockets create occlusions during measuring.
Based on these specifications the new Eberhard Inspection System (EIS-3D) has been developed. It’s based on a 3D line scan camera which is moved by a linear servo motor along the connector. The camera has a maximum scan width of 40mm with a lateral resolution of 15µm. This allows the recognition of finest shapes also at large connectors. In combination with the built in high performance lighting scan speeds > 250mm/s can be achieved.
A newly developed user interface intuitively shows the live situation for the operator but also allows error analysis by means of graphics of the historical data (e.g. histograms or point clouds).