Keeping it SealedDecember 20, 2006 By: Melanie Martella, Sensors Sensors
ZF Getriebe GmbH makes automatic transmissions for passenger cars; its Saarbrucken
plant produces approximately 4000 transmissions per day in 14 basic types and
120 models. Not surprisingly, the production and quality control processes
are highly automated. During transmission manufacture, color-coded sealing
plugs are placed over the connections for the cooling systems to prevent washing
water from entering. While intelligent cameras are used to automatically check
the proper fit of the yellow, white, or orange plugs before washing, a Siemens
SIMATIC MV220 color area sensor is used after washing to check for their presence
or absence. In matching mode it inspects areas for all colors while in recognition
mode it identifies specific colored characteristics in a defined quantity.
The compact and rugged sensor is easily adjusted to different inspection tasks,
an important requirement since the various transmissions use sealing plugs
of different colors at different locations.
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