Auto Parts QC/QA on the Run

An automotive sensor manufacturer committed to a no-defects standard needed to test each product throughout the assembly process. The company also wanted to increase product throughput to one part every 6 s, and the test equipment had to be interoperable with existing PLC-based systems from Allen Bradley ( and power supplies from other vendors. ABCO Automation, Inc., landed the job of developing a full-line conveyor assembly and test machine.

The plant components to be upgraded consisted of two large, designated machine sections with precision link indexing conveyors: a 14-station assembly and verification line, and a 10-station final test line. In the first line, the parts are overmolded and loaded onto the conveyor for complete assembly, verification, visual inspection, and welding. Multiple DENSO robots ( load and unload the sensor assemblies into the second line for final testing.

For the testing phase, ABCO selected National Instruments' ( PAC platform because of its speed, accuracy, and interoperability with other control systems. Using NI's PXI-1042 chassis and PXI-8186 controller along with several PXI-6070E data acquisition modules, ABCO's system acquires waveforms from an encoder connected to a tonewheel operating at a specified rpm count. The system analyzes the waveform data for duty cycle, high and low values, and other parameters that determine PASS/FAIL. Acceptable parts go to packaging, and parts that fail are isolated, marked, and put into a reject pile.


Sensors 2019 Hits Silicon Valley June 25-27!

Join 7,000+ engineers this June in San Jose at the sensor industry’s biggest event! With 65+ Technical Sessions, 100+ Leading Speakers, 10 new and updated tracks, and 300+ Interactive Exhibits, there’s more opportunity than ever to connect with this booming industry and the technologies driving it. See thousands of the newest technologies in action, learn about the latest applications, and develop invaluable partnerships at the only event dedicated to sensors, connectivity, and systems.

A key factor in the project's success was the LabVIEW OPC's capabilities and interoperability with PLCs. Using NI's LabVIEW DataSocket technology and an RSLinx OPC server from Allen Bradley, ABCO integrated NI hardware with conventional PLCs for seamless control and monitoring of all data. Good communication between NI equipment and Allen Bradley hardware minimized programming and integration time. And the sensor manufacturer is enjoying better performance and cost savings as well.

Contact Kellie Hutchinson, ABCO Automation, Inc., Brown Summit, NC; 336-375-6400, x-504, [email protected],

Suggested Articles

North America’s largest tradeshow dedicated to sensors, IoT & connectivity welcomes innovators including Allegro MicroSystems, Honeywell, and Infineon to…

Winners across innovations, as well as company, engineering team, rising star, startup, and woman engineer to be revealed June 26th at the 2019 Sensors Expo…

Over the years, the cloud has provided all the processing power to the IoT endpoints. Not anymore. The focus has shifted from collecting massive data to…