Quality Innovations: Software Simplifies Complex Measurements

December 1, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Spreading information across dual monitors lets operators observe and understand what is taking place during the measurement process. Source: Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc.


Vision systems must automate the optical inspection process. Driven by this need, eBx software from Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc. (Rochester, NY) has dual-monitor support, optional touch-panel interface, and simplified editing capabilities for writing and using measurement routines. “Using vision technology to measure a manufactured part accurately and automatically with optics is very common today,” says Mark Glowacky, president of Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc. “So, our technology has brought accessibility to this automated technology through three areas-usability, reliability and productivity.” With this software, operators can create part routines for fully automatic, unattended measurements with accuracy and repeatability.

The screen displays an image window with accessible, color-coded icons. Source: Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc.

Usability and reliability

Traditionally, usability of new technologies too often has been deemed secondary. Glowacky says when VCRs first came out, people were just happy to see the image on their TV and did not care that they could not program them. Technology must be both accessible and usable.

Software usability is becoming increasingly important for all products. Prompted by the sheer economic demands from customers, if software is not usable, people do not come back to it. “With 10,000 systems in place, we can talk to users and learn from their feedback which features and functions aid usability,” Glowacky says. “We are always learning more about usability. We’ve combined all we’ve learned from procedures and techniques into one package.”

The screen has a large model window with an interactive program routine listing that corresponds to the data window. Source: Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc.

Increased productivity

To increase productivity, dual-monitor support gives a larger view of the part model and more access to the graphical user interface to aid the measurement process. Two screens provide a larger area to run more applications with which operators can interact.

Glowacky observes growing convergence of information from multiple CPUs. CPUs are being asked to do more with data communications and interact with the Internet. No longer are computers being asked to perform only in single-task orientation.

Operators can process more and have greater productivity gains from two monitors. “Microsoft has done research and has found that two monitors help users’ perception and ability to multitask,” Glowacky says. “During measurement system operation, operators are simultaneously fed the image, the model, the program listing and the measured values. The software also can simultaneously display process control charts and general data fitting against the model. Spreading that information across dual monitors lets operators observe and understand what is going on in the measurement process.”

With a touch-screen monitor, operators can interact with something other than a mouse and keyboard. A mouse may not be the most appropriate pointing device for a computer in a manufacturing environment. Interacting with the system on the shop floor without a mouse or keyboard frees space and minimizes the risk of system inaccessibility from a dropped or broken mouse or keyboard.

Another productivity improvement is a full-text editor. The software allows operators to edit data and programs through direct interaction with a text listing of the measurement routine. Along with a global editor and a re-teach mode, the enhanced full-text editor gives operators another method to access their measurement routines. This eases changing existing routines for part design changes without requiring complete rewrites.

Other features include full field-of-view image processing, smart-edge detection, real-time graphic display of measurements and a graphical interface for point-and-click access to measuring functions. Color-coded displays automatically can indicate if measurements are in or out of specification.

TECHNOLOGY CONTACTS

For more information on eBx software, contact:
Ram Optical Instrumentation Inc.
1175 North St.
Rochester, NY 14621
E-mail: mglowacky@ramoptical.com
URL: www.ramoptical.com

QUALITY SPECS

  • Software usability is becoming increasingly important for all products.
  • Operators can process more and have greater productivity gains from two monitors.
  • The software allows operators to edit data and programs through direct interaction with a text listing of the measurement routine.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Quality Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Mark Robins

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Podcasts

 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
More Podcasts

Quality Magazine

CoverImage

2014 September

Check out the September 2014 edition of Quality Magazine for features!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

The Skills Gap

What is the key to solving the so-called skills gap in the quality industry?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

qcast_ClearSeas_logo.gifWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

eNewsletters

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png