Contact Lens Inspection
This was a contact lens inspection station built in 2005 for Vistakon, a Florida company. It has 2 cameras mounted to X-Y-Z axes with similarly mounted backlighting below the moving pallet. Samples would be taken from the production lines and placed into the pallets which would then move from left to right in front of the cameras. Images are captured by the frame grabber card in the computer and processed for later analysis. The pallet is carried by a ball screw driven by an Animatics motor. For those not familiar with Animatics, they make motors that have a controller and servo drive built right into the motor chassis. This can then be connected via digital I/O, ethernet or several other communication platforms to a master controller.
In this case the only controller is the Animatics itself. Movement profiles are selected using a thumbwheel switch on the console, the process is started using a palm button. The safety circuit consisted of switches on all of the doors and an emergency stop.
Probably the simplest example of an automated process I have done. The most complicated part of this application was the camera mounts themselves!