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2D-code readers get automation rolling

20 July 2020

UK conveyor manufacturer Autarky Automation has opted for the latest 2D-code readers from Leuze for an automated tire system application.

A large part of what Autarky Automation offers is in the area of modular conveyor technology. Here, Autarky offers a wide range of standardised components and accessories. The company thereby contributes to minimising project planning times and assembly costs. A good example of this is the project for Tyre-Line: Since 1984 the company has been supplying the industry with wheel and tire assemblies - from wheelbarrows to high-performance sports cars.

For a long time, the tyre line at Tyre-Line operated with a simple tire inflation device for standard steel wheel sets. The tyres for high-end alloy wheels were inflated manually. Due to increasing growth in orders, a Hofmann tire filling machine was purchased that could handle the complete range of wheel and tire assemblies.

The entire process of storing and retrieving assemblies in the machine was now to be automated. Autarky won the tender to produce a suitable conveyor system and relied on Leuze.

The challenge

Attached to each wheel and tire assembly at Tyre-Line is a slightly adhesive bar code label. It would have been too complicated for Tyre-Line to affix the label at exactly the same location on each assembly. Autarky was therefore charged with developing a solution that could reliably read the bar code. And could do so at any location and at any position over the entire width of the conveyor belt.

“Proper identification of the assemblies was, however, of decisive importance for the success of the line: the detection of the bar code information needed to tell the Hofmann machine which assembly is approaching and, thus, what air pressure is necessary. That´s why it was so important to select the best possible code reader for this task,” explains Brad North, managing director of Autarky.

After discussing the application with the Leuze experts, Autarky selected the DCR 200i 2D-code reader. It mounted three devices on a strap arrangement at the optimum angle and height so that the bar code could be read at any position on the assembly and the conveyor belt.

In combination with the existing PROFINET communication network, the DCR 200i 2D-code readers from Leuze detect data on the bar code. This is then passed on to the Hofmann machine.

The DCR 200i

The DCR 200i camera-based code reader is used to detect and identify bar codes, stacked codes and Data Matrix codes. It is characterised above all by its very fast reading performance. The DCR 200i achieves speeds of up to 6m/s. It reliably reads 1D- and 2D-codes omnidirectionally. It plays no role here whether they are printed or directly marked, static or moving, inverted or mirrored. This is ensured by the fast imager, the integrated high-performance LED illumination, as well as the high resolution in combination with a very high depth of field.

In the stainless steel housing model with degree of protection IP69K/IP67, the DCR 200i can be cleaned without problem and even used in harsh environments.

Its compact design, its fastening concept and its simple handling means that the DCR 200i can be integrated easily and quickly in a wide range of different applications. This applies to its mechanical installation as well as its commissioning and configuration.

The code readers of the DCR 200i series are operated and configured using the graphical user interface of the integrated Leuze webConfig tool via an Ethernet interface. An external program is not required. The DCR 200i can be put into operation by the user in three minutes using the configuration wizard. Moreover, the teach function is also a possibility. This is run using the two buttons on the control panel of the DCR 200i in combination with a smartphone app developed by Leuze for configuration.

“Today, a wheel and tire assembly passes through the inflation machine every seven seconds. In addition to the sheer speed, Tyre-Line also benefits from an increased inflation accuracy and repeatability. Because the automated system has eliminated any possibility for human error,” concludes Brad. “At Tyre-Line, the Leuze 2D-code readers now work daily from morning to evening and help the company achieve significantly higher throughputs rates.”

 
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