WO2005022076A2 - Part inspection apparatus - Google Patents

Part inspection apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2005022076A2
WO2005022076A2 PCT/US2004/027488 US2004027488W WO2005022076A2 WO 2005022076 A2 WO2005022076 A2 WO 2005022076A2 US 2004027488 W US2004027488 W US 2004027488W WO 2005022076 A2 WO2005022076 A2 WO 2005022076A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
part
light
inspecting
plurality
recited
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2004/027488
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2005022076A3 (en
Inventor
David Crowther
Original Assignee
General Inspection, Llc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US49721703P priority Critical
Priority to US60/497,217 priority
Application filed by General Inspection, Llc filed Critical General Inspection, Llc
Publication of WO2005022076A2 publication Critical patent/WO2005022076A2/en
Publication of WO2005022076A3 publication Critical patent/WO2005022076A3/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B11/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means
    • G01B11/24Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures
    • G01B11/2425Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures of screw-threads
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B11/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means
    • G01B11/24Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures
    • G01B11/2433Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures for measuring outlines by shadow casting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B11/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means
    • G01B11/24Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures
    • G01B11/245Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring contours or curvatures using a plurality of fixed, simultaneously operating transducers

Abstract

A plurality of light line generators (72) generate associated beams of light (26) that intersect a part (14) to be inspected. Each beam of light (26) illuminates at least one side of the part (14) with a line of light occluded by the part (14), and at least three light responsive sensors (104) provide for generating a signal (24) responsive to an occlusion of a corresponding line of light on a corresponding side of at least one side of the part (14), wherein each of the light responsive sensors is responsive to an occlusion at a different azimuthal locations. A processor (28) analyzes the signals (24) in relation to a measure of relative location of the part (14) from a motion (18) or position sensor. The part (14) may released from a clamp (52) to drop through the beams of light (26), or the beams of light (26) may be moved relative to the part (14).

Description

Part Inspection Apparatus

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The instant application claims the benefit of prior U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/ 497,217 filed on August 23, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings: FIG. 1 illustrates a first aspect of a part inspection apparatus; FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a plurality of light beams of a motion sensor; FIG. 3 illustrates a first embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 4 illustrates a plan view of an embodiment of optical subsystem of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 5 illustrates an elevation view of a pair of plano-concave cylindrical lenses of the optical subsystem illustrated in Fig. 4; FIG. 6 illustrates an elevation view of a beam waist and associated optics of the optical subsystem illustrated in Fig. 4; FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of a portion of an optical subsystem of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 8 illustrates a plan view of a second embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 9 illustrates a first embodiment of a self-centering clamp; FIG. 10 illustrates a second embodiment of a self-centering clamp; FIG. 11 illustrates a second aspect of a part inspection apparatus; FIG. 12 illustrates a third embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 13a illustrates the inspection of a threaded part in accordance with the third embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus illustrated in Fig. 12; FIG. 13b illustrates a plurality of signals generated from the inspection of a threaded part illustrated in Fig. 13a; FIG. 14a illustrates the inspection of a threaded part in accordance with a fourth embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 14b illustrates a plurality of signals generated from the inspection of a threaded part illustrated in Fig. 14a; FIG. 15a illustrates a fifth embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 15b illustrates inspection locations in accordance with the first and fifth embodiments of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus illustrated in Fig. 15a; FIG. 16 illustrates inspection locations in accordance with a sixth embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; FIG. 17a illustrates inspection locations in accordance with the second embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus; and FIG. 17b illustrates a plurality of signals generated from the inspection of a threaded part in accordance with the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 17a for a threaded part as illustrated in Fig. 13a.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring to Fig. 1, in accordance with a first aspect, a part inspection apparatus 10, 10.1 incorporates a part feeder 12 that feeds parts 14 to be inspected to a multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16, and which further incorporates a motion sensor 18 which generates a signal 20 corresponding to a measure of position of the part 14 being inspected in a direction along the axis 22 of the part 14 being inspected. For example, Fig. 1 illustrates the part 14 as a cap screw. The multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16 generates a plurality of signals 24 corresponding to respective measures of the lateral extent of the part 14 being inspected at a corresponding plurality of different azimuthal locations relative to the axis 22 of the part 14 being inspected, by detecting corresponding responses to the occlusions by the part 14 being inspected of a plurality of beams of light 26. The signal 20 and signals 24 are operatively coupled to a processor 28 which is adapted to analyze the part 14 responsive to the signals 24 corresponding to respective measures of the lateral extent of the part 14 being inspected at a corresponding plurality of different azimuthal locations relative to the axis 22 of the part 14 being inspected, in relation to the signal 20 corresponding to a measure of position of the part 14 being inspected in a direction along the axis 22 of the part 14 being inspected, and to compare the results of this analysis with corresponding standards or thresholds so as to determine whether or not the part 14 being inspected is acceptable, responsive to which the processor 28 generates a signal 30 that controls a part sorter 32. For example, the part sorter 32 comprises an actuator 34 which is adapted to position a chute 36 so as to provide for discharging parts from the part inspection apparatus 10, 10.1 either into a first bin 38 of accepted parts 14', or a second bin 40 of rejected parts 14", whereby Fig. 1 illustrates the actuator 34 and chute 36 positioned so as to reject the part 14 being inspected. For example, in the part inspection apparatus 10, 10.1 illustrated in Fig. 1, the part feeder 12 incorporates a feed tube 42 through which the parts 14 are fed, and a first clamp 44 and an associated actuator 44.1, whereby the first clamp 44 is adapted to retain a part 14 within the feed tube 42 responsive to a signal 46 from the processor 28 to the associated actuator 44.1. The part feeder 12 further incorporates a stop 48 located below the first clamp 44, and an associated actuator 48.1, whereby the stop 48 is actuated responsive to a signal 50 from the processor 28 to the associated actuator 48.1, and is adapted to catch a part 14 dropped from the feed tube 42 upon release by the first clamp 44. The part feeder 12 further incorporates a second clamp 52, for example, a self-centering clamp 54, and an associated actuator 52.1, whereby the second clamp 52 is actuated responsive to a signal 56 from the processor 28 to the associated actuator 52.1, and is adapted to hold the part 14 prior to inspection, and to release the part 14 upon commencement of the inspection process. In operation, a plurality of parts 14 stacked upon one another are supplied to and fed through the feed tube 42. A first part 14.1 at a first time ti is first retained within the feed tube 42 by the first clamp 44 upon actuation of the associated actuator 44.1 responsive to a signal 46 from the processor 28. Then, or in parallel, the stop 48 is actuated by the associated actuator 48.1 responsive to a signal 50 from the processor 28. The first clamp 44 is then released responsive to a signal 46 from the processor 28, which enables the first part 14.1 to fall from the feed tube 42 onto the stop 48 at a second time t2, and which enables a second part 14.2 to drop into the position of the first part 14.1 at the first time ti. Then, the first part 14.1 is held by the second clamp 52 responsive to a signal 56 from the processor 28 to the associated actuator 52.1, and the stop 48 is released responsive to a signal 50 from the processor 28. Accordingly, the stop 48 provides for preventing the part 14 from falling through or past the second clamp 52 prior to actuation thereof. After the stop 48 is released, the second clamp 52 is released responsive to a signal 56 from the processor 28 to the associated actuator 52.1, which enables the first part 14.1 to free fall through the region of space 58 within the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16 interested by the beams of light 26, and through the associated motion sensor 18, so as to provide for analyzing the first part 14.1, which is illustrated in Fig. 1 at a third time t3 after having passed through the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16. After the second clamp 52 releases the first part 14.1 and the first part 14.1 clears the stop 48, the above process then repeats for the second part 14.2 in place of the first part 14.1. The motion sensor 18 provides for generating a signal 60 that provides for determining a measure of relative location of the part 14 within the region of space 58 substantially along the axis 22 of the part 14 relative to the associated beams of light 26. For example, referring also to Fig. 2, in one embodiment, the motion sensor 18 comprises a plurality of light beams 62, for example, generated by a corresponding plurality of light sources 64, e.g. light emitting diodes. Each light beam 62 is adapted to intersect the region of space 58 through which the part 14 moves upon inspection, and is substantially transverse to the axis 22 of the part 14, so that upon falling through the region of space 58, the part 14 successively interrupts successive light beams 62. The light beams 62 are separated from one another by known distances. Each light beam illuminates a corresponding light responsive sensor 66, which provides a corresponding signal 68 to a motion processor 70 indicative of whether or not the corresponding light beam 62 has been occluded by the part 14. As the part 14 falls responsive to gravity through the region of space 58 during inspection, the part 14 accelerates at a constant acceleration of 1 g. Accordingly, the motion processor 70 monitors the times at which the part first occludes the respective light beams 62, and given the known distances separating the light beams 62, determines the position z of the part 14 using the equation z = Z0 + V0 t + 'Λ a t , where Zo is the initial position of the part 14, and Vo is the initial velocity thereof, and the motion processor 70 provides a measure of the position z of the part 14 as the signal 60 to the processor 28, for example, repeatedly or continuously. A first light beam 62.1 located above the region of space 58 interested by the beams of light 26 provides a trigger for commencing the associated inspection process. Referring to FIG. 3, a first embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16.1 incorporates three light line generators 72 each of which generates a corresponding beam of light 26 that intersects the region of space 58 from a different direction relative to the other beams of light 26, wherein each beam of light is substantially transverse to the axis 22 of the part 14 to be inspected, the different directions of the different beams of light 26 are at substantially uniformly azimuthal spacing relative to the axis 22 of the part 14 to be inspected, and the different beams of light 26 are substantially co-planar. In the first embodiment, each beam of light 26 is sufficiently wide so as to span across the part 14 to be inspected and beyond both sides thereof, so that at least a portion of the beam of light 26 on each side of the part 14 to be inspected is not occluded by the part 14 to be inspected. A source of light 74, for example, a laser, e.g. a solid state laser, a diode pumped laser, a gas laser, or, generally, any type of laser, generates a beam of light 76 that is directed to a first beam splitter 78 which reflects a first portion of light 76.1, e.g. about 1/3, and transmits a second portion of light 76.2, e.g. about 2/3, to a second beam splitter 80, which in turn, reflects a third portion of light 76.3, e.g. about Vi of the second portion of light 76.2, and transmits a remaining fourth portion of light 76.4. The first portion of light 76.1 is directed by a plurality of mirrors 82, e.g. first surface mirrors, to a first light line generator 72.1; the third portion of light 76.3 is directed by a plurality of mirrors 90, e.g. first surface mirrors, to a second light line generator 72.2; and the fourth portion of light 76.4 is directed directly to a third light line generator 72.3, wherein the first 72.1, second 72.2 and third 72.3 light line generators are substantially uniformly spaced at approximately 120 degrees from one another. The associated beams of light 26 are directed through the region of space 58 and then received by corresponding detection systems 84: 84.1, 84.2, 84.3. The light line generator 72 and corresponding detection system 92 constitute an optical subsystem 86 that is further illustrated in Figs. 4-7. The light line generator 72 comprises a plurality of plano-concave cylindrical lenses 88 which laterally expand the incoming beams of light 76.1, 76.3 and 76.4, so as to generate an associated expanding beam of light 90. The expanding beam of light 90 is reflected by at least one mirror 92, e.g. at least one first surface mirror, and then laterally collimated by a first plano-convex cylindrical lens 94. For example, referring to Fig. 7, a plurality of mirrors 92.1, 92.1 provide for folding the optical path between the plano-concave cylindrical lenses 88 and the first plano-convex cylindrical lens 94. The resulting laterally collimated beam of light 26 is focused in a relatively transverse direction by a second plano-convex cylindrical lens 96 so as to form a beam waist w proximate to the region of space 58 where the part 14 is to be inspected. For example, in one embodiment the beam waist is about 0.25 millimeters (.010 inches). The light from the curtain of light 96 that is not occluded by the part 14 is to be inspected is collected by third plano-convex cylindrical lens 98, and reflected by at least one reflector 100, for example first 100.1 and second 100.2 mirrors, e.g. each first surface mirrors, for which the associated reflective surfaces 100.1', 100.2' are offset with respect to one another so as to provide for separating first 26.1 and second 26.2 portions of the beam of light 26 that are not occluded by the part 14 is to be inspected, which are then collected by associated plano-convenx lenses 102 onto associated light responsive sensors 104, for example, associated intensity detectors 104.1. Alternatively, the optical system 86 may also comprise any of the associated embodiments illustrated in U.S. Patent No. 5,608,530, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference. Referring to Fig. 8, the resolution of measurements characterizing the part 14 can be improved by increasing the number of beams of light 26, wherein a second embodiment of a multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16.2 incorporates four light line generators 72.1, 72.2, 72.3 and 72.4 that generate associated beams of light 26 that are substantially uniformly spaced in azimuth relative to the axis 22 of a part 14 to be inspected. The second embodiment of the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16.2 incorporates two sources of light 74, e.g. diode pumped lasers, each of which generates an associated beam of light 76 that is divided by an associated beam splitter 80', e.g. a corner-cube beam splitter, wherein about 1 of the light from the associated beam of light 76 is directed to each of two associated optical subsystems 86 comprising associated light line generators (72.1, 72.2 and 72.3, 72.4) and associated detection systems (84.1, 84.2 and 84.3, 84.4), each of which operates in accordance with the description hereinabove as applied to Figs. 3-7. The associated beams of light 26 each span across and extend beyond the part 14 to be inspected, so as to provide, for each beam of light 26, associated first 26.1 and second 26.2 portions that are not occluded by the part 14, the intensities of which provide a measure of the lateral extent of the part 14 to be inspected at azimuthal locations thereon that is tangent to the associated beam of light 26. Accordingly, each beam of light 26 provides for two diametrically opposed measurements. Referring to Fig. 9, a first embodiment of a self-centering clamp 54.1 comprises a plurality of jaws 106 that are pivoted about a corresponding plurality of substantially uniformly spaced pivots 108 that depend from an outer ring 110 that is rotatable relative to a frame 112 from which depend a corresponding plurality of substantially uniformly spaced pins 114 that engage associated slots 116 in the jaws 106. The jaws 106 are opened or closed by rotating the outer ring 110 relative to the frame 112, which is above an opening 118 in the housing 120 of the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16 through which parts 14 to be inspected are dropped from self-centering clamp 54.1. Referring to Fig. 10, a second embodiment of a self-centering clamp 54.2 comprises a plurality of arms 122 that are pivoted about a corresponding plurality of substantially uniformly spaced pivots 124 that depend from a frame 126. A ring 128 supported within the frame 126 by a bearing 130 is rotatable relative to the frame 126, and incorporates a plurality of radial slots 132 that engage a corresponding plurality of pins 134 that depend from the arms 122 outboard of the pivots 124. A control arm 136 operatively couples the ring 128 to an actuator 52.1, which provides for rotating the ring 128 to either clamp or release the arms 122, which are provided with roller jaws 138 to engage a part 14. Referring to Fig. 11, in accordance with a second aspect of a part inspection apparatus 10, 10.2, the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16 is supported by a first structure 140 which is supported by and adapted to move relative to a second structure 142, wherein the part 14 to be measured is held relatively fixed with respect to the second structure 142, for example, by resting thereon or, as another example, by support from another fixture such as a robotic arm that is held relatively fixed with respect to the second structure 142. For example, the first structure 140 may be supported by one or more support rods 144 which cooperate with one or more linear bearings 146 therebetween so as to provide for the first structure 140 to linearly translate relative to the second structure 142. For example, a ball screw positioner 148, i.e. a lead screw, rotated by a motor 150 cooperates with a ball nut 152 coupled to the first structure 140 so as to provide for controlled translation thereof relative to the second structure 142 responsive to a signal 154 from the processor 28. The relative position of the light beams 26 relative to the part 14 can be determined from a position sensor 154, e.g. a shaft encoder 154.1 operatively coupled to the ball screw 148, or, for example, by counting pulses applied to a stepper motor adapted to rotate the ball screw 148. Referring to Fig. 12, the light line generators 156 can be adapted to generate beams of light 26 that extend beyond only one side of the part 14 to be inspected, and which cooperate with associated detection systems 158 that provide for making corresponding radial measurements of the portions of the part 14 that occlude the respective beams of light

26 at associated azimuthal locations (a, b, c). The light line generators 156 may comprise a continuous light line generator 72, e.g. as illustrated in Figs. 4-7, or, for example, a scanning beam system wherein the location of the scanning beam is used to provide a measure of position. Furthermore, the detection systems 158 may comprise either an overall intensity detector, or an array of light detectors. The incorporation of at least three light responsive sensors that provide measures of occlusion for at least three different azimuthal locations, provides for distinguishing between left and right handed fasterners. Referring to Fig. 13a, in a multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16 with co- planar beams of light 26, the phase and amplitude of associated signals 24 from the associated light responsive sensors 104 is analyzed to determine whether or not the part 14 is acceptable. Referring to Fig. 13b, the different beams of light 26 need not necessarily be co-planar provided that the relative axial locations thereof are known. For example, if the different beams of light 26 are located in phase with a thread profile to be measured, then the resulting signals 24 will be in phase for an acceptable part, as illustrated in Fig. 14b. Referring to Figs. 15a and 15b, six beams of light 26 each spanning across and beyond both sides of the part 14 provide for three associated pairs of radial measurements (al-a2, bl-b2 and cl-c2). Referring to Fig. 16, the respective beams of light need not at uniform azimuthal locations. For example, the embodiment of Fig. 16 illustrates a pattern of measurements for two mutually perpendicular beams of light 26 and a third beam of light 26 at an angle θ (e.g. 30 degrees) relative to one of the other beams of light 26. Figs. 17a and 17b illustrate measurements for a threaded part 14 using the multiple light beam inspection apparatus 16.2 illustrated in Fig. 8, wherein the phase and amplitude of the signals 24 relative to the signal 60 is used to analyze the part 14. While specific embodiments have been described in detail in the foregoing detailed description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, those with ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention, which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof. I claim:

Claims

1. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part, comprising: a. a plurality of light line generators, wherein each of said plurality of light line generators generates an associated beam of light that intersects a region of space, said region of space is adapted to receive the part to be inspected, and when said part to be inspected is located within said region of space, each said associated beam of light illuminates at least one side of said part with a line of light that is occluded by said part; b. at least three light responsive sensors, wherein each light responsive sensor of said plurality of light responsive sensors provides for generating a signal responsive to an occlusion of a corresponding said line of light on a corresponding side of said at least one side of said part, and each of said at least three said light responsive sensors is responsive to a corresponding said occlusion at a different azimuthal location relative to an axis of said part at a known location in a direction along said axis of said part; c. a motion or position sensor, wherein said motion or position sensor generates a signal that provides for determining a measure of relative location of said part within said region of space substantially along said axis of said part relative to each said associated beam of light; and d. a processor, wherein said processor is adapted to analyze said part responsive the signals from each of said at least three light responsive sensors in relation to said measure of location of said part responsive to said at least one signal from said motion or position sensor.
2. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of light line generators generates an associated beam of light that spans across beyond said part on both sides of said part.
3. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein said plurality of light line generators are oriented with substantially uniform azimuthal spacing relative to said axis of said part.
4. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein at least two of said light line generators are coplanar.
5. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein said plurality of light line generators comprise at least four light line generators.
6. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one light source, wherein each of said plurality of light line generators receives at least a portion of light from said at least one light source.
7. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein said at least three light responsive sensors comprise a pair of light responsive sensors responsive to different sides of a common said beam of light on each side of part.
8. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein at least one light responsive sensor is responsive to an intensity of light of said associated beam of light that is not occluded by said part.
9. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, wherein said motion or position sensor comprises: a. a plurality of light beams, wherein each said light beam is substantially transverse to said axis of part and is adapted to be occluded by said part, and said plurality of light beams are separated from one another by known distances; b. a corresponding plurality of light responsive sensors responsive to different said light beams; and c. a processor, wherein said processor provides for determining a position of said part in said region of space from measures of time when said light beams of said motion or position sensor become occluded by said part.
10. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 9, wherein said region of space is located between two of said plurality of light beams of said motion or position sensor.
11. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, further comprising: a. a first structure, wherein said first structure is adapted to support said plurality of light line generators and said at least three light responsive sensors; b. a second structure, wherein said second structure is adapted to support said first structure, and said second structure is relatively stationary with respect to the part to be inspected; and c. a positioner, wherein first structure is supported from said second structure by said positioner, and said positioner is adapted to move said first structure relative to said second structure.
12. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 11, further comprising at least one light source, wherein each of said plurality of light line generators receives at least a portion of light from said at least one light source, and said first structure is further adapted to support at least one light source.
13. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 11, wherein said motion or position sensor comprises a position sensor responsive to a position of said first structure relative to said second structure.
14. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 11, wherein said motion or position sensor comprises an encoder responsive to a rotational position of a lead screw, wherein said lead screw is provides for moving said first structure relative to said second structure.
15. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 11, wherein said motion or position sensor is responsive to control pulses associated with a stepper motor, wherein said stepper motor is provides for moving said first structure relative to said second structure.
16. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of reflective surfaces, wherein a first of said plurality of reflective surfaces is adapted to receive light from one of said beams of light on one side of side part, a second of said plurality of reflective surfaces is adapted to receive light from said one of said beams of light on another side of side part, and said first and second reflective surfaces are offset with respect to one another.
17. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 1, further comprising a part feeder adapted to feed parts to said region of space, wherein said part feeder comprises a self-centering clamp, and said self-centering clamp is located above said region of space.
18. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 17, wherein said self- centering clamp comprises: a. at least three jaws; b. a ring; and c. a frame, wherein said ring is adapted to rotate with respect to said frame, said at least three jaws are adapted to pivot with respect to said frame at spaced angular pivot locations relative to a center of said ring, and said at least three jaws are adapted to slidably engage said ring, so that a rotation of said ring relative to said frame causes said at least three jaws to simultaneously rotate about said pivot locations so as to provide for controllably engaging or disengaging said part within said at least three jaws.
19. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 17, wherein said part feeder further comprises: a. a tube through which said part is supplied to said self-centering clamp; and b. a clamp adapted to retain a part within said tube.
20. An inspection apparatus for inspecting a part as recited in claim 17, further comprising a stop adapted to prevent said part from falling through said self-centering clamp.
21. A method of inspecting a part, comprising: a. generating a plurality of beams of light through a region of space, wherein each said beam of light is adapted to project a line of light on the part when said part intersects said beam of light; b. detecting at least a portion of each said beam of light that is not occluded by said part for at least three different azimuthal locations with respect to an axis of said part; c. relatively moving said part through said plurality of beams of light along a direction of said axis; d. determining a relative position of said part along the direction of motion, relative to said plurality of beams of light, so as to generate a measure of relative position of said part relative to at least one of said plurality of beams of light; and e. analyzing a plurality of signals generated by the operation of detecting at least a portion of each said beam of light that is not occluded by said part, in association with said measure of said relative position.
22. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein said line of light spans across and beyond said part on both sides of said part.
23. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein said plurality of beams of light are generated from substantially uniformly spaced azimuthal locations relative to an axis of said part.
24. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein at least two of said plurality of beams of light are coplanar.
25. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein said plurality of beams of light comprise at least four beams of light.
26. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein the operation of detecting at least a portion of each said beam of light that is not occluded by said part comprises detecting a first portion of a first beam of light passing by a first side of said part, and separately detecting a second portion of said first beam of light passing by a second side of said part.
27. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein the operation of detecting at least a portion of each said beam of light that is not occluded by said part comprises detecting a measure of intensity of at least a portion of each said beam of light that is not occluded by said part.
28. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein the operation of relatively moving said part through said plurality of beams of light along a direction of said axis comprises moving said plurality of beams of light relative to stationary said part.
29. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein the operation of relatively moving said part through said plurality of beams of light along a direction of said axis comprises providing for said part to free fall through said plurality of beams of light.
30. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 21, wherein the operation of relatively moving said part through said plurality of beams of light along a direction of said axis comprises: a. retaining a first part within a feed tube with a first clamp; b. releasing said first clamp so as to enable said first part to drop within said feed tube onto a stop; c. clamping said first part with a self-centering clamp; d. retaining a second part above said first part within said feed tube with said first clamp; e. releasing said stop; f. releasing said self-centering clamp so as to provide for inspecting said first part; and g. activating said stop.
31. A method of inspecting a part, comprising: a. clamping said part above a region of space in which said part is to be inspected; b. releasing said part to fall through said region of space; c. determining a measure of position of said part along the direction of motion within said region of space; d. generating at least one measure of said part as said part falls through said region of space; and e. analyzing said part responsive to said at least one measure with respect so said measure of position.
32. A method of inspecting a part as recited in claim 31, wherein the operation of clamping said part comprises clamping said part with a self-centering clamp.
PCT/US2004/027488 2003-08-23 2004-08-23 Part inspection apparatus WO2005022076A2 (en)

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US49721703P true 2003-08-23 2003-08-23
US60/497,217 2003-08-23

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Cited By (47)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US7403872B1 (en) 2007-04-13 2008-07-22 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for inspecting manufactured parts and sorting the inspected parts
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WO2011070181A1 (en) * 2009-12-10 2011-06-16 Instituto Tecnológico De Informática Device and method for acquisition and reconstruction of objects
US8004694B2 (en) 2009-03-27 2011-08-23 Gll Acquistion LLC System for indirectly measuring a geometric dimension related to an opening in an apertured exterior surface of a part based on direct measurements of the part when fixtured at a measurement station
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EP2458324A1 (en) * 2010-11-22 2012-05-30 Ching Chan Optical Technology Co., Ltd. Thread form measurement device
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US20120293789A1 (en) * 2011-05-17 2012-11-22 Gii Acquisition, Llc Dba General Inspection, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
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US8983173B2 (en) 2004-03-04 2015-03-17 Cybernet Systems Corporation Portable composable machine vision system for identifying projectiles
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US10207297B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2019-02-19 GII Inspection, LLC Method and system for inspecting a manufactured part at an inspection station
US10209200B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2019-02-19 Gil Acquisition, LLC High-speed, 3-D method and system for optically inspecting parts
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US9734569B2 (en) 2004-03-04 2017-08-15 Cybernet Systems Corp. Portable composable machine vision system for identifying projectiles
US8983173B2 (en) 2004-03-04 2015-03-17 Cybernet Systems Corporation Portable composable machine vision system for identifying projectiles
US7633635B2 (en) 2006-08-07 2009-12-15 GII Acquisitions, LLC Method and system for automatically identifying non-labeled, manufactured parts
US7684054B2 (en) 2006-08-25 2010-03-23 Gii Acquisition, Llc Profile inspection system for threaded and axial components
WO2008125102A1 (en) * 2007-04-12 2008-10-23 V & M Deutschland Gmbh Method and device for optically measuring external threads
US8363101B2 (en) 2007-04-12 2013-01-29 V&M Deutschland Gmbh Method and device for optically measuring external threads
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US7920278B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2011-04-05 Gii Acquisition, Llc Non-contact method and system for inspecting parts
US7738088B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2010-06-15 Gii Acquisition, Llc Optical method and system for generating calibration data for use in calibrating a part inspection system
US8237935B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2012-08-07 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for automatically inspecting parts and for automatically generating calibration data for use in inspecting parts
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US8132802B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2012-03-13 Gii Acquisition, Llc Apparatus for quickly retaining and releasing parts to be optically measured
WO2009055122A1 (en) * 2007-10-23 2009-04-30 Gii Acquisition, Llc Dba General Inspection, Llc Method and inspection head apparatus for optically measuring geometric dimensions of a part
US8550444B2 (en) 2007-10-23 2013-10-08 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for centering and aligning manufactured parts of various sizes at an optical measurement station
US7796278B2 (en) 2008-09-19 2010-09-14 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method for precisely measuring position of a part to be inspected at a part inspection station
WO2010052463A1 (en) * 2008-11-08 2010-05-14 Adaptive Automation Limited Shadow sensing apparatus
US8004694B2 (en) 2009-03-27 2011-08-23 Gll Acquistion LLC System for indirectly measuring a geometric dimension related to an opening in an apertured exterior surface of a part based on direct measurements of the part when fixtured at a measurement station
WO2011070181A1 (en) * 2009-12-10 2011-06-16 Instituto Tecnológico De Informática Device and method for acquisition and reconstruction of objects
US8811722B2 (en) 2009-12-10 2014-08-19 Instituto Technológico de Informática Device and method for acquisition and reconstruction of objects
US20130162810A1 (en) * 2010-09-15 2013-06-27 Nai En Wu Apparatus for inspecting rotary parts and the method of the inspection
US8416403B2 (en) 2010-10-29 2013-04-09 GII Acquisitiom, LLC Method and system for high-speed, high-resolution 3-D imaging of manufactured parts of various sizes
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US8390826B2 (en) 2011-04-20 2013-03-05 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
US9372160B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2016-06-21 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting the ends of a manufactured part at a single inspection station having a measurement axis
US10088431B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2018-10-02 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting headed manufactured parts
US10094785B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2018-10-09 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting headed manufactured parts
US8570504B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2013-10-29 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
US9697596B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2017-07-04 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
US9019489B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2015-04-28 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
US9047657B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2015-06-02 Gii Acquisition, Lcc Method and system for optically inspecting outer peripheral surfaces of parts
US20120293789A1 (en) * 2011-05-17 2012-11-22 Gii Acquisition, Llc Dba General Inspection, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting parts
US9370799B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2016-06-21 Gii Acquisition, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting a manufactured part at a single inspection station having a measurement axis
US9575013B2 (en) 2011-05-17 2017-02-21 Gii Acquisition, Llc Non-contact method and system for inspecting a manufactured part at an inspection station having a measurement axis
US8723068B2 (en) 2011-09-08 2014-05-13 Michael G. Nygaard Method and system for optically inspecting manufactured rounds of ammunition or cylindrical components of the rounds to obtain rounds which exhibit superior accuracy when fired
US10209200B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2019-02-19 Gil Acquisition, LLC High-speed, 3-D method and system for optically inspecting parts
US10352871B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2019-07-16 General Inspection, Llc High-speed, 3-D method and system for optically inspecting parts
US8993914B2 (en) 2012-12-14 2015-03-31 Gii Acquisition, Llc High-speed, high-resolution, triangulation-based, 3-D method and system for inspecting manufactured parts and sorting the inspected parts
US8896844B2 (en) 2012-12-14 2014-11-25 Gii Acquisition, Llc High-speed, 3-D method and system for optically measuring a geometric dimension of manufactured parts
WO2014178936A3 (en) * 2013-04-30 2015-01-29 Gii Acquisition, Llc Dba General Inspection, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting outer peripheral surfaces of parts
WO2014178936A2 (en) * 2013-04-30 2014-11-06 Gii Acquisition, Llc Dba General Inspection, Llc Method and system for optically inspecting outer peripheral surfaces of parts
US9486840B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2016-11-08 Gii Acquisition, Llc High-speed, triangulation-based, 3-D method and system for inspecting manufactured parts and sorting the inspected parts
US9228957B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2016-01-05 Gii Acquisition, Llc High speed method and system for inspecting a stream of parts
US10207297B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2019-02-19 GII Inspection, LLC Method and system for inspecting a manufactured part at an inspection station
US9539619B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2017-01-10 Gii Acquisition, Llc High speed method and system for inspecting a stream of parts at a pair of inspection stations
US9377297B2 (en) 2013-08-21 2016-06-28 Gii Acquisition, Llc High-resolution imaging and processing method and system for increasing the range of a geometric dimension of a part that can be determined
US9372077B2 (en) 2013-08-21 2016-06-21 Gii Acquistion, Llc High-resolution imaging and processing method and system for determining a geometric dimension of a part
US10300510B2 (en) 2014-08-01 2019-05-28 General Inspection Llc High speed method and system for inspecting a stream of parts
US10007827B2 (en) 2015-09-11 2018-06-26 Berkshire Grey, Inc. Systems and methods for identifying and processing a variety of objects
WO2017106423A1 (en) * 2015-12-18 2017-06-22 Berkshire Grey Inc. Perception systems and methods for identifying and processing a variety of objects
US9937532B2 (en) 2015-12-18 2018-04-10 Berkshire Grey Inc. Perception systems and methods for identifying and processing a variety of objects
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