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A Closer Look at Automated Dispensing Systems with Vision Capabilities

New Technology Feature

10 May 2017

By Nikhil Bhiwankar

Vision-guided automated dispensing systems are essential for applications that require extremely accurate, repeatable, or guaranteed fluid deposit placement and/or complex dispensing patterns.

The use of vision helps these systems deliver faster production cycles and removes the guesswork from your dispensing process, which minimizes programming time and reduces overall operational costs.

Nordson EFD’s vision-guided dispensing robots use marks and fiducials to automatically offset the dispense program to compensate for slight shifts in part orientation or location.

Marks are reference images – pictures of a small area on a workpiece – taken by the camera and stored in a location called the Mark Library. Up to 240 images can be stored. The robots use the marks to find a specific location on the workpiece.

EFD’s Proprietary DispenseMotion™ software compares the current workpiece location to within +/- 2.5 mm (0.098 in.) of a reference location that is stored as an image file in the program. If the robot detects a difference in the X and Y positions and/or the angle of rotation of the workpiece, it automatically adjusts the dispensing path to correct for the difference.

Nordson EFD’s vision-guided dispensing solutions also have the ability to use QR codes to call up dispense programs for different parts. The feature makes these solutions extremely easy for operators to use, thus lowering the learning curve barrier for semi-automated equipment.

Here’s a closer look at two vision-guided automated dispensing systems from Nordson EFD.

PRO Series with CCD Smart Camera

This is the most advanced 3-axis dispensing robot Nordson EFD has ever offered. The closed-loop PRO Series with color CCD camera and laser height sensor provides a solution for very high-precision fluid applications, including those involving uneven substrates.

The CCD smart camera captures high-definition images. Shadow enhancement allows vision identification and processing of poor, faint marks without interrupting or slowing down the dispense cycle. A sophisticated global shutter rapidly captures high contrast part images – eliminating blurriness and small distortions found in rolling shutter systems. When paired with intuitive dispensing software and a closed-loop motion control system, the CCD camera enables the PRO Series to achieve best-in-class repeatability of +/- 4 µm (0.004 mm).

Its fully integrated laser height sensing capability allows the PRO Series to map the topography of the substrate and pass those measurements back to the robot so that it can automatically offset the Z-axis values and maintain the correct dispense gap over the substrate. The process occurs in real time for every part that runs using this feature – ensuring high-quality dispense outcomes, even on warped or twisted substrates.

Watch this brief video to see some of the features of the PRO Series in action.

CCD Camera Features

  • Converts analog camera image pixels into digital values for extremely precise image management 

  • Integrated lighting and light controller

  • Variety of optional lenses available for different focal lengths and fields of view



EV Series with Pencil Camera

The 3-axis EV Series dispensing robot, with its fully integrated simple vision system and the same DispenseMotion software as the PRO Series, provides vision-based programming and other standard features such as part presence/absence and wrong part identification.

Intuitive dispensing software integrated with the relatively inexpensive pencil camera allows even first-time users to program complex dispense patterns and arrays with high repeatability up to +/- 8 µm (0.008 mm). The EV Series meets most application requirements, which have tolerances measured in microns or millimeters.

Watch this brief video for an overview of the EV Series automated dispensing system.


EV Series Pencil Camera Features

  • Adjust camera focus by manually turning the focus dial

  • Tip: Loosen cord bracket as well as the locking bracket when turning the focus dial for best results

  • Manually lock the focus dial into place once settings are acceptable by tightening the locking bracket

  • Improve image quality with the removable white diffuser cap

Do you have a question about our vision-guided automated dispensing systems? Feel free to submit your question or comment at


Nikhil BhiwankarAbout Nikhil Bhiwankar

Nikhil Bhiwankar is a Business Unit Director at Nordson EFD. He manages the automated dispensing system and fluid dispenser product lines. Nikhil has more than 10 years of industrial manufacturing experience. He joined Nordson EFD in 2013.

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