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A Closer Look: Setup Wizard for Vision-Guided Fluid Dispensing Robots

Dispensing Software Wizard Simplifies Dispense Tip-to-Camera and Tip-to-Workpiece Offsets

26 July 2018

By Conner Medeiros-Sweet

Nordson EFD’s vision-guided fluid dispensing PRO, EV, RV, and GV Series dispensing robots deliver fast production cycles and remove the guesswork from your assembly process. Each automated fluid dispensing system uses proprietary DispenseMotion™ dispensing software, which compares current workpiece location to a reference location that is stored as an image file within 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 the difference.

Recently, EFD added a new time-saving feature to our DispenseMotion software — a Robot Initial Setup wizard that appears in software versions 2.33 and later. This feature makes our dispensing robots even easier to use by walking operators through each step of the setup process, including the calibration and setting of offsets in the simplest way possible. The goal is to streamline set up and operation to maximize the benefits of automating your fluid dispensing process as quickly as possible.

In fact, the wizard reduces setup time by 50%.

The Robot Initial Setup wizard is required during initial set up. Then each time a user changes something about the work space — for example, changing a dispensing tip, syringe barrel, or starting a new workpiece — embedded offset programs derived during the initial set up can be executed with the touch of a button. The wizard provides steps with explanations and a video for each step, showing the user exactly what to do. The objective is to make the user go through the entire wizard step-by-step to confirm that they are not missing any crucial aspects of the process.

EFD’s DispenseMotion software setup procedure is built directly into the program. The wizard tells you exactly what the robot is doing and why. Previously, users had to read the manual and memorize the steps to set up the robot. See an example of the wizard screen below.

Automated fluid dispensing software setup wizard

Wizard Set Up and Calibration Tasks for 3-axis Dispensing Robots

  • Verifying the robot model and tip detector selection
  • Opening the Robot Initial Setup Wizard and focusing the camera
  • (PRO, EV, and GV systems with a tip detector) setting up the tip detector
  • Setting the camera-to-tip offset
  • Setting a mark Setting the camera scale*
  • Setting the tip-to-workpiece offset*
  • (PRO, EV, and GV systems with a tip detector) testing the system set up and calibration
  • (Only systems without a tip detector) testing the system set up and calibration

*All required set up and calibration tasks are guided by the Robot Initial Setup wizard. However, the tasks shown above with an asterisk (*) can be performed individually as needed.

Applicable Fluid Dispensing Robots:

  • 3-axis PRO Series benchtop robot with smart vision CCD camera
  • 3-axis EV Series benchtop robot with simple vision pencil camera
  • 3-axis GV Series gantry robot with pencil or CCD camera

Wizard Set Up and Calibration Tasks for 4-axis Dispensing Robots

  • Verifying the robot model, tip detection, and set Z to focus selections
  • Setting the optional tip alignment kit selection (if applicable)
  • Setting up the tip detector* or tip alignment device
  • Verifying the 4-axis selection
  • Opening the robot initial setup wizard and setting the angle of rotation
  • Setting up tip detection and tool centering calibration
  • Setting the camera-to-tip offset
  • Setting a mark
  • Setting the camera scale*
  • Setting the tip-to-workpiece offset*
  • Testing the system set up and calibration

*All required set up and calibration tasks are guided by the Robot Initial Setup wizard. However, the tasks shown above with an asterisk (*) can be performed individually as needed.

Applicable Fluid Dispensing Robot:

4-axis RV Series benchtop robot with smart vision CCD camera

Streamlining Training of In-House Operators

The setup wizard streamlines training for the operator. Manufacturers can easily utilize in-house operators versus hiring specialized employees. Before the wizard, it was possible to forget a step in the process. If all steps were not completed prior to the robot’s first pass, users could crash their dispensing tips and be forced to start over. The setup wizard reduces setup time, enabling higher throughput and exceptional deposit quality without having to reference the manual.

Nordson EFD’s Robot Initial Setup wizard is the first of its kind on the market and in this industry. It sets EFD’s automated fluid dispensing robots apart. Overall, the wizard saves time, streamlines training, and reduces rejects.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with an experienced application specialist, don’t hesitate to email us at info@nordsonefd.com.

Connor Medeiros-SweetAbout Conner Medeiros-Sweet

Conner Medeiros-Sweet is an Electrical Engineer at Nordson EFD. He manages the software validation and testing for automated dispensing systems. Conner joined Nordson EFD in 2017 after graduating from UMass Dartmouth.


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