The ECP-8000 is a fixed tooling machine designed to meet the new requirements of tighter tolerances and multiple cameras. The ECP-8000 can view as many as 4 targets on top and 4 targets on the bottom of an innerlayer and punch essentially any tooling pattern. The panel sizes provided in the machine are customer specific since the tooling can not be moved.
As you can see from this photo, the dies and the reticule targets are fixed onto the lower section of the die shoe which is 70 mm thick and precision ground flat. The reference for the vision system is the fixed reticule which is tooled to within 0.0003" ( 7.6 microns) of the punches and dies. The reference never changes and the position of the cameras has no effect on the positional accuracy of the vision system.
Multiline's ECP design provides for easier removal and replacement of the die modules for sharpening and maintenance then competitive machines. The die modules are manufactured to very exacting tolerances and can be replaced at a later date if required with no loss of accuracy. In the ECP the die modules can be removed without disassembly of the unit.
The punches in Multiline's ECP are mounted in a precision tooling plate which is guided on an internal 4 post die set which gives the punch the precision and repeatable alignment required with such tight tolerances. All the punches, one for each punch position, are mounted on this guide plate which aligns the punch and determines the position during punching. When the panel size is input into the computer the correct punches are automatically selected and the punching is done by bumping the punches with a top plate which is also mounted on four posts.
The Multiline ECP has no hydraulics or oil of any type on the upper section of the machine so that no weeping or leakage can occur which could get on the panels.
A camera for each reference target is provided. In a fixed tooling design with multiple cameras, having 8 (4 top, 4 bottom) camera positions per panel can actually translate to a machine with 20 plus cameras mounted inside.
- The options available in our software and algorithms in an 8 target machine for example are:
- Align on the 4 targets which are on the critical (usually signal) side and punch
- Align on the critical side but check the opposite side to confirm front to back registration
- Align on 8 targets (4 top-4 bottom) and calculate a best fit
This photograph is an actual image of targets as viewed by our vision system. Even a poorly imaged target can be recognized and located within 0.0001" ( 2.5 microns) of the correct location. The electronic imaging used to find the target utilizes an image recognition algorithm which searches for a circle not the center of mass. This assures that a target which has a mouse bite or some irregular feature will still be properly located well within 0.0001".
The 8 camera ECP that we have built are large format 24 inch x 36 inch machines and will run at approximately 6 plus panels per minute even at the largest panel size.