Vink Systemen Sealant Applying Robot

Vink SystemenVink Sys

Working in clean air. Producing in an optimum climate.
Vink Systemen designs, supplies, installs and maintains your custom air distribution system.
A reliable partner in many markets for 45 years now.

We supply air ducts and aerodynamic components for your project from our Vink Products production facility in Katwijk. In this way, we ensure the volume and the flexibility during the entire process. All components are professionally installed with as little interruption to your business operations as possible. Assistance with preventive maintenance ensures that your air climate remains in tip-top shape.

In a nutshell…. We supply air.



Due to the strict LUKA regulations for air distribution systems, the air ducts needs to be airtight. Here for the flanges needs to be  sealed. In the current situation, 3 to 5 workers are sealing the flanges manually.

Because of the company’s growth automation is desired. For now Vink Systemen has an automated folding machine where 40% of the normal ducts are made. To automate the whole process also the kitting steps must be automated.
To keep the kitting steps flexible a robot is used.

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Our solution is to use an industrial robot with an sealant gun on the end of arm tool. To make the robot more flexible we mounted a camera with depth sensor on the end of arm tool as well.

The process all starts by putting the duct on the conveyor belt. With the convenient HMI interface the user presses the start button and the process begins. The duct is transported into the robot zone where the vision part starts.


For the vision we are using Halcon software. First an overview image is taken. After detecting the duct and the position of its flanges the robot moves just above the first flange. A new image is taken to calculate the path for the sealant. The distance between the sealant gun and the flange is measured with the depth sensor in the camera.

Now all the coordinates are known the robot moves to the flange with the sealant gun just in the right position and starts applying the sealant.

Sealant gun

As said the sealant gun is mounted on the end of arm tool. To make a perfect fit and a solid mount, the tool is made by additive manufacturing. The sealant gun itself has an input for the sealant and an input for compressed air. The sealant is buffered in a standardized sealant tube on the robot’ arm. This buffer also has an compressed air input. The compressed air is regulated by the intern valves of the robot.

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Bead Inspection

After the sealant is applied on the flange, the robot goes back in the position above the flange to take a new image. This image is used for bead inspection and compares the bead with the earlier calculated path. If the bead is constant, in the right position and has no gaps the bead is good.

After the inspection of the flange is done, the robot moves to the second flange and so on.


To make the system work several sub systems are used, such as a the robot controller, Python, Halcon, PLC and HMI need to communicate. We did this thru a TCP network.

The main script runs in Python. The interface with the operator goes thru the HMI.

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It is possible to automate the sealant steps by using a robot. Although it was quite hard to make a stable system. The main bottleneck was the recognition of the flange edges used to calculate the path. Mainly because of the reflection in metal materials. Another big issue was the calibration on such a high accuracy.

The system itself works quite well and is easy to operate. In addition the bead inspection makes it very convenient for the operator who does not need to control all the beads by himself.