The Viscon Group is passionate about creating innovative, solid and smart logistic solutions for all handling processes in Food and Agro businesses. The Viscon DNA consists of asking many questions, learning every day and developing new business in new sectors and markets: constantly generating ideas in every aspect. Now we are active in Horticulture, Fresh Produce, Poultry and Food Industry.
One of our main strengths now, originated in our history, is the focus on several industry sectors. We take ideas from one sector, and bring them into the next. These constant crossovers bring innovation & inspiration to our people and the people we work with, everywhere we go.
Today, in-ovo vaccination is a proven method for application of various vaccines in a hatchery. The process and technique used to deliver vaccines in ovo is essential, as the injection and delivery must be made to the precise location within the egg and requires the highest possible level of hygiene.
Based on these challenges, Viscon Hatchery Automation has developed the new standard in safe in ovo vaccination. The VINOVO Select Line™ consists of three innovative machines.
To pick up and orient the eggs in the machine, stainless steel vngers are used. These fingers have to be sharpened, only this is done by hand. 150 stainless steel fingers go into a machine. In the future mail the production of the machines is extended to 20 to 30 machines per year. That means about 4000 stainless steel fingers every year.
The grinding and polishing of the stainless steel fingers must be automated. This is because it is not a nice job to do and because employees can be used for more useful activities. So for us the task is to give unsharpened fingers as input and to get polished and polished fingers as output.
Our solution is to automate the process by sanding belts and polishing discs and a robot arm. The different solutions are further elaborated below.
Detecting stainless steel finger
The fingers are placed together on a conveyor belt. Afterwards, the fingers will pass under a light dome with a camera. This allows the position and orientation of the finger to be determined. The finger is recognized by means of a reference photo. Based on a score that the software gives, it is determined whether the finger is left or right and in which angle the finger is.
The finger is picked up in the right position by means of a robot arm. The x-axis and the angle are determined by the vision software. The y-axis is determined with an encoder connected to the conveyor belt.
The robot will pick up the finger and place it in a holder so that the robot can clamp the finger extra tight. The robot will then move to a sanding belt to grind the front and back of the stainless steel finger. He also does this for polishing. This only not happens with a polishing belt but with a polishing disc. After this, the robot will move to quality control. Here the finger is checked if it is precisely sharpened and polished. After this, the robot will move to a boxwhere it will insert the well or wrongly sharpened finger.
A camera is also used for quality control. The finger will be photographed from the top and bottom. The diameters are calculated at different places from the top. The thickness of the finger is calculated from the side. After this, the output will be whether the finger is well sharpened and polished or not.
All communication goes via an upboard. This so that no external PC or laptop is used. The upboard is the transit and merger of the communication. It is communicated via a TCP connection.
An external display is also used to keep track of the status of everything. This can be useful for a workshop administrator. This so that he does not have to look at the machine all the time or everything goes well. All information will be shown here. From project number to status of the robot at that moment.
The entire process has been automated and made dynamic. An employee only needs to place the stainless steel fingers on a conveyor belt and well-sharpened and polished fingers come out of the machine. In addition, the employee does not have to take any difficult steps to start the machine. This only happens through a start button. In addition, the machine is almost always constant so that the fingers will always look the same. In addition, the employee can see the entire status at a different location from the robot. The only drawback is that the process has become slower.