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Complete automotive part traceability with Cognex DataMan barcode readers

DataMan reader scanning metal parts

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Marks Pryor, founded in 1998, specializes in providing solutions and overall marking tools such as Pryor Steel Types, Punches, Automatic Numbering Heads, Engraved Packaging Types, Logotype Marking Dies and Dot Marking Machines. Headquartered in Pune, India, its worldwide presence widely caters to diverse industry segments such as automotive, general engineering, defense and aerospace.

The traceability challenge

The automotive industry requires complete traceability of each part, for which safety and quality control has an integral part to play. One of the valued customers of Marks Pryor needed a promising and effective traceability solution to guarantee the quality of a new value added component as well as be able to trace the product from cradle to grave.

The customer faced these major challenges:
  • On time installation / production handover
  • Process flexibility to handle multiple variants of code position
  • 6 Sigma or 99.997% read rate goals
  • Expandable system capacity ~ 750 units per shift
  • Complete traceability through supply channel

Key strengths of the DataMan ID reader

Marks Pryor’s need to ensure accurate identification led them toward Cognex image-based ID readers. The DataMan® fixed-position reader could not only cope with their high-volume production but also ensured the whole installation process during the specified time. The technical support by Cognex provided them on time installation with no time wasted.

DataMan offers flexible features like automated variable focus technology, C-Mount lens options, various trigger modes and custom data formatting. The DataMan achieves high read rates, due to patented decoding algorithms, to perfectly meet the needed requirements of 6 Sigma read rates or 99.997%. The decoding time of a scanned image is as fast as two milliseconds.

DataMan is self-contained with decoding, power, communication and I/O capabilities all in a small form; making it capable of expanding the entire system’s capacity. Moreover, it is also easy to integrate DataMan ID readers directly to the factory network with the Cognex Connect™ suite of supported Industrial Protocols, which means there is no need for a PC between the reader and the factory network. This communication allows for complete traceability of the part throughout its supply chain.

The integrated solution achieves their goal of complete traceability

At a marking station, the operator loads the cam shaft onto the fixture. After giving a print command, the cam shaft housing moves beneath the marking head. The machine then marks the Data Matrix code on the face of the part. Once marked, the housing is moved under the fixed-mount image-based code reader where the code is read by the DataMan reader and the data is sent directly to the server via Ethernet.

The main goal is to achieve highest standard of quality and reduce costs, which is possible by using the DataMan ID reader. Reliable reading also ensures complete traceability of the product’s lifecycle from its inception till the end of its life.

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