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Machine Vision Inspection of Implantable Electrode Wire to Combat Parkinson's Disease

ATE machine vision inspection of wire stent.
Automated machine vision inspection of wire stent.

The Challenge

A global medical provider came to us with the need for a system to automate the inspection of their implantable electrode wire.

The Solution

Using machine vision algorithms, LabVIEW software, and a custom lighting fixture, we ran the customer’s implantable electrode wire through an in-depth inspection process that improved their quality control while increasing throughput and decreasing test times.

The Cyth Story

  • Our customer designed an implantable electrode in the form of a wire that is used to treat spinal ailments when implanted into a patient’s body.

  • They required a system to run their stent’s length to ensure it met very precise measurement and design specifications.

  • The stent had a 2mm diameter, so we partnered with Keyence to acquire hardware fit for our optical system’s high magnification requirements.

  • Our system’s Field of View (FOV), achieved using a telecentric lens, was 1mm wide by 3mm high by 0.5mm depth-of-field (DOF).

  • This enabled our system’s camera to conduct a vision scan of the stent’s entire length.

Vision inspection system
1. Linear actuator, 2. Lighting and camera apparatus 3. LabVIEW user interface 4. Keyence vision inspection live feed.

System Order of Operations

  1. An operator attaches the wire stent vertically into the fixture’s two sets of pneumatic clamps.

  2. Once a switch is flipped a tensioner pulley is activated straightening the wire stent.

  3. The operator manually shuts the fixtures cabinet (for safety) and begins the system’s vision inspection via the user prompt on the LabVIEW user interface.

  4. Once the start button is pressed the system’s camera positions itself at the wire stent’s base.

  5. The camera runs an initial algorithm to focus and align the wire stent within its field of view.

  6. The live inspection feed then calculates and records the wire stent’s measurements as the camera and lighting apparatus move vertically up the wire stint. This feed is broadcast live to a monitor for the operator to see.

  7. LabVIEW machine vision algorithms use artificial intelligence to compare the measured specs to the required measurements given to us by the customer.

  8. Once the inspection is complete, the operator enters a serial number, and the system logs the pass/fail data to a local database with exact details on the system’s decision.

Close-up of the ring lighting and camera apparatus.
Close-up of the ring lighting and camera apparatus.

Delivering the Outcome

Our electrode stent inspection system was built using Keyence control hardware, LabVIEW software, and a custom lighting fixture. Through our engineering team’s integration of hardware and software, we were able to provide a turnkey solution for the automated test of our customer’s product. This improved our customer’s quality control process while increasing throughput and decreasing test times.

Technical Specifications

1 x Keyence LED Light Controller

1 x Keyence LED Backlight

1 x Keyence LED Ringlight

2 x Keyence Highspeed Monochrome Camera

2 x Edmund Optics Telecentric Lenses

1 x Electric SMC Linear Actuator

1 x Mechanically Actuated Mini-Switch

2 x Pneumatic Clamps

1 x Tensioner Pully

1 x Custom Cart Encloser

2 x ViewSonic Monitors


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