Intelligent tool protection with cameras in stamping and forming technology

The increase in efficiency through digitization – almost no industrial sector can ignore this. Press plant operators are also increasingly networking their production. But, whether it’s individual presses or lines of presses, it’s not always necessary to replace the entire installation to “stay in the game”. The modernization of existing installations, faithful to the principle of “reasonable evolution instead of costly revolution”, is generally on the agenda. With Visual Die Protection, Schuler Pressen GmbH offers a solution, for example, to prevent costly damage to tools and the resulting costs in stamping and forming technology. This solution can also be adapted to existing installations. Equipped with industrial cameras from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH and intelligent software, the production process can be monitored as required.

The principle of the system is simple: Visual Die Protection (VDP) detects possible causes of damage to tools in the pressing plant at an early stage and shuts down the plant within fractions of a second before the damage and downtimes occur. stoppage does occur. Different monitoring functions can be configured for different areas of the press installation space. In this way, a wide range of error sources can be covered in order to avoid unforeseen incidents. The probability of failure is reduced and the safe operation of the installations is ensured.

Control functions range from checking component position to targeted monitoring of individual tool functions, foreign object detection and in-process inspections. For example, if a foreign object, such as a piece of sheet metal from the previous pass of the press, is detected in the tool, the press automatically stops so that the foreign object cannot dig into the surfaces tool or cause damage.

The system can be used for a wide range of monitoring tasks, even outside the actual pressing plant. Thanks to the ease of adapting existing installations and the wide range of applications, monitoring functions can be set up in just a few minutes. Customers thus immediately benefit from the protection of the tools by camera. And that also applies to installations other than Schuler. Thanks to the product data management, it is possible to load already set tool monitors and check them from the first press stroke.

The image data on which the Schuler system is based are provided by industrial cameras IDS uEye CP. The acronym CP stands for “Compact Power” and symbolizes a compact and visual power pack for industrial applications of all kinds. These cameras offer maximum functionality with extensive pixel pre-processing and are also ideal for multi-camera systems for the temporary storage of image sequences thanks to the 120 MB internal image memory. The gigabit ethernet cameras, whose dimensions do not exceed pitch 29 x 29 x 29 millimeters, are particularly good in terms of light sensitivity, dynamic range and color rendering. They are therefore predestined for applications that need to deliver a perfect result even under poor lighting conditions, such as in quality assurance or automation.

Visual Die Protection has been on the market since 2019 and has since established itself in stamping and forming technology as reliable visual tool protection. Thanks to artificial intelligence and industrial cameras, this solution offers a clear view in the pressing plant. “In the future, we expect a continuously growing market,” says Christoph Pölzl. In addition to process monitoring and tools, other applications in the field of in-process quality monitoring will be added. Additionally, diagnostic tools for linking image and process data are also constantly evolving. So the evolution continues and maybe in the end, it will lead to a small revolution?

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Intelligent tool protection with cameras in stamping and forming technology


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