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ACI Series :: Automated Product Inspection, QC, Defect Inspection and In-Line Sorting

The ACI is a game changer.

It enables ultimate quality control through automated product inspection. The ACI detects surface defects on your product, using smart camera technology and guided robotics.

What Does the ACI Do?

The ACI automatically sorts product based on high-quality visual inspections, employing deep learning algorithms.  It provides sophisticated packaged automation. For example, it picks up products from the conveyor line (trays optional), inspects the products from multiple angles, and sorts each of the products into pass/fail locations.

Available in Three (3) Categories

We offer three versions of the ACE:

  1. Nth Series – Our best in class ACE system, HNJ’s flagship product. Pick, inspect, auto-sort, and deep learn.
  2. Hightower – The all-in-one inspection and auto-sorting ACE with best in class features. Pick, inspect, and auto-sort. No deep learning.
  3. V-Station – Archive your product conditions, just before and directly after your critical value-added activities (repair, refurbish, assembly).

Main Functions

The ACI’s main functions include:

  1. Automatically picks up new units.  The ACI robotic arm picks up incoming units from the conveyor line (trays optional). At this initial stage, the ACI also validates units to understand what is being picked up — and automatically correlates to the appropriate inspection.  The ACI loads the right inspection program for the right product.
  2. Inspects products from multiple angles with varied lighting to pick out defects.  At this point, the ACI conducts a series of pass-or-fail inspections using machine vision combined with robotics.
  3. Enables ultimate inspection through deep learning.  The system uses deep learning, based on sample sets.  This helps discern between good or bad units.  Deep learning emulates human inspection by drawing on past experience.  Using the history of inspections, it can better understand success and failure.  This vastly improves future inspections that apply to your product.  HNJ recommends periodically running the Nth learning optimizer. Note: This capability is unique to our top tier version of the ACI, the Nth Series.
  4. Evaluates products to find bad vs. good units.  The final outcome is an overall pass or fail result.  The ACI robot arm picks and places your products on the production line.  While it sorts out the “fail” or bad units, the “pass” units go into an accepted zone.
  5. Sorts units based on inspection results.  Based on each inspection result, the ACI handles the products in an appropriate manner.  For example, passing units go into further processing, or proceed to pack-out — depending on the production flow.

Additional functions:

  1. ID Tracking.  The ACI also provides product serial number or unique identifier tracking capabilities.
  2. Image Archive & Audit.  By capturing images, you can see what the product looked like and trace image to a specific tracking ID. This allows you to audit based on high resolution images of your production units.  See below our V-Station for image archiving, instead of inspection.

Benefits

  • Promotes high quality product output with far greater consistency.
  • Dramatically saves time by providing automated product inspection.
  • Conducts multiple angles of inspection per product.
  • Able to automatically reject defective units.
  • Uses vision-guided robotics to automatically sort out bad product after pass-fail inspection, placing them in a failed unit area or conveyor line.
  • Can easily integrate with your existing production lines.
  • Offers with unique product serial number or ID tracking capability.
  • Enables 360-degree views of each unit, automatically checking each unit using a robotic arm to pick up and rotate for visual product inspection.
  • Increases quality control in pass/fail product inspection.

HNJ also provides customized solutions to augment the ACI to customers’ factory inspection needs.

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ACI Product Options – With One Robotic Arm Per Line

Hightower 1R ACI

This is the basic single ACI unit for automated product inspection.  One robotic arm inside the ACI, with one continuous conveyor line going in and out.

You have the option of converting your Hightower ACI to add Deep Learning capability in the Nth Series ACI.

Product Code: 1R

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 2, with one robotic arm in the enclosure.
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Input: One (1) conveyor line.
  • Output: Same conveyor line continuous with the input line.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning Enabled:  Yes, for the Nth Series 1R model.

Product Code: 1R Nth
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Hightower 1R-D ACI

Dual Hightower ACI unit for automated product inspection. This is a double-sized ACI, with two enclosures for twice the capacity of the 1R.  The units sit side-by-side for more processing volume.  Each enclosure has its own robotic arm.

You have the option of converting your dual Hightower ACI to add Deep Learning capability in the Dual Nth Series ACI.

Product Codes: 1R-D

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 2, with one robotic arm in each enclosure.
  • Housing enclosures: 2.
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Inputs: One (1) or two (2) conveyor lines.
  • Outputs: One (1) or two (2) conveyor lines.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning Enabled:  Yes, for the Nth Series 1R-D model.

Product Code: 1R-D Nth
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ACI Product Options – With Two Robotic Arms Per Line

HighTower 2R ACI

2 Robotic Arms, 1 Line.

This is the 2R ACI.  It is a single ACI housing with two (2) robotic arms inside, working on one continuous conveyor line going in and out.
Product Code: 2R

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 2, with one robotic arm in the enclosure.
  • Housing Enclosures: 1
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Input: One (1) conveyor line.
  • Output: One (1) conveyor line.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning: Offered in the Nth Series ACI. You have the option of converting your 2R to add Deep Learning capability in the Nth Series version of this product.

Product Code: 2R Nth
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HighTower 2R-D ACI

2 Robotic Arms, 2 Loading Lines. Each Line With 1 Robotic Arm.

This ACI unit has two enclosures.  The units sit side-by-side for more processing volume.  Each enclosure has its own robotic arm.  It is a double version of the 2R, instead of one housing the 2R-D has two (2) robotic arms inside, working on one continuous conveyor line going in and out.
Product Code: 2R-D

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 2, with one robotic arm in each of the two enclosures.
  • Housing Enclosures: 2, side by side.
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Inputs: Two (2) conveyor lines.
  • Outputs: Two (2) to four (4) conveyor lines.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning: Offered in the Nth Series ACI. You have the option of converting your 2R-D to add Deep Learning capability in the Nth Series version of this product.

Product Code: 2R-D Nth
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ACI Product Options – With Two Robotic Arms Per Line

Hightower XR ACI

2 Robotic Arms, 2 Output Lines.

This is the XR ACI.  It has two robotic arms inside the unit, with one conveyor line going in.  Two conveyor lines serve as output lines: pass or fail.  This allows for physical sorting, from one input line to two output lines (conveyor belts). Products are sorted based on the overall inspection result on a per-unit basis.
Product Code: XR

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 2, with both robotic arms in the enclosure.
  • Enclosures: 1
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Inputs: One (1) conveyor line.
  • Outputs: Two (2) conveyor lines.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning Enabled?  Yes, Optional for Nth Series XR model.

Product Code: XR Nth
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Hightower XR-D ACI

2 Enclosures. 4 Robotic Arms. Up to 4 Output Lines.

The XR-D is a dual side-by-side version of the ACI. The XR-D can take two input lines and provide up to four output lines. This unit has twice the power of the XR, with two enclosures for twice the capacity of the 2R.  The units sit side-by-side for more processing volume.  Each enclosure has its own robotic arm.  It is a double version of the 2R, instead of one housing the XR-D has two (2) robotic arms inside, working on one continuous conveyor line going in and out.
Product Code: XR-D

Features:

  • Robotic Arms: 4 total, with two (2) robotic arms in each enclosure.
  • Enclosures: 2.
  • Load: Automated or Manual (Trays Optional).
  • ID Tracking: Yes.
  • Inputs: Two (2) conveyor lines.
  • Outputs: Two (2), three,(3) or four (4) conveyor lines.
  • Robot Type: Collaborative or Industrial Options.

Deep Learning Enabled?  Yes, Optional for Nth Series XRD model.

Product Code: XR-D Nth
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Why Choose the ACI?

  • All-in-one integrated design for use anywhere on a production floor.
  • Powerful integrated camera system with programmed templates for cosmetic defect detection by specific type of reject code.
  • Easy-to-use integrated robot options — collaborative or industrial — for precise control of box handling.
  • Full six-sided standard inspection, with optional integrated “Door Open Assist” hardware when “Press To Open” doors are present.
  • Industrial PC on-board with large touchscreen HMI panel for operator feedback and camera system interaction.
  • Integration with to shop floor systems to verify entry and exit status of products with resulting inspection codes.
  • Internal storage of performance data and inspection images for up to 3 months. Cloud storage options are available.
  • Standard ACI handles box sizes up to 19”(48cm) x 13”(33cm) x 5”(13cm).
  • Training classes and on-site tech support available.
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V-Station Series – Automatic Image Archival

The V-Station is a standalone workstation.  It uses robotics, smart cameras, and programming to automate and track each task – creating image archives of your product.

What does it do?

The V-Station takes “before” and “after” photos for comparison and archival. Automatically, smart cameras and robotics combine to sort out defective products.

For example, a robotic arm starts the process inside the V-Station. It handles the viewing angles during imaging.  Using automation, it takes photos of different sides of the product in a pre-programmed way. This way, the “before” and “after” photo angles are consistent.

Later, the images can be called up for reference.  It enables you to check what the product looked like — before and after the operator performed repair, refurbishment, assembly, or any other value-adding activity.

How To Use The Manually-Loaded Version of the V-Station:

(Product Code: VSMN)

Note: This process can be automated in the automated version of the V-Station (Product Code: VSAT).

  1. Open the door, place the object in the V-Station.
  2. The V-Station‘s internal robot will automatically pick up the object. At that point, it will take pictures from standardized angles.  This creates the initial set of images, or the “before” photos.
  3. Open the door after it’s done with the photos and remove the object.
  4. The operator can then perform further activity (such as repair, assembly, or refurbishment) on the object.
  5. Then place the object back in the V-Station for the second set of images–the “after” photos.
  6. Remove the object and forward to the next process as needed.
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Benefits of The V-Station:

  • Archive your product images to fit with your data storage solution of choice, on-site or via a cloud service.
  • Both sets of photos can be correlated into one task.  It enables customers to automatically track IDs to audit a specific task.
  • “Before” and “after” images are taken in the same way.  This enables standard viewing angles at two points in time.
  • Later, if the need arises, you can compare initial conditions to improved conditions, or simply incoming versus outgoing images — all from the same sets of angles thanks to the V-Station robotics, smart cameras, programming.
  • Track units with a historical audit trail, based on what happened to a particular unit for greater accountability.  If some questions whether you fixed the unit, you can check the archive.  It will show exactly what was received (before) and what it looked like after work was done (after).
  • Increase photo consistency, while reducing photo aberrations, blurriness, inconsistency, and the like.
  • Integrate with other processes.  This can include image sending, database storage, ERP integration, or auditing functions to check image archival.

HNJ can also build a customized solution to quality check the operator’s post-activity work in the “after” images.  Contact us to see how HNJ can assist you with your automation and inspection needs.

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Nth Series – Our best in class ACI system, HNJ’s flagship product. Pick, inspect, auto-sort, and deep learn.

Product Codes and Product Names:

1R NthNth Series 1R ACI
1R-D NthNth Series 1R ACI
2R NthNth Series 1R-D ACI
2R-D NthNth Series 2R-D ACI
XR NthNth Series XR ACI
XR-D NthNth Series XR-D ACI

Hightower – The all-in-one inspection and auto-sorting ACI with best in class features. Pick, inspect, and auto-sort. No deep learning.

Product Codes and Product Names:

1RHightower 1R-D ACI
1R-D Hightower 1R-D ACI
2RHightower 2R ACI
2R-DHightower 2R-D ACI
XRHightower XR ACI
XR-DHightower XR-D ACI

V-Station – Archive your product conditions, just before and directly after your critical value-added activities (repair, refurbish, assembly).

Product Codes and Product Names:

VSMN - V-Station Manual Load
VSATV-Station Auto-Load