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  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    7

    Telecentric Measurement System

    My group has been asked to help a customer with a gage he recently found, specifically getting it to report its measurements in a useful format. Their integrator has not been able to extract data from the gages at all, and the customer now has a problem meeting a schedule.

    The gage is a set of 3 keyence TMX5065 optical scanners (basic vision system heads) and between them they have two plcs to drive them.

    The output from these to the rest of the world is a pain to get set up; all these can do is rs232, ftp file transfers, or removeable storage. And, since each plc only handles two heads, that means there are two plcs (oh yeah - that cannot communicate measurements with each other) so one part measurement cycle results in 2 output data files that have the same name (keyence says they can only use the date and time as a file name) that have to be saved in 2 separate directories, which makes retrieving part dimensions for any single part a pain as well.

    Usually we don't have any issues connecting to older equipment, but on these there isn't even a way for keyence to alter the file name or the file contents to identify which part has been measured. And to make it even more confounding, when consecutive parts are measured, the data file just gets appended with new dimensions stuck at the end of the existing file... with no added spaces or commas or crlf characters between the existing data and the new data. The last dimension of the previous part just gets the first dimension of the next part pasted after it on the same line with no breaks, no way to tell that a new dimension has started. (00001.2301,00000.4927,00004.235400001.2297,00000.4938,00004.234800001.2305 etc)

    Has anyone used one of these before and figured out how to manipulate either the file name, or the file contents? Keyence simply... can't. If we could even store a unique number in the data file for each part number, then we could parse the information into a useful format that the customer could use, but keyence says all they can do is add a "1" or a "0" to the data, not enough for the 6 part numbers he wants to be able to run. Currently, they have to plug a laptop into the cell, copy any data they want from it, then try to figure out which entries go with which parts from the two separate data files. (Almost faster to just measure the parts with hand gages.)

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    4926

    Re: Telecentric Measurement System

    If it will create new files where none currently exist, then this should be easy using an custom external program.

    If I understood the way these work, then..... Let the device write the file(s) to disk or even to ram, then read the file(s) and store that data into some kind of database (could just be a text file). Then delete the device created file(s) before the next part.is measured. That should allow you to separate the data and also append any identifying data you want to the measurements.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    May 2013
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    Re: Telecentric Measurement System

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    ...then this should be easy using an custom external program.
    That's sort of where we are at this point as well. That's unfortunate, because they have quite a selection of software for a lot of their other gages; when the customer asked us to step in we kind of assumed these would as well. (Shame on us!)

    Rant/ If the system can only generate date_time stamp file names... and the system is designed to be fast... and their method of appending an existing file results in unuseable data... and they say they cannot change any of this... then they must assume their customers will be deleting each file using some external solution. So why don't they either update thier system to fix the append function, allow a filename that identifies the part number, or at least have a suggested third-party app that works to overcome the limits of this system? Or even find a way to use their existing (functional) software on these? /rant

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