Two production lines for machining cylinder heads and crankcases in the automotive industry were to be equipped with reading devices for matrix code reading. The matrix code of the cylinder heads is applied to a machined and thus reflective lateral flange surface by means of needle marking. The crankcases are marked by a lasered code, which sits on the side of the matt, unmachined casting surface. In order to achieve a more homogeneous surface and higher contrast on the crankcase, the marking area is smoothed with the laser before the code is applied. The machining process coats the engine parts with an oil film, which remains after the drilling emulsion and chips have been blown off.
With a total of 6 reading stations in the cylinder head production line and 8 reading stations in the crankshaft line, matrix code reading was possible. The individual reading stations are each integrated into the interlinking in front of a machining cell. For reading, the components are mechanically stopped in the concatenation and the reading is triggered via a system signal. In order to achieve the highest possible reading reliability, an external light source is used for illumination, which is supplied with the camera as a self-contained unit. The reading results are transmitted to the conveyor control system via a bus system. Despite difficult reading conditions, our hardware and software package provides reliable reading with low integration effort.