The Q-Tech Q-eye optical bar control systems are dedicated to the in-line quality control of the chamfering of bars for the industrial production of metal and non-metal semimachined products. The chamfering of the bar is usually considered a secondary process since it is used to make the edges of the bar ends smoother by removing the sharp edges with cutting tools. Proper chamfering performs both safety tasks, since removing sharp edges limits the risk of injury when operators handle the bar, and functional tasks, since it allows bars to be loaded quicker and more efficiently using automatic loaders for lathes and CNC machinery. The Q-eye optical bar control systems comprise two Measurement Stations at the most. They contain the sensors necessary for acquiring dimensional parameters of the head and tail of the bar, respectively, and a Control Station containing devices for data processing and for interfacing with the external systems. Since the Measurement Station sizes are extremely compact, they can easily be installed and integrated on board the line in most conventional production plants, in proximity of the chamfering machinery or near specific bar transfer chutes. The Control Station of each system can be placed on the side of the line with total freedom of positioning as regards the relevant Measurement Stations.
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Solutions for drawing mills and extrusions
The measuring technique developed by Q-Tech for the Q-eye optical bar control systems makes it possible to simultaneously detect both the main dimensional aspects regarding the configuration of the bar’s chamfer, or diameter, depth, angle and decentralisation, and the quality aspects relating to the presence of a proper surface finish of the head of the bar. As regards the dimensional aspects, thanks to the completeness of the geometric parameters detected, the optical bar control systems provide easy configuration capable of checking both compliance of the machining with the requirements of the most important technical standards and any necessary compliance with specific supply standards required by customers. As regards, on the other hand, the surface quality aspects, Q-eye offers the possibility to detect several machining defects not typically subordinate to standard requirements, but however commonly found in most of the chamfering machine on the market in combination with unexpected wear/breakage phenomena or incorrect configuration. In fact, the Q-eye system detect the possible “non-facing” of the bar head surface, that is to say, that situation in which the chamfer has been successfully completed geometrically, but the bar head surface is not properly machined. It is also able to check for any presence of a “machining burr”, i.e. a tiny residue of material incorrectly not removed from the centre portion of the bar head surface, which consequently appears to be not perfectly even. Both of these types of defect reveal a possible premature wear of the machinery tool, its unexpected breakage, or even an incorrect configuration of the same unit. The prompt finding of these anomalies by the Q-eye system allows line maintenance personnel to quickly take action, and thereby restore proper operation of the system to prevent the production of non-compliant material. Lastly, the Q-eye optical bar control systems provide 100% control of the produced material and easily interface with external monitoring and data filing systems so traceability of the quality of every single bar produced is complete. The Q-eye system measurement stations are suitable for use in the industrial field and have specific devices to guarantee constance of the measurement performance, also in particularly taxing installation environments. In particular, it is possible to integrate the measurement stations with compressed air “air purge” systems in order to guarantee continuous cleaning of the optical surfaces of the system. Installation of optical bar control systems usually requires only preparing special positioning brackets for the measurement stations at the outlet of the chamfering machine. Usually one of the measurement stations remains stationary, while the second one is mobile together with the chamfering head. It is not necessary that the two Q-eye system measurement stations be installed precisely aligned with each other. Since the two stations are totally independent, it is in fact possible to get a high degree of flexibility in installation of the system. If the spaces available are not sufficient for installing measurement stations in proximity to the chamfering machine, an installation kit is available for securing the system near an inclined chute at the outlet of the bar transport rack commonly located coinciding with the chamfering machine station.