Crabtree launches new vision system

Metal decorating and coating equipment manufacturer, Crabtree, has launched a new vision system to automate the print fit process and increase accuracy and operational efficiency.

The SpeedFit camera is the initial offering by Crabtree’s new Automated Vision Systems arm – which has been set up to provide production-ready initiatives to solve industry challenges and enhance performance for all budgets.

The SpeedFit system allows operators to achieve greater accuracy during the print fit process than offered by manual methods, increasing productivity.

SpeedFit features colour-to-colour register control enabling users to achieve fit in a fraction of the time taken to perform this task manually – and with the use of fewer sheets i.e. 2 pass / 2 sheet process. This automated solution offers repeatable accuracy to 10µm – a substantial enhancement compared to manual operations, where accuracy varies from operator to operator.

The handheld wireless camera, which has lower cost implications compared to an inline camera, can be offered as a standalone system capable of operating between numerous print lines and/or specifically interfaced to the Crabtree FastReady console, enabling closed loop register adjustment.

In addition, as the camera’s PC stores job file parameters, greater speed enhancements can be made as previous settings can be recalled for use.

The SpeedFit system has been developed with guidance from 3T Control, which has expertise in bringing to market automated industrial processes.

Alan Rutter, senior director at Gateshead, UK-based Crabtree said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this to market which has, as with many of Crabtree’s products, been designed and manufactured with the end user in mind – developed by printers, for printers. As such it has a user-friendly interface ensuring that ROI can be recognised with minimal training.

“Creating our vision system meant a crossover of knowledge, and a collaboration with a partner as equally as flexible as ourselves. When we look for a preferred supplier, or a joint venture, we look for companies that we can work with, those that demonstrate an equal level of pro-activeness and a pragmatic approach to real-life production requirements. We’re delighted to say this worked so well that we now own our very own Automated Vision Systems division that will look at industry demands and develop fit for purpose solutions.

“The result of our partnership with 3T Control is that we have produced an outstanding offering to the world of vision systems, and I look forward to working with the industry in rolling out this solution.”

John Robson, AV development engineer at Crabtree added: “Metal decorators worldwide are searching for quality and productivity enhancements in order to print faster and print better whilst still reducing costs. Our mission is to design and deliver premium print process control, utilising the highest quality innovative systems to offer added value and faster ROI.

“To collaborate with experienced automated vision professionals such as 3T Control creates the perfect partnership as Crabtree offers specialist knowledge in the metal decorating and coating industry; together we’ve been able to use our expertise to develop products that meet both our ambitions delivering efficiency to the industry.”

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