Smart Machines & Factories
A 360 degree vision
Published:  01 August, 2018

Smart Machines & Factories takes a look at how Sorion designed, built and supplied test equipment capable of testing and calibrating the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner.

Dyson, the British technology company, approached Sorion to design, build and supply test equipment for calibrating and testing the Dyson 360 Eye Robotic vacuum cleaner. The robot constantly observes and interprets its surroundings with a 360 degree vision system and sensors using complex mathematics, theory, geometry and trigonometry to map and navigate a room.

Working with Dyson engineers from an early stage, Sorion said that its experience and expertise meant it was able to ask the right questions to work out the best solutions to test and calibrate the mechanical, optical and electrical features of the robot.

Using its 3D CAD expertise the company provided designs of the proposed test fixture to ensure correct alignments between the robot sensors and the fixture’s many calibration features.

Sorion’s in-house 3D printer was used to quickly produce development parts before taking the finalised component designs to machined parts. The final design incorporated as many Sorion off the shelf parts as possible to keep costs and lead times to a minimum and to achieve the best performance in terms of reliability, small space requirements and speed, giving the fastest cycle time possible. Although Dyson’s requirements changed during the project, Sorion explained it had the flexibility to be able to quickly and efficiently adapt.

The equipment is designed to test thousands of units per day and be rugged enough to outlast the unit’s estimated production lifecycle. Sorion has supplied equipment used during manufacture at the end-of-line and portable test units for use at Dyson’s service centres worldwide.

At the core of the test system is Sorion’s Sextans software, which controls test and calibration process, data acquisition and result management. Sextans takes input information (via RFID, Barcode, etc.) to initialise the exact build or test sequence. This can be either a simple step type (e.g. screen prompt, DC Tool fastening, etc.) or a script based complex process (e.g. ECU diagnostics, machine control, etc.).

As the sequence is executed the current step (and its outcome OK/NOK) is displayed in the step window of the main operator display. Script steps are shown in the step window as a single entry, however if the script needs to be monitored in operation a second script debug window is available that shows in detail the current execution of the script.

Data is seamlessly transferred to Sorion’s traceability database – Orion - to provide quality assurance and performance statistics geared to manufacturing requirements. Orion QTR (Quality & Traceability Reporting) captures data from a variety of sources in a manufacturing environment, including items such as station, shift, time, build no., component serial numbers, measured values and visual inspection data.

This data is identified against a unique ID (often VIN) along with time and location and stored within the database. Once in the Orion database, data can be queried (via a web browser interface from anywhere within your organisation) in a number of ways to provide quality assurance and performance statistics geared to manufacturing requirements.

The storage used is highly flexible, effectively learning the shop floor client data structures as they are passed in. Orion may therefore be used with a range of input sources: provided by Sorion or as a reporting front end to third party systems.

For traceability purposes, the Orion database is connected with Dyson’s service software and is able to transmit build information, such as serial numbers, along with the test results of each component of the 360 Eye.

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