A luxury porcelain manufacturer based outside Florence, Italy has been a leader in handcrafted, elegantly designed tableware going back to the 18th century. Porcelain, otherwise referred to as fine china, it is renowned for its strength, durability, and pristine white color.
Yet, it is precisely that immaculate white color which poses numerous manufacturing challenges. For a robot arm to accurately locate raw white teacups on the production line and accurately place them in rows, a 2D vision system was not up to the task of distinguishing the different sizes, shapes, and positioning of the product. To overcome these challenges, this luxury manufacturer sought the expertise of AuTech and Fortek, two Italian companies renowned for providing automation solutions, to help develop a vision-guided robot pick-and-place system that could locate teacups randomly placed by human operators. “Seeing the manufacturing process, we thought that the only way to solve this problem was through the use of a 3D-based vision system, and we found Matrox® Imaging’s vision systems and software perfect for this purpose,” said software developer Marco Goracci, of AuTech.