Crest Industries automates quality data collection using WinWedge

Crest industries, Inc., has been in business since 1991 serving a wide variety of companies in the consumer electronics industries. They sell and service industrial automation equipment, both electronic and mechanical aspects. Their newest area is in the production of custom test equipment for the machines they service.

Multiple-Sensor Test Machine Interface

Crest Industries uses WinWedge Pro to interface to a test instrument used to measure the performance of mechanical-pneumatic devices used on surface mount chip placement machines. The tester is a stand alone unit which records the various parameters (such as speed and accuracy) to its own internal memory. The tester consists of multiple sensors, including displacement, load and pressure sensors, and it also includes a bar code wand for reading the bar code on each part as it is being tested. WinWedge is used as the communication link between the tester and application programs. It is able to take data readings from all the sensors and also the bar code scanner.

Before using WinWedge they experimented with various simple serial communications programs to receive the data. They also considered using a hardware (keyboard) wedge but this was too limited, or even writing their own custom software for the host PC.

They decided on WinWedge due to its versatility and the great savings in time that it would bring. The typical end-user of their tester wanted to keep track of the machine parameters through time as part of a Statistical Quality Control program. A spreadsheet or database type approach is an ideal way for users to track the performance of the machine and to indicate when maintenance is needed. Catching failures before they occur on the factory floor saves both time and money.

To use this spreadsheet approach with their stand alone tester they would have needed to write their own spreadsheet and communications program for transferring this information from their tester to the host PC. The Wedge allows them to communicate with any spreadsheet, database or SPC package. This is particularly important when the customer already has software in place. WinWedge makes their tester product much more universal and attractive.

This is what Travis Perry, Applications Engineer, had to say about the performance of WinWedge:

WinWedge performed exactly as the ad said it would. It is transparent to the user, and yet allows us to communicate with any Windows program. We are very pleased with the software and its ease of use.”

“We are particularly pleased with the character translation abilities, both pre-input and pre-transfer, because it allows us to configure the Wedge to communicate with various databases without a change in our tester software. We have saved different config files for the types of software we come in contact with, so we can immediately adapt our product to the customer’s needs, whatever they may be. The input record structure was also very helpful in keeping the various data fields and types in order for transfer to the host program.”

“And finally, we would be happy to recommend WinWedge to anyone with a unique serial communications problem, or virtually any application using serial transfer into already existing programs. To sum it up, the best part about the Wedge was it allowed us to add serial communications to existing programs which had no such ability.”

Benefits:

* Simultaneous data collection from many different instruments
* Cost savings from preventative maintenance
* Transparent to the end user
* Easy to use
* Adds serial communication to existing programs with no such ability

WinWedge is supplied and supported in the UK and Ireland by Adept Scientific plc, Amor Way, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1ZA; telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810, fax +44 (0) 203 695 7819, email info@alfasoft.com; or see Adept’s World Wide Web site at http://www. adeptscience.co.uk. adeptscience.co.uk/.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.


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