Author Archives: Steven Stern

Measurement and Inspection of Skull Pins

The LVR Inspection System has been used to measure and inspect skull pins. They are “pointed”, like bone screws, but not threaded. Click images for larger views.

As with bone screws, the robot puts the pin between the camera and a light source and rotates it for multiple views.

Calculate Holding Power During Inspection

The integrated measurement capabilities of the LVR Automated Inspection System, with its ability to store a measurement process and export the results to Excel, make it possible to calculate holding power for each bone screw in an inspection run.  A trend analysis can be performed over one or more runs to monitor the ongoing accuracy of manufacturing process.

Click to download a copy of the LVR-Trend-Analysis spreadsheet.  It uses some randomness functions to simulate variability during the manufacturing process.

analysis-screen-shot

Integrated Measurement

The LVR Inspection System is becoming an easy to use micrometer.  We’ve recently added software functions that allow the operator to accurately dimension an entire part or any part of that part.  In addition the manual measurement process, shown in the video below, can be saved as  “macro” and repeated during the automated inspection process.  Adding measurement to inspection scenario does not significantly increase inspection time.  Finally, the measurement results can be saved to Excel spreadsheets for subsequent review and analysis.

Inspection, Sorting, and Packaging

When parts from mixed runs are to be inspected and sorted or the quality control process calls for verifying and sorting parts, the LVR inspection system will fit the need.  The video below shows the system picking up screws, determining their length, performing a full inspection against the first article of inspection, then putting the screws that pass inspection into the appropriate packaging.

Lakeview Vision & Robotics provides manufacturers a reliable way to virtually eliminate problems and recalls regarding knee and hip implants

CHICAGO, Illinois – February 28, 2014 – Lakeview Vision & Robotics (LVR) has developed a pioneering, low-cost technology for the orthopedic implant industry to improve the reliability of implant parts during the manufacturing process where precision and accuracy are expected and crucial.

In a recent article published by Consumer Reports, Consumers Union (the policy arm of Consumer Reports) states, “Manufacturers of hip and knee implants should give patients warranties, guaranteeing to replace defective devices at no cost. Nearly 20 percent of the hip replacements done each year and 10 percent of the knee replacements are revisions, often done because the original device was defective. Those follow-up surgeries tend to require longer hospital stays than the initial procedures, pose additional risks, and have a higher price tag, too. Yet their costs are passed onto consumers or their insurance companies, including Medicare.”

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The high-speed, highly accurate LVR system inspects small implants, bone screws and other small parts in less than a minute while providing a three-dimensional analysis. The R12 robot arm can segregate defective parts and/or sort, inspect and package the implants. Additionally, the system is not limited to a single part or profile. The LVR system’s robot can change its gripper in a matter of moments in order to switch from one product inspection to another.he unique LVR inspection system, which utilizes a state-of-the-art ST Robotics R12 articulated robot arm, could substantially reduce manufacturers’ exposure by inspecting each and every implant part during the initial manufacturing process. By taking the human factor out of the equation, this 100% automated, reliable and repeatable procedure eliminates human error and decreases costs.

“LVR has been aware of the high defective rate of implants for the past four years, and since that time has come up with an innovative solution for the orthopedic industry,” reports Ernest Ciccone, President of LVR Systems. “LVR and ST Robotics have a combined 50 years of experience in robotics and machine vision, and ours is the world’s most proven technology, providing the manufacturer of an implant with a reliable way to optimize precision and accuracy. This can result in a significant decrease in the percentage of orthopedic revisions and recalls, an obvious money-saving benefit for the industry. The public is just becoming aware of the recall rate, making LVR’s simple, reliable and inexpensive inspection technology a ‘must-have’ solution.”

For a limited time only, LVR is offering manufacturers a free trial inspection for their orthopedic implant parts.

Contact:

Ernest Ciccone
Lakeview Vision & Robotics
1434 W. Wellington
Chicago, IL 60657
+1 773-472-9027
e.ciccone@lvrsystems.com

Download this Press Release

Annotated Image of LVR Inspection System

In an recent post on this website, we released a video showing the LVR system’s ability to adapt to new part configurations. Here, we’ve annotated an image to show all the parts of the inspection system.

annotated

Legend

1. Computer
2. Robot control software
3. Image of plastic part
4. Teach pendant
5. Bone screw
6. Pneumatic gripper
7. R12 robot
8. Rack of screws
9. Plastic part in rack
10. Nexus Android teach console
11. Small pneumatic gripper on interchangeable tool adaptor
12. Electric gripper on interchangeable tool adaptor
13. Rack for unused grippers

 

 

Automating Inspection in Multi-Part Environments

One of the things we’ve learned about orthopaedic implant manufacturing is that parts are produced in runs, so an inspection system needs to be nimble enough to inspect more than one part type or size.

The LVR Inspection System’s robot is capable of changing its own grippers, so changing the type of part under inspection is as simple as a selection on the computer controlling the system. The robot will attach the gripper designed for that part, adjust its inspection parameters, and continue with its inspection.

Reducing the cost of warranties for implants

Comparison of knee against CAD in false color

Comparison of knee against CAD in false color

A recent article in Consumer Reports advocates warranties for hip and knee implants. If device manufactures were to offer such warranties, they could reduce their exposure by inspecting each and every implant part during the manufacturing process.

“While patients may be told by their surgeon how long a device can be expected to last, they rarely get a guarantee in writing since most hip and knee implants do not come with a warranty,” said Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project.

The LVR inspection system provides this functionality, inspecting parts like bone screws or other small implants. It’s robot arm can segregate defective parts, with no human intervention. In addition, the LVR system inspects each part through an entire rotation on one axis, providing a three dimensional analysis.

The LVR system’s robot can change its own grippers; the system is not limited to a single part or profile. Once programmed, it can switch from one product inspection to another in a matter of moments.

The cost of the LVR system and its automated, reliable, and repeatable procedures provide manufacturers with the confidence to develop warranties like those suggested by Consumer Reports at a reasonable cost.

LVR and STRobotics Automated Optical Comparator Technology for Bone Screw Inspection

CHICAGO, Illinois (February 14, 2012)  Lakeview Vision & Robotics, of Chicago, Illinois, and STRobotics of Cambridge, UK announce a new technology for the inspection and measurement of bone screws using an automated optical comparator process.

Using a completely digital process, the technology compares images of a screw in inspection to images of a “golden screw” (first article inspection) through an 18 step rotation and, for each comparison, displays a difference result based on a subtraction of the “golden” image. Mechanical variations are compensated through proprietary algorithms. Images are resolved at a resolution of less than .002. Each 18 image inspection takes approximately 2.5 minutes.

The Automated Optical Comparator Technology can be also be used to calculate screw holding power, major and minor diameters, flank angles, and other critical measures.

STRobotics and LVR have a combined 50 years of experience in robotics and machine vision. Learn more about the Automated Optical Comparator Technology at https://www.lvrsystems.com/bonescrew

Contact:
Ernest Ciccone
Lakeview Vision & Robotics
1434 W. Wellington
Chicago, IL 60657
+1 773-472-9027
e.ciccone@att.net

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Download the press-release