Sharpening thousands of knives in commercial packing plants can be difficult. Operators occasionally place a knife in the wrong place, causing the knife to be sharpened again. JET’s client developed robotic arms that would optically assess the sharpness of knives and grind them back to specification. The client needed software to automate the validation process of the grinding station.
The knives to be assessed would come into the enclosure with the arm. The arm would take the knife into a scanning slot for analysis. If the knife passed inspection, it would move on. If it did not pass, the arm would regrind and reassess the knife until complete.
JET worked closely with the client to produce LabVIEW software to validate this cutting edge technology. The software was capable of full systems validation. Maneuverability, scanning and imaging of blades, analysis of blade data for determination of need for grinding, and monitoring grinding were all evaluated. The software supported the validation of both honing and hollow grinding.
The client deployed the system to the market and initial impressions were very positive. The software speeds up the process of sharpening knives while maximizing the life of each knife. This provided the end customer cost savings and improved production flow.