The Optisort machines, which he subsequently developed, use camera technology in connection with automated feeding and very fast computing systems.
If you see such a system in action, the speed is impressive: Going
out from a bunker system via a vibrating conveyor, the specimens are isolated, correctly positioned if necessary, fed and guided past the camera either on a glass plate, a special metal plate for screws, or a conveyor belt. Even 360° inspections with four cameras are possible. Good parts are regularly discharged, defective parts separated.
All this happens at a speed with which the human eye can barely keep up. "The systems check several hundred parts per minute, sometimes more than 50,000 pieces per hour," says Thomas Rothweiler. They are very flexible, because they inspect different components: "Each machine typically checks 200 to 300 products. " Each product has its own test programme installed.