I want to share with you one of our ongoing success stories: a nearly 20 year partnership with Dispense Works and Kwik Mark. Emil Cindric operates both companies out of the same facility in McHenry, IL. Dispense Works manufactures robotic dispensing equipment and Kwik Mark manufactures dot peen marking machines. These two companies have manufactured thousands of machines over the past 20 years.
When we started working with Emil in 1999, most of the systems were driven by stand-alone PC’s. When the PC was driving the machine, it was locked up and could not be used for any other purpose. Recognizing the need for embedded processors in these machines, we set out developing motion control software that would drive the machines independently of a connected PC. The software that we developed runs on an inexpensive x86 embedded processor and drives stepper (or servo)
motors using a technique called “bit banging”. Using advanced algorithms, this software can drive up to four axis of coordinated motion simultaneously; while controlling the velocity and acceleration. This software includes a G-Code parser with over 200 commands. Over the years, the machine control software has become quite powerful and it includes the ability to do high speed rastering, automatic tool changes, complex filling and capping routines. It supports hundreds of digital and analog I/O lines. The software can communicate via RS-232 as well as TCP/IP.
We also helped develop standalone Arduino based controllers and software to support keypad/display units and multi-channel tri-color led light controls. These custom designs along with various other boards are actually assembled on a dispensing / SMT pick and place machine developed internally, that is now offered for sale.
All of the machines manufactured at Dispense Works and Kwik Mark can be programmed using PC software that we authored called KwikPro. This software supports import of HPGL and AutoCad DXF files which are convert to G-Code. Gerber files can be import for dispensing and SMT pick and place operations. The software also supports configuration and setup of the robots. There is a Software Development Kit (SDK) that can be used to integrate the machines with other systems.
We developed PC-based vision software with support for multiple USB cameras. This software is tightly integrated with the robots and allows for ultra-precise positioning relative to a part. It handles both X and Y part offsets as well as rotation.
Recently, we completed the development of a programmable ratio Pump Controller. It’s Raspberry Pi based and has a touch screen. It commands two servo driven pumps at desired ratios while controlling both acceleration and velocity. It monitors input and output pressures, level sensors and heaters.
Dispense Works and Kwik Mark capabilities lie in the following areas:
Dot Peen Marking & Engraving
Robotic Dispensing, Spraying, Filling, Potting, Capping
Assembly, Pick and Place
Laser Marking, Cutting, Engraving
PCB Solder Paste & Solder Mask Dispensing
Surface Mount Component Pick and Place
Custom Desktop and Large Format Robots
Thru a close partnership, Bunt Software has helped Dispense Works and Kwik Mark become leaders in their fields.