Do you know about Opitz coding?

When it comes to small metal parts, industry professionals use common names (screw, nut, bolt…) despite the existence of ISO/DIN standards that standardize many mechanical parts. For example, DIN84 corresponds to a cylindrical head screw with a slot.

However, there are cases unknown to DIN standards, like the strange piece shown in the figure. What would you call it? Battery contact? Plus and minus plate? Drilled trapezoid? 

Professor Opitz, the inventor of Opitz coding, would have no doubts: the piece is identified by the code 63110.

Herwart Siegfried Opitz, born in the early 1900s, former rector and professor emeritus at the University of Aachen in Germany, had the merit of defining the first method to systematically classify every mechanical piece according to the operations it had undergone.

Opitz understood that a coding system combining parts and operations would allow grouping similar pieces (the foundation of Group Technology) and consequently understanding how to organize the workshop, positioning the machine tools to optimize transfer times between operations.

Opitz coding assigns a non-unique five-digit code (ten in the complete version) to each piece. Created sixty years ago, it is still in use, although accompanied by more modern systems such as DCLASS or MultiClass. 

Dimac + R2M Solution and the Opitz connection 

Since 2022, Dimac e R2M Solution have been working in partnership on the Biquad project, exploring new techniques to classify and retrieve thousands of images of mechanical components required to train the new artificial intelligence systems integrated into Dimac’s optical inspection systems.

Many images refer to special non-standard parts for which R2M has applied Group Technology concepts, resulting in a simplified Opitz coding, enabling even the least experienced operator to classify the piece through a guided image-based procedure. 

Biquad is a great example of a project developed in cooperation between industry and applied research. It has received financial support from the EU Mind4Machines, project, as well as unconscious but essential help from Professor Opitz.

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