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7 February 2023

MACHINE VISION IN INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES

When it comes to automation in industrial production processes, it is absolutely impossible to leave out a digression on so-called Machine Vision systems.

In fact, they have become, over time, nothing less than essential, representing the only solution capable of optimising productivity and significantly reducing all kinds of production costs. All this while guaranteeing the highest quality.

With regard to Machine Vision, it should be mentioned that it is also applied in the quality control of every product. Scanners, digital cameras, sensors, image processors, thermo cameras: these are just some of the instruments that make use of Machine Vision. Think, for example, of the use of CNC machines and the contribution of Machine Vision to improve them to meet the demands of Industry 4.0.

The demand for so-called conformity certifications is ever-increasing, and it has therefore become necessary to look for alternatives that can meet this need without having any kind of negative economic impact.

Industria 4.0. e la visione artificiale | Vision Device

Industrial process automation and vision systems

The first and most important aspect to take into account when referring to industrial process automation and so-called vision systems concerns the fact that this type of technology operates in synergy with many other fields such as optics, but also electronics and lighting.

Any vision system used to automate industrial processes must lay its foundations on software that has the task of processing all kinds of images and transforming what is stored into data. Obviously, all this does not involve the end user in any way, who only has to start the process and receive the result.

Among other things, it is useful to point out that there are some systems that have the ability to self-configure according to specific production processes. This appears, without any doubt, as a not inconsiderable added value.

The different application solutions: dedicated systems and commercial systems

Regarding application solutions, it should be kept in mind that there are two main alternatives. The first alternative is very complex in purely technical terms and is the so-called dedicated alternative.

In the second case, on the other hand, we are dealing with a much simpler and more commercial solution that has the task of carrying out an exclusively two-dimensional analysis of a particular object.

As can be easily guessed, this second alternative is less demanding in both technical and purely economic terms.

Solutions adopted: sensors and digital cameras

In this context, it is useful to make a quick reference to the fact that it is precisely the industrial vision that has been exploited a great deal in recent years in various industries including, for example, manufacturing, but not only.

By means of a correct visual inspection, it is possible to quickly identify any kind of defect in a product and to take action to resolve any critical issues.

There are many solutions, including digital cameras, traditional cameras, image processors, optical cameras and infrared cameras.

All of these solutions are part of other, much more complex systems and have the task of providing all the information through which to perform a particular task. Among other things, it is also useful to point out that one also has the option of opting for so-called intelligent systems to be used in synergy with state-of-the-art computers.

Robotica e visione artificiale | Vision Device

Experience and objectives: the lighting system and optics

As was made clear earlier, Machine Vision makes it possible to carry out a very precise inspection method. In essence, a vision system, when and if configured correctly, can minimise or even eliminate any kind of defect.

In this regard, more information can be found on our page on the product defect judgement and defect characterisation system fully developed and supported by Vision Device.

With regard to this issue, a brief but interesting point needs to be made with reference to overall costs. Those who decide to invest in these systems have the possibility of making a return in a short time. Everything is mainly related to the chosen illumination systems and those required for image acquisition and processing.

Some cameras, for example, rely on so-called structured light systems to achieve their objectives quickly. 

Application areas

Vision systems have a crucial importance in all kinds of industrial production. Just think, for example, of the manufacturing sector and, more generally, of all those areas where it is essential to minimise the risk of errors of various kinds. Thanks to the vision systems in question, you not only have the opportunity to save money, but also to make production faster and, above all, offer your customers high quality standards with an almost non-existent margin for error. When it comes to vision systems used in industrial processes, there are many new developments, and it is a safe bet that there will be no lack of further innovations in the coming period. By guaranteeing the highest quality with the least effort, it is clear that vision systems are a sector in which it is essential to continue investing, especially if we take into account that certifications represent a not inconsiderable asset in any market.

Every industry, therefore, will no longer be able to do without vision systems as they will enable them to bring defect-free products to market.

A final thought must be given to the cost of such equipment. While it is true that opting for solutions of this type entails incurring expenses, it is equally true that already in the short term one has the possibility of recouping this financial commitment, reducing the risk of error to a minimum if not to zero.

Thus, through visual systems, there is the possibility of creating added value from which the end user benefits, and indirectly also the manufacturing industry, which will benefit both in purely economic terms and in terms of the quality aspect of the products placed on the market.

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