Vision System Guide
Vision Systems or Machine vision (MV) as its better known is the technology and methods used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis for such applications as automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance in industry. The scope of MV is broad and applications include quality assurance, sorting, material handling, robot guidance, and optical gauging.
The first step in the Vision sequence of operation is the acquisition of an image, typically using cameras, lenses, and lighting that has been designed to provide the differentiation required by subsequent processing. MV software packages then employ various digital image processing techniques to extract the required information, and often make decisions (such as pass/fail) based on the extracted information.
A common output from machine vision systems is pass/fail decisions. These decisions may in turn trigger mechanisms that reject failed items or sound an alarm. Other common outputs include object position and orientation information from robot guidance systems. Additionally, output types include numerical measurement data, data read from codes and characters, displays of the process or results, stored images, alarms from automated space monitoring Vision systems, and process control signals.
Why use a Vision System?
Vision System Inspection ensures that products meet a manufacturer’s quality standards. They are unmatched in their ability to inspect, identify and guide parts. Most systems are self-contained, and come with advanced vision tools and high-speed image acquisition and processing. Best of all, with the latest systems, configuring and deploying a vision system has never been easier.
Vision Systems not only effectively replace the need for human inspection, they reduce rework and wastage, making the manufacturing or packaging process leaner and more reliable, hence optimises profits for manufacturers.
Some Industries that Vision Systems Operate in today:
Packaging & Food
Manufacturing and Assembly
Some examples of Vision Systems in use:
Is the Print present on the item?
In the food industry, manufacturers have to print information (e.g. expiration date, production date, lot number) on each product. This operation must be carried out in order to guarantee the traceability and the quality of items.
Vision Systems are able to easily detect the presence/absence of these printed fields.
Are Labels present on all Items?
Labelling is typically one of the last steps of the packaging or manufacturing process. Labels have adhered to product packages in order to communicate important information to customers as well as to make products look attractive.
Vision Systems are able to detect the presence and the position of a label on a package or part. Software Tools like Pattern Match and Position can be used in order to find out whether the label has been applied correctly.
Are Items all Packed correctly?
Packages protect items from the external environment in order to keep food fresh and tasty or with pharmacy products kept sealed and secure. Trays, tubs, tubes and other packaging and wrapping materials are often used not only for this purpose but also to keep grouped items in a specific position.
Vision Systems can inspect and detect the presence of these items (or just part of them) out of a specific contour and can also be used to detect contaminates or item bad positioning.
Has the Process occurred correctly?
Uncommon package shapes often result in difficult and complex wrapping processes which can easily be affected by failures and errors.
Thanks to the wide range of controls and configuration flexibility, Vision Systems are the perfect device for package inspection and quality control.
Have the Bottles been filled correctly?
The filling step represents the heart of any bottling process. It is a critical phase and it must be properly monitored in order to guarantee high-quality production.
Vision Systems can incorporate a backlight illuminator and create a simple but effective solution for both liquid or solid fill level measurement. Whether you need to check the presence of a seal, or the presence of a bottle cap, this repetitive check is done automatically with a high level of accuracy.
There are much more examples of Vision Solutions available – but the message is the same; quick, cost-effective and accurate identification of issues. In the past these systems were out of the price range of most small business’s – however with vast improvements in technology, these are now available for only a few thousand dollars for a complete system.
Contact us to discuss how we can solve your product or quality control issues and start to improve your margins!