The top 5 problems vision inspection can solve
Because it’s objective, automated and highly repeatable, vision inspection can solve many issues. Here are the top five problems vision inspection can solve. Automated vision inspection has application across a host of industries, doing a host of different checks. Here we’ll look at: flaw detection, positioning, identification, verification and measurement.
1. Flaw detection
This is probably the most basic machine vision task. Detecting flaws is vital to quality control (QC) because it enables manufacturers of industrial items, pharmaceutical & medical objects, wine and beyond to find blemishes, scratches, cracks, discoloration, pitting and so on, through empty container inspection, packaging QA and other types of flaw detection.
Not only is it much faster and more accurate than the human eye, but machine vision inspection can detect defects that are invisible to humans — plus it can operate 24/7.
Product or container flaws tend to be random, so vision flaw-detection algorithms look for changes in colour, texture or pattern, or for set structures. The high-sensitivity, high-resolution image sensors and cameras that iQVision uses capture high quality images, so powerful processing software down the imaging chain lets the QC system take the action for which it was set up.
2. Pick & place and robotic guidance
Machine vision systems have great application for robotic guidance in enabling pick & place processes so that robots can quickly and accurately distinguish the shape, orientation and position of parts. This is commonly used in identification, sorting and packing operations. It works by the vision system detecting a part using shape-based object identification, then sending that part’s position and angle to the robot. The robot, which picks the part, then places it in the correct orientation. This pick & place process can also include quality assessment, so any parts not meeting the quality criteria are excluded.
Pick & place is very useful for highly automated lines where quality and process control are combined.
3. Identification & validation
Vision inspection can be used to verify that a code is present, and that it’s properly positioned and formed correctly. This could be a 1D or 2D code, such as barcode, date or batch code. The system automatically identifies and rejects items with missing, incorrect or unreadable codes, so only properly coded items leave the factory door. Via system integration, codes can also be validated to check they are correct for that product. Identification via machine vision can also be used in production-part traceability (including cradle to grave traceability), work-in-process inventory management (such as verifying moving parts through a fabrication process), verifying product lots and grading print codes.
Another common use for machine vision systems is to verify parts, assemblies and packaged goods. Often, verification is combined with other tasks, such as measuring part dimensions or reading product barcodes, to give a full product inspection, inline. Examples of verification uses are for: blister packs, moulded parts, solder joints, bottle cap and safety seals, print, PCB assembly, cable wiring, and for features such as threads, holes, notches and so on. Matching packaging components is another use for vision inspection, where all packaging components (lids, containers, bases, shrink labels, outer packaging) are verified as correct for that product.
Machine vision inspection is also very well used to accurately check dimensions and tolerances that need to be highly precise. Examples include when strict tolerances on medical instruments are needed, for electrical connector dimensions, bead inspections on automotive components, fill-level measurement, and even inspecting items such as horseshoes.
With the right cameras and lighting, machine vision inspection provides precise, repeatable QC to ensure your manufacturing accuracy.
iQVision has years of experience customising applications from the simple to the complex. For more information or guidance on choosing the right vision solutions and technology for your application, please contact us via email or call 1300 IQVISION (1300 478 474).
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