Computer vision in manufacturing is one of the best technological advancements propelling the vision of Industry 4.0 for the manufacturing sector. Though there are various forms of computer vision (aka machine vision) in manufacturing for decades, the recent advancements in machine learning and computer vision increase the demand and need for this technology on the shop floor. According to Grand View Research, the global market for computer vision technology is expected to reach USD 19.1 billion by 2027. The manufacturing sector’s market growth rate is expected at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2020 to 2027.
Introduction to machine vision
According to AIA (Automated Image Association) – machine vision systems comprise all industrial and non-industrial applications where a combination of hardware and software provide operational guidance to devices in the execution of their functions based on the capture and processing of images. In other words, a machine vision system uses a camera to view an image; Computer vision algorithms then process and interpret the image before instructing other components in the system to act upon that data. Thus, the software is an integral component of the machine vision system’s operations.
Higher quality, increased productivity, production flexibility, less machine downtime, lower capital equipment costs, fewer production costs, scrap rate reduction, inventory control, and reduced floor space are a few computer vision applications driving demand for this technology. Computer vision in the manufacturing process analyzes and measures various decision-making attributes. Greater accuracy, high robustness, higher mechanical and temperature stability makes this technology one of the most advanced and reliable tools for inspecting the manufacturing process. Machine vision can also perform objective measurements and help in strategic decision-making.
Computer vision in manufacturing – use case overview
Computer vision technology is undergoing a profound transformation. Technological advancements in computer vision are optimizing processes and reducing the risk for human errors. In reality, applications for machine vision in manufacturing are almost limitless. And here, we showcase a few examples of vital computer vision and machine learning.
1. Vision-guided robots
This is one of the most common applications of computer vision in manufacturing. A computer vision system is used to position objects on the production line carefully. The system identifies an item’s precise location and then sends the signal to the robot to pick and place that object tool.
2. Anomaly detection
An anomaly detection algorithm processes the new images with the existing data sets to determine the anomalies and prevent uncertain situations in the manufacturing site and the production shop floor.
3. Barcode and OCR reading
Barcode and OCR (optical character recognition) act as identification tools to assemble the various parts of an engine or various machinery required during the manufacturing process.
4. Process control in manufacturing
When many items must be inspected on a production line, computer vision can be the vital technology that can help manufacturers automate the inspection process by scanning the objects or finished products to confirm adherence to acceptance criteria. Using computer vision in manufacturing can control functions like:
- – Identify defective products.
- – Track whether the product has desired color, length, and width.
- – Packing inspection.
- – Identify the need to halt the production cycle.
5. Labeling, tracking and tracing
When a product is mislabeled or misplaced, it’s not merely that the manufacturer loses production time and increases production cost. The more consequential potential impact is the consumer losing trust in the brand. To meet the objective for delighted customers, integrating customer vision into the current operating model can move the manufacturer to the next production operational effectiveness level.
How does computer vision help manufacturers in meeting strategic goals?
For any manufacturing organization, maintaining higher quality, increasing productivity, creating flexibility in the production process, reducing machine downtime, lowering the cost of setup, realizing reductions in scrap rate, and improving inventory control, are strategic goals. Machine vision applications like operation guidance, part or product identification, gauging, and inspection can outperform human vision and excel at speed, accuracy, and repeatability. Thus, implementing these automation techniques can help manufacturers in meeting strategic goals with:
- Implementing machine vision systems to perform repetitive tasks.
- Improving production flexibility by prior operation verification, measurement and gauging, and robot assistance.
- Programming changeovers in advance to reduce machine downtime.
- Adding vision to a machine to improve performance and avoid obsolescence.
- Identify the flaws in the production line at a faster speed and accuracy.
- Performing security and surveillance operations on the shop floor.
Machine vision or computer vision is the application of automatic extraction of information from digital images. The application of this technology ranges from image processing to quality control. Today, most manufacturers show interest in automated machine vision to enhance business outcomes because the system is objective-oriented. Moreover, a machine vision system can work 24/7 to save money and increase profitability.
Machine vision’s application continues to increase as the research and development in the field advances. Besides providing additional safety and operational benefits by reducing human involvement in a manufacturing process, computer vision raises the curtain on disruptive technology, exposing a manufacturing operation to the next level of efficiency into the realm of strategic platforms for streamlining the manufacturing process and boosting production line throughput. Through implementing computer vision in your manufacturing process, you too can create a strategic and competitive advantage.
If you would like to learn more about implementing computer vision in your business, send us your query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Intellect Data, Inc. is a software solutions company incorporating data science and artificial intelligence into modern digital products with Intellect 2 TM. IntellectDataTM develops and implements software, software components, and software as a service (SaaS) for enterprise, desktop, web, mobile, cloud, IoT, wearables, and AR/VR environments. Locate us on the web at www.intellect2.ai.