The use of Automated Visual Inspection provides the following Benefits:
- Reduced waste
- Increased speed of production
- Optimisation of machines and processes
- Guaranteed product quality – “zero defects”
- Evidence of inspection – full traceability
- Reduced time-to-market for new products/lines
- Reduced development costs
The application of vision system in manufacturing and production environments is almost endless – see below. Since vision system inspection is non contact it is also possible to take measurements of novel parameters that would not be possible by conventional inspectors. If a feature can be seen using a camera, then the opportunity to inspect it, gauge it, verify it, or guide it, becomes a real possibility of for being controlled by an automated vision system.
- Product identification
- Shapes matching
- Dimensional checking
- Defects, including scratches, dents, blemishes, flaws, cracks and chips, missing objects or foreign bodies
- Colour checking
- Labelling identification
Using a vision system provides robots with another sense – sight. This enables robots to accurately locate the position and orientation of components to enable simple robots perform complex pick and place operations.
Vision System Applications: An Example
A Pharmaceutical company who manufactures biological materials that are contained in glass ampoules has found that during a production run of several thousand ampoules, the seal on some occasions is not satisfactory, as shown below. A visual inspection of the finished ampoules is carried out manually to check for quality of the seal.
A computer controlled vision system could be employed to achieve the following inspection method improvements:-
- Rigorous and reliable 100% inspection of all ampoules
- Automatic Rejection of ‘failed’ ampoules (if interfaced with the existing reject mechanism)
- Full traceability of % of pass and fail ampoules, together with visual evidence of pass/fail ampoules as required.
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