Role of Machine Vision in Manufacturing

Machine Vision in Manufacturing

In recent years, Machine Vision has experienced a surge in popularity, particularly within Canada’s manufacturing industry. Companies stand to benefit from this technology’s increased flexibility, reduction in product defects and overall improvement in production quality. Machine Vision involves the capability of a machine to capture images, analyze them, interpret the situation, and respond accordingly. This comprehensive system encompasses smart cameras, image processing, and software components.

Advancements in imaging techniques, smart sensors, embedded vision, machine and supervised learning, robot interfaces, information transmission protocols, and image processing capabilities have significantly enhanced the potential of vision technology in assisting the Canadian manufacturing industry. Vision systems play a crucial role in reducing human error and conducting quality checks on all products moving through the production line, thus enhancing overall product quality.

According to reports from the Data Bridge Research group, the Industrial Machine Vision market in Canada is projected to reach a value of $53.38 billion by the end of 2028, with an expected growth rate of 9.90%. This growth is attributed to increased demand for inspection in manufacturing facilities aiming for higher product quality standards, thus driving the adoption of industrial Machine Vision technologies powered by AI and propelling the market forward within Canada.

Machine Vision in Manufacturing (2)

Utilizations of Machine Vision in Manufacturing

Predictive Maintenance

Manufacturing enterprises rely on a range of large machinery to produce large quantities of goods. To prevent equipment downtime, certain pieces of machinery must undergo regular monitoring. However, manually inspecting each piece of equipment in a manufacturing facility is not only time-consuming but also expensive and prone to errors. Traditionally, the approach has been to repair equipment only when it fails or shows signs of malfunction. However, relying solely on reactive maintenance can have significant repercussions on worker productivity, manufacturing quality, and costs.

What if, instead, manufacturing organizations could predict the operational state of their machinery and take proactive measures to prevent breakdowns? Consider scenarios where production processes occur at high temperatures and in harsh environments, leading to material degradation and corrosion. If left unattended, equipment deformation can result in substantial losses and halt manufacturing processes.

Our machine vision system integrators offer a solution by monitoring equipment in real-time and forecasting maintenance needs based on data from multiple wireless sensors measuring various parameters. Any deviation from established metrics, indicating corrosion or overheating, triggers alerts from the vision systems to the relevant supervisors, enabling them to implement preemptive maintenance measures.

Goods Inspection

Machine vision systems offer manufacturing firms the capability to identify faults, cracks, and imperfections in physical products. Furthermore, during the production process, these systems can efficiently verify the accuracy and consistency of component or part dimensions. Images of products are captured by machine vision systems, which then compare them to predefined data limits using trained machine vision models.

Based on this comparison, products are either accepted or rejected. Any detected errors or flaws are communicated through appropriate notifications or alerts. This demonstrates how manufacturers can utilize machine vision systems for automated product inspections and precise quality control, ultimately leading to heightened customer satisfaction.

Scanning Barcodes

Manufacturers in Canada can streamline the entire scanning process by machine vision system integrators with advanced features like Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Optical Barcode Recognition (OBR), and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR).

For instance, OCR can extract text from captured images of labels, packaging, or documents, which can then be cross-referenced and validated against databases. This enables the automatic identification of products with incorrect information before they are dispatched from the factory, thus reducing the possibility of errors. This approach is particularly useful for verifying details on pharmaceutical packaging, beverage bottle labels, and food packaging information such as allergy warnings or expiry dates.

3D Vision System

Within the manufacturing industry, a machine vision inspection system is deployed on production lines to execute tasks that are challenging for humans. In this setup, the system utilizes high-resolution images to generate comprehensive 3D models of components and connector pins.

As components traverse through the manufacturing facility, the vision system captures images from multiple perspectives, facilitating the creation of a detailed 3D model. By consolidating and analyzing these images through AI algorithms, the system can identify any instances of faulty threading or slight deviations from the intended design. This technology holds significant credibility across various manufacturing sectors, including automobiles, oil & gas, and electronic circuits, owing to its exceptional precision and reliability.

Vision-Based Die Cutting

In the manufacturing process, die-cutting technologies, namely rotary and laser die-cutting, are extensively utilized. Rotary die-cutting employs hard tooling and steel blades, whereas laser die-cutting relies on high-speed laser light. While laser die cutting offers superior accuracy, it faces challenges when cutting tough materials, unlike rotary cutting, which can handle various materials.

To achieve precision comparable to laser cutting for any design, the manufacturing industry can leverage machine vision systems for rotary die cutting. After inputting the design pattern into the vision system, it directs the die-cutting machine, whether laser or rotary, to execute precise cutting.

By harnessing the capabilities of AI and deep learning algorithms, machine vision has the potential to revolutionize efficiency and precision in the manufacturing industry. When integrated with controllers and robotics, such models can monitor every aspect of the industrial supply chain, from assembly to logistics, with minimal human intervention. This eradicates the errors associated with manual procedures and enables manufacturers to focus on higher-order cognitive tasks. Consequently, machine vision stands poised to reshape the operational paradigms of manufacturing organizations.

At ControlSoft Canada, we specialize in designing vision-based ML solutions tailored for the manufacturing industry. These solutions encompass a wide array of applications, including image classification and tagging, gauge meter reading, object tracking, identification, anomaly detection, predictive maintenance and analysis, and more. With a team of experts proficient in Optical Character Recognition, NLP, Text Analytics, Cognitive Computing, and other relevant domains, we empower manufacturing units to unlock the full potential of machine vision technology.

About ControlSoft Canada:

With over 20 years of expertise in Semiconductor, Embedded Systems, and Software Design, ControlSoft Canada offers comprehensive Product Engineering services supported by a team of over 1300 engineers.

Founded in 1999, ControlSoft Canada operates development centers across key Canadian cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa, with an additional branch office in Silicon Valley, USA. Our proficiency in embedded systems encompasses a wide spectrum of services such as platform enablement (FPGA/ ASIC/ SoC/ processors), firmware and driver development, BSP and board bring-up, OS porting, middleware integration, product re-engineering and sustenance, device and embedded testing, test automation, IoT, AIML solution design, and more.

In the semiconductor domain, ControlSoft Canada provides comprehensive offerings including silicon design, verification, validation, and turnkey ASIC services. As a recognized TSMC DCA (Design Center Alliance) Partner, we are committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of our clients.

Get a Free Consultation