Machine Vision Applications In Industry
Machine vision technology aims to integrate existing technologies in novel and innovative ways and apply them to solve real-world problems. It tries to meet the requirements of manufacturers and continually improves itself to conquer newer areas of work.
This field encompasses many technologies, software and hardware, and integrated systems in industrial automation applications.
Some common uses of machine vision applications are –
- Engine part inspection
- Labeling, packaging, traceability, and barcode inspection
- Checking medical devices for defects
- Checking orientation and verification of components
- Checking laser marks and cuts
- Robotic guidance for quality control checks
Related Article– 7 APPLICATIONS OF MACHINE VISION
Did you know machine vision technology is also used in these industries?
- Space industry
Satellites can provide information on land coverage classification, crop yield prediction, crop and soil maps, water and soil pollution maps, and land development management and analysis.
It is used in harvesting, pruning, monitoring, and pollinating.
It can replace broadcast cameras, track objects and players, and perform game and player analysis.
- Pandemic management
Faster and distant body temperature measurement, disinfecting rooms with robots that use UV rays, mask detection in a crowd are also possible through machine vision.
2D vision systems and other equipment can be used to enhance surveillance systems, run autonomous vehicles for unmanned reconnaissance. It can be used for the removal of landmines and quality control in ordinance manufacturing.
Security and vehicle guidance, improving safety and road traffic efficiency, reducing accidents with lane departure warning systems, pedestrian detection, driver monitoring, and more.
- Traffic organization
It can be employed in multilane vehicle counting, speed measurement, traffic monitoring, and manipulating traffic lights.
Apart from these, there are more potential uses of machine vision applications. These are uncommon but pretty powerful. Let us, deep-dive, into some of them –
2D Camera With Laser Projection
3D machine vision systems use a projected light pattern consisting of a 2D camera aided by applying laser projection on a surface. Based on the depth or curvature of the surface the laser presents different patterns to the camera.
The most common method used in 3D vision systems is laser triangulation. A line laser is projected onto the surfaces of an object. The line is viewed by a camera from a different angle and the deflection of the line is based on the geometry of the object. Several profiles are generated during this process. A 3D image is created using these profiles. The multiple profiles ensure balancing deviations and rotation of objects across various aspects.
Applications and Uses
- Detection of defects in gas cylinders
- Application of laser projection can be used in quality checks of products.
- Bar code verification
- OCR value comparison
- Fresh produce spoilage
- Robot guidance systems
- Depalletization and anthropometry
Spectral imaging works with the wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye such as ultraviolet and infra-red spectrum. It uses infrared cameras for multispectral imaging or hyperspectral imaging. These are specialized cameras that require a more sophisticated setup like dispersive optics and a line scanner.
Hyperspectral imaging collects spectral information across a wide range of wavelengths at the same time as recording the spatial information in an image. Hyperspectral cameras can see patterns or compositions of material that are invisible to naked eyes. The greater information provided from these wavelengths, the more detailed chemical information is available to be mapped. This does require hi-tech instrumentation and more complex data processing.
Applications and Uses
- Detecting defects and contaminants
- Quality check of packaged material and packaging
- Enabling quality control and sorting of commodities
- Provides automated plant detection
- Differentiate closely related materials like types of plastics in recycling
- Sealing, coating, and sterility of products in the pharmaceutical industry
- Infrared cameras help pilots and drivers steer vehicles at night and in fog
Line Scan Cameras
A line-scan camera can give a high-resolution image of large continuous objects and circular objects. It has a single line or a single row of pixels that is better than a frame camera. The camera or the object under consideration is moved in a perpendicular fashion to get a 2D image of the object. It uses a focused light from a line of LEDs, to illuminate the object along the line of object pixels being viewed. Colour line scan cameras are also available. They have sensor pixels with different colour filters to determine wavelengths.
Applications and Uses
- Productive and efficient print inspection and perfect documentation.
- Grains and fruits inspection through optical sizing and colour sorting. Early detection of external or internal damage is possible.
- Tile quality inspection using two-line scan cameras guarantee uniformity and lead to an increase in the quality of tiles produced.
- Inspection of steel sheets, paper, textiles, metal, or glass inspection.
- Scanning PCBs, LCD panels, and wafers.
- Inspection of flat panel displays, solar cells, textiles, fibre and semiconductors. It helps in sorting or tracing posts and printed circuit boards.
- Measurement of components such as solder balls or pins.
- Medical equipment or currency inspection.
The market for vision systems is growing with the increase in automation and integration of machine learning and neural networks across industries. It can be integrated to take business efficiency and safety, and quality features to the next level.