Machine vision is the application of a computer program in an industrial or manufacturing environment, which substitutes the human visual sense and judgment capabilities with a
video camera and a processor to "understand" a scene or features in an image.
In a typical machine vision application, a video camera positioned on the production line captures an image of the part to be inspected and sends it to the machine vision computer.
The computer then uses sophisticated image analysis software to extract information from images and generate decisions about those images. Possible tasks could include:
- Gauging – Measurement of a bottle's finished dimension to design tolerances.
- Identification – Read 1D, DataMatrix (2D), PDF 417, and other codes, or read and/or verify characters (OCR / OCV) on a Postal Tote or automotive
- Guidance – Locate bags of tomato paste on a moving conveyor and transmit trajectory data to a robot to pick up and place the bag in a box.
- Inspection – Verify whether the proper color of a cap is present or confirm the proper label is applied to pharmaceutical package.
Once the vision system has processed the image and made any necessary analysis, the inspection result is then communicated to other equipment on the factory floor, such as an
industrial controller, a robotic arm, a deflector which removes the part from the line, or a positioning table that moves the part. This process is repeated for each part on the
line, or continuously for processing material, as it moves into position in front of the camera. Vision systems can perform inspections quickly enough to keep pace with machines
that process thousands of items or material feet per minute, thus increasing both quality and productivity.
Video: Vision in 30 seconds...