What elements have helped the spread of vision systems? How is digital vision evolving? What are Imago’s offer main features in the quality control scenario through vision systems?
Three Imago experts try to outline the vast panorama of artificial vision systems, defining advantages and future challenges.
In a few years we have seen a very strong increase in the use of vision systems by OEMs and system integrators. What elements have helped the spread of this technology and what could further expand its use?
From my point of view there are two elements that have helped the spread of vision systems in recent years. First of all, the need of companies to make production more efficient, in an increasingly globalized and competitive economic context. Vision systems fully meet this need, as they eliminate production waste, increase inspection speed and reduce costs. They also allow companies to learn more about their production, even acting on the upstream process thanks to the data analysis of these systems at the end of the line.
A further push towards a greater use of these systems is given by the increase in the trend of use of artificial intelligence algorithms, which allow to further automate both the development of control software and the use of vision systems by operators.
From a technological point of view, how is artificial vision evolving? What innovations are on the way?
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the world of vision systems is that it can potentially be applied to any aspect of industrial life. Therefore, a long path is expected that will lead the vision to be used more and more in industrial processes, and this path cannot be exhausted as long as every product can be controlled in quality and every process can be automated by exploiting the vision.
The tools in which we are investing and researching at the moment are artificial intelligence, hyperspectral vision, integrated vision and the use of liquid lenses. And this is just to name a few.
But it is essential to remember that it is not enough to have the most innovative tools, it is also necessary to identify the most correct solution for the single product to be analyzed. The most important challenge is therefore to establish what the quality criteria of a specific product are. Considering, for example, an orange, the quality is given by the size, color and flavor of the fruit. The external qualities are easily measurable, but how to determine their taste? The challenge lies in overcoming human eyes and using science to find new measurable factors and new tools that know how to measure them. We cannot therefore rely on those who improvise as vision experts, but on those who have the skills, knowledge and determination to grow and constantly improve.
More and more companies have vision systems in their catalogue: what is the key element of Imago's offer and what is the added value for the user?
In-line controls have the task of checking every single product without stopping production or increasing time, therefore they require special attention and a deep knowledge of the sector in which they are applied. With our “turnkey” solutions we support the customer from the definition of the problems to the complete realization of the machine, relying on over 20 years of direct experience in the field but also on the continuous dialogue with our customers and suppliers. This has allowed us to accumulate an important know-how that converges into algorithms and ad hoc software.
Imago realizes increasingly innovative solutions: we constantly follow the technological evolution of optics and lighting, but also of software. We focus on ensuring a robust and reliable system, easy-to-use by operators and capable of providing useful information that goes beyond the simple outcome. Therefore, we guarantee not only a solid and accurate analysis, but we also provide tools capable of interacting with the various production departments, allowing the verification of production trends and suggesting any predictive maintenance interventions.
The attention dedicated to the customer during the assistance phase represents a further strength of Imago’s offer.