Machine Vision Inspection Technology in Engineering
Do you want to know if you should invest in machine vision inspection technology for your manufacturing facility?
To answer your question, we need to define what machine vision inspection is, how it works, why you would want to use it, what your initial investment cost is, and how it pays for itself over time.
What is Machine Vision Inspection Technology?
Machine vision inspection technology improves your facility’s quality control processes by utilizing cameras with image processing software to inspect parts for flaws or potential defects.
When you invest in machine vision inspection technology for your facility, you will have fewer mistakes reaching your customers, and you can free up your engineers for more critical tasks or projects.
Now that you know what machine vision inspection technology is, let’s dive deeper into how it works.
How Does It Work?
A complete machine vision inspection system has two key components:
A camera that is equipped with a sensor to take photos for inspection.
A processing engine to analyze the photos.
After the camera takes a photo, the processing engine analyzes the information collected and communicates the results.
For example, during a product inspection, a sensor will detect that the product is present and ready for inspection. The sensor triggers a light source to shine on the product and tells the camera to take a picture.
Once the photo is taken, a frame-grabber (digitizing device) translates the picture into digital information and stored into the memory of the processing engine (computer).
After the photo is analyzed, the computer will determine if the product or part passes or fails the inspection. If it fails, it will trigger an alarm to alert an engineer that there’s a problem.
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What Are the Benefits?
I mentioned some of the benefits of investing in machine vision inspection technology at the beginning of this article. Still, those few benefits only scratched the surface of what all this technology can do.
Some more benefits of a machine vision inspection system are:
It can visually sort, measure, and count parts.
It can detect if a part is missing.
It can check to make sure parts are positioned correctly.
It can read printed characters and barcodes.
It can make decisions that trigger alarms or reject a part or finished product that doesn’t pass its inspection.
A machine vision inspection system provides numerous benefits to help you speed up production times and optimize your assembly and inspection processes. What does it take to implement this technology into your manufacturing facility?
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How Much Does It Cost?
Machine vision inspection systems cost an average of $35,000—according to Imaging Tech Solutions.
That amount includes everything you need to get your system up and running. It covers the hardware, software, and applications needed to integrate it with your assembly systems.
Although this initial investment may seem steep, you'll want to keep in mind that the money you’ll be saving in labor costs, and replacing faulty products, will offset your upfront costs.
You’ll need fewer workers to inspect parts and finished products, and you won’t need to refund customers for defective products that managed to pass human inspection.
The decision to invest in machine vision inspection technology isn’t easy. You’ll have to run the numbers and weigh the pros and cons for your specific facility.
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Before you run off to do more research, let’s recap what we learned:
How does it work? It's a camera equipped with sensors to capture a photo that it sends to a processing engine for analysis. Then it will communicate the results.
What are the benefits? You’ll be able to use the machine vision inspection system to inspect parts, which, in turn, saves you money on labor costs and frees up your engineers for more critical tasks or projects.
How much does it cost? The average system costs $35,000, according to Imaging Tech Solutions, but you’ll see a high return when you count the reduction in labor costs and refunds due to defective products that slipped through the cracks and passed inspection.
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