Autonomous machine vision system suits complex items

Autonomous machine vision system suits complex items

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Inspekto has launched a new software version of its iconic INSPEKTO S70, the only autonomous machine vision system on the market. Based on accumulated customer feedback from numerous field deployments, the INSPEKTO S70 offers smart features such as a recommendations centre that guides users in creating and maintaining inspection profiles over time, improving usability, versatility, process integration and accuracy of inspection. The machine vision system enables manufacturers to focus on agile manufacturing and process automation, while optimal quality inspection runs autonomously.

When setting up a machine vision system to inspect a new product, users must create a data file with the inspection characteristics. This is known as an inspection profile. The INSPEKTO S70 guides users step by step in the creation of new inspection profiles, with no machine vision expertise, making the process extremely intuitive. This allows manufacturers to achieve quality inspection independence and ensure that their own teams can perform quality control of their ever-changing production lines quickly and easily.

The INSPEKTO S70 now incorporates a new Profile Centre to help users easily improve and optimize profiles over time. This is a set of smart tools that guide users when adjusting a profile, in order to reach the desired performance level and ensure it is continuously adapting to mitigate changes in the production process and environment, such as tooling change, sub-component replacement or lighting variations. The Profile Centre also allows users to compare previous and new profiles for the same item to continuously improve the inspection performance. Since it is built for change and adapts to the needs of the production line, the INSPEKTO S70 machine vision system serves as a long-term QA solution that accompanies the manufacturer through different stages of the production process.

To ensure continuous inspection performance throughout the life cycle of the inspected part or product, users benefit from autonomously generated, AI-based active recommendations to adapt the profile to production changes, either process- or environment-related. This is an unprecedented capability offered by no other visual inspection system, including AI-based ones.

Users can also increase or decrease the sensitivity of the system to specific types of defects, while sensitivity to other defects, even unforeseen ones, remains unaltered. This can be done by selectively adding defected (NOK) samples to the profile parameters. The INSPEKTO S70 machine vision system requires only a few good product samples to be set up, yet the new version allows users to add to the profile, at any given time, both good (OK) and defected (NOK) samples for performance finetuning.

This reduces false alarms for NOK products, as well as wrongly OK products. The adding of samples to the profile is immediate and results in a profile that has been optimised for the specific part being produced. This optimisation does not require any additional software or expert intervention and can be done as the production line changes or evolves.

In addition, the user can define unlimited regions of interest (ROIs) within the part and adjust the size and sensitivity thresholds independently for each one. In this way, the system can be easily customised to the requirements of each use case and the nuances of each part, allowing for unprecedented accuracy.

The new software also improves the S70’s ability to inspect highly reflective objects — a common challenge in industrial QA — regardless of whether the inspected item is stationary or moving. The machine vision system now incorporates anti-reflection technology that can be applied to moving objects as well as stationary ones.

“Our customers point out that with traditional machine vision solutions, most of their time is spent maintaining existing visual inspection systems to mitigate production changes, or supply chain-related changes,” explained Bernd Schumacher, Global CEO of Inspekto. “This happens because production lines are dynamic and go through many changes, from environmental factors like light hours, to changes in the supplied raw materials or components.

“Currently, every time a company chooses a new supplier for a component, this disrupts the inspection set up and a machine vision expert must reprogram the software. The new version of our software eliminates these challenges, allowing the plant personnel to ensure the profile’s continuous performance to achieve top notch inspection, without relying on external experts.”

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