With the increased pressure of production, companies have to adopt new technologies to make the production process smoother.

FREMONT, CA: Machine vision automates object scanning with image-processing technology within a set field of view. Factories adopt machine vision to develop industrial processes further, enable intelligence locomotion within robotics, and identify areas of improvement. Plant operators can use cameras on production lines for real-time process control, product inspection and sorting, and robot guidance. With technology, robots can interpret their visual surroundings allowing them to move freely. Thanks to its several benefits, the use of machine technology has grown rapidly. Manufacturers adopt it to increase quality, productivity, and flexibility. 

A camera is very different from a human eye. To examine data and draw conclusions, machine vision systems use pattern detection software. Machine vision is ideal for inspecting the quality of raw materials and final products for flaws and defects.  For instance, if a problem is found, the product is sent to be corrected. Machine vision is also used to ensure operations are traceable using identification tags.  After reading the tags, the information is used to direct the product to a particular stage in the supply chain. The need for human interpretation is eliminated as smart cameras and sensors can digitize and transfer information.  The machine can further decide if the data has to be sent to a central control system.

Without machine vision, a smart factory—based on a communication network and intelligent exchange of information—is incomplete. Image processing systems can compute information previously obtained by manufacturing as they are the eyes of the factory. This approach reduces human error and allows robots to react flexibly. Image processing is the critical technology for the interconnected production process as it captures, gathers, and exchanges data which is transmitted to the value chain and used to trigger smart actions. Machine vision can also be used for the maintenance of production machines. With the information gathered, the plant manager can be alerted about the replacement of an element before it breaks.  Machine vision systems are increasing in speed, accuracy, and resolution and decreasing in size, which is increasing their popularity. The technology is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.