An Insider's View into Machine Vision
Man versus machine has been an ongoing question for hundreds of years. Today it has become a necessary not-so evil. Courtesy of man’s (and woman’s) innovations, the machines are now readily available to partner up and we can happily co-exist. As it turns out, there is nothing to fear, aside from better business results. If that is a problem, this article may not be for you. Machine vision and machine learning can see and recognize patterns that cannot be processed by the human eye or brain at the same speed. As a result, they are there to protect your brand in a multitude of ways. 8 ways, to be specific:
1. A Condensed Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Recap
With the birth of the internet, information is always at the tip of everyone’s fingertips. Gone are the days that finding what you need requires effort. That means that if you have a product to sell, you have got to get it to market quickly. If your business can’t deliver, perhaps a competitor can, and they will not be difficult to find. Machine vision, whether it be defect detection, quality validation, or assembly, will get a product market-ready fast.
2. Improve Product Quality
A wise man once said, “With great speed comes great defects” or something along those lines... In the case of machine vision, nothing could be further from the truth. Ironically, accuracy is machine vision’s middle name. Systems are designed to find, track and trace the tiniest anomaly. If anything is amiss, it will not make it past the machine guarded gate.
3. Consistent Results
Machine vision systems are built for repetition. They will move exactly as required, no more…no less. They will search for exact requirements within a human-defined window. They will do what they are taught to do and produce the same product as many or as few times as required.
4. Remove Human Error & Subjectivity
People get bored and can easily lose focus. When forced to do the same task over and over, in time (and probably not a lot of time) quality will suffer. Humans are not built for exact replication, and it shows. Additionally, outside factors will affect output…it is inevitable. What may be unacceptable at the start of the day may be considered sufficient as the operator gets hungrier. Product quality, particularly in high-compliance industries, should never be subject to opinion. Especially when they are crabby.
5. Automatic Data Management
When dealing with high volumes at high speeds, the amount of data that is being created is huge. The algorithms that are working for you to produce that data will not only collect it but organize it. Data is great, but understanding and benefitting from it is much better.
6. Discover Patterns
Your machines are talking to you, you know. This is nothing to be concerned about, it is just a matter of knowing how to listen. With the smart data systems produce, the story they tell goes beyond product quality. When there are discrepancies or surprises, it may be a sign of the production facility itself. Through machine learning, smart factories’ inconsistencies and open the door to proactive action like scheduling preventative maintenance.
7. Fast Adaptation
Through automation and automated machine vision, production lines become more flexible. Having the ability to switch between different product types or flavours by selecting the right program makes manufacturing simpler. Additionally, the more generic the hardware is, the more flexible it becomes. By focusing on a common core test platform manufacturing can easily ramp up or ramp down with product demand.
8. Lower Costs
By combining the points above, costs can do nothing but drop. By making good initial decisions, all the of the reactive costs reduce or disappear. This pertains to product recalls, warranties, production downtime, production ramp-up, employee training, and human error.
Competition is fierce and high-tech companies are preparing for action. A team of well-trained machines can become a suit of armor. Isn’t it time to bulletproof up?
To find out more about machine vision, please contact Averna.
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