Three-dimensional machine vision is starting to emerge as manufacturers want superior accuracy

Paul Boughton

A new report from Frost & Sullivan looks at advances in machine vision technology and, in particular, highlights developments in three-dimensional systems.

Manufacturers of vision system technologies are finding it extremely challenging to keep pace with developments in the semiconductor industry, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan. Miniaturisation of components is creating the need for higher throughput vision systems that offer superior accuracy levels.

It is important to pay special attention to issues surrounding the expenditure and time on for set up time and installation. User-friendly features, robust integration capabilities, and reduction of operator training time will drive investments in machine vision systems.

Advanced automation standards also require machine vision systems that are flexible and scalable across multiple products and production lines. This has given rise to compact vision systems and smart cameras that have built-in image sensors and processors and are more user-friendly.

While smart cameras are replacing PC-based vision systems, the choice of architecture would depend upon the application to which the vision system is catering.

The increasing need to optimise production processes is one of the key drivers of development of innovative machine vision technologies. Basler Vision Technologies of Germany, a leader in the manufacture of vision-based optical media inspection equipment, has developed a laser-based measurement approach.

Referred to as the third-generation optical media, the blue ray disc requires highly accurate cover layer uniformity and has posed a significant challenge to machine vision system manufacturers in reducing cover layer thickness and the microscopic surface deformations. Basler’s scanners enhance the optical effect of deformation and can spot defects that are present either on the information or covering layer of the disc.

Once vision systems achieve greater versatility and upgradeability, the range of applications is likely to expand beyond industries and production processes.

High-end machine vision applications are progressing from two-dimensional (2D) to three-dimensional (3D) imaging with techniques such as laser triangulation and stereovision. 3D chip-based vision systems are emerging as cost-effective alternatives to weight sensors and stereovision techniques in automotive applications. 

www.frost.com

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