Applying Computer Vision in the industry can be the guarantee of more assertive and optimized results. It is one of the areas of Artificial Intelligence currently in the spotlight.
Computer Vision is a field of study that seeks to reproduce the human ability to see and understand what is being seen.
These solutions need equipment for capturing the images — cameras —, powerful processors and artificial intelligence algorithms trained to understand these images and videos. They are able to detect objects, people, facial expressions and actions.
How does it work?
With Computer Vision equipment, we are able to identify which people and objects are present in a given scene, who these people are and what they are doing. From this information, the system itself is able to make decisions autonomously, accurately and very safely.
Currently, Computer Vision has been used as a basis for innovations in many fields, from games to autonomous cars. In the industrial scenario, there are many applications of these techniques that can bring large gains related to automation of production lines, repeatability, speed, precision and safety in many processes.
Are you interested in How Computer Vision can bring gains to industry and why now is the right time to invest in this solution? Keep reading to learn more!
Types of applications in industry
It is difficult to beat the accuracy, speed and repeatability of this type of system when applied in quantitative functions.
The market in general is attentive to this technology.
A research by Insight shows that 95% of respondents believe that Computer Vision systems have the potential to increase revenues and/or reduce costs and time in processes and 81% of them are in the process of investigating or implementing the technology.
In the industrial segment, there is also great recognition of the importance of technology for manufacturing operations. No wonder the Machine Vision market — application of vision systems for manufacturing environments — is expected to reach USD14. 18bi in 2028.
In industrial operations, the main uses of vision systems are:
Quality inspection and defect detection
Image analysis of parts in manufacturing lines is one of the main applications of Machine Vision systems. By analyzing images, it is possible to perform some quality measurements. The most common uses in quality control are presented below, with examples of application in manufacturing environments:
- Dimensional control of manufactured parts: there are Computer Vision systems for controlling the airgap of some automotive parts, such as the distance between the electrode and the metal in automotive spark plugs;
- Feature count: there are characteristics defined by international norms and standards, such as the number of holes in a metal pipe flange. Vision systems can identify the number of holes and ascertain whether the drilling process was performed correctly;
- Position control: checking electronic components on a printed circuit board, for example. The goal is to confirm that the component has been placed in the correct location and with the correct polarization;
- Color inspection: it can be useful for paint inspection, in automotive automakers in controlled-lighting paint booths, for example, or in electronic display manufacturers that require strict color emission control;
- Identification of anomalies: by recording a pattern of what is acceptable, the system identifies all situations in which the images obtained are not similar. Some cosmetic industries carry out this type of inspection when checking packaging and labels.
Robots, AMRs and AGVs
AMRs — Autonomous Mobile Robots — and AGVs — Autonomous Guided Vehicles — are autonomous vehicles present in some manufacturing areas to assist in specific tasks. These vehicles use a set of sensors and cameras to identify the surrounding environment and calculate routes and movements in order to optimize routes and avoid collisions.
In this application, Computer Vision assists in:
- Depth of obstacles detection;
- Route lines demarcation;
- Cargo identification;
- Positioning control.
To learn more about these two types of autonomous vehicles, see our article on the differences between AGVs and AMRs.
In robots and robotic arms, in turn, Computer Vision systems allow control the position of claws and tools, optimizing different types of operations. In automotive assembly lines, for example, vision systems can be applied for welding and applying adhesives with precision.
By monitoring equipment assembly processes, Computer Vision systems can verify work sequences according to specific instructions.
In the consumer goods industry, for example, some manufacturers install smart cameras at assembly stations to verify that all steps have been performed correctly.
In cases of problems with some step or of a step not being performed, an alarm can be shown to the operator, so that they execute the missing instructions. Thus, quality issues that would only be identified in the final inspection of the product can be avoided much earlier in the production process.
Item identification, counting and tracking
Images and videos can contain very relevant inventory information from manufacturing environments.
- Images can inform the status of certain locations in the warehouse and control volume of items;
- Videos can track movements, recording input and output, as well as tracking the location of items.
This type of system is used in several industries that need to control item time in stock, which is critical in food industries, for example.
Equipment operators must follow strict procedures to ensure safe execution of tasks, especially in manufacturing environments.
In Brazil, NR-12 establishes safety criteria for industrial machinery and equipment. It is mandatory that some specific equipment be operated only by a trained and qualified professionals.
Computer vision systems can be used for facial recognition of operators and database query of training and qualifications, allowing access (or not) to a machine for operation.
Another important aspect is the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for manufacturing operations with mapped risks.
Regulatory standard 6 (NR-6) states that it is up to the employer to provide, instruct, require and supervise the use of PPE, as well as adequately train employees on its use. Computer vision systems can be programmed to monitor the use of PPE, indicating when employees are not making adequate use of them.
Why invest in Computer Vision?
Computer vision is already known in the industry. Large companies from different segments apply this technology with great success. However, the high cost of implementing Computer Vision systems has always been the main prohibitive factor for adopting this type of solution in industries of varying sizes and segments — requiring rigorous evaluations to verify the feasibility of these projects.
Technological advances have been decisive in changing this scenario.
Improvements in manufacturing processes for important components — such as image sensors or specialized processors — or adoption of new technologies, such as Cloud, reduce basic costs and bring great gains in performance.
In addition, the very growth of interest and investment in studies of technological fields such as Artificial Intelligence, which includes Computer Vision, brings more professionals and tools to the development of solutions.
All this makes now very opportune for the evaluation and adoption of a Computer Vision system in several manufacturing segments.
The future of industry
Advances in Computer Vision development in recent years have innovated many market segments. In industry, these techniques can be applied in a range of situations, bringing to the processes in the production lines greater:
- Stock optimization;
- Complex processes security.
With the reduction of costs and the greater popularization of this type of solution, the moment is extremely opportune to partner with experts in the field and understand how to apply and get the most out of Computer Vision.
Venturus Vision is responsible for Computer Vision initiatives and projects within Venturus.
Our team of experts in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision has the experience and academic background necessary to research new technologies and develop customized industrial vision systems for each specific use case.
Applications such as high-precision part inspection, color calibration on medical computer monitors, vision systems for robots and robotic arms and facial recognition for machine safety are some of the solutions already developed with Venturus Vision.
Contact us to speak with an expert.