Thursday, 4 January 2018

FUNDAMENTAL OF IMAGE PROCESSING SYSTEMS

WHAT DO IMAGE PROCESSING SYSTEMS HAVE TO DO WITH KEEPING FOODSTUFFS IN GOOD SHAPE?

Everyone prefers foodstuffs that are fresh and outwardly attractive. Image processing systems are frequently used during the quality assurance process for these products to ensure that this is the case. The image data helps producers make informed decisions that would be otherwise be impossible.
But how are systems of this kind designed? What steps are necessary, what must be taken into account, and what options are available?
Selection of the camera, selection of the lens and lighting source, evaluation of image quality, selection of PC hardware and software and the configuration of all components – all of those are important steps toward an effective image processing system.
Imagine an apple grower asks you to design a machine vision system for inspecting the apples. He’s interested in delivering uniform quality, meaning the ability to sort out bad apples while still working fast. He is faced with the following questions:
  •  What are the precise defined requirements for the system?
  •  Which resolution and sensors do I need?
  •  Do I want to use a color or monochrome camera?
  •  What camera functions do I need, and what level of image quality is sufficient?
  •  The eye of the camera: Scale and lens performance
  •  Which lighting should I use?
  •  What PC hardware is required?
  •  What software is required?
Machine Vision System in Singapore
Credits : baslerweb.com

UNDERSTANDING WHAT´S REQUIRED: REQUIREMENTS DEFINITION

WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD THE SYSTEM DELIVER AND UNDER WHICH CONDITIONS?

This question sounds so obvious that it's frequently overlooked and not answered in the proper detail. But the fact remains: If you are clear up front about precisely what you want, you'll save time and money later.

SHOULD YOUR SYSTEM

  •  Only show images of the object being inspected, with tools like magnification or special lighting used to reveal product characteristics that cannot be detected with the human eye?
  •  Calculate objective product features such as size and dimensional stability?
  •  Check correct positioning — such as on a pick-and-place system?
  •  Determine properties that are then used to assign the product into a specific product class?

RESOLUTION AND SENSOR

Which camera is used for any given application? The requirements definition is used to derive target specifications for the resolution and sensor size on the camera.
But first: What exactly is resolution? In classic photography, resolution refers to the minimum distance between two real points or lines in an image such that they can be perceived as distinct.
In the realm of digital cameras, terms like "2 megapixel resolution“ are often used. This refers to something entirely different, namely the total count of pixels on the sensor, but not strictly speaking its resolution. The proper resolution can only be determined once the overall package of camera, lens and geometry, i.e. the distances required by the setup, is in place. Not that the pixel count number is irrelevant — a high number of pixels is truly needed to achieve high resolutions. In essence, the pixel count indicates the maximal resolution under optimal conditions.
Fine resolution or large inspection area — either of these requirements necessitates the greatest possible number of pixels for the camera. Multiple cameras may actually be required to inspect a large area at a high level of resolution. In fact, the use of multiple cameras with standard lenses is often cheaper than using one single camera with a pricy special lens capable of covering the entire area.
The sensor size and field of view dictate the depiction scale, which will later be crucial for the selection of the lens.

COLOR OR MONOCHROME?

Generally speaking, most applications do not really need a color camera. Color images are often just easier on the eyes for many observers. Realistic reproduction of color using a color camera necessitates the use of white lighting as well. If the characteristics can be detected via their color (such as red blemishes on an apple), then color is often — but not always — needed. Yet these characteristics can also in many cases be picked up in black and white images from a monochrome camera if colored lighting is used. Experiments on perfect samples can help here. If color isn’t relevant, than monochrome cameras are preferable, since color cameras are inherently less sensitive than black and white cameras.
Are you working with a highly complex inspection task? If so, you may want to consider using multiple cameras, especially if a range of different characteristics need to be recorded, each requiring a different lighting or optics configuration.

WHAT A CAMERA SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE: CAMERA FUNCTIONS AND IMAGE QUALITY

There’s more to a good camera than just the number of pixels. You should also take image quality and camera functions into account.
When evaluating the image quality of a digital camera, the resolution is one important factor alongside:
  •  Light sensitivity
  •  Dynamic range
  •  Signal-to-noise ratio
In terms of camera functions, one of the most important is the speed, typically stated in frames per second (fps). It defines the maximum number of frames that can be recorded per second.

THE EYE OF THE CAMERA: SCALE AND LENS PERFORMANCE

Good optical systems are expensive. In many cases, a standard lens is powerful enough to handle the task. To decide what’s needed, we need information about parameters such as
  •  Lens interface
  •  Pixel size
  •  Sensor size
  •  Image scale, meaning the ratio between image and object size. This corresponds to the ratio of the size of the individual pixels divided by the pixel resolution (The pixel resolution is the length of the edges of a square within the object being inspected that should fill up precisely one pixel of the camera sensor.
  •  Focal length of the lens that determines the image scale and the distance between camera and object
  •  Lighting intensity
Once this information is available, it becomes much easier to examine the spec sheets from lens makers to review whether an affordable standard lens is sufficient or whether a foray into the higher-end lenses is needed.
Lens properties like distortion, resolution (described using the MTF curve), chromatic aberration and the spectral range for which a lens has been optimized, serve as additional selection criteria.
There are for example special lenses for near infrared, extreme wide angle lenses ('fisheye‘) and telecentric lenses that are specially suited for length measurements. These lenses typically come at a high price, though.
Here too the rule is: Tests and sample shots are the best way to clear up open questions.

LIGHTING

It’s hard to see anything in poor light: It may seem obvious, but it holds true for image processing systems as well.
High inspection speeds typically require sensitive camera and powerful lenses. In many cases however the easier option is to modify or improve the lighting situation to boost the image brightness. There are a variety of options for attaining greater image brightness: Increasing the ambient light and sculpting the light using lenses or flashes to create a suitable light source are two examples. But it’s not just the lighting strength that’s important. The path that the light moves through the lens to the camera matters too.
One common example from photography is the use of a flash: if the ambient lighting is too diffuse, then a flash is used to aim the light in a targeted manner — although then you need to deal with unwanted reflections off smooth surfaces in the image area that can overwhelm the desired details. During image processing, these kinds of effects may actually be desired to deliver high light intensities on straight, low-reflecting surfaces. For objects with many surfaces reflecting in various direction, diffuse light is better.
We look at photos by reflecting light on them, while a stained glass window only reveals its beauty when the light shines through it.

PC HARDWARE

Which hardware is required depends on the task and the necessary processing speed.
While simple tasks can be handled using standard PCs and image processing packages, complex and rapid image processing tasks may require specialized hardware.

SOFTWARE

Software is required to assess the images. Most cameras come together with software to display images and configure the camera. That’s enough to get the camera up and running. Special applications and image processing tasks require special software, either purchased or custom developed.


TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MACHINE VISION SYSTEM IN SINGAPORE, CONTACT MVASIA INFOMATRIX PTE LTD AT+65 6329-6431 OR EMAIL US AT INFO@MVASIAONLINE.COM

Thursday, 7 December 2017

USB 3.0 CAMERAS

mvasia-logo
USB 3.0 is the newest interface on the image processing market. Read here about when USB 3.0 is the ideal choice for your applications, factors to remember during installation and which camera models Basler is offering you.

USB 3.0 VISION CAMERAS

USB3 Vision cameras are an excellent tool for a variety of applications. Especially their bandwidth that effectively closes the speed gap between Camera Link and GigE interfaces, their simple plug and play functionality and their Vision Standard compliance make them suitable for industrial applications.
In addition, the USB 3.0 is perfectly tailored for the latest generation of CMOS sensors, with the architecture and bandwidth to take advantage of all that new technology has to offer.
Thanks to a decision by the USB Implementers Forum, the USB 3.0 interface may also henceforth be referred to as USB 3.1 Gen 1. Even with the new name, there are no technical differences from USB 3.0, and so the terms can be used synonymously. For simplicity’s sake and to avoid confusion, we will continue to refer to it as USB 3.0.
It’s important to distinguish it from USB 3.1 Gen 2 (a.k.a. USB Superspeed+), as this new generation of the interface offers a higher bandwidth than its predecessor.
USB 3.0 Cameras Dealer in Singapore
Credits : baslerweb.com
Selected advantages of the USB 3.0 interface:
Fast: High data throughput rates of up to 350 MB/s
  •  Outstanding real-time compatibility
  •  High stability
  •  Simple integration into all image processing applications (libraries)
  •  Reliable industrial USB3 Vision Standard
  •  Low CPU load
  •  Low latency and jitter
  •  Screw-down plug connectors
  •  Integrated memory and buffers for top stability in industrial applications.
  •  Plug and play functionality

BASLER USB 3.0 CAMERAS

The following camera series are available with the USB 3.0 interface:
Basler Ace
  •  Broad sensor portfolio: CCD, CMOS and NIR variants
  •  Extensive firmware features
  •  VGA to 14 MP resolution, up to 750 fps
Basler Dart
  •  Outstanding price/performance ratio
  •  Board level, small and flexible
  •  1.2 MP to 5 MP and up to 60 fps
Basler Pulse
  •  Compact and lightweight, with elegant design
  •  Global shutter and rolling shutter options
  •  1.2 MP to 5 MP and up to 60 fps

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BASLER USB 3.0 CAMERAS DEALER IN SINGAPORE, CONTACT MVASIA INFOMATRIX PTE LTD AT +65 6329-6431 OR EMAIL US AT INFO@MVASIAONLINE.COM


Source – BASLERWEB.COM

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

THE BASICS OF MACHINE VISION: IMAGINE YOUR NEW AUTOMATION PROCESS IN THE MODERN AGE

 http://mvasiaonline.com 

What is MACHINE VISION? Who is using machine vision? How can I get started using machine vision? These are all great questions when it comes to the exciting world of machine vision, its capabilities, and its impact on daily and yearly production outputs. In this blog, we’ll answer these questions and more, as we introduce you to the future.

WHAT IS MACHINE VISION?

Machine vision is the automatic extraction of information from digital images. A typical machine vision environment would be a manufacturing production line where hundreds of products are flowing down the line in front of a smart camera. Manufacturers use machine vision systems instead of human inspectors because it’s faster, more consistent, and doesn’t get tired. The camera captures the digital image and analyzes it against a pre-defined set of criteria. If the criteria are met, the object can proceed. If not, the object will be re-routed off the production line for further inspection.
Machine vision can be difficult to understand, so here is a very basic example: Say you are a beverage manufacturer. Traditionally, you would have human inspectors watching thousands of bottles move down a production line. The workers would need to ensure every bottle cap was secured correctly, every label was on straight and contained the correct information, and every bottle was filled to the appropriate level. With machine vision, this entire repetitive process can be automated to be faster, more efficient, and more productive.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A MACHINE VISION SYSTEM?

Machine vision is used heavily in conjunction with robots to increase their effectiveness and overall value for the business. These types of robots resemble a human arm with a camera mounted at the “hand” position. The camera acts as the robot’s “eyes”, guiding it to complete the assigned task. (Visit our previous blog about integrating machine vision cameras with robots for more information.)
A machine vision system has five key components that can be configured either as separate components or integrated into a single smart camera. The correct configuration depends on the application and its complexity. The five key components are:
Lighting – This critical aspect of a machine vision system illuminates the part to be inspected, allowing its features to stand out so that the vision system can see them as clearly as possible.
Lens – Captures the image and presents it to the sensor in the form of light.
Sensor – Converts light into a digital image for the processor to analyze.
Vision Processing – Consists of algorithms that review the image and extract required information.
Communication – The resulting data is communicated out to the world in a useful manner.
Our MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera is a fully-integrated machine vision system. This means that the lighting, lens, sensor, and vision processing is done on the camera. That information can then be sent to a PC or tablet via Ethernet or USB. MicroHAWK is available with an array of hardware options to take on any inspection task in a wide variety of applications.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE MACHINE VISION

The machine vision market is growing rapidly. According to Statistics MRC, “the global machine vision market was estimated at $8.81 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $14.72 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2015 to 2022”. Many retail giants use a vision system to track products in their warehouse from arrival to dispatch, aiding workers by eliminating the possibility of human error and automating repetitive tasks. “Items retrieved from storage shelves are automatically identified and sorted into batches destined for a single customer. The system knows the dimensions of each product and will automatically allocate the right box, and even the right amount of packing tape.” (MIT Technology Review). A worker will then pack the box and send it on its way.
Machine vision is better-suited to repetitive inspection tasks in industrial processes than human inspectors. Machine vision systems are faster, more consistent, and work for a longer period of time than human inspectors, reducing defects, increasing yield, tracking parts and products, and facilitating compliance with government regulations to help companies save money and increase profitability.
Microscan holds one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios for machine vision technology, including hardware designs and software solutions to accommodate all user levels and application variables. Automatix, now part of Microscan, was the first company to market industrial robots with built-in machine vision. Our fully-integrated MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera, coupled with powerful Visionscape software, is one incredible platform created to solve your machine vision needs.

FOUR MAIN BENEFITS OF MACHINE VISION

Reduce Defects
  •  Ensure fewer bad parts enter the market which cause costly recalls and tarnish a company’s reputation.

  •  Prevent mislabeled products whose label doesn’t match the content. These defects create unhappy customers, have a negative impact on your brand reputation, and pose a serious safety risk – especially with pharmaceutical products and food items for customers with allergies.
Increase Yield
  •  Turn additional available material into saleable product.
  •  Avoid scrapping expensive materials and rebuilding parts.
  •  Reduce downtime by detecting product routing errors that can cause system disruptions.
Tracking Parts and Products
  •  Uniquely identify products so they can be tracked and traced throughout the manufacturing process.

  • Identify all pieces in the process, reducing stock and ensuring product will be more readily available for just-in-time (JIT) processes.
  • Avoid component shortages, reduce inventory, and shorten delivery time.
Comply with Regulations
  •  To compete in some markets, manufacturers must comply with various regulations.
  •  In pharmaceuticals, a highly regulated industry, machine vision is used to ensure product integrity and safety by complying with government regulations such as 21CFR Part 11 and GS1 data standards.

FOUR COMMON MACHINE VISION APPLICATIONS

Measurement
Microscan holds one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios for machine vision technology, including hardware designs and software solutions to accommodate all user levels and application variables. Automatix, now part of Microscan, was the first company to market industrial robots with built-in machine vision. Our fully-integrated MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera, coupled with powerful Visionscape software, is one incredible platform created to solve your machine vision needs.
Counting
Another common machine vision application is counting – looking for a specific number of parts or features on a part to verify that it was manufactured correctly. In the electronics manufacturing industry, for example, machine vision is used to count various features of printed circuit boards (PCBs) to ensure that no component or step was missed in production.
Location
Machine vision can be used to locate the position and orientation of a part and to verify proper assembly within specific tolerances. Location can identify a part for inspection with other machine vision tools, and it can also be trained to search for a unique pattern to identify a specific part. In the life sciences and medical industries, machine vision can locate test tube caps for further evaluation, such as cap presence, cap color, and measurement to ensure correct cap position.
Decoding
Machine vision can be used to decode linear, stacked, and 2D symbologies. It can also be used for optical character recognition (OCR), which is simultaneously human- and machine-readable. In factory automation, machine vision is used to sort products on a production line by decoding the symbol on the product. The symbols themselves can also be verified by machine vision-based verification systems to ensure that they comply with the requirements of various symbology standards organizations.
Machine vision is a powerful tool that saves money and increases efficiency in virtually any industrial process. The MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera can be scaled from basic decoding to advanced inspection and integration with robotic applications.
Microscan will soon be announcing a new machine vision system that will make you re-evaluate your definition of fast.


TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MACHINE VISION IN SINGAPORE, CONTACT MVASIA INFOMATRIX PTE LTD AT +65 6329-6431 OR EMAIL US AT INFO@MVASIAONLINE.COM




Saturday, 11 November 2017

THE BASICS OF MACHINE VISION: IMAGINE YOUR NEW AUTOMATION PROCESS IN THE MODERN AGE

What is MACHINE VISION? Who is using machine vision? How can I get started using machine vision? These are all great questions when it comes to the exciting world of machine vision, its capabilities, and its impact on daily and yearly production outputs. In this blog, we’ll answer these questions and more, as we introduce you to the future.

WHAT IS MACHINE VISION?

Machine vision is the automatic extraction of information from digital images. A typical machine vision environment would be a manufacturing production line where hundreds of products are flowing down the line in front of a smart camera. Manufacturers use machine vision systems instead of human inspectors because it’s faster, more consistent, and doesn’t get tired. The camera captures the digital image and analyzes it against a pre-defined set of criteria. If the criteria are met, the object can proceed. If not, the object will be re-routed off the production line for further inspection.
Machine vision can be difficult to understand, so here is a very basic example: Say you are a beverage manufacturer. Traditionally, you would have human inspectors watching thousands of bottles move down a production line. The workers would need to ensure every bottle cap was secured correctly, every label was on straight and contained the correct information, and every bottle was filled to the appropriate level. With machine vision, this entire repetitive process can be automated to be faster, more efficient, and more productive.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A MACHINE VISION SYSTEM?

Machine vision is used heavily in conjunction with robots to increase their effectiveness and overall value for the business. These types of robots resemble a human arm with a camera mounted at the “hand” position. The camera acts as the robot’s “eyes”, guiding it to complete the assigned task. (Visit our previous blog about integrating machine vision cameras with robots for more information.)
A machine vision system has five key components that can be configured either as separate components or integrated into a single smart camera. The correct configuration depends on the application and its complexity. The five key components are:
Lighting – This critical aspect of a machine vision system illuminates the part to be inspected, allowing its features to stand out so that the vision system can see them as clearly as possible.
Lens – Captures the image and presents it to the sensor in the form of light.
Sensor – Converts light into a digital image for the processor to analyze.
Vision Processing – Consists of algorithms that review the image and extract required information.
Communication – The resulting data is communicated out to the world in a useful manner.
Our MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera is a fully-integrated machine vision system. This means that the lighting, lens, sensor, and vision processing is done on the camera. That information can then be sent to a PC or tablet via Ethernet or USB. MicroHAWK is available with an array of hardware options to take on any inspection task in a wide variety of applications.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE MACHINE VISION

The machine vision market is growing rapidly. According to Statistics MRC, “the global machine vision market was estimated at $8.81 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $14.72 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2015 to 2022”. Many retail giants use a vision system to track products in their warehouse from arrival to dispatch, aiding workers by eliminating the possibility of human error and automating repetitive tasks. “Items retrieved from storage shelves are automatically identified and sorted into batches destined for a single customer. The system knows the dimensions of each product and will automatically allocate the right box, and even the right amount of packing tape.” (MIT Technology Review). A worker will then pack the box and send it on its way.
Machine vision is better-suited to repetitive inspection tasks in industrial processes than human inspectors. Machine vision systems are faster, more consistent, and work for a longer period of time than human inspectors, reducing defects, increasing yield, tracking parts and products, and facilitating compliance with government regulations to help companies save money and increase profitability.
Microscan holds one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios for machine vision technology, including hardware designs and software solutions to accommodate all user levels and application variables. Automatix, now part of Microscan, was the first company to market industrial robots with built-in machine vision. Our fully-integrated MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera, coupled with powerful Visionscape software, is one incredible platform created to solve your machine vision needs.
FOUR MAIN BENEFITS OF MACHINE VISION

Reduce Defects
  •  Ensure fewer bad parts enter the market which cause costly recalls and tarnish a company’s reputation.

  •  Prevent mislabeled products whose label doesn’t match the content. These defects create unhappy customers, have a negative impact on your brand reputation, and pose a serious safety risk – especially with pharmaceutical products and food items for customers with allergies.
Increase Yield
  •  Turn additional available material into saleable product.
  •  Avoid scrapping expensive materials and rebuilding parts.
  •  Reduce downtime by detecting product routing errors that can cause system disruptions.
Tracking Parts and Products
  •  Uniquely identify products so they can be tracked and traced throughout the manufacturing process.

  • Identify all pieces in the process, reducing stock and ensuring product will be more readily available for just-in-time (JIT) processes.
  • Avoid component shortages, reduce inventory, and shorten delivery time.
Comply with Regulations
  •  To compete in some markets, manufacturers must comply with various regulations.
  •  In pharmaceuticals, a highly regulated industry, machine vision is used to ensure product integrity and safety by complying with government regulations such as 21CFR Part 11 and GS1 data standards.

FOUR COMMON MACHINE VISION APPLICATIONS


Measurement
Microscan holds one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios for machine vision technology, including hardware designs and software solutions to accommodate all user levels and application variables. Automatix, now part of Microscan, was the first company to market industrial robots with built-in machine vision. Our fully-integrated MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera, coupled with powerful Visionscape software, is one incredible platform created to solve your machine vision needs.
Counting
Another common machine vision application is counting – looking for a specific number of parts or features on a part to verify that it was manufactured correctly. In the electronics manufacturing industry, for example, machine vision is used to count various features of printed circuit boards (PCBs) to ensure that no component or step was missed in production.
Location
Machine vision can be used to locate the position and orientation of a part and to verify proper assembly within specific tolerances. Location can identify a part for inspection with other machine vision tools, and it can also be trained to search for a unique pattern to identify a specific part. In the life sciences and medical industries, machine vision can locate test tube caps for further evaluation, such as cap presence, cap color, and measurement to ensure correct cap position.
Decoding
Machine vision can be used to decode linear, stacked, and 2D symbologies. It can also be used for optical character recognition (OCR), which is simultaneously human- and machine-readable. In factory automation, machine vision is used to sort products on a production line by decoding the symbol on the product. The symbols themselves can also be verified by machine vision-based verification systems to ensure that they comply with the requirements of various symbology standards organizations.
Machine vision is a powerful tool that saves money and increases efficiency in virtually any industrial process. The MicroHAWK MV Smart Camera can be scaled from basic decoding to advanced inspection and integration with robotic applications.
Microscan will soon be announcing a new machine vision system that will make you re-evaluate your definition of fast.


TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MACHINE VISION IN SINGAPORE, CONTACT MVASIA INFOMATRIX PTE LTD AT +65 6329-6431 OR EMAIL US AT INFO@MVASIAONLINE.COM