Why is machine vision software so important within the IIoT?
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT, aka Industry 4.0) implies integrated production processes which are enabled by the digital interconnection of systems, machines, objects, and people. Machine vision is a key technology within these processes, as it goes a long way towards optimizing the interactions between humans and machines.
Thus, the software products by MVTec also become more and more important as accelerators of automation scenarios within the IIoT. Machine vision systems use increasingly highly developed image acquisition devices, like high-resolution cameras and sensors. MVTec on the other hand provides the ideal software for the respective demanding machine vision tasks, which is also supporting the seamless communication of all devices in these highly interconnected environments. MVTec is actively developing enhancements of the OPC UA standard, that is most commonly used here.
As the proverbial "eye of the production" machine vision is optimizing numerous processes of the IIoT. For example, matching and 3D vision technologies help to flexibilize gripping and mounting processes and therefore optimize the whole automatic production. With this, even small batch numbers can be produced economically and quick changes of production environments without expensive retrofittings become possible.
What applications are possible?
Using MVTec’s products HALCON and MERLIC helps to optimize quality assurance processes. For example, workpieces can be reliably identified by their shape, and their surfaces can be scanned and inspected in detail. By this, defective parts can be identified safely and rejected in good time. In IIoT processes the discard numbers can then automatically be reported to the production planning or the stock-keeping.
Another application example is the precise, unfailing identification of workpieces by bar- and data codes or OCR. This is required in most production scenarios of the IIoT, as with these codes products contain all production information in machine-readable form. This data - processed by the machine vision software - can then be used to automatically control the product’s path through the production equipment as well as further individual process steps. By this, batch sizes of 1 piece can be realized.
Our machine vision software is also used for the reliable position determination of objects in production processes. Thereby, workpieces can be aligned and gripped exactly. This is increasing precision and safety in automated production processes and is especially important in the networked collaboration between machines or between humans and machines. Here, 3D technologies, especially predicting ones like MVTec’s 3D scene flow, offer the most benefits.
To this, many more applications are possible. You find some of these on our Industries pages as well as in our References section.