MERLIC is an all-in-one software for quickly building machine vision applications without programming. It is based on MVTec's extensive machine vision expertise and combines reliable, fast performance with ease of use. An image-centered user interface and intuitive interaction concepts like easyTouch provide an efficient workflow, which leads to time and cost savings.
MERLIC Tools and Features
Image-centered user interface
The very clear and reduced interface presents a large view on the processed image in the center of the program. The tool library on the left side provides many standard vision tools such as acquisition, calibration, alignment, measuring, counting, checking, reading, position determination, and defect detection. It can also be extended with customized tools. Each tool has its own graphical representation in the workspace, which allows you to see and review every step of your vision application. The image-centered design allows you to configure the application directly via the image without the need to write source code or to adjust lots of parameters.
An outstanding, innovative, and unique feature in MERLIC is the easyTouch concept. It helps to guide the user interactively towards the solution. For example, simply hover the mouse pointer over an image and easyTouch recognizes and marks objects to be identified.
You can choose relevant objects with just a single click. Thus, you don't have to configure complex parameters. In addition, some tools support easyTouch+ where you can select multiple objects (by holding the ctrl-key) to configure parameters even better for your purpose. easyTouch saves you a lot of time during development.
Machine vision application without programming
While most common machine vision programs require extensive programming knowledge, MERLIC was created to build a machine vision application without programming a single line of code. So instead of coding line by line, you can simply step through your application and rely on the many standard machine vision tools. The vision tools in the MERLIC "MVApp" are connected automatically. Alternatively, you can simply reconnect them by drag & drop.
Integrated tool library
MERLIC’s integrated tool library contains a wide range of tools for the most common vision processing tasks - all based on the latest state-of-the-art vision technologies, such as matching or deep learning. The tool library can also be expanded by adding customized tools. To facilitate the ease of use, all included tools are named after the task they are meant to execute. Several ‘Evaluation’ tools support you with a variety of evaluation processes. For example, they perform calculations or evaluate a feature of a specific region. Having set up the application, MERLIC offers ‘Communication’ tools, which enable you to send and receive data, or alternatively read and write to files. Last but not least, the existing tool library can be extended flexibly with customized, user-defined tools to suit any additional needs. These tools can be developed in MVTec HALCON's integrated development environment HDevelop.
MERLIC's existing tool library can be extended flexibly with customized, user-defined tools to suit any additional needs. These "custom tools" can be developed in MVTec HALCON's integrated development environment HDevelop.
Customers who want to create a new custom tool or make an existing tool available in MERLIC 4 can contact MVTec support.
One highlight of MVTec MERLIC is the parallel processing and execution of different tools. This simplifies the implementation of multi-camera setups and allows for a more efficient use of the system's computing power.
Different machine vision tasks can now be performed in one single instance, for example, reading bar codes or lot numbers.
Multiple & remote frontends
With MERLIC, various remote frontends can be connected to one machine simultaneously. Parameters and values can easily be checked and adjusted directly from the office instead of having to monitor them on the factory floor.
Also, by supporting multiple frontends, MERLIC allows using different frontend designs at the same time. While the production engineer can check and adjust settings on the machine, several remote frontends can be connected as well to show statistics to a supervisor. Running multiple frontends simultaneously does not affect the processing speed – MVTec MERLIC operates as usual.
MERLIC's Designer lets you create a customized operator interface in just a few steps. Interactively design a frontend for your application: choose between various widgets and simply place them by drag-and-drop. MERLIC's Designer links the widgets to parameters of MERLIC tools. The parameter values can then be used for visualization. Properties of widgets can be adjusted easily with just a few clicks. You may even customize the frontend, for example, by integrating any company logo.
Take a look at this video of MERLIC's Designer. It shows how to build a customized frontend to check fuses based on a simple MERLIC application.
MERLIC realizes a highly user-friendly and efficient workflow. Consequently, the support for multiple languages is a key feature. Therefore, MERLIC is available in the following languages: simplified and traditional Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Thai.
Imagine this: Not only the graphical user interface (GUI) is translated, but even the entire standard documentation is available in these languages.
Since MERLIC 4, MERLIC also allows customized translations of standard texts in the front end for all languages. Language files are exported and reimported just like in previous versions.
PLC communication and recipes
MERLIC goes beyond mere imaging and facilitates access to all elements of the machine vision peripherals as well as a seamless PLC connection. Thus, it can easily be integrated in the hierarchy of production, for example, via Hilscher cifX cards, digital I/O cards, or cameras that support GenICam digital I/O control. The software supports the entire process of developing an application, from acquiring and processing images to the programmable logic control (PLC) of the machine.
As a stand-alone software package, MERLIC is able to communicate with common industrial protocols, such as EtherCAT, PROFINET, and many others, via Hilscher PC cards. Communication to the PLC is also possible by digital I/O using Advantech, NIDAQmx, and Contec cards or for cameras, which support GenICam dig. I/O control. This makes it possible to seamlessly integrate machine vision systems running MERLIC with a PLC.
In addition, MERLIC supports “recipes” which allow rapid reconfiguration of different machine vision tasks. MERLIC includes an easy-to-use Recipe Manager that helps to keep the overview of the used recipes and to organize them for production lines.
Thanks to all this, MERLIC enables scenarios of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as well as agile production flows, which increase production efficiency, e.g., by predictive maintenance.
Get more information about process integration with MERLIC in this video.
Image Acquisition Interfaces
MERLIC supports all USB3 Vision and GigE Vision compliant cameras as well as image acquisition hardware supporting the GenICam GenTL standard.
Digital interfaces of cameras are supported through GenICam digital I/O control.
Currently, MERLIC does not support Hardware-trigger for cameras and GPIO connectors for digital interfaces.
MERLIC secures your know-how: you can protect the content of MERLIC applications (MVApps) with a password. The password protection can be enabled for each MVApp in the MERLIC Backend (note: it is not enabled by default). Thus, when loading the MVApp in the MERLIC Backend the password must be entered in order to change the MVApp.
Using the password protection can be useful if you want to pass on a MERLIC MVApp to customers who should not be able to change the application. Furthermore, this is important to protect your MVApps against non-authorised access from third parties to secure your intellectual property of the application.
3D Vision with height images
MERLIC also offers 3D vision tools based on height images which, for example, enable users to read embossed text and perform other 3D machine vision tasks.
For this, tools are included that make it possible to prepare images from 3D sensors or 3D cameras so that inspections can be subsequently carried out using MERLIC’s existing 2D tools.
These tools enable the conversion of a disparity image into a 3D height image, the alignment of a selected plane, the compensation of outliers and invalid pixels in the image data, as well as the scaling of height image values into an 8-bit image.
Please find some configration tips for 3D sensors in the chapter "Acquisition" of the MERLIC general manual that comes with your MERLIC installation. You can also find additional information here on our website.