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3 Things You Need to Consider Before Moving to Automated Inspection Systems
Friday, January 11, 2019

Automated inspection systems are becoming a key factor when it comes to reducing the costs of operations across several industries and meeting manufacturing needs. If you own a company that produces small parts that need to be precise, quality is the main driver for the manufacturing process. If you want to ensure that the quality of the products is absolutely on point, automated inspection systems can enable you to do that.

Automated inspection systems utilize advanced computer technology, which is equipped with sensors that automatically check the parts in the assembly line for any defects. They point out any and all defective parts so that the output quality can be consistently accurate. Before you make the move to using automated inspection system, there are a few things that you need to consider.

1. Ensure Good Image

Any effective inspection relies on the use of good images. In order to make sure that the automated inspection system performs optimally, it must produce good quality images. The quality of the images depends on illumination and camera setup. Companies need to make sure that their automated inspection system has a good imaging system.

2. Surface Inspection and Dimensional Measurement

In the industrial processes, there are two main types of automated inspection systems used. The first is a dimensional automated inspection system and the other one deals with surface inspection. Dimensional inspection systems are the easier of the two to develop. Clearly defining part specifications allows the system to identify defects with even the smallest of variations.

When it comes to surface inspection-related automated inspection systems, there is more of a challenge. The instructions needed to comprehensively deal with surface inspections are not as easy to convey to software engineers that develop programs for automated inspection systems. The instruction might be completely understandable to a human inspector doing the same task, hence software developers will need more guidance for developing the software that can help it completely understand the requirements.

3. Process of Finding Defects

The automated inspection system needs to go through five steps in order to identify any and all defects:
  1. Localizing Part: The system needs to be able to locate which part is in the image. It also has to compensate for the variations in the handling system.
  2. Segmentation: Once the part is located, the image is divided into areas of interest. Each of the areas is defined by a set of errors and as a single function in relation to the part. Like the outer diameter or the top face.
  3. Normalization: The next step is the removal of everything that would normally be found in a good image. This can include typical variations in the product. It uses the history of good parts to identify good deviations.
  4. Signal Optimization: The program filters the image to extract any and all defects from noise.
  5. The program then identifies all the problematic areas. It assigns them a value, which either passes or rejects the particular unit.
Final Thoughts

Automated inspection systems have drastically reduced the issues related to quality control and have helped to make the manufacturing process a lot faster. In fact, for companies using them, the complaint rate for faulty products has effectively gone down to zero. There are clear benefits of using automated inspection systems. Knowing the information discussed above will help you understand what to expect before transitioning to these systems. For more information, feel free to contact us at Cincinnati Automation!

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