Functions Of Machine Vision Systems

MVS is capable of performing many functions, depending on the type of information extracted during image analysis. Functions are gauging, verification, flow detection, identification, recognition, finding position, and tracking (Fig. 7).

Gauging refers to the process of making measurements. These measurements can be made on-line and off-line. Online inspects or sorts parts, provides adjustment to machines, calibrates, or gathers SPC information. An off-line system could be used to adjust or coordinate various machines or machine parts in a process.

Verification refers to the process whereby an activity is assured to happen correctly. This could be the correct positioning of a label or of an object prior to packaging. Flaw detection is the most common function of an MVS. It refers to the detection of any defect in an object, such as a cracked bottle, a defective can, an underfilled container, or a defec tive seal. Identification is usually accomplished by optical character recognition and bar coding. This is used where multiple products are packaged in the same container but the code reveals their identity, such as in warehouses to move the oldest manufactured product first (first-in, first-out [FIFO]), and for inventory (21).

Recognition, as compared to identification, utilizes characteristic features of the image to determine the object's identity. This is usually used in combination with robotics to identify an object or its position.

Finding position refers to the determination of the location and orientation of an object or objects. This allows for rapid and precise working of the object while reducing waste. Tracking usually precedes a position-finding function in an MVS, since the part position needs to be known before the tracking function begins (22).

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