Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Features Backstory Opinion
Backstory: Machine vision, from physical sight to insights


February 27, 2019
By Sam Lopez

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February 27, 2019 – Machine vision technology has been in use in some form or another since the late 1960s.

Take, for example, 3D vision. This is not a new technology, however, the past few years have seen major advancements in 3D machine-vision capabilities, including 3D sensor cameras – all of which have expanded the scope and scale of 3D machine vision tools. Deep learning – using artificial neural networks to mimic the way the human brain handles recognition and decision-making tasks – is now a huge industry buzzword. We are only just beginning to see market disruptions from this type of technology – the wheres and hows of deep learning affecting the industrial sector – and we expect these technologies to be major drivers of change in the coming years.

In today’s global marketplace, manufacturers are facing rising pressure and competition, and are responding by taking steps to maximize efficiency and therefore profits. Production demands are on the rise, but companies are facing challenges finding skilled workers. Machine vision is thus more important than ever as these companies look to automation to fill the gaps in the workforce. Customers are increasingly discerning about the quality of goods they purchase, even if that means shopping around for alternatives.

The best way to enhance quality assurance is using machine vision technology for inspection, verification, tracking and distribution. These tools – along with complementary hardware and software components that support this type of process automation – are all aimed at maintaining tighter controls on the manufacturing process, something we anticipate will continue as part of a drive for faster time to market and better production control.

Sam Lopez is the director of sales and marketing for Matrox Imaging