Considerations When Choosing an Effective Machine Vision System

Intelligent cameras are the most effective means of rapidly implementing simple vision inspection system due to their ability to automate your tasks, cost effectiveness and the ability to easily integrate into your work system. Seeing that it is a self-contained unit, automated inspection vision systems can be used for embedded single unit applications or networked to industrial manufacturing systems.

Below is a breakdown of the basic components of a smart camera system and some important considerations when choosing a vision inspection system for your application.

Basic vision inspection architecture:

What are the parts and specific considerations?

Systems Integration

You need good photoelectric sensors that are able to inspect automatically by triggering automated systems. This is of course connected to the vision inspection system which will process the resulting images and automate the inspection of your products.

Effective vision inspection systems will integrate a variety of cameras such as analog cameras, digital cameras and progressive scan cameras. The choice between these three camera types come down to the applications that are needed in your setup. You will find that if your business is in the business of epoxy die manufacturing then you will want to select vision inspection systems that can accommodate cameras that are suited for the task.

Software Features that you should request for when choosing an Effective Machine Vision Inspection System

Object Tools

A general purpose machine vision inspection applications will generally offer object tools that will help you inspect the products that you manufacture in your production. Object tools will analyze shapes in the image for various geometric characteristics which will ascertain the size, the perimeter and the density. If your manufacturing plant requires you to sort the parts that are manufactured then object tools will be an efficient tool in sorting and locating the parts that are required.

OCR Tools

Optical Character Recognition is a technology which has matured over the years and it is primarily used to read or verify printed or mechanically generated characters. If your manufacturing plant has serial numbers, identification numbers, OCR technology will be able to recognize these markings through the images that has been captured and with a bit of software help it will identify the correct markings even if they are severely damaged.

Calibration Tools

You might need a vision inspection system that as calibration tools which will convert pixel coordinates to real world coordinates. For example you might want to convert from the readings of the measured millimeters into inches.

Data Analysis Tools

Your vision inspection system that you choose might need to display analysis results which will display in tabular format and this gives in-depth information about the image and the inspection. You will do well in choosing a system that can sort all the data and provide critical information to the appropriate personnel in your department.

Matching Tools

Vision systems that are sufficiently advanced often provide the ability to train the system on a reference pattern and then locate similar occurrences in other images. Often this is called the gray scale pattern matching. You might need these kinds of tools when the position of a given part in the field of view is unknown or if the presence of the parts must be controlled.

Gauging Tools

Measurement tools are needed in advanced vision systems. Sub pixel measurement tools are often needed in productions which involve the accurate dimensional control of objects that are in the appropriate field of vision.

Help Tools

When choosing an appropriate machine vision system, it would be helpful if the system that you choose have extensive help topics and tutorial guides. You would do well in choosing a system that has adequate hands off support, meaning that the software help manuals are clear cut and offer clear instructions on operating the vision system effectively.

Image Enhancement Tools

Inspection systems that will ultimately benefit your production process would be systems which allow you to preprocess the images that are going to be analyzed. Choose systems that can remove noise, compensate for variable lighting conditions, correct geometric distortions, and other image enhancements which will make the eventual inspection of images an accurate affair.

Example of a Vision Inspection System Application System.

One example would be if your company manufactures computer chips then you will need systems that can measure the epoxy when conjoining fabricated systems together. Epoxy Vision Inspection requires you to inspect various package types. You will need to be able to save and retrieve various inspection files. It is best to be able to define your own images through integrated image processing systems.

Good vision inspection systems have the ability to define the acceptance level of the inspections. Results that are generated from the inspection systems should generate at least 4 sided independent results.

The epoxy length is one such area which an inspection system should be able to automatically calculate from the images that the system captures. The width, area, and location data should also be accurately captured.

The input and output of the machine inspection system should be ready for the integration with the host equipment. You would do well to select systems that allow you to customize to suit your environment.

Applications that require vision inspection systems include:

  • Post Die Attachment Inspection
  • Post Solder Paste Inspection
  • 2D Data Matrix Code Inspection
  • Mark & 3D Lead Vision System
  • Strip Form Vision Inspection System
  • QFN & MLP Vision Inspection System
  • Post Seal Vision Inspection
  • IC Mark Vision
  • BGA Vision Inspection System
  • Epoxy Vision Inspection
  • Solder Paste Inspection System
  • Flip Chip Package AOI
  • Tube-To-Tube Automated Handler
  • Feeder Verification System
  • Solar Cell Front and Rear Inspection