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Top Use-Cases for Computer Vision in Manufacturing

smart factory, Industry 4.0

Computer vision is already making an unexceptional contribution to the manufacturing industry. Human vision can prove a good thing for qualitative interpretations but, when we speak for quantitative functions, nothing can match the speed, accuracy, and ability of computer vision. A CV system comprises high-resolution cameras, optics, and AI integration to provide multiple benefits to large manufacturing units. Imagine how much time manual inspection can takes while inspecting the complex machine parts on the assembly lines. The modern CV systems are no longer limited to structural and repetitive tasks. They can perform exceptionally well in even complex environments that can put challenges to the manual procedures.

New research from Insight and IDG reveals that 37% of enterprises have definite plans to implement and 44% report they are investigating the technology.

They can perform continuously in conjunction with operators to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing processes. Computer visions can perform such tasks within minutes without even making any physical contact with the equipment. While there are endless applications of machine vision in manufacturing units but let’s have a look at cases where CV can help in improving the productivity and revenues of any manufacturing unit.

Computer Vision Use Cases in the Manufacturing Industry

Product Assembly

The use of computer vision in manufacturing industries is beneficial for the product assembly processes. You can observe the growing role of automation in the manufacturing sector easily. Almost every manufacturing giant you know is implementing automated product assembly lines to speed up its manufacturing outputs. Computer vision provides the 3D model designs generated using specific software. It helps the system to execute the assembly processes precisely. It also helps to monitor the automatic machines and workers constantly to ensure efficient product assembly processes. It also assists the manual assembly processes by providing instructions to the workers and monitoring progress to ensure the correct and complete steps. Furthermore, CV can help you avoid product recall situations, thus ensuring customers are happy and more satisfied by following strict assessment criteria.

Detection of Defects

Productions lines often fail to achieve 100% accuracy while detecting the present or potential defects in the manufacturing processes. These defects can cause a loss to the manufacturers and customers. It can also increase customer dissatisfaction that can prove fatal for the business. Machine vision is helping manufacturing units to prevent such situations by detecting the macro and micro level defects in the production line. Making investments in computer vision-based defects detection systems can help industries to make their production lines free from any kinds of defects. AI-based computer vision systems can help with cameras and algorithms that can prevent any mishappenings due to defects.

Safety and Security Standards

Worker safety is one of the major concerns for manufacturing units all around the globe. AI-powered computer vision systems can help to reduce the chances of any unpleasant accidents in the industries where workers operate under highly risk-prone conditions. The method where a team member sits watching the screens to monitor the movements in the workplace is prone to errors. Machine vision can help ensure that proper safety measures and security standards are followed on the workstations to avoid accidents. Even if any accident happens, computer vision helps the management to assess the location and intensity. It helps to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of workers and equipment. A computer vision system helps create a better working environment while preventing you from heavy administrative fines for not adhering to the worker safety norms.

Packaging Standards

Maintaining the packaging standards is vital to ensure the safety of the finished products. CV is very effective in ensuring that all product packings are proper and there are no errors in packaging that can cause product recall. In some companies, there is a requirement to count the number of items before packing them. In industries such as pharmaceuticals and retail, depending on these items can turn fussy with lots of errors. Computer vision can help to perform these tasks accurately to prevent mistakes while executing the packaging processes. It can also help in preventing the products with damaged packaging from leaving the manufacturing unit. In addition, industries can track whether the products have desired measurements, color, or other traits as per the packaging standards that a company follows.

Analysis of Barcode and Texts

There is a significant growth in the role of AI-based computer vision systems in reading the barcodes and texts in the manufacturing sector. Computer vision systems help the manufacturing department to divert any product with faulty texts and barcodes. It helps in preventing an item with a piece of wrong information from circulating in the market. Recognizing, reading, and processing the barcode and text on every product is not an easy task. Manufacturing units can face trouble processing data coded in the barcodes, optical characters, and images related to the products and packaging. By implementing the machine vision systems, the manufacturing departments can ensure accurate and readable barcodes. It can also help cross-check these texts and barcodes on products that otherwise demand more human hours with no guaranteed accuracy.

Prediction of Maintenance Needs

It is always vital to predict the maintenance needs in the manufacturing units that use heavy machinery to carry out the production. For example, it is common to experience the degradation of mechanical parts in processes that use unusual temperatures and environments to facilitate production. If the company fails to identify these maintenance needs, it can halt the manufacturing lines and even fatal accidents. Computer vision can help monitor the machinery and equipment to find the maintenance needs before it gets too late. The machine vision system can alert the respective departments for such needs by identifying the derivations from metrics set to identify corrosion, degradation, and many more. It compares the new images with pre-existing images in the database to find any anomalies to prevent dangerous situations at workplaces. It also helps in avoiding physical contact with machinery during manual checks. Limiting the physical contact decreases the chances of any wear and tear to machinery during this process.

Management of Inventory

Any manufacturing unit needs to maintain appropriate inventories to ensure continuous manufacturing processes. By using computer vision, thousands of companies around the globe are tracking the inventory status proactively. This system also helps the respective managers to get alerts for unavailability or under-stock items. While operating with large manufacturing units, computer vision makes it easy to locate the stock. It prevents the errors and problems that humans face while managing the inventory in large warehouses.

Computer Vision Inspection

AI-based computer vision can help in the inspection of the assembly lines much better than manual processes. In industries where small components such as microchips, multi-pin cables, and complex wiring are involved in the production lines, it becomes difficult to trace the faults. Instead, computer vision can deploy its 3D imaging capabilities to identify the deviations from the actual design and assembly of the components. 3D Computer vision has extensive use in industries like automotive, electronics, and many more due to its unexceptional capabilities to reduce the errors that haunts manual processes for inspecting the equipment.

Scrap Management

Scrap management is one of the most challenging tasks for manufacturing units. High scrap can result in higher manufacturing costs for the companies. The machine vision enables manufacturing units to keep a check on the assembly lines to identify the faults and underperformance by any machine to reduce the chances of wasting the raw material involved in the manufacturing processes. Manufacturers can integrate artificial intelligence and computer vision to develop advanced algorithms and machine learning to prevent excessive scrap resulting from assembly lines.

Vision Guided Robots

Companies following the Industry 4.0 approach by introducing automation and data exchange techniques in the manufacturing industry can benefit from the vision-guided robotic installations in their manufacturing units. CV is performing vital roles to guide the robots that are present on the assembly lines. It helps to pick and place the items by receiving the precise locations. Computer vision is also to help the industries to perform complex operations such as rotary die cutting with exact measurements to cut any kind of design.

Labeling, Tracking, and Tracing Products

The manufacturing units need to label their products with utmost care as a product with wrong labels can lead to a loss for the manufacturer. Moreover, a mislabelled item can become dangerous for customers in industries like food, beverage, or medicine. AI-based computer vision systems can assist the manufacturing units in detecting any such products. It can also facilitate matching products with the database and keeping track of such products to ensure the quality standards of market-ready products.

Manufacturing industries from all over the globe are implementing modern technologies in their processes with an open heart. We hope that the above points will help you know the relevance of computer vision for manufacturing industries. With time manufacturing sectors from all over the world have undergone innovative production models. They all are working to make the manufacturing processes free from risks, unnecessary costs, and energy-efficient. Therefore, you can consider a wide array of benefits that you can reap by implementing computer vision systems in your manufacturing units. Using this technique will surely help you to reach the next level in the manufacturing business.

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