Whether you’re Steve Jobs, or an entrepreneur, vision is what drives you to your ultimate goal. It used to be that vision was something we saw with our eyes, our minds, even our hearts. Driving us forward, reaching out for achievement, and the promise of a brighter reality. How the times are a-changing…
From Human To Technology
Today, vision has so many more applications. Where vision used to take place inside our bodies and minds, vision has crossed the divide from a purely human experience to something else entirely. From machinery, to robotics, and industry in general, vision is changing how we do things. What used to only be capable from a human perspective is starting to be achieved “artificially” by man-made electronics. This new capability is ushering in an era of never before realized capabilities in manufacturing, many of which are still untapped.
With how much information is produced in industrial processes, it should come as no surprise as to why it is a target for automation. Information needs to be processed quickly and maybe even more importantly, accurately. In decades past, the automation industry has worked at a fever pitch to come up with a solution that could satisfy the needs of intelligent visual data processing that maintains accuracy in the face of the new high-speed world. Enter; machine vision. These systems are being used in manufacturing process inspections on items like electronics, mobile devices, food, beverages, and many others. Chances are that there are several things in your house that have passed under the watchful eyes of a machine vision system before you ever saw them. As much as it might keep John Henry up at night, humans simply aren’t able to match the accuracy and consistency of today’s automated vision systems. The flexibility and wide-range of uses for machine vision systems is what is making it such a key player in the automation industry. Our own vision of the picture is becoming clearer and clearer; the benefits of vision technology in our industry, simply cannot be ignored.
Just The Beginning
Without a doubt, one of the biggest drivers in the growth of vision systems is how they are now working hand-in-hand with industrial robots. These vision systems, which are wired to perform repetitive tasks and scans, are a perfect fit for the industry. Their consistency is unmatched. Being able to replace humans, who are paid on the daily and aren’t as accurate as machines, means that these vision systems are earning their place in the industrial marketplace…and don’t expect them to give up ground any time soon.
A Few Drawbacks
Not everything in life is flowers and happiness. There are a few drawbacks with these machines. One is the high operating cost that comes along with it. Like most robots and machines, the upfront cost is often in the thousands and can be a large purchase to start off with. They also have costs that are needed to keep up with the maintenance and technology. One other main concern, similar to a lot of other machines, is its dependency on every part working together. As with most automation solutions, these systems are being put in place because the operation is critical. If one part of the machine fails, then that creates a chain reaction which results in the whole system being called into question. This may not put the kibosh on the whole line, but will likely require that a human operator come have a look and set things right.
A Spot At The Table
When all is said and done, the benefits that come along with a well-programmed vision system are far outweighing the drawbacks of them. This new technology that has been advancing is helping companies and business all around the world become more efficient, economical, and dynamic. They are completing tasks with more accuracy and in better time than humans could ever hope – or probably even want – to. Slowly, but surely, machine vision has found its permanent place at the table of industrial automation. Rather than being fearful of these vision systems taking over, be excited for the unlimited possibilities and new openings that they will create.