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More Answers From Scott Gibbs
What is the use of dilation filters?
I assume you are referring to a software filter or what is more commonly called an image morphology tool. Image morphology tools are used to pre-process or "clean up" an image before analyzing it with other tools. The dilation operation will cause the boundaries of an object in an image to grow. The purpose of doing this may be to fill in small holes or connect adjacent objects together. Dilation is often done in tandem with erosion. There is some good technical imformation at the following link: http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/ph/p/id/146 .
We work in a flour mill, and we currently have a SICK sensor that detemines bag placement on a packaging line. We have SICK part#:1029584. It appears that flour dust is getting behind the lens and not telling the bag when to stop in the proper position. Our PM basis was orginally every 6 months we would change out the eye. We have changed the eye on 4 occasions in the last four months. The last eye we installed only lasted for approximately 4 days. Is there a different product we should be using for this environment? Is there any recall on this particular product?
Dustin: The attachment of the optics to the housing of the camera/sensor is typically the weak point for ingress protection. Check out www.apgvision.com . They can probably supply (or custom build) an enclosure for the Sick sensor that will keep the flour dust out of the sensor optics.
I am researching the possibility of using vision sensors (camera/laser) to scan components which are worn out, comparing the acquired image to a CAD image of the part as it should be, and then using robotics to weld/clad the missing areas to original dimension. Are there any existing off-the-shelf products that do this? Any contact with experts in this area would be appreciated. This is obviously going to require integration between image acquisition, CAD software and welding automation and robotics.
Jason - There are off the shelf components that will do the various steps in your process. Faro 3D laser scanning would be able to measure the surface topography of the part and build a CAD model from the data. RobotMaster or Robotworks software can generate robot welding paths from a 3-D CAD model. I am not aware of an off-the-shelf system that would completely automate your process. The components described above (or other similar products) could be integrated together to semi-automate your process. My company has experience building machines for hardsurfacing applications that incorporate machine vision and automated welding.
I'm looking for a vision system solution in conjuction with Liquid Penetrant Inspection (LPI) also known as Fluorescent dye Penetrant Inspection. The system concept is to visually inspect parts that have been prepared and subjected to UV lighting. The system is to accept or reject conforming and non-conforming parts by identifying cracks. The penetrant dye remains in the cracks and "glows" under UV light.
Serge - detecting the dye "glowing" under UV light is fairly straight forward. i suspect that the challenge in your application will be efficiently presenting the parts to the camera for inspection. Factors such as the physical size of the parts, part geometry (shape) and batch size, among others, would need to be understood before an inspection solution could be specified. If you would like to give me a call at my office, I would be happy to discuss the details with you.
I am looking for talented vision system engineering resources to supplement our current staff. Can you help identify vision system engineering firms that will work on a contingent engineering (T&M) basis? My company is based in Corning, NY but we have facilities worldwide.
Edward, we have done some work at the Corning plant in Guelph, Ontario in the past. I would be interested in discussing opportunities for collaboration with your engineering team.
We are a commercial printing company looking to inspect printed materials off-line. The system would need to compare the printed peice to a approved master and look for defects in the ink areas, voids, spots etc. not color. It would then need to trip a mechanism to deflect the bad product and allow acceptable product to continue. We would create the feeding, shuttle and delivery mechanism however need the camera inspection portion. Our press manufacturers offer these systems during the print process however it is our intention to do it off line.
I can help you with your application. Please contact me directly.
I'm looking for an embedded, self-contained, and low-cost vision system that needs to detect the presence or absence of ~1 mm holes in a surface. The holes will appear black against a lighter background. If the holes are of a wrong diameter outside of some tolerance (about 10%), or are too oblong or are shaped strangely, they should be marked as errors. The max velocity of the moving surface is 1/2 m/s, and a hole could be in a several mm square area. What self-contained vision system could do this? Thank you for your help.
Paul: In addition to the blob tool that David suggested, PPT has a Circle Gauge tool that may be useful for characterizing the geometric defects of the holes. I can assist you with selecting a machine vision system that will meet your needs. Please contact me offline to discuss your application further.
We have many small labels on our products. As part of Quality Assurance we go through and read all the labels to check for typos and for proper location. The labels are just plain text. What type of system would work best, at the minimal cost, to be able to point a gun/camera at these labels, and have it convert the image it sees into the text that is on the label. The software would need to have an API that is programmable using the .NET Framework from Microsoft.
John: A quick Google search for "handheld OCR" produces numerous devices that will no doubt meet the minimal cost criteria and will easily plug into a PC via a serial or USB port. Many of these devices are not particulary rugged and therefore are not suitable for use on the factory floor. However, they may be suitable for your purposes. Please contact me directly to discuss your application requirements in more detail.
I am working on a process for inspecting a 52" wide white web of fibers for any type of non-white contaminants. Ideally we'd like to detect any non-white item in the web that is 700 microns or larger. Due to upstream parts of the process, the line speed varies but is never greater than 20 yards/minute. The web is backlit and appears and is translucent in appearance (100 mils thick). Given the relatively slow speed that we are running, is it possible that we might employ used equipment (from 4-5 years ago) to reduce cost and still have an effective system. If so are there any integrators who would even be willing to work with older equipment. Any feedback is appreciated.
We would be willing to work with older equipment. However, I would echo the comments from the other responders that when the total life cycle cost of the system is considered, new hardware would probably be more cost effective. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss some options.
Hello, My company is looking for a way to verify the 2D dimensions of a flat part against a standard shape. This would be for a semi automated production packaging environment, so I am not looking for any human adjustment during the part validation. I need help identifying vendors of this type of equipment and or someone to bounce ideas off of. Thank you.
Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss your project requirements and some solution options.
I have a need for a vision system that will be able to count steel sheets in a stack. Example - I have a 2.5" stack of sheets 4' x 8' and each sheet is 18GA thick. How many sheets do I have? The thickness tolerance varies depending on the mill the material was purchased from, along with sheet flattness. Using simple math of measuring overall stack height and dividing by thickness of one sheet does not work. Ideal solution would be a vision system capable of detecting the edge of each sheet and adding them up. Thanks in advance.
Roman: At first glance, this strikes me as a difficult application to get consistent results with machine vision. I would like to understand a bit more about the range of part sizes, thicknesses and material types that the inspection system would need to be able to handle. Also, how do you anticipate handling the parts while they are being inspected? If you would like to give me a call, we can discuss the details of your application and some possible solutions.
What is the distinction between a Vision System Dealer and a Vision System Integrator
There are companies in the machine vision space where both of these labels could be applied interchangeably. However, in general, a Vision System Dealer (Distributor) sells machine vision hardware. A good dealer (distributor) will have some application engineering resources that can assist with selecting the correct system components to solve the problem at hand and would be able to offer some assistance with trouble shooting after installation. A Vision System Integrator, in general, will be able to offer a much wider array of engineering services. They will be able to take the machine vision system from concept to commissioning and provide on-going trouble shooting and maintenance services. They also, in general, will be able to provide the equipment and services necessary for mechanical, electrical and software integration of the machine vision solution into the rest of the manufacturing process.
What system would you recommend for inspecting complex laser sintered metal parts made in additive manufacturing equipment. Surface finish will be typical of parts made in this process and we are looking for accuracy in the micron level with 10% gage r and r. Parts will have thin walls, and 2 cubic inch size. Cycle times in the several minute range are acceptable with least sensitivity to ambient light. Currently OGP light based systems are available to us in house but are looking for improvements/advantages.
Herb - There are several 2D and 3D machine vision solutions available that may be appropriate for your application. I would need to have a better understanding of the geometry of the parts, the critical features that need to be measured and how the parts are being handled in the manufacturing process to make a recommendation. If you contact me directly, we can discuss the details and I am sure we can find an inspection solution that will work for you.
Hello, Looking to detect a label(the borders) on a brown box in motion. Any suggestions as to which firm can give us a solution to that ?
Anjanika - at first glance this seems like a fairly straightforward application. I can help you. I have some questions about the specifics of how the boxes are being handled and the label characteristics. Perhaps a short phone call to sort out the details of your requirements would be helpful.