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The Role of Embedded Vision in the Future of Manufacturing and Automation

Embedded vision combines image capture and processing abilities into one vision system, which is typically embedded in a larger system with a broader focus. While it’s a relatively new technology, embedded vision will play a major role in the progression of automation in manufacturing for years to come.

The manufacturing sector as a whole is moving towards greater and greater levels of automation as they strive for higher levels of productivity, safety, and low-cost production. Automation technologies have been a reliable source of efficiency for manufacturers – as this technology advances, embedded vision systems will become increasingly common.

Embedded Vision Technology and Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, sometimes referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is comprised of a number of different emerging automation and communication technologies. A factory floor with Industry 4.0 technology leverages a wealth of data to make more informed real-time decisions and features a much higher degree of automation in production.

Embedded vision will be a critical part of the development and maturation of Industry 4.0 on a global scale. Vision systems embedded into robotics, for example, significantly expands the ability to capture production level data, as well as improves flexibility and accuracy for greater efficiency. The same holds true for many types of automation equipment with embedded vision. Overall, embedded vision will help bring factory automation closer to a more connected, data-driven and productive future.

Embedded Vision and the Autonomous Factory

As automation technology advances, factory floors will eventually achieve full autonomy or nearly full autonomy, sometimes referred to as “dark factories”. The autonomous factories of the future will leverage feedback loops from multiple sensors for continuous optimization in operations.

Embedded vision systems will be vitally important for feeding visual data into machine learning and deep learning systems for predictive decision-making. This could take form of preventative maintenance where a machine fixes itself before a major breakdown occurs, or even to find new efficiencies on an ongoing basis.

In a future with autonomous factories, embedded vision systems are essential for the autonomous operation, navigation, and communication required for complete automation of production.

For now, embedded vision continues to penetrate new verticals. This disruptive technology will continue to gain favor with manufacturers and equipment OEMs as embedded vision holds great potential for delivering higher levels of automation and productivity.

To learn more about the future of embedded vision, read our article in the beginner’s section of this site, “The Future of Embedded Vision Systems.”

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