Tag Archives | Vision

Vision systems used to solve a wide variety of industrial guidance, gauging, inspection, identification and sorting tasks – at up to thousands of parts per minute.

Vision/Lighting 101

Because computers are always improving—think of your smart cellphone. If it’s not replaced every 2-3 years many of the applications and functions become obsolete rending the cellphone almost useless—new technologies and solutions are making robotics smarter and more capable.

One major upgrade in robotic technology is one that allows robotic vision in three dimensions (3-D) instead of two (2-D). Robotics using 2-D technology has been around for years, but for intricate work, 2-D visioning wasn’t the best way to get the job done. Thanks to improved technology and newer cameras, robotic systems can now be upgraded to see the world the same way we see it—in 3-D.

At Concept Systems, Inc., we put these visioning upgrades to work when we worked with a cake maker and decorator. The decorator used a robotics system that took a photo of the diameter of the cake as it progressed down the conveyer. Further down the line, an automated system created borders and designs on top of the cake. The camera was able to exactly diagram the surface area of the top of the cake, but every cake is a little bit different. Some were a tiny bit taller or shorter than the programmed height. The height variance meant that some of the cake designs were distorted on the finished product.

Enhancing a system doesn’t have to be costly. The cake maker earned back its investment in the updated robotic vision system in only 8 months. In some instances, upgrading from 2-D to 3-D can automate systems that were once done manually, and those cost savings add up! The cake maker’s overhead photo visioning system also made creating borders at the bottom of the cake almost impossible, so staff members were creating bottom borders by hand, costing time and labor.

While the cake maker project sounds costly and time-consuming, it didn’t require a lot of down time or new equipment expense. Existing robots were retrofitted to with a new 3-D visioning system, though laser scanners were also installed. The scanners’ lasers used triangulation to create an exact 3-D image of each cake before passing it down to the robot decorators.

The combination of the latest 3-D vision technology coupled with SCARA robots can now be used to bring automation to industries beyond the food industries. Updating and modernizing complex machinery and robots just makes sense. It can lower costs, increase productivity, simplify processes and even increase machine safety.

Let Concept Systems, Inc. put this upgraded technology to work for your business.

Got vision?

camera lensToday’s vision technology can address so many challenges – from sorting variable sized boxes on automated packaging lines to inspecting 100 percent of product at various stages in the manufacturing process.

An early Concept vision project was a rivet inspection system, and we’ve moved onto more complex systems, including pulling full sized unmanned ships out of the ocean. That project administrator indicated that we had won the competition simply because our system was the only one that worked. We also develop vision tools to meet unique challenges.

Our Vision/Robotics team thrives on learning new things and enjoys taking on projects that require unique solutions. Here are some insights from our team:

Improve picking and assemblies
Daniel Sidlauskas Miller, Senior Engineer, Oregon

We’re seeing more companies use 3D vision coupled with robots for complex picking and assemblies and quality control applications. A well set up vision system can take a large number of complex, non contact measurements and evaluate them with more focus than a person ever could.

Continue Reading →

Random bin picking just got easier

robotic-pick-place2You want your robot to accurately and repeatably pick up random parts. SICK’s PLB 3D vision system makes that an easy task. It integrates a wide array of software packages that turn your PLB hardware into eyes and a brain for your robot.

Many 3D scanners on the market ignore the software side of things, so you and your integration team have to select software and configure it correctly. Now, you don’t have to worry about that. The SICK PLB, a next generation 3D vision scanner, was designed from the ground up as a random bin picking solution that integrates out-of-the-box very well with your chosen robot system.

The power of the SICK PLB scanner is not just the software packages that are integrated for you, but also the new generation triangulation type laser scanner, which captures the whole laser picture with no visible movement. You can mount the laser in a fixed location using a simple frame, where previous generations required the use of a conveyor or a robotic movement to see the product. Continue Reading →

Trends in Vision: New Camera Imagers

An interesting vision trend is that the whole camera industry is undergoing a technology revival. The last revival in the vision industry was for cheap, reliable, and bright LED lighting. While this was incredible, at the end of the day it was simply a bright light. Not much to talk about really, even though it was fun at the beginning. The most recent technology revival is being caused by the flood of new camera imagers from the consumer cell phone camera industry. A camera imager is the device that takes the photons and turns them into digital values. An imager has millions of the digital photon receptors, and each one is called a pixel.

vision automation pick placeIn the past, vision engineers treasured their large imagers in the 1” or 2/3” format, selecting CCD over CMOS because of the higher dynamic capabilities of the CCD imager. 1 megapixel, 2 megapixel and 5 megapixel were the usual bus stops for machine vision engineers, and each bus stop usually cost a thousand dollars per stop or so. This was pretty much carved in the stone tablets that came down from the mountain, and us vision guys rolled with it on the various jobs we encountered. Throw in a $250, $500, or $1200 lens for each stop, and you have a camera. If your problem was particularly involved and single pixel accuracy was demanded (or you needed a lower F number), then maybe doubling the lens cost could get you where you needed to be. Continue Reading →


An efficient, reliable feeding system for unloading difficult to handle goods. Concept Systems’ VisionFeed-3D offers automated line feeding, utilizing an innovative laser-guided robot system. The laser system, utilizing two SICK IVP cameras to generate a 3D model, determines the position and orientation of randomly placed objects in a bin or on a pallet. The system then deploys the robot to pick the next, most accessible object and accurately positions it for the infeed system. Concept Systems tailors the robot and end of arm tool to each application’s particular needs. (VIDEO)

Visually Aided Robotic Pick and Place

robotic-vThis video demonstrates the integration of an ABB robot using a Robotiq 2-Finger Adaptive Robot Gripper in combination with a SICK laser. The laser identifies the orientation of the randomly placed parts and allows the robot to determine how to pick it up, move it, and put it down in an organized manner. By integrating these technologies, Concept Systems has created an organized fully robotic system for picking and placing unorganized parts, allowing for full efficiency and allowing manufacturers to make more.