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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.

Why It’s Time to Consider Using Vision Technology

coffee_robot_3D_modelBecause the use of vision technologies on the plant floor can give you a competitive advantage, here are the key issues to consider when looking for the right vision system.

How viable is vision technology on the plant floor? On the surface, when you look at the technology and the capabilities it seems like vision should be as common as the programmable logic controller (PLC) and the human-machine interface (HMI). If you think about the technology and its ability to “see” the environment and make decisions based on what it sees, the applications are boundless. Despite its clear advantages, the use of vision technology on the plant floor is not as commonplace as most people would imagine. Why is that?

I believe the main reasons are: 1.) The supporting technology behind the camera; and 2.) Camera installations are often viewed as being not very robust. 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 →

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.

Robotic Cake Decorator

Concept Systems Supplies 3-D Vision System Retrofit for a Pair of Robotic Cake Decorating Lines

robotic-cakeConcept Systems in Albany, Ore., provides integration services and automation products to machine builder OEMs. These systems typically consist of robotic workcells with integrated machine vision and 3-D laser scanning.

Doug Taylor, project engineer at Concept Systems, describes how a robot with vision is being used to decorate cakes, saying, “We supplied a 3-D vision system retrofit for a pair of robotic cake decorating lines for a large bakery, replacing a 2-D camera system that only provided the center point of the cake (X-Y), but offered no Z-axis information whatsoever,” Taylor adds. Continue Reading →

Adding Senses to Robots Multiplies Manufacturing Value

Advancing technologies have given robots the ability to adapt to the environment around them, greatly increasing their value in production applications in manufacturing.

Watching a robot in action is a pretty cool thing. A six-axis robot can perform moves that are as good, or better, than the human arm, and it can do it fast! We regularly wow students on facility tours who get to see our robot demos in action, zipping from one position to another. I imagine this is the case for automation professionals as well. When touring a manufacturing facility and catch a glimpse of a robot in operation, I eagerly await the opportunity to stand in front of it and watch it do its thing. Maybe this is just my reaction. Am I the only robo-geek out there or do you feel the same?

Unfortunately, more often than not, I am let down by what the robot is actually doing: the same thing over and over, following the same path at the same speed. Beyond the initial wow factor generated by a lot of motion and maybe an innovative end-effector (end-of-arm tool), robots are not really doing anything very cool or providing the value they could be if they were to leverage advancing technology. Continue Reading →