“Future changes in the architecture of CPUs will most
likely impact the way vision applications are written.”
– Marc Damhaut, Euresys
In the production process used by pharmaceutical
giant Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH of Ingelheim am
Rhein, Germany, blister packs pass over a narrow
belt at a speed making it impossible for the human
eye to see any more than the outline of the individual objects. Instead, state-of-the-art vision technology ensures error-free quality. Depending upon
the product type, examination is made of varying
details, such as lot number and expiration date.
Cognex’s VisionPro-based software recognizes all
the relevant symbols and letters and, on the basis
of previously taught parameters and tolerance limits,
assesses the quality of a product. Courtesy of
acquisition cards based on digital signal
processors. The company transformed the
package into a PC-based library in 1996
and began adding functionality for image
analysis, such as subpixel measurement,
pattern matching, blob analysis and optical
character recognition, or OCR (at first).
Since 2000, the company has added color
analysis, 2-D code reading and optimization for use with the latest CPU architectures, among other features.
“Surprisingly, the most popular features
of Open eVision are still the first libraries
that we have developed: subpixel measurement, blob analysis and pattern matching,” Damhaut said. “They are still appropriate for most of today’s applications.”
At a plant operated by KWD Automotive Group AG & Co. KG of Wolfsburg, Germany,
robots do the heavy lifting (and welding). VisionPro 3D software helps by recognizing part position
and possible distortions of the side panels in the supply rack and forwarding the data to a controller
so that the robot can adapt its gripper movement to the actual position of the parts in real time.
Two robots work in conjunction to gauge the initial position of the parts, grab individual parts, and
place them in the correct position and in the logical sequence. After welding is completed, the robots
perform an optical spot weld inspection, gauging the number and location accuracy of the welds.
The 3-D vision system checks whether the welds were placed in the predefined fields. Courtesy of Cognex.
Matrox Imaging Library
Introduced by Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd. in 1993, the Matrox Imaging
Library and its core application programming interface have remained essentially
the same ever since. The package has had
to adapt over the years as operating systems, programming languages and video
interface technologies have evolved,
“Requirements from users and their
applications have prompted the development of higher-level tools that are simpler
to configure and deploy, flexible and
robust,” he said. Geometric pattern recognition and feature-based OCR are recent
examples of the software’s increased capabilities.
“Both the evolving needs of our established user base and the requirements of