Five key machine vision technology trends are poised to impact the manufacturing industry significantly in 2017, and even disrupt processes, according to BitFlow, a machine vision technology provider.
“We have identified the top five machine vision trends that integrators and OEMs should factor into their strategic planning for 2017,” says, Donal Waide, director of sales and marketing for BitFlow. “Vision professionals should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the coming year.”
1. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): As the IIoT gains traction, machine vision should see a dramatic boost. IIoT links production technology with information technology, therefore it involves extensive data capture and analytics to continually optimize the operation of factories. Machine vision is one of the most important basic technologies to supply the IIoT with information.
2. CoaXPress (CXP): CoaXPress is an asymmetric high-speed serial communication standard that transmits and receives data over coaxial cables between cameras to computers via a frame grabber. A new generation of lower-priced CXP single-link cameras featuring smaller footprints, lower power requirements and producing less heat are lowering the barrier for integrators to design systems based on the CXP interface. CXP moves at speeds that would humble an Olympic track star; it is almost twice the real world data rate of the USB3 Vision standard and significantly quicker than the latest GigE Vision data rates. BitFlow recently introduced its Aon CXP frame grabbers specifically to address this new low cost/high performance market.
3. Non-industrial Sectors: Lower costs and ongoing improvements in vision components, such as 3-D color cameras and machine learning techniques, will further expand the machine vision sector into non-industrial niche applications, such as “driverless” car systems, IP video surveillance, intelligent traffic systems, logistics, agriculture and guided surgery.
4. Ease of Use: Operators of machine vision systems have expressed a clear preference towards products that contribute to a more user-friendly, intuitive environment on the plant floor. At the same time, vision sensory input is more complex than ever before, making it a huge challenge for device and software designers to simplify their interface. Standardization of products will help users integrate and run vision systems while also providing cost trade-offs for exchangeability of devices. In addition, software designers will be successful as they make strides towards interfaces that walk users through a simple process of setting up applications, locating and inspecting parts, and configuring results with communication to HMIs, PLCs and robotic equipment.
5. Regulation of Pharmaceuticals: Increased regulation globally is forcing the pharmaceutical industry to install machine vision systems to ensure quality, traceability and security at every step of manufacturing ranging from drug synthesis to final packaging. For example, FDA regulations now require a given product to be traceable by serial number to a specific manufacturing facility, batch number and date, providing accountability and ultimately, boosting consumer confidence. The European Union in 2010 required the name of medications to be printed in Braille for blind and partially sighted patients. One key reason for the more stringent regulations is the crisis of counterfeit drugs. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of prescription drugs in developing countries are counterfeit and, in developed countries, counterfeit drugs make up as much as 1% of the market.