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Computer Vision Use Cases in Manufacturing

  • 13-14 min read
  • September 10, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (9 votes)

Nowadays mankind is at that stage of evolution when the vital part of people’s work is transferred to machines. Actually, computer vision is a part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which helps with the process of machine automation.

Computer Vision and Its Options

Computer Vision (CV) is a process of collecting visual data by machines from the physical world. Computer systems are able to receive important information by using visual object recognition techniques. They identify objects in video and images just the same way people can do so by using lots of data and peculiar algorithms.

In simple words, computer vision is an attempt to convey the human’s vision to a machine, and it’s a quite successful attempt. Computer vision functionates due to algorithms and a huge amount of data. Now data is constantly being generated so it improves computer vision approaches, and raises its accuracy for object identification.

Let’s look through the features of computer vision in more detail:

Computer vision options

1. Detection

The pattern-matching tools detect the products and check all the products characteristics. It allows us to detect the product position, to inspect, to measure, and to identify.

2. Inspection

This process includes ensuring precise assembling, counting, sign presence, quality control, and reductions of errors and defects not just after the production but directly during the process itself.

3. Measurement

This step defines an injection of an object, its diameter, checking the part for compliance with the specified characteristics, and determining edge-to-edge measure and object shape correctness.

4. Identification provides reading of printed codes and marks

Among the various industries, manufacturing is one of the first that started to use computer vision in practice. In this article, we will consider intriguing computer vision use cases in manufacturing, describe their benefits, and talk about problems computer vision solves and why you need to think about the implementation of cutting-edge technologies in your business solutions already.

What Problems Can Be Solved with the Help of Computer Vision

Computer vision in manufacturing plays an essential role. Thanks to the development of the latest technologies and their implementation into various areas of life, we can observe a new modern approach, when automation has reached a level where the workflow can be carried out faster and better and also can be regulated without failures.

The progressive approaches in the production industry mean that enterprises encounter a range of tasks to deal with. Computer vision in manufacturing applies for:

  • automation of production processes
  • brand protection
  • increasing the production quality level
  • enlarging the productivity
  • decreasing the amount of waste
  • reducing the operational costs
  • inefficient manual labor substitution
  • minimizing return risks 

CV provides a smart approach to the production process. The task of a “smart machine” is to help people, to make complicated processes easier, and to make the work process more smooth, without loss and halting. 

Computer vision in manufacturing is used to optimize and enhance the efficiency of business processes. It uses data from different sources, collects them, evaluates and regulates all the processes of production. Let’s check what problems can be solved with the help of computer vision techniques.

Computer vision

Object and people detection 

It is an option that helps to detect objects, humans and count them. It can be used in industrial processes, for example for sorting, packaging, or inventory regulation.

Image segmentation 

It allows dividing the digital image into segments in order to simplify the analysis of algorithms. Image segmentation helps to reach more accuracy and detect defects. Can be used in the textile industry for the automated fiber placement process.

Image classification 

It is reproduced with the help of algorithms that sort out many objects into the classes. With the help of neural network methods, objects are determined and correlated to a specific class.

This option is practiced among the projects of GBKSOFT. Our software engineers successfully released the image classification option in its IDmypic app. It’s the ultimate information, learning, and online shopping tool that provides information on any given subject, using your photo. IDmypic uses the latest AI technology and CV-powered image recognition. The app works with clothes, shoes, plants, animals, and even housewares. Just take a photo and IDmypic will find it! If you are interested in the development of such a type of app, just let us know and our experts will offer the best solution for you.

Face recognition 

It’s a method of identifying a person by his/her face. Face recognition is a kind of biometric security approach and a great way to guarantee protection for corporate businesses. 

Tracking moving objects in real time

Object tracking is carried out by 2D (tracking of flat objects) or 3D model (tracking according to its space location). It can be used in manufacturing during the assembly or item packaging.

Optical character recognition 

It is the transformation of images containing handwritten or printed text into the code sequence to be used in a text editor. It is used in food and beverage where the manufacturer can track the process from the raw material stage to the packaged product. 

Generating images 

This is a method of using neural networks images for recognition. Images are taken, the algorithm defines the pixel values and gives information about the image. It is used for the acceleration of image recognition.

The possibilities of computer vision for businesses are endless. Some industries have been using the privileges of computer vision and others are still waiting for the modernization of the production process. The pandemic period showed us that it’s so relevant to implement this technology into your operation systems now! Optimizing your business seems unclear and complicated but it won’t be so if you trust the knowledgeable experts.

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Computer Vision Use Cases in Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is a trend now which combines machine learning, automation, data, and digital technologies and is recognized as a smart manufacturing

Computer vision is a technological break-in in the industry world. It appeared as a result of the automation processes, their regulations. It helps to recognize defects in the production, to prevent them and it leads the production to the next level.

CV in manufacturing

So check the list of computer vision use cases in manufacturing:


Defect recognition and reduction
CV helps enterprises to solve problems by scanning an item from different angles. A program defines if the product doesn’t correspond to specific criteria. Defectoscopy is based on computer vision with high speed and accuracy to define defects and check the quality of the product. Even with a minimum setup, technologies are ready to recognize the defects and inform about that directly. Defect recognition is a key feature of CV-based solutions. Its main purpose is to detect broken or damaged items. When an item is passing through the production line, it’s important to collect the data that the assembling unit has the correct shape, length, width, color, and integrity. Damaged items get isolated to reduce the number of defects and to prevent risks of product returns.
Product assembly
Computer vision in manufacturing industry plays an essential role. It helps to reach higher performance, especially in the product assembly. Automated processes of product assembly allow it to provide work faster and more accurately. Computer systems of CV constantly monitor and guide people on the assembly line.
Packaging standards
Keeping packaging standards is extremely important for the product. Computer vision guarantees that the package will stay undamaged and safe. Sometimes, companies use the option of counting before the packaging. So CV systems prevent the tangle and any errors in the packaging process, according to the accurately defined algorithm.
Production malfunction and breakdown recognition
By using CV and ML, program sensor data is collected and the state of machines is followed in real time. If something goes wrong in the production process, or any system failure occurs, or a stop is noticed, the program notifies immediately about the technical maintenance need. It is very important, for example, in the automobile industry where immediate problem recognition can save costs. Even one minute stop can cost dozens hundreds of dollars in the automobile industry.
Barcodes reading
One more important case is barcode verification. After the packaging process, a system needs to check the presence of a barcode on each product or package to be sure it’s easy and clearly readable. Usually, the manual process is long while the CV programs provide fast and accurate barcode reading and will sort out packages with damaged barcodes on them. GBKSOFT’s team of skilled developers works with many companies in various industries. We received several queries from construction companies that experience the same issues with the manual entering of barcodes. We developed software solutions in a number of projects where the barcode scanning option was implemented, web app Leo is among them.
Labeling processes
Due to high production norms and standards, the enterprise reaches a high level of development. Labeling is a process where everything must be followed clearly and strictly. Mislabeled products are not acceptable not just because of damage to the business and manufacturer, but they can cause risks and danger for customers if we mean healthcare production or food. Computer vision programs help to identify incorrectly applied markings and pack out the mislabeled product. It helps the enterprise to keep the quality standards and increase the efficiency of work.
Safety and security standards
People are the highest value, so keeping the safety rules in manufacturing is the utmost demand. Computer vision systems help to avoid or prevent an accident in those industries where employees have high-risk work conditions. CV systems have a higher level of accuracy and modernization, compared to the manual process of control so it provides more efficiency by checking if required norms and standards are followed. CV helps to detect the area and intensity level if something happened already. The system helps to provide measures for workers to prevent injuries and to stay safe.

Real Benefits of Using CV

Due to the multifunctionality of CV, nowadays enterprises are very interested in implementing computer vision techniques. So what attracts investors all around the world to keep an eye on artificial intelligence and computer vision in particular? Let’s get a closer look.

  • Human detection and counting. By using well-arranged algorithms, the CV devices detect people and count them as they were detected.
  • Immediate notification about any interruption or contravention or any emergency case.
  • 24/7 operability. While human resources are limited, computer vision tools can work without stops or failures. It increases the speed and efficiency of work.
  • Cost reduction and higher productivity. By reducing the number of manual operations and performing work with the help of CV, productivity grows and the enterprise gets an opportunity to save costs. There is no need for long and routine work. Workers have the opportunity to develop and control the work of computers and robots.
  • Reduce the risks or dangerous situations at the working places. Computer vision programs monitor the presence or absence of the employees’ protective equipment and inform about that.
  • Social distance. It became relevant in the pandemic period. Companies use distance detectors. CV programs detect a people’s location and the acceptable distance between people.
  • Waste management. Up-to-date computer vision technologies allow to solve the global problem of waste. Program monitors objects, recognizes waste and sorts the waste automatically to specific bins and trucks that help to optimize the process of recycling and waste management.

Manufacturer

Computer vision integration: tools and libraries

Computer vision tools are the software algorithms, it’s a basic part of any video app or program. With the help of CV tools, objects can be detected, defined, selected, and measured. They analyze a specific set of pixels in a given area, graphically display the analysis process and provide data for making decisions.

Let’s look through the list of libraries and tools which are used for computer vision techniques.

OpenCV is a computer vision tool of algorithms and options for numerical operations with open code. It is based on such programming languages as Python, C++, Java, and Javascript. This library can process images and videos to identify people, objects, and other things.

TensorFlow is a Python library for fast numerical coding that can be applied in research, development, and in production systems. It can train and run deep neural networks, image recognition, digit classification, and so on.

PyTorch is an open-source computing tool for Python which is used for Deep Learning applications. It is quite a famous Machine learning platform, used for numerical operations.

Computer vision integration is not a simple process, it’s a quite challenging task. Software developers write a basic software package for machine vision cameras, and then the data is configured during testing at a specific enterprise. If you’d like to perform CV integration, you should hire a team of experienced software developers, who are experts in this technology. 

For example, let’s consider the GBKSOFT team who had CV projects on its portfolio and while developing them, mastered all the necessary tools and libraries. At GBKSOFT, our software engineers were involved in the development of several projects including IDmypic (which was described a bit earlier), and Drophook powered by AI technology. Let’s take a closer look at Drophook now.

Drophook became an important app for fishers, providing necessary CV-powered tools for fish measuring. In a few steps, you can take a photo of a fish, fit it with a measuring block and see the approximate length of the fish. The app contains information on the number of fish caught, it displays information on the type of the fish, its weight, date, and time when the catch was logged in. Take a look at a pic:

Drophook

GBKSOFT software solutions are developed mainly in Python. It’s a basic coding language that by using various frameworks, libraries, and tools, delivers complex algorithms. IT engineers at GBKSOFT can use a wide range of computing platforms in their work: 

  • OpenCV (NumPy based)
  • PCL
  • PyTorch
  • Tensorflow
  • Jupiter platform

GBKSOFT can become your trusted partner in the process of digitization and automation of your business. Our professional software engineers have experience in developing computer vision software. Providing solutions for commerce, industrial, manufacturing, construction companies, and other businesses, we developed projects related to face and image recognition. 

While developing each project, we take special care of the software security. We strictly follow industrial standards and compliances, preserve security controls, and while coding, pay attention to encryption, and perform both kinds of testing – manual and automated.

Our clients are the highest priority for us and we focus on long-term relationships. We always try to give more than expected by:

  • full involvement and dedication
  • advanced project management
  • transparent process of work and regular reports
  • free consultation and efficient communication.

We are ready to transform your business and help you optimize processes in your company. 

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Computer vision is a branch of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that collects and analyzes data by using visual objects recognition techniques.
Areas of AI and industrial automation industries made a quick jump during the pandemic period and will grow even faster after it. According to the amount of data that is generated every day, in the future computer vision technologies will be easier to train, their functions will grow and the industry profits will increase. “The global computer vision market size was valued at USD 10.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2020 to 2027,” Grand View Research, Inc notes.
The most often used computing language is Python. By using such image-processing libraries as NumPy, OpenCV, SciPy, PyTorch, it provides a rapid prototype of your computer vision applications in manufacturing or any other industry and it’s great for wide and complex scenarios of coding. Another computing language that can be used for computer vision applications is C++. It provides smooth work and high performance.

Conclusions

Computer vision in manufacturing industry promotes fast and widespread modernization and helps to achieve cost reduction while increasing productivity and accuracy of all systems work. The implementation of CV into your business is determined by the approach and the partner you choose. It is a serious task that requires expertise, dedication, and understanding of all the relevant tech trends. 

If you need a reliable technical partner to optimize your business processes, to involve computer vision in manufacturing or any other industry, GBKSOFT can be the right one for you!

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Creator

Knowledge is a crucial power of progress. Mankind is progressive and it's awesome. I am fond of studying, researching, and delivering info about technologies, software development, and scientific innovations. My dream is to unite people by the word power, to bring more understanding and appreciation between them.
Andrew

Expert

15 years of total experience in development, involving mobile, backend and frontend stack, including last 3 years as Head of mobile department.
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