Vision Sensor Technology: Driving the Automotive Industry

Vision Sensor Technology: Driving the Automotive Industry

The growing automation industry and the rapidly evolving advanced automation technology are driving the propagation of vision sensor technology due to the integrated use of vision in manufacturing products worldwide. The retail and consumer goods industry is also growing at a significant pace, whereby the mandate of these sensors is rapidly aggregating for bar code scanning purposes.

What is a vision sensor?

Vision sensors are self-contained devices that incorporate a single compact vision lighting unit, lens, and camera, making it easier to employ them. Vision sensors with a range of lenses and lighting options are available to fit a single device into different applications.
Vision sensor systems design and structure consist of a display, interface, video camera, and a computer processor which automates industrial processes. These sensors are extensively used for pass/fail decisions, measurement, and other observable product quality characteristics.  
These parts are integral to manufacturing processes as they focus solely on improving efficiency. Using images captured by the camera, vision sensors can also be used to determine a part's orientation, presence, and accuracy. They are different from other sensors that are intended for general purposes. For example, a single vision sensor can perform multi-position inspections and even after detection, the target position is not consistent.

The role of Vision Sensors across several industries:

  • Pharmaceuticals

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is extremely important to count tablets and gel capsules before they are filled into containers. To meet these requirements, companies are developing a range of electronic counting and packaging systems that can be used as independent units or can be used within an integrated packaging line.

  • Automotive

The automotive industry is expected to be a key end-user industry for vision sensors due to the growing demand for these sensors for inspection, identification and localization applications. Applications that will boost this industry's demand for vision sensors include inspection of various parts and components, identification of defective components, and component default. Increased use of factory automation will escalate the demand for these sensors to reduce production time and inspection costs.

  • Consumer Electronics

The need for a greater resolution to measure small deficiencies and steps in today's mobile phone assemblies is the driving force behind all of today's innovation in the 3D sensor industry. Inspection of electronics is a demanding application for machine vision systems–it creates productivity benefits for inspection applications in various innovative ways. With faster inspection times, machine vision technology increases production performance. High frame rate cameras with real-time processing capabilities dramatically reduce inspection time, similar to cameras with multiple areas of interest and a broader field of view. Machine vision cameras improve precision and performance.

  • Food & Packaging

Compared to any other industry, the products in this segment must be manufactured without faults due to health implications, they must be traceable and sustainable. In this context, vision technology as a high-tech performance and economic method for automated optical inspection find new applications in the food industry. Vision systems in the food industry are partly subjected to extreme environmental conditions. The components and systems used therefore must be extremely robust in mechanical terms or placed in appropriate protective housings. Another factor is that processes of vision technology typically involve various production phases. In this case, it is beneficial to respond to a large number of tasks involved in a high-performance software library regardless of hardware.

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Where do we see Vision Sensors?

  • Inspection

A great vision application uses a vision sensor to inspect on the basis of a pattern-matching approach. Reason being, it typically requires capturing an image of the correct condition. The vision sensor sends an unsubscribed output and rejects the product when an unmatched part is detected by the sensor. For example, a vision sensor can check the presence of a label on a product.

  • Code Reading

Code reading will be a critical activity in industries such as food & beverages, and packaging and logistics in the coming years. Fixed or handheld code readers would play an important role in marking, identifying and tracking products on a conveyor belt or during transit to the desired location 1D or 2D code readers. The growing need for vision sensors from the automotive industry and food and packaging industries is going to have a significant impact on the development of the code reader technology for vision sensors.

  • Gauging

A viewing system to measure distances on an object between two or more points or geometric locations calculates and determines whether such measurements comply with specifications. If not, the viewing system transmits a failed signal to the controller, causing the object to be thrown away from the line to a refuse mechanism. A fixed-mount camera captures images of parts when they pass the field of view of the camera and the system uses the software to calculate distances between several points in the image. As many vision systems can measure objects within 0.0254 millimeters, a number of applications are traditionally handled by contact gauging.

How does a vision sensor work?

Vision sensors use camera pictures to determine component presence, orientation, and accuracy. These sensors differ from image inspection systems because there is one single unit in which the camera, light, and controller make building and operating the unit easier. Furthermore, the target position can be detected even if the large field of view is not consistent.
Vision sensors operate in a wide range of applications. Usually, they consist of a video camera, a display, and an interface. These vision sensors require automated industrial processes and decisions, recorded measures, initiated decisions taken or failed, and compliance with the quality of analyzable products. Some vision sensors also have an integrated processor called intelligent cameras.
Vision sensors use images to determine the presence, orientation, and accuracy of surrounding objects. A combination of image acquisition and image processing is provided for the sensors. For a multi-point inspection, a single sensor can be used. Furthermore, vision sensors can interchange the data between the video camera and the computer.

An Overview

The Vision Sensor industry has moved to technologies that provide a panoramic and/or three-dimensional image view, night vision and improved signal processing to enable smart decision-making in sensors. This will result in safer roads worldwide. The challenges associated with congested and ill-treated roads provide plenty of opportunities to develop and test equipment.
Customer demands can drive developments in technology. Customers prefer to use intelligent cameras in the packaging and pharmaceutical industries to packaging codes in one single image up to the case level. Intelligent cameras have been built to handle larger quantities of data over time. There are also robust sensors on the market and can perform several inspection tasks at once. In the coming years, The Global Vision Sensor Market will appear at a CAGR of 11.8 %.