Find out how machine vision can improve your processes

28 May 2019

The annual UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition is set to take place on 6 June 2019 at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

Running alongside an exhibition the event will also feature a full conference programme with 57 seminars running across eight technology-themed presentation theatres. Dr Luca Benedetti, from artificial perception technology company, Kudan, will deliver a keynote presentation entitled ‘Visual SLAM in the Wild’. SLAM refers to the process of determining the position and orientation (localisation) of a sensor with respect to its surroundings, as well as simultaneously building a map of the surrounding environment. 

The new ‘Vision in Robotics’ theatre reflects the growing importance of this topic. Presentations will include the use of 3D stereo vision in robot applications, in particular for bin picking and part handling. The increasing use of cobots will also be covered and there will also be opportunity to find out how deep learning methods are being integrated into vision and robot applications. The importance of HD digital transmission for robot applications, where fast transmission and long cable distances are involved, will also be a subject for discussion.

High profile technologies 
The other presentation theatres will cover a number of technology themes.  Deep learning and embedded vision continue to be hot topics and delegates will be able to explore the crossover between deep learning and embedded vision with the emergence of ‘inference’ cameras, where deep learning capabilities are available within the camera itself. 

There will also be sessions on deep neural network training, practical usage in the automotive, food and packaging industries, deep learning vision solutions in the context of Industry 4.0 and AI-based vision systems in logistics applications. 

Contributions on embedded vision will focus on how this technology differs from PC-based systems and where they can and cannot be usefully deployed. 

The conference programme will also cover how different types of 3D imaging suit different applications and how to specify and design a 3D system. The increasing cross-over between low-cost consumer 3D sensors and machine vision will also be explored. 

Camera technology
The Camera Technology conference stream covers the latest camera interfaces such as CoaXPress and 5GigE, ultra high resolution cameras, multi-sensor prism cameras and cameras designed for use in extreme temperatures and harsh environments. Recent developments in lens design to combat shock and vibration and correct distortion will also be discussed, while the importance of consistent lighting for reliable and repeatable results and the use of different illumination wavelengths to reveal hidden information are popular topics. 

Demystifying machine vision
Traditionally, programming a reliable system to process data from a vision camera has been considered something of a black art, so SICK is using the event to demystify machine vision. 

Demonstrations on the SICK stand will include Inspector P 2D and the Trispector 1000 3D smart vision sensors which work in a similar way to smart phones, powering ready-made applications that are easy to set up and use, selected via a central cloud-based repository of industry solutions. Central to this is SICK’s AppSpace platform for development and pooling of software applications.  

Also on the stand will be the new 4Sight Automated Print Inspection System developed in SICK AppSpace with packaging automation company Autocoding Systems. 4Sight communicates directly with common printer types – such as inject and laser thermal transfer. It can automatically recognise and inspect the alphanumeric code applied by the printer and continue the inspection whenever a code is updated, for example with a new date or batch number. There is no requirement to teach the camera what to look for, or for fixturing using an edges or logos. 

SICK will also demonstrate its entry-level robot guidance solutions using smart 2D and 3D vision sensors. The Inspector PIM60 URCap integrates its Inspector PIM60 2D vision sensors with Universal Robots (UR). Simple to set up and use, the combination delivers a toolkit for creating a vision-guided robot task with minimum time and effort. Configuration is achieved in minutes through the UR controller or the SICK Inspector PIM60 without need for an additional PC.

Lighting control
Visitors to the Gardasoft stand will be able to see the new FP220 high-speed lighting controller. This new generation of dual channel controllers combines capabilities for high frequency, high power LED pulsing with low output current performance, making them suitable for a wide range of machine vision applications.

The FP200 series promises fast pulse rise times, with trigger frequencies up to 10kHZ for high speed pulsing applications such as line scan imaging. With a maximum pulse current of 20A, applications requiring high power, long lighting pulses such as UV curing can also be easily handled.

The new controller is also said to offer good performance in low current applications. The accuracy and repeatability of output current below 300mA is ±1%, providing the levels of control needed for applications that are very sensitive to lighting variation.

Highlights on the Stemmer Imaging stand will include the Ricoh SC-10 human assist camera and the CIS CoaXPress colour linescan bar and other cameras. The rich array of camera technology available on the stand will also include the latest image sensors and 3D smart sensors, 3D depth sensors, multi-line line scan cameras, three-chip colour cameras, smart cameras and embedded systems. There is also an opportunity to see liquid lenses and controllers in action as well as a selection of high-performance LED lighting and controllers.

IDS will be showing the new IDS NXT rio & rome families of intelligent cameras and the Ensenso XR series of stereo 3D cameras. With their vision apps approach, the rio and rome cameras promise versatility. They can be used as standard industrial cameras, or users can take advantage of customised applications based on vision apps and on-camera neural networks. Pre-trained artificial neural networks of different architectures can be loaded directly onto the cameras to solve AI vision tasks with inference times of milliseconds. 

The Ensenso XR 3D cameras feature on-board processing for the calculation of 3D point clouds, with data transmission via Ethernet or Wifi. This gives faster 3D point cloud generation, less strain on network bandwidth and a reduced computing load on the host PC. This allows faster clock rates for applications such as bin picking. 

Surface inspection
Micro-Epsilon UK will introduce a new 3D non-contact surface inspection system for defect detection and for inspecting the aesthetic appearance of non-reflecting surfaces.

The new turnkey surfaceCONTROL system can be integrated directly into processing/assembly lines or onto robots. The system is based on the principles of deflectometry and fringe projection, which enables even the smallest of surface defects to be reliably recognised, as well as the inspection of surface aesthetics.

surfaceCONTROL is based on AI algorithms developed to detect and quantify the dimensions of surface defects, even to single microns in an inline industrial environment. Its measurement capability has opened up new opportunities for automated visual inspection which is not possible with current industrial 3D vision technology. 

Alrad Imaging will be showing new 20 MP GigE and USB 3 cameras. The Imaging Source has expanded its product portfolio with four new camera models featuring the Sony 20 MP IMX183 sensor. The new camera models are available with a USB 3.0 or GigE interface and support the USB3 Vision and GigE Vision standards. The IMX 183 is a back-illuminated 1in sensor is said to offer high sensitivity, good image quality and good colour reproduction. In addition to applications in microscopy, the cameras are suitable for a variety of inspection and measurement tasks. Combining the cameras with the Imaging Source 1in lenses results in a high-resolution camera system with a particularly good price to performance ratio. Also on the Alrad stand will be a demonstration of cost-effective lighting for vision related applications. 

Easy and cost-effective automation will be the theme of the RARUK Automation display, with products and systems carefully selected to be freely combined to provide the best solution for an application. 

To demonstrate the potential of the company’s off-the-shelf approach, RARUK Automation will be showcasing two systems – the basis of which are Universal Robots (UR) e-Series collaborative robots which promise fast development for a wide variety of applications, easy programming and compliance with CAT3 PLd.  

Three Robotiq innovations are included on the first URe demonstration. The Robotiq Vision System and the new Robotiq Hand-e gripper. 

Also new is the Robotiq Force Copilot whose sensing functions are said to increase flexibility and reliability in machine-tending, assembly, finishing and pick & place applications. A suite of set-up tools allows the user to hand-guide the robot on complex trajectories.

The software makes it easy to place objects precisely in jigs, trays and chucks and facilitates assembly applications through alignment, indexing and insertion functions. Finally, the intuitive interface unlocks finishing applications, with adjustable adaptive compliance and constant force for all robot axes.

The second RARUK Automation UR e-Series demonstration will feature the latest addition from Pick-it. The M-HD high definition 3D camera which can detect almost any small and medium sized objects with high accuracy, whatever its material of manufacture. Pick-it allows any camera supported automation application to be built without expert help as there is no need for any complicated programming.

Omron will be showing its new FHV7-series smart camera combined with illumination and image processing functionality for advanced vision inspections. Only one FHV7-series 12-megapixel high-resolution camera with multi-colour light capabilities is required to achieve the highest standards of precision in vision inspections on a high-mix production line.

As quality requirements become become stricter manufacturers need to introduce stricter quality control checks, to maintain and improve product quality and to quickly identify causes of product defects. Further, with mass customisation becoming commonplace different products are more often being produced on a single line, which requires quality inspections of products in different colours and sizes. This is where the highest quality vision technologies really come in play. 
In addition to demonstrating the latest vision components, Multipix Imaging will use the event to showcase the advantages of using Short Wave InfraRed (SWIR) Camera Technology.  

SWIR enables applications to see beyond standard cameras and the human eye. The NIT Wide Dynamic SWIR model is used in a variety of applications – such as electronic board inspection, identifying & sorting, surveillance, anti-counterfeiting, and process quality control. Using the technology objects hidden behind thick fog and haze become clear and products packaged in opaque container become visible.

3D Imaging is another area that will be showcased on the Multipix stand, with new solutions from Photoneo, the Phoxi and the MotionCam-3D models.

Further information about the event and the conference programme is available at:

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