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That’s NXT: when the camera calls the shots in factory automation

13 April 2021

In Industry 4.0 plants, the strategic use of AI, edge computing and embedded vision ensures flexibility and productivity. Automated vision systems perform tasks without loss of concentration, which accelerates processes and minimises errors. With the help of integrated data processing and equipped with industrial interfaces such as OPC UA, they can also become the driving force for follow-up processes in connected systems. With AI camera solutions such as IDS NXT ocean, this is already a reality

Learn how smart vision sensors guide machines in modern factory automation. 

Industrial automation is both driven by embedded vision and AI-based image processing solutions. The greatest added value comes from the combination of embedded vision, image processing routines and deep learning. Systems that can also provide integrated computing power and are characterised by a compact, cost-efficient design become the most logical solution for many applications. They can help, for example, to automate the recognition of spare parts in customer service. In case of a complaint, companies score points with their customers through quick and exact trouble shooting. Image processing with artificial intelligence can support the service team in spare parts management and problem solving, because product catalogues can be easily taught in neural networks with image data and construction models (CAD). This lightens the workload of the staff and speeds up the process. In quality control, AI-based cameras can reliably spot even the smallest defects after being trained on “good” and “bad” sample images. To ensure that only flawless products leave the production line they identify defects which are difficult to detect for the human eye. Equipped with an OPC UA interface, they can also exchange tasks and results directly with machines and controllers. The application possibilities based on such cameras are almost limitless. To make best us of this technology, companies require AI vision systems that are equally flexible, easy to handle and powerful. This is where IDS NXT ocean comes into play. 

IDS NXT ocean (www.ids-nxt.com) is particularly user-friendly end-to-end solution which allows users to create AI-based image processing applications – even with little previous knowledge. Vision apps help to flexibly control which task the embedded vision system should solve; from simple barcode reading to complex AI-based object detection. Thanks to their compact industrial-grade housing and interfaces such as OPC UA, the intelligent IDS NXT cameras can be easily integrated into factory automation. Image processing takes place directly on the camera and can then be transmitted as a result, for example to a machine control system. 

Customers are provided with coordinated workflows and all the necessary tools so that they can easily develop application on their own. With the IDS-hosted, cloud-based AI training system IDS NXT lighthouse, they can train a neural network with their own images without any prior deep learning knowledge and without having to install any hardware or software. This is remarkable, because although automation is a defining topic in the market, only few all-in-one packages for embedded vision with deep learning are available. In many cases, this is still project work, with customers building the systems themselves step by step. IDS Imaging Development Systems removes these hurdles so that even companies without dedicated AI specialists can benefit from the current technical state of the art and keep their competitive edge. For more information, please visit https://en.ids-imaging.com/industrial-automation.html

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