Processing is the mechanism for extracting information from a digital image and may take place externally in a PC-based system, or internally in a standalone vision system. Processing is performed by software and consists of several steps. First, an image is acquired from the sensor. In some cases, pre-processing may be required to optimize the image and ensure that all the necessary features stand out. Next, the software locates the specific features, runs measurements, and compares these to the specification. Finally, a decision is made and the results are communicated.
While many physical components of a machine vision system (such as lighting) offer comparable specifications, the vision system algorithms set them apart and should top the list of key components to evaluate when comparing solutions. Depending on the specific system or application, vision software configures camera parameters, makes the pass-fail decision, communicates with the factory floor, and supports HMI development.