machine vision detects broken pill

Identifying defects, irregularities and other manufacturing flaws

A machine vision system for inspection detects defects, contaminants, functional flaws, and other irregularities in manufactured products. Examples include inspecting tablets of medicine for flaws, displays to verify icons or confirm pixel presence, or touch screens to measure the level of backlight contrast.

Machine vision can also inspect products for completeness, such as ensuring a match between product and package in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and checking safety seals, caps, and rings on bottles.

Machine vision systems designed for inspection monitor the visual appearance of the observed material. Using statistical analysis, the system automatically identifies potential defects in the material’s surface and classifies the defects into groups based on similarity in contrast, texture and/or geometry.

Most machine vision systems include a library of software tools that perform different types of inspections and let you incorporate multiple inspections from captured images. The versatility and industry range of machine vision inspection can be seen in the following list of typical machine vision inspection tasks:

  • Determine the position of an object, for example, to verify proper label placement
  • Ensure the package integrity of medical products, such as checking that medicine vials are fully closed and secured with tamper-proof seals 
  • Verify that an object’s properties meet quality standards, such as the position and volume of glue beads used in automobile transmissions 
  • Inspect manufactured goods and identify flaws, such as surface scratches, bent needle tips, and incomplete solder traces
  • Count items, such as pills in a blister pack, bottles in a case, and components of a kit
  • Check on characteristics of completed assemblies, such as the inclusion of consumer safety inserts and the completion of an assembly operation
  • Detect tool wear in machining operations before parts are out of spec
  • Measure dimensions on a microscopic level, such as the gap on a spark plug
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