Machine Vision Applications

examples of lighting difficulties for part location with plus signs

GIGI: Guidance, Identification, Gauging and Inspection

Typically the first step in any machine vision application, whether the simplest assembly verification or a complex 3D robotic bin-picking, is for pattern matching technology to find the object or feature of interest within the camera’s field of view. Locating the object of interest often determines success or failure. If the pattern matching software tools can not precisely locate the part within the image, then it can not guide, identify, inspect, count, or measure the part. While finding a part sounds simple, differences in its appearance in actual production environments can make that step extremely challenging (Figure 3). Although vision systems are trained to recognize parts based on patterns, even the most tightly controlled processes allow some variability in a part’s appearance (Figure 4).

To achieve accurate, reliable, and repeatable results, a vision system’s part location tools must include enough intelligence to quickly and accurately compare training patterns to the actual objects (pattern matching) moving down a production line. Part location is the critical first step in the four major categories of machine vision applications. The categories include:

This can be remembered by the acronym GIGI.

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