How automatic optical inspection technology is changing manufacturing

How automatic optical inspection technology is changing manufacturing

The human eye has amazing capabilities. Each eye has 107 million photosensitive cells. We can focus on more than 50 objects per second, distinguish more than 500 gray shades, and see nearly 3 million different colors.

What is automatic optical inspection technology and what does it do?
Visual inspection technology (also called automatic visual inspection) is performed by using the camera in combination with programmed image processing software that can perform dozens of standard inspections on parts and confirm quality in milliseconds. In terms of speed and accuracy, automatic visual inspection far exceeds human capabilities.

Automatic optical inspection can perform the following tasks at high speed:
-- Measure, classify and count parts
-- Check for the presence/absence of parts
-- Testing and calibration
-- Verify the correct position of the part
-- Identify and classify parts by identifying shape, size and color
-- 3D imaging
-- Read barcodes and printed characters
-- Enable robot or machine guidance
-- Capture data to help streamline processes, increase efficiency, and identify problems in the manufacturing process
-- Real-time process control
-- Make quality control decisions, such as pass/fail and trigger rejections or alerts

Use automatic optical inspection technology for quality control
Machine vision technology benefits the manufacturing industry through various applications, especially in inspection. The "smart camera" reduces the part image to a simple format, and then analyzes the image through quality control software to identify defects. After integration with the assembly system, this process is a powerful method for quickly inspecting, classifying, and assembling products.

Using machine vision for inspection equipment has the following advantages:
-- Improved accuracy
-- Continuous operation and increase uptime
-- Quality assurance and control
-- Ability to perform mass production with almost zero defects
-- High security level achieved through quality assurance
-- Cost savings through quality improvement and automation (reduced manual inspection)
-- Ability to check 100% of produced parts (compared to spot checks only)
-- Collect data that can be used to further improve efficiency and quality

Insun uses machine vision to check parts for defects and separate them from production parts delivered to customers. In a specific use case, we produce 40 million pins per year for one of our automotive customers to use for seat belts. These pins are very small-less than ½ inch-so it is impossible to visually check for defects. Since these components are essential to the function of the seat belt, the highest accuracy and quality are required.