Key ways machine vision is used in business

Regular readers know that I cover businesses quite a lot on my blog. I like to celebrate women entrepreneurs in particular. I love chatting to these amazing game changers. I learn so much from them. One of them was trying to tell me about machine vision the other week. I had to ask my teenage son to describe it in a way that |I could understand. Although I am not an expert by any means I can now describe some key  ways machine vision is used in business.

Machine vision in simple terms

Machines are clever just as humans are. Sometimes it is helpful to think of machines in human terms. So when it comes to a machine vision system, we are looking (no pun intended!) at the eyes of the machine, Machine vision uses digital technology from a camera to decide what to do next.  If you have done business training, you will know that improvements to quality, efficiency and operations are vital to succeed in competitive marketplaces. Machine vision can really help you in these areas.

The history of machine vision

It might surprise to know you that something as technical as machine vision technology was around in the 1950s. From the 1980s machine vision became more common. My son told me that typical components involved in machine vision include sensors, cameras, lighting, software, screens and alogorithms.  Over time, machine vision systems are more refined and can do more and more things that are so helpful to businesses.

A machine vision system in practice.

Machine vision can be used to spot defects in a product. This is helpful as it means the product does not meet the grade so does not enter the market. That can prevent disappointed customers are least and legal action in the worst case scenarios. It is actually quite easy to understand. A sensor detects that the product is there and triggers a light source illuminating the product. The camera takes an image of the whole product or its component parts. The frame-grabber (my son had to explain this one to me) is a digitising device so the original image from the camera becomes digital output. Once the digital file is saved to your computer, your system software can analyse it and compare what it sees with the predetermined criteria for faults.

How is machine vision used in business?

There are multiple uses for machine vision in enterprises.

  • Spotting where faults occur in the production process
  • Checking crops to detect diseases as an alternative or addition to drones.
  • Improving safety in all sorts of settings from busy building sites to pharmaceutical companies
  • Reading barcodes and labels
  • Measuring and calibrating.

A short post like this cannot hope to get across just how useful machine vision is in the business world. You won’t have to chat to many business owners before finding one that sees machine vision as vital to the success of their business. New technologies are driving forward machine vision developments to the benefits of commerce at home and overseas. Not only that but as machine vision reduces waste and aids recycling it has environmental benefits too.

Do you use machine vision in your enterprise?

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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