6 Ways to Boost Industrial Automation with a Machine Vision Solution
New technologies such as AI, robots, automation, and detailed analytics are fast becoming crucial forms of industrial automation for warehouses, manufacturing plants and other industries that want to become more optimised working environments.
Machine vision represents one of the most exciting Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies to emerge with these goals in mind. And with experts expecting machine vision technologies to grow in the next decade, this makes it a perfect time to consider how they can actually benefit your day-to-day supply chain operations.
Businesses that use machine vision experience increased efficiency, cost savings, improved quality control, enhanced safety and other benefits.
In a previous article, we talked about machine vision, how it works, and its common uses. Today, we focus on how machine vision enhance automation in warehouses, factories and supply chains.
Leveraging machine vision systems in industrial automation
1. Process multiple types of data at once
Traditional barcode scanners have long been the backbone of warehousing, logistics and manufacturing data capture, but they are ultimately limited by their ability to scan and capture one piece of data at a time.
The pairing of modern camera technology and machine vision removes this limitation, enabling supply chain organisations to collect multiple pieces of data at speed. Machine vision can be programmed to scan multiple barcode types at various angles, identify the number of items in a box and even flag items that are defective or damaged.
2. Identify and prepare for upcoming demand
Preparing effectively for upcoming demand can be challenging for organisations, even with a wealth of historical data available.
Machine vision can improve supply chain management, delivery times, customer satisfaction, and adapt to market changes.
Machine vision can utilise various types of data to enhance warehouse operations and achieve greater success. This data includes information on inventory, logistics, distribution, market trends, customer demand, economic climate, and weather. By analysing and processing this data, AI and machine vision can make informed decisions and optimize warehouse processes. This ultimately leads to improved efficiency, cost savings, and increased customer satisfaction.
3. Enhance quality control with 3D vision
When organisations use 3D vision capabilities with a machine vision system, they can capture accurate and detailed information regarding the precise shape of an object, even if its complex or irregular.
This allows them to detect surface defects with higher accuracy and reliability, ensure products meet specific requirements and classify them based on specific attributes.
Businesses can use this information to detect errors early, reduce the risk of faulty products reaching the market and even compare the product with the 3D model or CAD design to ensure it meets specifications.
4. Meet compliance requirements with machine vision
Machine vision offers multiple benefits throughout the supply chain, be it within the four walls of a warehouse or across the manufacturing plant. One area of improvement machine vision can deliver on is compliance.
The ability to identify and process multiple forms of data once enables organisations to meet health and safety standards for staff, identify items or products that fail to meet quality assurance checks and ensure specific company policies and procedures are being adhered to within the working environment.
5. Improved forecasting and planning
Machine vision isn’t just a technology for collecting and evaluating data in the moment; it’s also a powerful tool for businesses that want to use that data to project and forecast for tasks further down the process.
For instance, in a warehousing/distribution centre setting, machine vision offers the ability to scan items being placed into boxes and accurately forecast how many boxes will be needed in order to fill the space within a vehicle waiting to be loaded. Machine vision enables users to optimise their processs, automating their operations in a way that saves time, reduces cost and helps redirect workers to other tasks.
6. Process data at much faster speeds
As mentioned above, machine vision sets itself from traditional barcode scanners in many ways, including the ability to capture myriad forms of data simultaneously. Another key benefit is the sheer speed that this data can be captured when applied to the high-speed environments of the supply chain environment.
For instance, these fixed cameras can be positioned on the conveyor belt of a manufacturing plant, where they can scan each individual item and run through every programmed check – even if the item is passing by at speed. This offers the ability to maintain or increase the speed of automated processes while leveraging an enhanced data capture solution.
These are just some of the ways machine vision is already be used in warehouses or manufacturing operations to achieve multiple more optimised results. From capturing multiple forms of data at speed to meeting company and industry compliance standards, machine vision is a proven technology that’s yet to meet its true potential.
As one of the leading names in end-to-end technology solutions for warehousing, logistics, manufacturing and the supply chain, Renovotec has the expertise and the experience to build a personalised solution that leverages many of the machine vision benefits we have explored above.
Contact one of our experts today to learn more about machine vision for your business.
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