Monday, September 13, 2010

Sometimes, you don’t want machine vision

Hard to believe, I know, but machine vision is not the best tool for every inspection job. Take crack detection for example. A crack has a lot of length but almost no width, so you need a ton of pixels to see the darn thing. Plus, lighting it can be awfully hard. If there’s no difference in height between the two sides darkfield lighting won’t work, so your only options are a Cloudy Day Illuminator (CDI) or Diffuse On-Axis Light (DOAL), both of which are bulky and still don’t guarantee success.

But if the object you’re inspecting is ferrous, eddy current works like a dream. Of course, it is a single point technology, so you’ll need to scan across the surface and it’s not as fast as just grabbing an image, but there again, it can be very repeatable and not too expensive.

For a quick eddy current primer, take a look at “Going Green with Eddy Current Testing” by Dan DeVries and Joe Jessop and published on the NDTmag website, July 28th 2010.

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