Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cooking up an application

MasterChef is a cooking reality show. Contestants, selected apparently more for their looks or “alternative-ness” than their culinary skills, compete to produce something delicious from a diverse range of ingredients.

Machine vision integration is the same, but with longer timescales. The integrator pulls together conveyors and bowl-feeders, cameras, lights, sensors, controllers and software in the expectation that something almost magical will emerge. Some do it well. A few produce disasters of unimaginable grotesqueness.

Fortunately commercial Darwinism takes care of those who can’t deliver, leaving us with talented integration “chefs” like the folks at Cyth Systems. Their “Integrating A 3-D Inspection System”, case study published on the Quality Magazine website May 13th, 2013, (registration required – sorry,) describes one such system.

This uses six Gocator 3D sensors from LMI mounted over a conveyor. Their outputs are fed into a LabVIEW system that provides the information on product quality. Wonderware handles the user interface, and I’m guessing, a lot of database storage of inspection statistics.

It all sounds great, and is just missing a movie to turn it up to “fantastic”. If a TV channel one day decides to make an integration reality show, Cyth Systems should definitely take part. If they have a sufficiently diverse team they might even win!

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