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Machine Vision vs. Computer Vision

Machine vision and computer vision systems both perform image processing to analyze data about a product or process. Both typically consist of a camera to take images and specialized software to handle the data. However similar these processes may be on the surface, these vision systems do have significant differences in terms of their applications, capabilities, and processing techniques.

If you’re considering a vision system to improve production or other processes, it’s important to understand the difference between computer and machine vision so that you can select the most appropriate solution for your specific industry.

Computer Vision vs. Machine Vision

The main difference between computer and machine vision is simply a matter of scope. Both types of systems take images, analyze those images using a computer program, and then relay some sort of decision or conclusion.

machine vision vs computer vision

Computer vision uses a PC-based processor to perform a deep dive into data analysis. As such, computer vision has a much greater processing capability of acquired visual data when compared to machine vision. PCs are also far more difficult and less robust in many industrial applications and may require significant tailoring by software experts.

Not all industrial applications require the advanced capabilities of computer vision, and this is where machine vision enters into the picture. Oftentimes, simple PLC-based processing capabilities are all that is required by an application. Machine vision can quickly analyze image data to facilitate simple automated choices, such as yes/no, good/bad, defect/no defect, or presence/absence.

With these differences in mind, it becomes easier to understand how computer vision and machine vision lend themselves to different applications.

  • Computer vision is more useful for identifying, predicting, and observing trends; gaining advanced feedback about abstract visual data; and analyzing large numbers of variables.
  • Machine vision is applied to guide physical manufacturing processes. For instance, machine vision is frequently used to enact quality checks, detecting flaws and then instructing the machinery on how to handle them.

Benefits and Applications of Computer Vision and Machine Vision

A more thorough understanding of computer vision and machine vision may be reached through examining their various benefits and applications.

Computer Vision

Broadly speaking, computer vision is an extremely valuable technology, allowing for trends and patterns to be quickly and accurately parsed from visual information. In many cases, computer vision software can glean insights that a human would have difficulty reaching with any confidence. 

Computer vision has valuable practical applications in many diverse industries, such as:

Computer Vision vs Machine Vision [infographic]

Medical

This process is used to detect abnormalities in medical scans like x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or cardiograms. 

Insurance

Computer vision differentiates between intentional and accidental damage based on pattern recognition.

Defense and Security

Surveillance may be automated with computer vision to detect potential criminal activity.

Automotive

Self-driving vehicles rely on computer vision technology to power machine learning processes.

Machine Vision

Machine vision shares similar benefits in terms of speed and accuracy. However, its applications are instead focused on controlling industrial processes to enhance efficiency. Some examples include:

Automatic Inspection

Machine vision can assess products far faster than a human can, leading to increased operational efficiency.

Quality Control

Automated quality control is invaluable for detecting flaws in intricate designs like barcodes that humans would be unable to easily judge. It can also speed up almost any routine quality check, executing automatic pass/fail functions depending on the result of the assessment.

Robot Guidance

Machine vision is a necessary component of many robotic guidance processes. By analyzing visual information about the robot’s surroundings, these programs increase speed while allowing for more precise positioning and sorting.

Turn to Intec for Your Vision System Needs

At Intec Automation, we’ve spent the past two decades developing advanced, innovative machine vision and automation solutions. We work with you at every stage of the process to analyze your needs, develop an appropriate machine vision integration solution, and train your employees on how to make best use of the new technology. We can also work closely with your in-house software engineers or bring in experts to develop a computer vision solution tailored to your operation.

If you’re considering implementing a new vision solution into your manufacturing operation, our experts can help you analyze your operation and determine whether machine vision or computer vision is the best choice. To learn more about how our turnkey vision systems can make your operation more efficient, get in touch with our automation specialists today.

Automation Systems for Cannula Manufacturers

Cannulas are small tubes that are primarily used to deliver or extract fluid.  They are used in many different industries, with a high percentage being used in the medical field.  Medical cannulas are critical to daily operations performed in hospitals, clinics, and research. They are typically disposable, and their high-use nature means that fabrication occurs in large production runs.

There are many different varieties of cannulas, including standardized hypodermic cannulas, and a wide variety of custom cannulas that support an equally broad range of medical and research applications with demanding tolerance requirements.  As such, cannulas can vary widely in:

  • Length
  • Geometry
  • Gauge
  • Material

Benefits of Cannula Automation Systems

Automating the cannula manufacturing process provides many benefits, including: 

  • Increased Productivity Levels (Cycle Time/Parts Per Minute)
  • Higher Quality
  • Production Repeatability
  • Maximized Employee Safety
  • Real-Time Monitoring
  • Reduced Manufacturing Costs
  • Short ROI (An Average of 1 Year)
  • Guaranteed Cleanroom Compliance 

Intec’s Cannula Needle Crimp & Bend Machine

Intec’s Cannula Needle Crimp and Bend Machine gives medical manufacturers the capacity for high-volume cannula production in accordance with a wide variety of customer requirements.  Some highlights of the Needle Crimp and Bend Machine include:

  • Performance of a variety of assembly and finishing operations, such as needle crimping and sheath installation.
  • A high level of available customization.
  • The ability to accept multiple part numbers that differ from one another (with interchangeable dies and crimpers).
  • A robust cycle time that comes from the capacity to run multiple parts simultaneously.
  • Programmable crimping angles.
  • Varying needle gauges.
  • Multiple bend angles.
  • Multiple inspections performed to ensure highest possible quality.
  • An intuitive and easy-to-use operator touch screen (HMI).
  • A compact design.
  • Cleanroom compliance.
  • Ease of access to each station.

Here at Intec, we work closely with our customers to ensure they get the best machine for their operation.  Our capabilities include:

  • Clean-Sheet Design and Build
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Controls Engineering
  • Machine Design
  • Panel Building
  • Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Programming
  • Management of Programs and Technical Buying
  • The Capability to Fabricate, Assemble, Test, and Debug In-House
  • Customer Training and Support

We use a variety of feed elements to further enhance production capabilities, such as:

  • Robotic Pick and Place
  • Elevators
  • Conveyors
  • Coin Slot Escapements
  • Vibratory Bowls

In addition, our machines perform a number of needle assembly and finishing operations, including:

  • Sheathing/Unsheathing
  • Crimping
  • Gluing
  • Bending
  • Swaging

Throughout our processes, we also ensure that there are visual inspection and quality control points along the way to guarantee the final quality of the end product.

Why Choose Intec?

We are a world class, custom machine partner.  For over 20 years, we have provided customized automation for a wide variety of clients.  Our automated processes make mass production more cost-effective for our customers.  Moreover, we are a one-stop shop with capabilities for design, fabrication, assembly, programming, testing, debugging, installation, and customer support.  

While our primary focus is in the production of medical equipment, we build machines for a wide range of industries.  We enjoy long-term relationships with our clients.  In fact, over 90% of our business comes from satisfied repeat customers.  We offer clean-sheet design and full customization according to the client’s specific needs, and we can automate upstream or downstream.

If you’d like to discuss how Intec Automation can assist you in cannula manufacturing, or to hear about our other customized manufacturing solutions, reach out to us today for more information.

Intec Automation named Top Machine Vision Solution Provider for 2017

Corey Marcotte, General Manager
With its deep-rooted foundation of over two decades of experience in factory automation, specialty equipment and clean-sheet design and build of custom manufacturing systems, Intec Automation is not only an early advocate of automation but a support to pioneering companies who want to automate their factories and manufacturing plants. Per Corey Marcotte, General Manager at Intec, “Intec’s services encompass—initial concept, mechanical and electrical engineering, fabrication, assembly, and installation of custom automation systems and highly specialized machinery for unique process applications and product manufacturing. We help our customers automate simple and complex assemblies, manufacturing, inspection, testing, and web conversion processes—improve quality, increase throughput, and reduce downtime or defect rates.” Intec has camped its strong foothold in multifarious industries, including but not limited to medical and life sciences, automotive, aerospace, defense, security, consumer products, and packaging.

The process begins with an assessment of the customer’s needs to ensure a clear definition of their statement of work, request for quotation or specifications. Before Intec can design a solution, they ensure they understand the outcomes desired and the parameters that impact the solution’s success. Metrics are gathered such as cycle times, outputs, quality parameters, and delivery methodology. Quality metrics may also have to be defined from scratch if the shift is from a manual process to an automated process. In that scenario, quality control may require a camera to create the “machine vision.” The camera works the same way every time, whereas the performance of the same task done by manual workforce is inconsistent, no matter how well they are trained or how conscientious they are. Intec’s machine vision systems measure throughput, cycle time, quality uptime and more, based on parameters established to ensure quality control. Vision systems are always paying attention, so if there is a machine defect, it is found immediately at the root cause of the defect and the production line can be rerouted so the manufacturing process can continue.

We can help our customers automate simple and complex assemblies, manufacturing, inspection, testing, and web conversion processes— improve quality, increase throughput, and reduce downtime and defects

In some cases, Intec’s customers have an existing internal solution, that may be semi-automated or a machine that has been built in-house, where they don’t have all the safety guarding, data collection, and quality control required. Or maybe, the vision system needs to be refined, where the customer has built a prototype that has proven the concept but isn’t refined and prepared for full production. With the support of their mechanical and electrical engineers, Intec assesses the design, quality, and regulatory requirements, and then supports implementation with full OSHA standards and safety for a production environment to yield the proper throughput. Marcotte explains, “We take our customer’s concerns and put everything in a nice, clean package including mechanical design, electrical design, manufacturability, assembly, testing, and then installation.” With Intec’s help, their customer conceptualizes the prototype and then Intec “productionizes” the prototype to meet the customer’s internal and regulatory requirements to become a reality.

Intec’s roadmap includes building strategic partnerships with leading companies in their most dominant industry verticals and enhancing American capacity to upgrade manufacturing competitiveness. These two initiatives work well to support one another and the partnerships will enable Intec to build a stronger understanding of their customers’ needs within a specific market and develop new ways to increase their value to the customers. According to Marcotte, “Automation is moving at such an accelerated rate since it is a necessity for US manufactures to stay competitive in this global market. There is real success for companies that are both in automation business and for manufacturers who implement automation. Our goal is to build those strategic partnerships, for a win-win scenario.”