The interconnection of machines is increasingly becoming the standard in modern factories. The more consistently all components involved in the various production phases can communicate with each other, the more autonomous, intelligent and efficient the processes can be. Cameras play an important role here, because they not only keep an eye on everything and deliver results directly, but can also trigger follow-up processes. Image processing is therefore a key technology that enables continuous process control and quality inspection.

Industrial cameras also help machines and robots to react adaptively to their specific situation. In this way, they make a decisive contribution to automation in production. Industrial cameras are used in a wide variety of industries: from equipment, plant and mechanical engineering to medical technology, agriculture and logistics. They take on a wide range of tasks: For example, they inspect and analyse products for deviations so that they can be sorted out before they leave the production hall. Compared to the human eye, machine vision systems work faster, more accurately and more reliably because they do not miss any detail even at high cycle rates. In addition, employees can be relieved of “monotonous”, albeit important, sorting and inspection tasks and can be deployed to other tasks.

Embedded vision systems and AI for more flexible applications
With embedded vision systems, the processing of the “seen” data takes place directly on the device. When artificial intelligence comes into play, the application and evaluation possibilities become particularly diverse. Whether object detection, classification or anomaly detection: since not all eventualities have to be hard-coded, they can be used very flexibly. Intelligent cameras, such as those of the IDS NXT series, can take over image evaluations directly “on edge” and trigger follow-up processes thanks to interfaces such as REST and OPC UA. This eliminates the need to transfer the data and results to an external PC. Another advantage is that the corresponding systems can be integrated into the production line in a space-saving manner.

Easy development of AI vision solutions with IDS NXT
How do companies obtain an AI vision solution? Development usually requires expertise, programming effort and investment in computing and storage hardware. Not so with IDS NXT – the AI Vision system includes all the necessary tools and workflows and places great importance on user-friendliness. This offers both beginners and professionals enormous scope for designing Deep Learning-based image processing applications.

The scope of tasks of these industrial cameras is determined by apps. They can be created with the AI vision studio IDS lighthouse and executed directly on the models. Data security also plays an important role in the industrial use of AI. Communication between cameras and system components can therefore be encrypted via HTTPS.

Important advantages at a glance:
– AI runs directly on the camera
– Communication with machines thanks to REST and OPC-UA
– Free feature updates, 2023 new e.g. with anomaly detection

Machine vision and AI as a key technology
But why use AI at all? Rule-based image processing quickly reaches its limits when the objects to be analysed vary frequently and the differences are difficult or impossible to describe analytically. How is it possible to ensure reliable automation in such cases? If you ask yourself this question and look for a solution, you will quickly come across the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence. With the help of trained neural networks, cameras are enabled, for example, to recognise objects and draw conclusions from what they have learned. This expands the application possibilities of image processing across all industries.

Get started immediately with the IDS NXT ocean Creative Kit
Anyone who wants to test the system and evaluate it for their applications should take a look at the IDS NXT ocean Creative Kit. Users receive all the components they need to create, train and run a neural network. In addition to an IDS NXT industrial camera with 1.6 MP Sony sensor, lens, cable and tripod adapter, the package includes, among other things, six months’ access to IDS lighthouse.

The kit is available from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH, one of the leading industrial camera manufacturers and pioneers in industrial image processing. The owner-managed, eco-friendly company develops modular, high-performance USB, GigE and 3D cameras as well as the IDS NXT complete system with AI. The almost unlimited range of applications for the products extends across a wide variety of industries. With visionpier, IDS also operates an online marketplace that brings together suppliers of image processing solutions and interested customers. Please find more information on the IDS website.