Machine vision plays a very important role in automated production and supports both quality inspections and optimisation tasks. “More and more processes are being automated and networked. This means that automation is becoming more detailed and more complex,” said Thomas Nepstad, product marketing manager vision at Cognex. This is posing greater challenges for integrators and application engineers since, “Processes must also remain reliable, simple and easy to manage, operate and maintain,” added Nepstad. In order to cope with these challenges more easily, world trade fair VISION 2014 (4th to 6th November 2014) will examine the key topic of “VISION 4 Automation“ for the first time.
This key topic will look more closely at the connection between machine vision and automation. Different events aimed not only at machine vision experts, but also primarily automation users will accompany the key topic. The “VISION 4 Automation” initiative will include the following: the VISION 4 Automation Tour, the joint stand IPC 4 VISION, a special topic block “Machine vision for automation“ under the umbrella of the Industrial VISION Days, advanced training courses within the framework of the VISION Academy, the Integration Area, the premiere of the Inspect Application Forum containing tailor-made talks on automation and finally also the special show “International Machine Vision Standards” of the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA). The main media partner of the VISION 4 Automation initiative is TeDo-Verlag (publishing company) with the trade journals “SPS Magazin” and “inVISION”.
“VISION 4 Automation Tour” with exciting innovations
Over 400 exhibitors will present their products and services at trade fair VISION 2014. In order to find out more quickly who currently has expertise, products or solutions in the area of machine vision for production automation, the corresponding exhibitors’ stands in the VISION 4 Automation Tour will be identified by a special logo for easy orientation. To date, around 20 exhibitors have registered for this Tour. Three exhibitors with purposeful products relating to automation are mentioned here as an example: “Cost-effective production without machine vision is now almost inconceivable. And in times of Industry 4.0, machine vision is playing an increasingly more important role because without it this future strategy is unlikely to be even implemented,” said Peter Stiefenhöfer, head of marketing and public relations at Stemmer Imaging.
According to Stiefenhöfer, the challenge is to seamlessly integrate machine vision in the world of automation and use corresponding interfaces to ensure that the results of image analyses can be transmitted and implemented in the required time with the required precision. During the VISION 4 Automation Tour, the companies will present further developments, primarily of cameras which will provide users with even higher performance through new sensors and interfaces. Another special feature will be a demonstration project which will compare explain the different technologies for line-by-line recording of objects and will explain their differences. During the VISION 4 Automation Tour, Cognex will use designer software and the VC5 vision controller, a machine vision solution for multi-camera applications, to demonstrate that it is possible to simplify the handling of increasingly more complex production processes. Complex applications, especially also 3-D tasks, can also be easily configured with this solution.
“This means that even inexperienced integrators will have new opportunities to use machine vision,” emphasised Nepstad. Machine vision systems must often withstand dust particles, temperature changes, moisture, pressure and vibrations close to the machine in a harsh industrial environment. These systems must also function reliably. autoVimation will therefore present new protective housings for cameras and lasers during the VISION 4 Automation Tour. These casings are now even suitable for larger devices measuring around 90 cm x 90 cm. “Users can now buy almost everything ready for use – camera, illumination systems, software,” said Peter Neuhaus, CEO of autoVimation, and continued: “However, these users are then often left to their own devices when it comes to installing everything in production. This is where we come in. By using complete modular parts, users reduce the production time and costs, and can easily adapt the machine vision system to the requirements on the spot.”
Choose the ideal computer on the special stand “IPC 4 VISION”
VISION 2014 will also feature the stand “IPC 4 VISION” for the first time. 11 exhibitors will present industrial PCs and embedded platforms on this stand which will be a worthwhile contact point for automation users and will support the VISION 4 Automation initiative. That’s because machine vision often involves a high data volume and a high rate of computation. It is also important here to integrate the ideal machine vision system with suitable interfaces in the automatic processes. The exhibitors will make their expertise available at VISION 2014.
VISION Academy to focus on automation technicians
The VISION Academy will support the VISION 4 Automation initiative with the forum “Practical knowledge of machine vision”. The VISION Academy will provide visitors to the trade fair with specialist knowledge, practical tips and valuable information on machine vision services free of charge. This knowledge, etc. will help manufacturing companies to become more efficient and more profitable. How can machines be made quicker, how can projects become more effective and how can product details be shown in a more comprehensive and more reliable manner? In answering these questions, the compact advanced training courses will help to improve production, make machines safer and more effective, and save time and money. The events are aimed at a wide circle of machine vision users, end users, systems houses and mechanical engineering companies. “The Vision Academy is participating in the VISION 4 Automation initiative,” said Ingmar Jahr, head of the Vision Academy in Erfurt, “Based on the knowledge that machine vision is the ideal sensor solution for automation. Machine vision and automation are a ‘dream team‘ which is currently coming together.” The VISION Academy will be staged in cooperation with the Vision Academy, Erfurt.
Industrial VISION Days with the topic area of automation for the first time
The well-established Industrial VISION Days, the world’s largest talk forum for machine vision, will include – in addition to the VISION 4 Automation Tour – a topic cluster devoted specially to “machine vision for automation”: Traditional machine vision is changing from a pure inspection system to a production optimiser. The Industrial Visions Days, which are being organised by the VDMA Machine Vision Association, will present specific application examples showing what machine vision – keywords: big data and Industry 4.0 – can now also do.
Application Forum aimed at automation users for example
Almost 40 solution providers and integrators will take part in the special section “Integration Area“ in Hall 1. A large number of them will also specifically address end users of automation technology. Some trade fair visitors find it difficult to find the right partner and forge contacts. The Inspect Application Forum will therefore make its debut this year. Through its talks, it will build a bridge between end users, integrators and solution providers, thus promoting contact between these groups. For example, machine vision solutions for production automation will be the focal points and will support the VISION 4 Automation initiative. Dirk Zinnaecker, managing director of NeuroCheck, will talk, for example, about the requirements of multi-camera machine vision systems in networked production based on the example of modern gearbox or engine assembly. Product manager Massimo Castelletti from Opto Engineering will talk about optical solutions for total control in the production of glass containers for the pharmaceutical industry. The partner of the Inspect Application Forum is the trade journal ” Inspect” in cooperation with D&H Premium Events.
Automation users will therefore get their money’s worth in the “VISION 4 Automation“ initiative during VISION 2014. A short trip to Stuttgart will also be worthwhile for international visitors as the airport is located right next door to the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre.