The effects of choosing proprietary vision solutions become evident within years of a purchase. Imagine investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions in a network and finding out 5 years later that the complete system is out of date and cannot be modernized. Yes, you would seek out the purchaser and possibly hang them from the nearest tree. However it never fails to amuse me that the same thought process making sure office infrastructures are open systems, are not employed when purchasing an IT solution for the factory floor.
Now it’s time to upgrade that vision system that was purchased as a black box. Let’s
look at this by asking three key questions.
- Can I upgrade my old system?
- What will upgrading my old system cost?
- What are the business benefits of upgrading my old systems?
Can I upgrade my old system?
Inspection solutions tend to be specified according to the process. The reason to
upgrade is normally driven by one of the following.
- The system never worked as specified. In this case the imaging technology may
not be appropriate. Can you add more cameras or change lights? If adding more
cameras, can you source more of the same installed? Often upgrading for this
reason is risky and it may be better to consider a replacement.
- The vendor support is poor. This is probably the easiest form of upgrade to do if
the incumbent vendor used conformed to open system standards. The goal here
would be to retain as much as possible. It is probably that the PC, processing
hardware and software would be changed out and the goal should be to retain,
cameras, lights, mechanics and power distribution.
- The system cannot be supported due to obsolete parts. The parts need to be
identified and the knock on effects verified.
- The line is being upgraded and the requirements have changed. The new
specification needs to be clearly defined.
- There is a need to extract value through integration and the older system cannot
deliver. The key here is understand what data is made available by the existing
system and if that data can be used. It may be necessary to swap out the
processing unit for a new solution with the application that can deliver the results
There are three key parts to an inspection system :
- The imaging system - this includes cameras, optics, illumination and of course
sometimes the product itself. These are the parts should be saved.
- The processing system - this is the PC or embedded hardware along with the
software to analyze the images. This is normally the element that will need to be
- The output system - This includes the display for the operator, alarms to be
initiated, the parent machine interface, and the data to be output. These are parts
that should be reused.
The first step is to analyse the parts used in the inspection system. If you are replacing the vendors
then the PC and the software will most like be written off. The key element to consider is the imaging head. This includes the mechanical beams, the encoder, the lighting and the cameras.
We have prepared a whitepaper which will go through an example and show all the costs and the benefits. It details the technologies to be considered. Go ahead and access our vision library to learn more.
OneBoxVision is a specialist in building solutions for the plastics industry. Contact us and we can provide you with a free consultation or just . We provide solutions to industry leaders worldwide and can deliver an out of the box solution that will meet your requirements in weeks.