Machine Vision Applications in Machining and Forming Processes
Machine vision systems have been installed for several hundred in-line applications for the inspection of parts produced by metal machining and forming operations. The application of machine vision to the efficient operation of machines breaks down into three areas; gauging and inspection of the parts produced, checking of the tools themselves, and use of sensors incorporated in the tools or the machines to sense part condition or some variable in the actual manufacturing process. Machine vision has found most applications to date generally at final inspection after the part is relatively clean. However, in general, machine vision for inspection of parts offers several real advantages: higher speed, freedom from damage, decreased maintenance, and improved accuracy, especially over time. Productivity is generally enhanced because machine vision allows faster inspection with less downtime. The machine vision technologies utilized are triangulation ranging, back-lit imaging of outer diameters or edges, and reflective imaging generally for part surface or defect condition.