Automated Vision Metrology: The Future of Manufacturing Quality Control

In-line visual quality control is more crucial than ever in today’s competitive medical device production environment. To keep ahead of the competition, manufacturers must ensure that their products fulfil the highest standards. One of the most effective ways to attain this goal is through automated vision metrology using vision technology.

So what do we mean by this? There are several traditional methods that a quality manager uses to keep tabs on the production quality. In the past, this would have been the use of a collection of slow CMM metrology machines to inspection the product one at a time. CMMs measure the coordinates of points on a part using a touch probe. This information can then be used to calculate the dimensions, surface quality and tolerances of the part. So we are not talking about high-speed vision inspection solutions in this context, but the precise, micron level, precision metrology inspection for measurements and surface defects.

The use of computer-controlled vision inspection equipment to measure and examine products is known as automated vision metrology. These vision systems offer several advantages over manual inspection CMM-type probing methods. For starters, automated metrology is faster. This is due to the fact that machines can perform measurements with great precision and repeatability at speed, as there is no need to touch the product, it’s non-contact vision assessment. Second, real-time inspection of parts is possible with automated metrology. This enables firms to detect and rectify flaws early in the manufacturing process, before they become costly issues.

Advantages of Automated Vision Metrology
The use of automated metrology in manufacturing has many intrinsic benefits. These include:

  • Decreased inspection time: Compared to manual inspection procedures, automated vision metrology systems can inspect parts significantly faster. This can save a significant amount of time during the manufacturing process.
  • Specific CTQ: Vision inspection systems can be set to measure specific critical to quality elements with great precision and reproducibility.
  • Non-contact vision inspection: As the vision camera system has no need to touch the product, it has no chance of scratching or adding to the surface quality problems which a touch probe inevitably has. This is especially important in industries such as orthopaedic joint and medical device tooling manufacturing.
  • Enhanced productivity: Automated vision metrology systems can be equipped with autoloaders, allowing for the fast throughput of products without the need for an operator to manually load a product into a costly fixture. Manufacturers can focus on other tasks that demand human judgement and inventiveness by freeing up human workers from manual inspection tasks.

Modern production relies heavily on automated vision metrology. It has several advantages, including enhanced accuracy, less inspection time, improved quality control, increased production, and higher product quality. With automated loading options now readily available, speed of inspection for precision metrology measurements can be completed at real production rates.

Overall, automated vision metrology is a potent tool for improving the quality and efficiency of production processes. It is an excellent addition to any manufacturing organisation wanting to increase quality control at speed, and make inspection more efficient compared to traditional CMM probing methods.

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