IVS and AMRC announce smart workbench of the future

A next-generation smart workbench to showcase the latest production technologies has been developed by IVS in collaboration with AMRC Cymru. The Smart Workbench combines a mixed reality headset, smart tooling, 3D and 2D machine vision, seven-axis robotics, intelligent projection, pick-to-light and automation into one complete demonstration cell. The bench is designed to showcase the combined use of these cutting-edge technologies in a cell which can be used for demonstrations, research and development at AMRC Cymru, which is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult cluster of research centres.

IVS combined the mixed reality environment with the various disparate tools and robotic assembly build, providing a step-by-step process control for an engineer to follow. With the mixed reality unit being an integral component, IVS has developed a template for an immersive inspection environment to assist users. AMRC Cymru will then use the data gathered from these processes to dig deeper into the potential applications of these tech combos in future manufacturing settings.

Earl Yardley, Industrial Vision Systems Director, said: “We’re very excited about the work we have completed with AMRC Cymru. We see the increased use of Mixed Reality combined with industrial automation and machine vision as a pivotal technology for next-generation factories. Imagine operators with physical items around them, such as components and assemblies, but with the ability to also interact with digital content, such as a shared document that updates in real-time to the cloud or instruction animations for assembly. That is, in essence, the promise of mixed reality. It’s an incredibly exciting technology for future production environments.”

The smart workbench also combines both 2D and 3D machine vision. By generating a point cloud of information, 3D machine vision enables the vision system to inspect and confirm positional off-sets with the robot, facilitating the automated inspection of complicated assemblies, subassemblies, and individual components. Together with a collaborative seven-axis robot arm, this enables the benchtop assembly of parts on the smart workbench. This is an essential area of research for future manufacturing settings since it can be paired with the pick-to-light system for full collaboration between humans and robots.

Andrew Silcox, research director at AMRC Cymru, said: “We are delighted to be working with IVS to develop SMART workstation applications for our industrial partners. AMRC Cymru believes that SMART workstations equipped with collaborative robot technologies will be a key component of our future factories as they enable us to merge the productivity and repeatability of automation with the adaptability and dexterity of a human.”

The smart workbench also includes operator traceability and security with RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags providing the ability for the bench to adjust according to the operator’s height and store data against the operator ID. This is linked to the factory information system at AMRC Cymru, and, ultimately to AMRC’s bespoke Factory+ demonstrating how data exchange to factory information systems, and clear human-machine interfaces, are critical elements for the factory of tomorrow.

It is hoped the Smart Workbench can be utilised by all members and visitors of AMRC Cymru to research future ideas and concepts for manufacturing knowledge. Combining different production process elements in unique combinations, the smart workbench is seen as a modern tool for the future of manufacturing technology.

Zytronic invests in IVS capital equipment to deliver future growth

Zytronic – the projected capacitive touch technology specialist – has invested approaching £400k in a second bespoke laser soldering system installed within another factory cleanroom, providing risk mitigation and interchangeable production capabilities across the entire UK-based manufacturing operation. Industrial Vision Systems Ltd (IVS), a global supplier of precision visual inspection systems and industrial automation solutions, developed the unique automated vision & laser welding system in collaboration with the Technical, Quality and Production teams at Zytronic.

This new automated system allows Zytronic to leverage the latest production technology, providing increased productivity, higher yields and enhanced manufacturing capability. The machine combines 2D camera vision with precision drives, and custom software to deliver precise, contactless laser welding of controller flex tails to the touch sensors. This capability increases Zytronic’s ability to complete the critical soldering process on its glass and film projective capacitive (PCAP) touch sensors, even in small quantities, irrespective of size or design in record time.

“The investment in this next-generation laser bonding system supports our continued drive for yield improvements and accelerating throughput,” said Mark Cambridge, Managing Director, Zytronic. “One of the key areas we have advanced with this new production cell is the precise soldering of our 10-micron diameter copper sensing elements to the microns-thin gold/tin pads within the flexible tails that we use to connect to our proprietary touch controllers. This new and more advanced system complements the one we installed in another cleanroom a few years ago and mitigates the risk associated with only having one laser soldering system available to production.”

Earl Yardley, Industrial Vision Systems Director, said: “We’re thrilled about the work we have completed with Zytronic. This new production cell combines all the latest automation know-how and is a pivotal technology for precision laser welding with closed-loop vision control. It was an incredibly exciting project to work on, which will accelerate Zytronic’s touchscreen manufacturing capability and flexibility.”

Zytronic’s continued investment in its UK touchscreen manufacturing operations positions the company to take maximum advantage of new opportunities as its global customer base recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Combining cutting-edge CNC and vision-based automation, the laser soldering unit is seen as a modern tool for the future of manufacturing technology. The machine’s software incorporates operator and material traceability, automatically saving the data to Zytronic’s manufacturing and QA system. This capability will enable statistical process control and data archiving for customer warranty and product traceability once the projective capacitive touch sensors are deployed in self-service, industrial and commercial applications around the world.


“Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology” – IVS featured in leading international Pharmaceutical magazine

The articles covers how traditional image processing techniques are being superseded by vision systems utilising deep learning and artificial intelligence in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers must be lean, with high-speeds, and an ability to switch product variants quickly and easily, all validated to ‘Good Automated Manufacturing Practice’ (GAMP). Most medical device production processes involve some degree of vision inspection, generally due to either validation requirements or speed constraints (a human operator will not keep up with the speed of production). Therefore, it is critical that these systems are robust, easy-to-understand and seamlessly integrate within the production control and factory information system.

Historically, such vision systems have used traditional machine vision algorithms to complete some everyday tasks: such as device measurement, surface inspection, label reading and component verification. Now, new “deep-learning” algorithms are available to provide an ability for the vision system to “learn”, based on samples shown to the system – thus allowing the quality control process to mirror how an operator learns the process. So, these two systems differ: the traditional system being a descriptive analysis, and the new deep learning systems based on predictive analytics.

Download the magazine from this link (Article Page 30):

Find more details on IVS solutions for the medical device and pharmaceutical industries here:

IVS featured in “InVision” magazine in Germany

An article by Christian Demant, Director of IVS, has appeared in the leading German machine vision magazine, “InVision” (www.invision-news.de). The article describes a 3D final inspection industrial automation line for quality control of insulation parts – designed, built and integrated by Industrial Vision Systems. The report covers the major vision inspection elements of the machine process, including:

3D Vision – 3D vision sensors from above and below scan the product, to build up a complete 3D profile of the surface allowing small surface inclusions, dents and raised defects to be automatically assessed and rejected.

All cosmetic and topography is automatically checked.

2D Vision – Precision 2D machine vision cameras from above and below create an accurate measurement profile of the part allowing finite metrology checks on the product. Vision sensors for automated sorting and inspection.

Metal Detection – Automated metal detection allows any rogue metallic parts which could have embedded into the product to be identified.

Check Weigher – The inspection line has to cope with varying sizes of product; the check weigher accurately checks weight allowing over or undersized product to be automatically rejected.
Printing Inspection – Upon passing all inspection processes, the product is automatically marked, and this mark is then automatically inspected by the vision system.

Pick and Place – Good product are picked and stacked, ready for immediate packing by the operator. Reject parts are allowed to run off the outfeed reject zone for reject or rework.

Download the magazine from the following link (Page 46):

Find out more about the machine vision application areas IVS support:

IVS featured in “Robots and Production” Magazine in Germany

An article by Christian Demant, Director of IVS, has appeared in the leading German manufacturing technology magazine, “Robots and Production” (www.robotik-produktion.de/). The article reports on the standards and risk assessments carried out by IVS with regard to installation of vision systems onto robots. The latest IVS-RICi Robot Inspection Cells are included in the article, included highlights relating to a recent machine sold to a major automotive manufacturer. IVS continue to develop state-of-the-art machine vision cameras, systems and machines for use in multi-robot inspection cells.

A copy of the article (in german language), can be found here:

IVS Makes Front Cover Of Leading Machine Vision Industry Magazine

We were delighted to have featured the lead article in the prestigious industry magazine, Vision Systems Design.

With clear IVS branding on the front cover of the magazine, we were also given the opportunity to contribute a double-page editorial which reviewed our vision system capabilities when inspecting automotive electronic assemblies.

Vision Systems Design is the leading global publication serving engineering, design and integration professionals who are decision makers for vision and image processing. Therefore, the readership for this particular article is extremely suitable for Industrial Vision Systems.

Vision Systems Desgin

Lead Article in Vision Systems Design Magazine

February 2015. IVS have appeared on the front cover of the latest edition (Feb 2015) of Vision Systems Design magazine with the lead article regarding automotive sub-assembly inspection. The five page article describes a complex vision installation designed and integrated by IVS for a major Tier 1 automobile component supplier.

Vision Systems Design

Vision Systems Design is the leading web and magazine portal for the machine vision industry providing engineers with up-to-date and unbiased information regarding vision inspection, machine vision and image processing.

The full article can be seen here: