Increase Product Quality with 3D Vision

Feb 27, 2016

With technology continually advancing, robotic systems are quickly becoming more accurate and precise. 3D Vision systems today are enabling an increase in task performance that surpasses the ability of computer-based automation that occured years ago. 3D vision systems use their cameras and sensors to precisely identify, locate, and then move the necessary parts, ensuring top product quality.

Robot 3D Vision

3D sys­tems today are per­form­ing tasks that just a few years ago were beyond the abil­i­ty of com­put­er-based automa­tion. Machine 3D vision sys­tems are now advanc­ing at light­ning speeds and are ahead of the curve when it comes to fur­ther enabling robots. In less than a decade, experts in the machine vision field pre­dict that 3D vision will be stan­dard equip­ment on robots across all fields and applications.

3D Vision Defined

When using 2D cam­eras, Z (dis­tance from the cam­era) is typ­i­cal­ly assumed. This isn’t as effec­tive as parts may move, change the size, tip, etc. and the 2D cam­era may then mis­cal­cu­late the loca­tion. 3D sys­tems allow for a clean part pick-up with known posi­tion­al data (X, Y, and Z), despite any disruption. 

Vision sys­tem cam­eras cre­ate an image full of pix­els that each has a gray-scale val­ue; this helps to cre­ate a pat­tern or struc­ture in the image data. Spe­cif­ic algo­rithms then help rec­og­nize the image data pat­terns and assist the cam­era in find­ing spe­cif­ic fea­tures, ulti­mate­ly guid­ing the robot to the part. This will also allow machine vision robots to enter per­pen­dic­u­lar to a sur­face and grip parts more effec­tive­ly, repeat­ed­ly, and even con­trol dif­fer­ent parts in any orientation. 

Sim­ply put, the addi­tion­al third dimen­sion (Z) allows the robot to scan, visu­al­ize, mea­sure, and per­fect­ly find and con­trol a part in any position.

Ben­e­fits of 3D Vision

The rea­son to take a leap and install new tech­nol­o­gy is that in the long run it costs your com­pa­ny less. 

When using 3D sys­tems, part ori­en­ta­tion and posi­tion are quick­ly found which allows the posi­tion­al infor­ma­tion to be quick­ly acces­si­ble by the robot to work with a very high degree of accuracy.

The effi­cien­cy of 3D Vision doesn’t stop with speed, it also can great­ly aid in prod­uct qual­i­ty con­trol. The 3D vision system’s cam­eras can 100% cer­ti­fy the part you are send­ing to the cus­tomer; a trait that a human can’t main­tain over an extend­ed time peri­od. Ulti­mate­ly this avoids cost­ly mis­takes and is also able to guar­an­tee pro­tec­tion against prod­uct returns.

Robot vision gives inte­gra­tors free­dom from fix­tur­ing to locate parts. The vision sys­tems are able to save time and mon­ey as you can sim­ply run a dif­fer­ent pro­gram instead of swap­ping fixtures. 

Machine vision allows the robot to work in less struc­tured envi­ron­ments, such as pick and plac­ing parts ran­dom­ly placed on a con­vey­or, or rack­ing auto­mo­bile com­po­nents, and in agri­cul­tur­al and food pro­cess­ing industries.

Man­u­al adjust­ments are no longer nec­es­sary as 3D vision allows robots to ver­i­fy the part with the 3D cam­era and adjust as need­ed. This will result in an increase in prod­uct qual­i­ty all while min­i­miz­ing man­u­al labor. 

The com­pu­ta­tions involved are more com­plex; how­ev­er, experts believe the pro­grams are quick­ly becom­ing more prac­ti­cal and user friend­ly. Cus­tomer demands for these sys­tems con­tin­ue to rise because of the amaz­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty, effi­cien­cy, and qual­i­ty that 3D vision brings.

Best 3D Applications

3D vision is uni­ver­sal and can add to vir­tu­al­ly any appli­ca­tion. Lead­ing the way in 3D-vision adop­tion today: weld­ing, bin pick­ing, pack­ag­ing, and machine tool loading.

Weld­ing- 3D Vision weld­ing robots are able to adapt and change the weld­ing path when it notices small changes in the arrange­ment of the com­po­nents that are being welded.

Bin Pick­ing- Robots have been suc­cess­ful using 3D vision with both struc­tured and ran­dom bin pick­ing. The pick­ing tool, sen­sor, and con­straints of the arm are under­stood to help rec­og­nize the acces­si­bil­i­ty of the part.

Pack­ag­ing- 3D Vision helps to pick up prod­ucts that end up in dif­fer­ent posi­tions at the end of a con­vey­or or slide and place them in the cor­rect posi­tion in the package.

Pal­letiz­ing- Robots with vision that con­stant­ly han­dle parts or box­es are able to be aware and flex­i­ble to the unex­pect­ed shift­ing and movement.

Load­ing Machine Tools- Vision adds for­give­ness to out-of-loca­tion robot place­ments and min­i­mizes poten­tial machine tool crashes.


Sev­er­al com­pa­nies are step­ping up to the plate and to cre­ate amaz­ing soft­ware pack­ages to help fur­ther advance your com­pa­ny with 3D Vision Systems. 

Fanuc iR-Vision helps every robot, from the small­est to the strongest, become capa­ble of see­ing and work­ing as pre­cise­ly as a human work­er. It has reli­able visu­al detec­tion, detec­tion of mov­ing parts (visu­al line track­ing), and an Anti­De­fect Option with qual­i­ty con­trol com­plete­ness. This is a big step for Fanuc Robot­ics in the evo­lu­tion of tech­nol­o­gy as it is the first 3D robot-con­troller inte­grat­ed sys­tem. This erad­i­cates hard­ware and com­mu­ni­ca­tion delays and fur­ther increas­es the robot’s aware­ness of its rel­a­tive rela­tion­ships in space. This inte­grat­ed sys­tem also takes just hours to set up. 

Cognex launched Vision­Pro 3D-Locate soft­ware and 3D dis­place­ment sys­tems, the DS1000 series. Both enable cus­tomers to eas­i­ly adopt 3D machine vision and use it with cur­rent inspec­tion steps. Vision­Pro 3D is not lim­it­ed to any appli­ca­tions as it works with a num­ber of fixed and mount­ed robot cameras.

Moto­Sight 3D Cor­texVi­sion by Motoman Robot­ics is an easy-to-inte­grate, com­pre­hen­sive, and pow­er­ful vision sys­tem that sim­pli­fies the use of 3D vision in robot­ic guid­ance appli­ca­tions. It is ide­al for pre­cise part loca­tion required for assem­bly, rack­ing, dis­pens­ing, machine load­ing, prod­uct sort­ing, and weld­ing applications.

eVi­sion Fac­to­ry 6.5, cre­at­ed by Robot­ic Vision Tech­nolo­gies, deliv­ers fea­tures with more flex­i­bil­i­ty, employ­ee col­lab­o­ra­tion and safe­ty, ease of han­dling parts, reduced down­time, reduced cycle time, cost sav­ings, sim­plic­i­ty and stan­dard­iza­tion. It can be used on Fanuc, KUKA and Motoman.

Robo­Re­alm is an appli­ca­tion for use in robot­ic vision sys­tems that has an easy point and click inter­face and sim­pli­fies the pro­gram­ming to eas­i­ly exper­i­ment with the envi­ron­ment and acquired images to ana­lyze what is nec­es­sary to increase your robot’s effectiveness.

Skil­li­gent Robot Vision Sys­tem is a soft­ware com­po­nent designed specif­i­cal­ly for robot­ic appli­ca­tions which imple­ments pow­er­ful object recog­ni­tion and object track­ing algorithms.

To begin the tran­si­tion to a 3D sys­tem, con­tact Robots​.com experts today through our con­tact form or at 8777626881.

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