Vision systems can do many different things: measurement, identification, sorting, code reading, character recognition, robot guidance etc. They can easily interact with other machinery through different communication standards. Here below are some of the main application categories for a vision system:
Measurement. One of the most important uses of vision technology is to measure, at various degrees of accuracy, the critical dimensions of an object within pre-determined tolerances.
Optics, lighting and cameras must be coupled to effective software tools, since only robust subpixeling algorithms will allow to reach the accuracy often required in measurement applications (e.g. even down to 1 um).
Defect detection. Here various types of product defects have to be detected for cosmetic and/or safety reasons. Examples of cosmetic flaws are stains, spots, color clumps, scratches, tone variations, etc. while other surface and/or structural defects, such as cracks, dents, but also print errors etc. can have more severe consequences.
Verification. The third major aim of a vision system is checking that a product has been correctly manufactured, in a more general sense that goes beyond what previously described; i.e. checking the presence/absence of pills in a blister pack, the correct placement of a seal or the integrity of a printed label.