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How Machine Vision is Rising to Manufacturing Challenges 

Machine Vision’s Answer for Labor Shortages
The manufacturing industry has faced a labor shortage for years. This shortage grows even more evident with recent supply chain pressures, workforce disruption, and changing attitudes about tenure. With all of the pressures in the industry, manufacturers are investing in warehouse automation to alleviate their current workers’ load and boost efficiency. 

Among the slew of new technologies coming out, Machine Vision by Zebra is among the most promising for manufacturers. It is designed to optimize quality assurance and track-and-trace through scanning and imaging technology. Machine Vision works side-by-side with your employees to bridge the skilled labor gap, eliminate human error and maximize productivity.   

Make no mistake: Nothing will ever replace the human touch and level of discernment. That said, here are some ways that this technology adds value to your operations.

It Catches Things Your Employees Might Not
As demand for manufactured products rise, you are likely ramping up production to meet customer expectations. With even more items coming down the production line, there’s more room for error and less time to identify flaws between each product. 

It’s evident that humans and machines process information differently and at different intervals. Machine Vision lends an extra pair of high tech, detail oriented eyes on your products. It scans them for discrepancies as they make their way down the production line, removing the need for manual checks. This enables your employees to focus on other essential tasks.  

It Eases Newcomers into Their Roles, While Keeping Quality Top-Notch
There is always a learning curve with a new job. Most new hires need to quickly get up to speed on compliance mandates and what qualifies as a flaw. They likely have other tasks to learn and complete as well. 

When you first set up your fixed industrial scanner, you can program it to your specifications and show it what constitutes as a flaw. Plus, its user-friendly software interface eases the learning curve and gives your new hires the confidence to jump right in.  

Do you want to learn more about how to retain a quality workforce and how automation is alleviating the effects of labor shortages? We recently had an in-depth discussion about it with Zebra Technologies. View the recording below. 

Machine Vision for Optimizing Your Processes
There is one common thread that runs through today’s supply chain: People are demanding more, but labor shortages are preventing companies from delivering. In fact, a report by Forbes says that the events of 2020 accelerated eCommerce growth by 4 to 6 years.

To meet demand, you need to equip yourself and your employees with tools that keep you productive, and your products error-free.

It Increases Throughput for Increased Demand
Once your product has been inspected and packaged, fixed industrial scanners strategically placed at checkpoints will scan the package, tracking its trip through your plant.  This provides a truly hands-free way of tracking your items. After scanning each barcode and verifying the package’s contents, the system sorts the package based on its final shipping destination.  

This touch-free scanning solution reduces the time your employees spend with each item across your entire operations; meaning, products can freely flow down the line. Plus, its automatic sorting capabilities ensures that each package gets to the right staging area.

It Reduces Inspection Time and Errors
Assembly errors are costly, in time and labor wages. If you’re a car manufacturer, for example, you know that each car has about 30,000 parts. If one part goes missing, you cannot complete the vehicle. Moving down to something more simple, if a single piece to a puzzle goes missing, you can’t complete it. And neither can your customers.

This is where Machine Vision’s extra set of eyes is especially helpful. This technology uses pattern recognition, edge detection, and other algorithms to detect errors in a matter of seconds with detailed feedback on what is wrong with the product. With this, you know when to pull the product off the line in a fraction of the time. Before, your employees would have to manually inspect the device, which could take a considerable amount of time depending on what you manufacture.

Next Steps
This all sounds great in on paper, but you’re likely wondering how this system will benefit your company. Wonder no more. We’re here to talk through your use case and whether Machine Vision and Fixed Industrial Scanners are a good fit for you.