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How to Automate Production Processes and Visual Inspections with Zebra Machine Vision
Producing high-quality output and ensuring traceability and accuracy is increasingly important in manufacturing, packaging, and logistics operations. But the challenge is how to achieve it, particularly with demands for efficiency and quality on a continual rise.
One-way companies can get ahead of these challenges and improve both their production efficiency and quality is by using industrial automation technologies such as fixed industrial scanners and machine vision sensors. These allow companies to automate many of their tracking, sorting, routing and packaging processes while conducting sophisticated scans and visual inspections to make sure the right products are produced and packaged without errors, defects or other quality issues.
However, until now, fixed industrial scanners and machine vision sensors were often time-consuming and cumbersome to set up and use. But that has changed dramatically with Zebra’s introduction of a revolutionary new hardware and software platform that makes sophisticated industrial automation accessible and easily achievable for virtually any company of any size.
How Zebra Fixed Scanners and Machine Vision Sensors Enable Fast and Easy Automation
Zebra’s industrial automation platform uses sophisticated sensors to perform both scanning and image capture and analysis, all with machine automation and precision.
For example, with Zebra’s hardware, you can automatically capture 1D/2D barcodes and direct part marks (DPMs) on parts or products moving down a high-speed conveyor line, to trace every item and check to make sure the correct parts, components and packaging are making their way through each production step and being used in each process.
Similarly, you can use Zebra’s sensors to automatically capture and analyze images to inspect them for defects, count or measure objects, check for pattern matches, edges, presence/absence, and even verify whether assemblies are correct and specific process steps have been completed.
There are limitless possibilities to configure Zebra’s devices to automate data capture and visual inspection for virtually any aspect of production, packaging or quality assurance—from automated routing and sorting to packaging, label checks, and even robotic applications. But the key to it all is that Zebra provides all the capabilities and tools that are needed in a single hardware platform with one easy-to-use software that allows anyone from a beginner to an industrial automation expert to get a solution and job up and running quickly.
The Zebra Difference in Hardware and Software Simplicity
If you’ve used other industrial automation solutions in the past, you probably know the frustration of working with clunky hardware and software and having to use different devices and software from different product lines or providers to get the results you need. Many fixed scanners, machine vision cameras, and software applications were notoriously behind the times, and when you have to cobble together all that different cumbersome hardware and software, it often caused headaches.
But when Zebra entered the industrial automation space and built its solution on its foundation of advanced data capture technology, it also took the opportunity to design hardware and software from the ground up based on what users of all levels really need. And Zebra made sure its devices and software could serve as an all-in-one solution for both fixed scanning and machine vision without having to go to different solutions and sources.
With Zebra’s plug-and-play hardware and Aurora software, which our team at AB&R has used to design, test and set up industrial automation jobs for our clients, everything is remarkably simple. You can quickly get automated scanning, image capture, and analysis up and running in a hurry, and configuring your devices and jobs is as simple as using sliders and radio buttons in a software interface that’s truly modern and easy to use. Built-in tutorial videos can even walk you through the process to save you time.
Integrating your sensors with your other industrial networks or systems is also amazingly easy, with connection via USB-C, Serial or Ethernet, and full support for all major industrial communication protocols such as EthernetIP, ProfiNet, CC-Link, ModBus and TCP/IP. You can also customize your inputs and outputs, and you can connect to power via 24VDC, USB-C or PoE.
Powerful Machine Vision Capabilities for Sophisticated Analysis
Despite their simplicity, Zebra’s hardware and software tools are incredibly sophisticated and provide everything you need to scan or analyze objects according to simple or highly advanced requirements. For example, you can capture images with sensors from 1 to 5 megapixels and use external or built-in lighting as well as liquid or C-mount lenses to get a precisely accurate image under the right conditions for automated identification and analysis.
Zebra’s devices can capture up to 16 scans or images at one time and each with its own settings, and you can apply wavelength, bandpass, and polarizing filters to bring out the details you need for machine-accurate analysis. Zebra’s sensors also have optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, so they can capture text with no text or font training, even in low-contrast and against confusing backgrounds.
In the end, it all adds up to providing simple yet powerful tools to automate more of what you need to ensure production efficiency and quality without relying on manual, error-prone processes or visual inspections with the naked eye. Zebra’s industrial automation tools help you trace and validate virtually anything that moves through your production, packaging or logistics processes, and you can use its sophisticated image analysis to conduct virtually any kind of visual inspection that’s needed for quality control and assurance.
Exploring Zebra Fixed Scanning and Machine Vision for Your Business
To learn more about this technology and how you can use it in your operations, visit our Zebra fixed scanning and machine vision page now, and watch our video or download our brochure for more details. Then contact our industrial automation experts at AB&R to schedule a discover call or get answers to your questions.
To get started and explore the possibilities, call us now at 800-281-3056 or send us a quick email.
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