Automobile manufacturing requires maintaining a high level of quality without slowing down the necessary pace of construction. For this reason, the technologies offered by industry 4.0 are of great importance in the automotive sector as they allow the improvement and automation of production line control systems. Today we talk about the application of artificial vision in the automotive industry.
One of the most critical parts in the manufacture of a car is to check the correct assembly of the different components. In this case, it is not just a question of verifying that the product has sufficient quality, but also of guaranteeing that it meets all the necessary safety requirements for future users of the product.
One of the most used systems to guarantee these requirements is Computer Vision. Through the use of cameras it is possible to program applications capable of recognizing poorly assembled elements, assembly errors or even the absence of parts, which may hinder the correct operation of the vehicle.
Computer Vision systems are also used to check and detect aesthetic defects. Although the appearance of these imperfections in some parts of the car does not have to hinder the proper functioning of the vehicle, it can make it impossible to put it up for sale.
Installation of the Computer Vision system
For a Computer Vision system to be functional in a production area as complex as the automotive industry, it is necessary to have a suitable installation that can manage and control all the elements.
One of the elements that should be controlled in this type of system is the communications between the different elements. This is not only of great importance when it comes to obtaining data or results, it is also necessary to achieve correct communication between these elements. For example, when evaluating the components of a car, it is necessary to be able to synchronize the data collection with the moment in which the part of the vehicle to be evaluated is in a suitable position. This section is vital so that the inspection system does not hinder the production line.
Another highly important element in the use of a Computer Vision system is having good lighting. In the automotive industry in particular, this can make the difference between a system working properly or not. This is due to the fact that there are a large number of reflective or shiny elements that can reflect light and prevent the area to be inspected from being viewed correctly. For this reason, lighting must be chosen carefully for each of the areas to be checked.
Techniques used in Vehicle Inspection
As already mentioned, the most common in this type of system is to use Computer Vision systems. Due to the large number of components that make up a vehicle, not only must a large number of images be taken, but different techniques and algorithms must be applied to carry out all the necessary checks.
Among the most used techniques are pattern detection, which allows, through a predetermined pattern, to check if there is a similar element. For example, with this technique you could have the image of a specific part as a pattern and check its presence in the images of the car to be evaluated.
Another widely used technique is OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This technique consists of detecting and reading texts with cameras. This technique can be used to verify that the proper parts have been used or to determine which models are being evaluated for proper testing.
Deep Learning is also used together with conventional Computer Vision in order to perform the most complex or specific tasks. For this case, a previous collection of data is required (in this case images) that allow the model to be trained for the verification that is to be carried out.
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