Automate 2022: Machine Vision Solutions Point to the Future of Automation


At a Glance:

  • Alex Shikany, vice president, Membership & Business Intelligence, A3, puts a spotlight on the robotics industry’s greatest trends and noteworthy figures.
  • The robotics sector is observing historic concentrations of adoption and technology convergence performs a huge part in its progress.
  • Exhibitors at Automate show how machine vision portfolios combine systems that empower finish automation.

Technological study company Gartner makes use of the term “hyperautomation” to explain a strategic technological innovation trend in which stop-to-close automation can be employed to transform a business. The term could also utilize to the level of disruption shown at Automate 2022, exactly where exhibitors demonstrated how integrating numerous technologies and platforms are collaborating to scale automation throughout enterprises.

Following a few of a long time of lockdowns and trade present cancellations, the bi-once-a-year function hosted by the Affiliation for Advancing Automation (A3) was a veritable block occasion for numerous of the world’s primary international suppliers. Far more than 600 robotics and automation exhibitors congregated at Huntington Put in Detroit (June 6-9, 2022) to share the newest innovations and greatest techniques in machine eyesight, motion control, artificial intelligence and robotic method automation.

“Coming out of the pandemic, providers in each individual business will be searching for automation products and solutions to assist them become far more effective in an increasingly-automated globe,” A3 president, Jeff Burnstein, said in a pre-party notice to the press.

Alex Shikany, A3’s vice president of membership and business intelligence, agreed. The industry has achieved historic amounts of not only engineering adoption but also technology convergence, he pointed out in the course of an marketplace trends and outlook presentation. With 11,595 robots sold at a worth of $646 million, he claimed, North American organizations procured “the most robots ever” in a solitary quarter.

“Every marketplace, including agriculture, building, retail and hospitality, is now looking at how they can acquire advantage of robotics to make their companies more thriving,” Shikany claimed.

A3 information confirmed that although automotive orders remained powerful in Q1 of 2022, non-automotive businesses are driving the boost in orders general. For the duration of this period, device product sales to automotive OEMs have been up 15% though orders from automotive ingredient companies were up 22%.

The data also revealed that non-automotive industries this kind of as metals, warehousing and everyday living sciences—which beforehand had not deployed automation—currently display “deep stages of automation deployment,” Shikany included.

According to A3 data, device income to non-automotive industries observed will increase in Q1 in excess of the similar period of 2021. The information exposed that:

  • Metals were up 40%  
  • Plastics and Rubber were up 29% 
  • Semiconductors and Electronics/Photonics ended up up 23% 
  • Food stuff and Client Merchandise were up 21% 
  • Lifestyle Sciences/Pharma/Biomed have been up 14% and  
  • All Other Industries ended up up 56%.

Robotic adoption has gone through a historical shift, too. In 2011 the automotive sector held 64% market place share, although non-vehicle held 36%. In 2021, the development has reversed the non-automobile section of marketplace held 58% of industry share. The craze initially observed a reversal in 2020, pointed out Shikany.

“It’s just an remarkable time that’s indicative of all the new purposes and industries that are represented at the clearly show,” he claimed. “When you walk through the booths, you see motion management, you see robotics and eyesight alternatives occur collectively. No matter if you are coming at it from an financial commitment standpoint or deployment point of view, it is all doing the job alongside one another.”

Line of Sight

A critical perception from Shikany’s analysis was that device vision portfolios have been a main factor in the way brands achieve automation milestones. The sector phase produced record gains in 2021. “The once-a-year figures surpassed $3 billion in North The us for the initially time on record and indications for the initially quarter was strong as properly,” Shikany explained.

The at any time-expanding application foundation for industrial machine vision engineering was evident in exhibitors’ cross-sector apps and were being also mirrored in presentation matters and certification systems customized to progress attendees’ information as Accredited Vision Gurus.

From picture sensors with increased resolution and quicker frame premiums, to optics for nonvisible wavelengths and greater components for conversation protocols, device builders, integrators and eyesight builders have been on the lookout for variety components that help higher trustworthiness, security and accuracy. What follows is a sampling among the a multitude of factors and applications on screen at this year’s demonstrate.

A Nod to Set Industrial Scanners

Zebra Technologies’ fixed industrial scanners and device eyesight systems ended up regarded amongst the finest in machine eyesight by the judges of the Vision Units Structure 2022 Innovators Awards plan. Zebra, which recently acquired Matrox Imaging, brought its initial suite of device eyesight cameras  and preset industrial scanners to current market in 2021.

These techniques are driven by the Zebra Aurora computer software system, an interface that integrates with manufacturing unit and warehouse devices. The in-motion eyesight scan operation is touted for enabling warehouse  workers, AMRs, set industrial scanners and device eyesight units to minimize substance transportation responsibilities by up to 50%.

Responsible Detection

SensoPart is a expert in the detection, positioning, identification and recognition of measuring colours and contrast. SensoPart’s booth demonstrations have been established up to show how photoelectric sensors with BlueLight technology can provide higher detection efficiency than typical red mild proximity sensors, particularly when detecting darkish or transparent objects, including black objects with a superior gloss area.

With detection premiums of 2 mm to 1,200 mm and with a defense degree of up to IP69K, the answer can be employed in the automotive, plastics, packaging and prescribed drugs industries. The hardware is complemented by VISOR software program, allowing for apps to be up and functioning and continually monitored.

Collaboration is Important

Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s “better together” concept and in-booth expertise integrated not only a glimpse of its robots and automation, but also means in which remedies can be built-in. Through a booth visit, Patrick Varley, solution marketing supervisor for Mechatronics at Mitsubishi Electrical Automation, highlighted the collaborative effort and hard work in between Realtime Robotics RapidPlan robot programming and movement handle software and Mitsubishi Electric’s industrial robots in a demo cell.

Two robots (RV-7FRL and RV-8CRL) simulated their capability to shift to a variety of focal points on a workpiece, although the ASSISTA collaborative robot labored all-around them to examine a variety of points of desire. Varley pointed out that in authentic-environment settings, the time expended programming and re-programming industrial robots can take up much too a great deal of an engineer’s time.

“Realtime Robotics’ technological know-how has the potential to speed deployment, operations and manufacturing for brands, assisting to enhance their charge constructions and time-to-industry,” stated Varley.

Eye of Creation

A long-time supporter of Automate, MVTec Software designed its presence known by displaying the company’s in depth equipment vision software item portfolio in a greater booth. In addition to rolling out two new software versions—HALCON 22.05 and MERLIC 5.1—the program firm emphasised how its assistance offerings in application evaluations, schooling documentation and technical support can be effectively integrated into customers’ applications.

In one demo, experts shown how frequent bar and info codes can be examine employing MVTec’s computer software, no matter of orientation and even when the ingredient width was a lot less than one particular pixel or when the code was partially obscured.

High quality Inspections

Teledyne Technologies showcased its assortment of its digital imaging items, instrumentation and engineered systems. One particular of its business units, Teledyne DALSA, shown the Z-Trak 2, configured for 360-deg. in-line inspection and measurement. The 3D graphic sensor engineering can supply scan speeds of up to 45,000 profiles/sec. and can be applied in discrete applications, as nicely as for constant extrusion, or outdoor programs this kind of as streets and highways.

The organization famous that sensors housed in IP67 enclosures were made for harsh environments. The instrument is bundled no cost with Teledyne Imaging’s Sherlock 8.1—a level-and-simply click, rapid software enhancement software bundle, Sapera Processing RTLs (real-time locating methods) and Sapera LT, a free graphic acquisition and manage computer software progress toolkit.

The Massive Image

What does all of this signify? Automation technologies (components and software package) has in new decades been deployed in report figures and at historic fees of adoption. For Shikany, the upshot is that along with the evolving sensing and navigation performance of robotic devices, the convergence of sophisticated machine eyesight methods, imaging abilities and algorithms will continue on to engage in a basic role in driving the automation resources that make organizations of all dimensions much more successful.


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