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Machine vision system

Machine vision systems play an important role in automated systems. A machine vision system typically provides automated, computer-based image acquisition and analysis capabilities that can be employed for tasks such as measurement and inspection of parts or materials. A machine vision system comprises at least one camera coupled with a computer. A computer is used to interpret an image taken from a camera thereby enabling a machine vision system to perform various tasks. A machine vision system typically is configured with a camera for acquiring an image of an object of interest, e.g., a part being produced, and further is configured with processing functionality to process the acquired image and produce information about the object. The camera is used to obtain an electronic image of a feature of interest. Cameras are used to obtain images of articles, and image processing is performed to identify features of the article. Further image processing may be performed to identify the article's position, measure its dimensions, and/or to check for article defects. Image processing results may then be used to aid in the control of automated systems. Machine vision is currently utilized throughout commercial industry in a wide variety of applications. Machine vision systems are increasingly employed to replace human vision in a wide range of industrial processes such as manufacturing operations. Machine vision systems are often used to inspect objects to determine characteristics, abnormalities or defects in the object. For example, machine vision technology is used in semiconductor wafer fabrication, pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing, mailpiece processing, circuit board assembly, and many other areas.

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