LEONI Engineering Products & Services Vision Group: Deep Machine Vision Expertise for Automotive Manufacturing
Machine vision systems find use in many different industries, but manufacturing is perhaps the most prevalent. Machine vision technology delivers the ability to execute functions and outcomes based on image analysis done by a vision system. Typical tasks include inspection, identification, guidance, and gauging. When designed, specified, and installed properly, machine vision systems help manufacturers maintain quality, increase productivity, improve efficiency, and drive revenue.
Taking an agnostic approach to both software and hardware products allows LEPS engineers to find the best fit for a particular application, said Jim Reed, vision product manager at LEPS.
“LEPS works with many different vendors and will match an application need to what we feel are particular strengths, whether it be for color applications, pattern matching, OCR, and so on,” he said. “But in cases where customers work with certain hardware or software companies, we can work within these guidelines as well. But in general, LEPS takes an agnostic approach to remain flexible.”
Additionally, LEPS engineers are dedicated 100% to integrating machine vision. The vision team comprises 15 dedicated and experienced engineers – some of which have 10-plus years of industry experience – specifically focused on machine vision. While the team possesses expertise in individual aspects of the system such as robots, PLCs, and cameras, all internal capabilities revolve around the holistic design of the overall machine vision system, said Reed.
“The LEPS vision team does not try to be a jack-of-all-trades. We are truly experts in machine vision, and that’s what we focus on,” he said.
Advanced Automotive Expertise
Located near Detroit, the LEPS Vision Group works heavily in the automotive manufacturing space, across a variety of different applications, including tasks such as porosity inspection and badge inspection. “Our experience in automotive is extensive, from systems that look for defects on machined parts to systems where robot-mounted cameras inspect 30 to 40 points of interest on an engine,” Reed said.
Recent applications have involved some industry hot-topic technologies, such as deep learning. In one recent example, the LEPS team designed a novel machine vision system that ensures proper automotive seat mold assembly. In this application, machine vision cameras, robotics, and deep learning technologies combine to inspect highly variable automotive parts that might present challenges to traditional, rules-based algorithms. Learn more about this challenging application here.
Start-to-Finish Problem Solving
In addition to its experienced team of engineers, LEPS has an in-house machine vision development lab for solving difficult inspection, assembly, and verification problems in automotive manufacturing — and beyond. LEPS vision engineers begin each customer’s project with an in-depth front-end analysis to build a well-informed foundation for the design of the vision system. From there, the team designs, integrates, commissions, and supports a custom solution using the best possible machine vision hardware and software for the application.