Company B, a leading household goods company, manufactures and sells various products essential to daily life. There are many types of products and many different shapes of containers. And new products are coming out all the time. Every time a new container was used, they had to verify the inspection system's ability to detect container defects and printing errors, which took time and labor. In addition, the company was also troubled with the number of defects that could not be recognized by the new inspection system.
- Variations in detection accuracy occurwhen inspecting more than a single piece at a time
- A tremendous number of man-hours is needed for the selection, evaluation and adjustment of the equipment when introducing a vision system.
After the introduction of "4D High Resolution" lenses
- Consistent resolution performance is realized at the center and edges of the image, which reduces recognition errors for individual pieces.
- High resolution is maintained in various shooting conditions, resulting in shorter selection, installation and adjustment times for the vision system.
Issue 1: To obtain a uniform image within the image frame
Problem 1: Images are blurry in places. The tendency to blur depends on the shooting conditions and lens.
Company B inspects containers of shampoos, detergents, etc. They used to put two large packages (A4 size) on the inspection station and shoot them using one camera. However, the image was always blurry on one side. Even after repeated trial and error, changing the lighting and the installation method of the vision system, their efforts were to no avail.
Issue 2: To enhance selection efficiency
Problem 2: The optimum lens had to be selected for each inspection item and shooting condition, which prevented them from concentrating on their core business.
Company B handles many products and conducts image inspections with different check items and methods for each. As the sizes and shapes of products vary, they had to select the cameras and lenses they thought would be the most suitable and arranged the way the products are placed and how the light is applied for each kind of inspection to get the best results. However, with this approach they had to reselect the most suitable inspection equipment every time a new product was launched. The personnel in charge of this at Company B expressed his concern, saying "My original task is to enhance inspection accuracy and production efficiency, but now much of my time is taken up by selecting equipment and adjustment of the vision system."
The keys to solving these issues were...
lenses that do not cause blur on one side and high level performance under all conditions.
Solution: They accepted the suggestion that the problem may lie with the lenses and changed the lenses.
Company B thought the blur on one side of the images could be eliminated by finding the proper way of lighting the items or setting up the vision system. However, they were never able to obtain good results even though they tried many different ways. Seeking a solution, they consulted the dealer, who is one of their business partners, who advised them that the problem may be with the lenses. He suggested to try verifying the system again after changing the lenses to Fujifilm "4D High Resolution" lenses.
Solution to Issue 1: Adoption of lenses that deliver uniform resolution throughout the image frame
Hearing Company B's problem, the dealer reasoned that the lenses were the cause of one-sided blur. One-sided blur is a phenomenon that occurs when a lens is out of alignment with the center (axis) of the other lenses, which prevents the intended performance from being exhibited, resulting in significant performance deterioration on one side of the image. In the case of Fujifilm "4D High Resolution" lenses for machine vision cameras, misalignment of the axis of the lenses is detected with proprietary inspection equipment by aligning the entire lens constructions with micrometer-level adjustments during assembly. In addition, thorough quality control has been implemented by assigning a serial number to each lens. As the resolution within the image frame is maintained with almost complete consistency, one-sided blur has been eliminated when shooting two products with one camera.
Lenses are misaligned
Solution to Issue 2: Adoption of versatile lenses that deliver the best performance irrespective of shooting conditions
Generally, lenses have an ideal shooting distance and aperture at which they can exhibit their best resolution, but the resolution performance degrades in other shooting conditions. "4D High Resolution" lenses are the product of Fujifilm's abundant manufacturing know-how. A drop in resolution performance caused by changing shooting distances and apertures is controlled to the maximum extent. They are versatile and deliver the best performance irrespective of the shooting conditions. That is why "4D High Resolution" lenses have enabled image inspection of all products for Company B, which manufactures various shapes of containers. The personnel at Company B said, "The time it takes to select a lens has been reduced, which lets me focus on other tasks. The field personnel was also glad as the time for adjustment after installation has been cut in half."
The quality of 4D High Resolution lenses, which are extremely unlikely to cause one-sided blur, has been highly evaluated, which led to their introduction by Company B. In addition, high versatility irrespective of the shooting conditions helped Company B solve the problem they were having with the inspection of containers of various shapes. The personnel at Company B said to us, "We are going to use 4D High Resolution lenses regardless of what cameras and image processing systems are used from now on."