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Omron launches AI vision system which ‘captures defects with human-like sensitivity’

Omron has launched its new “FH Series Vision System” with the industry’s first defect detection AI technology that identifies defects without learning samples.

The company says the artificial intelligence-based technology “captures defects with human-like sensitivity”.

It claims the system reproduces human sensibility and the techniques of skilled inspectors, reliably detects defects that were once difficult to capture, automating human vision-based visual inspection.

Skilled inspectors are hard to come by these days, and labor costs have risen sharply, says Omron.

Manufacturers are now facing intense pressure to automate processes that rely on the senses of experienced human workers. Particularly when it comes to visual inspection, it’s important to reliably identify subtle defects even on flexible lines producing a wide range of items.

Traditionally, the sensitivity and knowledge of technicians with long-term experience have been key.

However, nowadays people often need to avoid working in the same space on the manufacturing sites in order to protect them from Covid-19, which leads to growing demand for labor-saving automated visual inspection.

Artificial intelligence is now reaching the stage where it can recognize object features as well as humans and automatically learn criteria.

While a lot of AI solutions face challenges with large amounts of image data, specialized hardware and engineering expertise, Omron is making great progress in enabling its widespread use.

To solve these challenges, Omron developed the industry’s first defect detection AI that reproduces the techniques of skilled inspectors. This AI is now part of the FH Series Vision System that will be released.

Over 30 years of Omron’s knowledge of image processing and visual inspection have been built into this new product to maximize the inspection capability using AI without learning huge amounts of data.

AI has traditionally required a special environment, but Omron’s lightweight solution has been integrated into a system component. No dedicated AI engineer is required for setup and adjustment at manufacturing sites.

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