What Role Does Computer Vision Play for Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is currently a hot topic. Catchwords such as Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Factory, Big Data, Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence describe not only the increasing automation of production plants, but also a comprehensive networking of the most diverse systems with the aim of integrating information technology into industry as comprehensively as possible.
Under the umbrella of information technology, computer vision plays an essential role. Machine vision is an indispensable component of every automated environment. This is true for hardware - such as in robotics - and in software for image analysis purposes or for training artificial neural networks (Deep Learning).
What contribution does computer vision make? Let's take a closer look at the example of a Smart Factory.
Vision systems as data suppliers
Among the most important and powerful sensors in an automated factory environment are vision systems with cameras. They already play an extremely important role in modern automation and usually consist of the following components:
Like all other subsystems, the vision system must be connected to all other systems and to the central control system, both in terms of hardware and software. This is done by means of special data exchange standards for industrial communication. These standards give the individual subsystems a common machine language, so to speak, to ensure easy interoperability between them. One of these standards is umati (universal machine technology interface). It uses OPC UA as an open, universal interface standard.