Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) is making it easier to connect machine vision applications, such as inspection systems, to automated industrial environments.
How? Two imaging companies—Basler AG (Ahrensburg, Germany) and MVTec Software GmbH (Munich, Germany)—have launched products to make such integration far less time consuming and expensive. They have done this by joining a diverse set of companies with products that are integrated with Siemens’ Industrial Edge ecosystem—software and services to access, analyze and store data from IoT automation devices located throughout the plant floor.
Products from the two imaging companies will also be integrated into Siemens’ SIMATIC S7-1500 System, a neural processing module for the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller and the ET 200MP I/O system. This integration will reduce the complexity of integrating machine vision products into AI-enabled industrial automation applications.
“Integrating cameras into automation currently is a cumbersome process, requiring a high level of specific expertise to match compatible components. It is expensive and is often implemented on standalone ‘islands’ (e.g., dedicated industrial PCs),” Siemens explains in a new release.
Stefan Meier, ecosystem manager for Industrial Edge solutions at Siemens, adds, "We collaborate in open ecosystems and look for partnerships to combine our Siemens domain knowhow in automation with those from strong players in the market that make it easier for our customers to adapt new technologies with industry proven solutions."
The Basler Vision Connector
For its part, Basler launched the Basler Vision Connector, which will be available as an app in the Siemens Industrial Edge Marketplace by the end of the year. It defines a standard interface to connect Basler’s GigE cameras throughout Siemens’ automation portfolio. The basis for the Basler Connector is the company’s pylon SDK.
The software’s functionality includes vignetting correction, sharpness indicator and bandwidth manager.
MVTec Anomaly Detection
Meanwhile, MVTec is integrating software, Anomaly Detection for Visual Inspection, into the Siemens environment. The AI-enabled app automates detection of logical and structural defects on product surfaces.
"By bringing the first application for visual quality inspection to Siemens Industrial Edge, our two companies help customers use AI to detect both structural and logical defects on objects and thus improve the quality of components. It is easy to learn, test, and use because it does not require programming or an in-depth knowledge of machine vision. By using the app, customers do not need third-party stand-alone solutions," explains Meier from Siemens.