Inspections are the most important step in the manufacturing process. Components that do not get inspected could be faulty and cost the company large sums of money if it makes it to the final product. With the advent of smart factories and their rise in popularity, manual inspections slow down the efficiency of the production line. Human-powered inspection can also be unreliable, allowing imperfect components to proceed down the line. Introducing automated inspections for smart factories is the solution to this problem, as the machine will be more consistent and efficient.
Using manual labor to complete inspections in a plant takes time. The human inspector must stop the line to individually inspect each component required. This slow down or halt in production costs the plant money by impeding the efficiency at which the line moves. Switching to automated machine vision inspections means the line does not have to slow down or stop in order for inspections to happen. Production will speed up, and the components can be manufactured and shipped more quickly. In addition, component changes are more seamless with automated inspection because the operators will be able to change the settings on the inspection machines within hours, rather than the days it would take to integrate the training into the manual inspectors’ roles. Changing molds on the line will also run more smoothly. The automated machines can handle multiple mold measurements with little transition time.
Manual inspections tend to run the risk of being inaccurate. Humans are fallible and make mistakes, or they miss small imperfections that could in turn cause recalls, lawsuits, or increased component costs for the plant. An automated inspection machine will eliminate the inaccuracy of a human inspector. The machines will evaluate each component consistently against the standards programmed by the operator. Automated inspections also allow for the machines to measure multiple factors at once, which bolsters line efficiency and consistency. The AI, or artificial intelligence, in the machines also allow for machine learning. This is the process by which the inspection machines learn, through operator intervention, to be more sophisticated and accurate in their measurements. Increasing the accuracy of the automated inspections can help decrease the cost per component, not only by reducing the likelihood of a mistake or imperfection to slip through but also by eliminating the need for multiple human inspectors to be trained and deployed on multiple molds or criteria.
While the traditional inspection solution has always been to use manual labor of human inspectors to ensure the reliability and consistency of each component that comes off the line, humans slow down the line and can make costly mistakes. Automated inspection machines in smart factories are the next logical step. Automated machine inspection assists in ensuring the components that come off the line are the most consistent possible, while at the same time speeding up the production time on the line and being infinitely more customizable than a manual inspector.
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