Machine Vision Systems

McClellan Automation Systems is an experienced integrator of machine vision systems. When appropriate, McClellan installs machine vision systems online at one to several stations on automation systems for real-time assembly inspection and/or component part inspection. In addition to providing machine vision systems on automation systems, McClellan can integrate vision systems on the Client's existing machinery, or start by providing a table top system to be used to test, learn, develop, or prove the vision application.

Machine Vision Inspection Goals

  • inspection for part presence
  • detection of a variety of functional and/or aesthetic part defects
  • detection of part orientation
  • color variation
  • complex gauging/measuring applications

McClellan Vision System Engineers

Designing custom automation systems that are considered world class requires careful due diligence and selection of all purchased components to be employed at each individual machine station. McClellan's on-staff machine vision engineers are experienced with a variety of vision systems and smart sensors, including Cognex, DVT, and Keyence. McClellan's customers benefit from unbiased engineering evaluations and a choice of machine vision system components that are best for the application.

The successful development, design, and integration of machine vision systems requires mastery of several disciplines. The machine vision integrator must have experience and technical knowledge in:

  • Several machine vision system brands including DVT Cameras, Cognex Cameras, Optics, and machine vision lighting
  • Part fixturing and camera/lighting bracketry design
  • Automation and machine control system expertise for successful integration
  • Vision system tools programming ability (Many first time users of machine vision systems do not realize that the software/tools must be custom developed and programmed for the application.)
  • Appropriate application of vision and well defined system requirements
  • User interface design

When the client chooses McClellan for the integration of a machine vision system, "the buck stops with McClellan." In other words, McClellan provides the whole system, including all of the materials required, and all of the engineering required. McClellan becomes the Client's source for the vision system installation and system support.

Have you started to research the feasibility of a vision system for your application?

Do not wait to call McClellan Automation Systems to discuss your application. McClellan will visit the Client's facility to clearly understand all the variables of the application. McClellan is an engineering service provider before becoming a world-class custom automation manufacturer because we take a consultative approach before we plan to fabricate. We ask the right questions to understand the Client's requirements and constraints before we offer a solution. Remember that machine vision systems are not "off the shelf" solutions. All vision solutions require engineering development. McClellan has learned out of necessity to proceed responsibly, to manage/mitigate risk, to take a consultative approach before plans are made to design the clients system. McClellan's Clients benefit from this approach.

McClellan will use the Client's sample parts for applications testing at McClellan's facility. Following the evaluation, McClellan will clearly explain machine vision system capability. McClellan will consider all of the application constraints and will help the client to plan for the right system to meet the requirements of the project.

Integrating a Vision System: Be Prepared

The development, design, debug, and testing of the system require parts and engineering drawings with tolerances & specifications of all parts and materials processed in the application. The parts should represent each inspection task and should demonstrate each defect. It is the Client's responsibility to provide McClellan Automation Systems with complete information regarding the criteria for each inspection for each component of each part type.

The quantity of qualified parts and materials required for McClellan to develop and design the vision system will be reviewed with the client.

The set of sample parts should include:

  • good parts
  • marginally good parts
  • marginally bad parts
  • bad parts

Often, clients have difficulty finding a volume of parts that represent the reject condition. So start collecting parts early. McClellan will need to see them and use them to develop the machine vision system application.

Prior to the completion of the design specification, McClellan Automation System and the Client must agree on the following. These items will then be documented in the design specification.

  • acceptance criteria checklist
  • test duration
  • number of test samples
  • test procedure

Vision System Capability and Expectations

As with any gage, there is a certain Reliability and Repeatability (Gage R&R) that must be taken into account in the design of the vision system. A thorough understanding of the implications of the gage's R&R is critical to minimizing failure escape risk and internal false rejects. A lack of understanding of the vision system and its capabilities can lead to an improper design of the vision system and a system that falls short of expectations. With McClellan's experience, the customer is lead through the design process so informed decisions can be made and the capabilities of the system are fully understood. The informed customer is then able to evaluate the balance between manufacturer's risk, consumer's risk, and project cost.