Self-learning vision system has eye toward future

Aug. 20, 2019
Inspekto S70 combines computer vision, deep-learning technology and real-time software optimization technologies into a user-friendly package.

Vision systems have always been a great concept for inspecting molded and extruded parts, but processors wanting to use them had to turn a blind eye to their many problems.

But Inspekto’s new autonomous machine vision system overcomes issues such as needing to hire expensive integrators to program the setup and make tweaks; changing light conditions in the factory; and the inability to easily move the equipment from one place to another.

This is the first product in what will likely become a new category of quality-assurance equipment.

Inspekto, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with a European demonstration center in Heilbronn, Germany, recently introduced the Inspekto S70, which combines computer vision, deep-learning technology and real-time software optimization technologies into a user-friendly package. Inspekto claims the unit is self-setting, self-learning and self-adjusting.

“We feel this will change the future of the plastic injection and extrusion industries,” Harel Boren, CEO and co-founder of Inspekto, said during an interview at Automate 2019 in April in Chicago. The product received a Gold award at the Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards at the trade show.

The S70 takes about 30 minutes to 45 minutes to set up, which can be accomplished by plant personnel with no special training in vision products. The system connects to the plant’s PLC using common industrial protocols such as TCP/IP, Profinet, EtherCat, Modbus and digital I/O.

All components come in one box, including arm components to clip onto any Bosch profile. The S70 is assembled, attached to the arm and aimed at the product to be inspected. On the computer screen, an operator draws a line around the product or portion of a product that is to be inspected. After seeing about 20 good parts, the system is ready for production. It does not have to be taught specific defects to look for. Inspekto says the user interface is simple and intuitive.

Inspekto has trademarked the phrase, “Plug & Inspect,” to describe its technology.

Once it is set up, the S70 checks every part it sees. It can inspect different parts produced at the same time and includes sorting functions.

The S70 uses a patented system for self-setting of sensor parameters, self-adaption to any changes on or near the production line and self-tuning of detection technologies to any inspection product or task.

The system automatically adjusts for changing light conditions, which traditionally have presented major challenges for visual inspection. The placement or orientation of the part being inspected is irrelevant.

The system archives every part it inspects. Multiple S70 systems can be installed on a production line to spot defects at different stages of production.

The S70 system costs less than $12,000.

Several apps are available to accomplish specific tasks. Inspekto Qualify is designed for visual inspection for quality control; Inspekto Tracks provides archiving and part traceability. Inspekto Types can accommodate different product models in one location. Inspekto Account counts products as they are boxed for shipment.

“Making autonomous machine vision possible was a colossal achievement,” said Yonatan Hyatt, CTO and co-founder, in a press release. “The resulting vision and artificial intelligence technologies make Inspekto the first machine vision system provider to speak directly to the manufacturer instead of to the systems integrator.”

The S70 was placed in 40 plants in various industries during beta testing. Boren said one of those plants has estimated it will save more than $500,000 per year on a single production line because of the S70. 

Ron Shinn, editor
[email protected]

Inspekto  Tel Aviv, Israel, 41-22501-7692

About the Author

Ron Shinn | Editor

Editor Ron Shinn is a co-founder of Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing and has been covering the plastics industry for more than 35 years. He leads the editorial team, directs coverage and sets the editorial calendar. He also writes features, including the Talking Points column and On the Factory Floor, and covers recycling and sustainability for PMM and Plastics Recycling.