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Basler and MVTec join Siemens to integrate machine vision with factory automation

16 Nov 2023

“Industrial Edge” partnerships aim to enable greater cooperation of machine vision with automation systems.

Two industry leaders in machine vision and industrial image processing – Basler and MVTec – are independently joining forces with diverse engineering company Siemens.

The partners say that, by combining their respective strengths, portfolios, and experience, it will be possible to offer plug-and-play machine vision solutions aligned to a portfolio of automation and machine vision components comprsing hardware and software.

Dr. Olaf Munkelt, MVTec, Rainer Brehm, Siemens, and Dr. Dietmar Ley, Basler, announced the partnerships at the Smart Production Solutions (SPS) trade show, this week (14-16 November) in Nuremberg, Germany.

Siemens contends that “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 – such as dedicated industrial PCs.”

Rainer Brehm, CEO Factory Automation at Siemens, told the SPS conference “Together with our new partners in the open Siemens Xcelerator ecosystem, we’re integrating machine vision into automation. This helps with many tasks, for example when it comes to difficult quality control or to reduce errors and thus defects in industrial production, or to react to the shortage of skilled workers. In doing so, we are taking an important step towards an adaptable, sustainable production and increasingly autonomous production processes.”

Standardizing visual inspection infrastructure

Basler described itself as “a leading full-line provider of advanced computer vision products such as cameras, lenses, and lighting”. Siemens and Basler have agreed on an interface that makes it possible to use the Basler hardware portfolio throughout the Siemens automation portfolio and eliminates the typical challenges and errors that arise when connecting a camera to the automation system.

The first product launch to address this is the Basler Vision Connector app. The app connects the Basler camera portfolio to Siemens Industrial Edge. The same interface used for the Edge app will also be used for a forthcoming S7-1500 technology module, which will allow Basler cameras to connect directly to the Simatic S7-1500 system, thus supporting conventional as well as AI-based machine vision applications.

This newly defined standardized infrastructure for visual inspection offers an end-to-end solution for customers who already have an AI model but are not yet able to use it in an industrial environment.Dr. Dietmar Ley, CEO of Basler, said, “Our collaboration will enable us to offer customers pre-tested application scenarios and aligned product portfolio options to choose from, as well as to develop solutions that can help them significantly reduce their time-to-market.”

Anomaly detection for inspection

MVTec Software, for its part, is bringing the first application for surface inspection and optical quality control to Siemens Industrial Edge. The app called “Anomaly Detection for Visual Inspection” helps customers use AI to detect both structural and logical defects on objects and thus improve the quality of components.

“By combining the Siemens Industrial Edge Ecosystem and MVTec’s machine vision expertise, customers can easily leverage the power of AI-driven software apps for visual inspection,” said Dr. Olaf Munkelt, Managing Director of MVTec.

SPECTROGON ABECOPTIKMad City Labs, Inc.AlluxaTRIOPTICS GmbHIridian Spectral TechnologiesABTech
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