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€6M EU project developing hyperspectral sensors for quality control

15 Jun 2023

“MULTIPLE” unveils multi-modal monitoring solution for enhanced industrial quality control.

A photonics research consortium of 16 European organizations has announced a new multi-modal monitoring solution for industrial processes. The infrared-hyperspectral development – arising from project MULTIPLE – was enabled by a €5.7 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.

Project MULTIPLE was launched in December 2019 with a vision of bringing together European technology centers, developers, and end users to collaborate on advancing the manufacturing capabilities of the European Union.

The partners (full list), which include the likes of imec, Photon Focus, and Tematys – stated that the “innovative solution is set to revolutionize industrial quality monitoring and control, bolstering the photonics manufacturing base and enabling real-time data capture and analysis for enhanced process efficiency, productivity, and safety”.

The collaborative model adopted by MULTIPLE focuses on developing and implementing snapshot hyperspectral filters, laser-based IR analyzers, and organic-electronics-based sensors. These hardware modules are augmented with cloud-based applications, “big data” analysis, and deep learning techniques, enabling agile development and orchestration of complex AI-based models.

MULTIPLE aims to increase the competitiveness, flexibility, and efficiency of Europe's photonics manufacturing base while enhancing the quality of its products. By providing cost-effective, multimodal monitoring solutions, MULTIPLE empowers European machine vision and image processing equipment suppliers to better compete in global markets.

MULTIPLE's achievements have been truly remarkable, as they have successfully implemented their multimodal production-monitoring solutions across diverse industries such as steel production, woodworking, and industrial food production.

In the realm of steel manufacturing, the utilization of dual-band visible-SWIR hyperspectral cameras has revolutionized the monitoring process by enabling real-time assessment of steel alloy quality and optimizing furnace temperature. This breakthrough has not only enhanced energy efficiency but also elevated product quality.

Additionally, the deployment of laser-based spectrometers has significantly improved gas analysis, offering heightened sensitivity and selectivity, thereby effectively reducing CO2 emissions. This week’s partner statement said, “ MULTIPLE’s innovative solutions have proven their immense potential in driving efficiency, sustainability, and quality across various industrial sectors.”

Application areas

In the food industry, MULTIPLE has revolutionized the quality control of the chocolate conching process through the utilization of hyperspectral imaging devices and advanced machine vision. This groundbreaking project has resulted in improved flavor and texture of chocolates, ensuring the delivery of superior products. Moving forward, MULTIPLE has ambitious plans to expand its technology into new industries and use cases.

By developing cloud services that support AI-based deep learning models and integrated industrial monitoring, European manufacturers will soon have the capability to implement these state-of-the-art solutions in diverse areas such as environmental monitoring, waste management, smart farming, and more.

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