I recently had an opportunity to give a presentation to the 8th grade science classes in the local Greenwood Indiana school district near where I live. We talked about lasers and I was amazed at the different applications they came up with on their own. Their reactions to the different ways lasers are being used were equally amazing. It’s encouraging to see the next generation interested in such a promising industry. With 2015 being the International Year of Light, this is a great time for those who are working with light to pause and reflect on all of the ways light has brought improvements to millions of lives around the world.
W. Edwards Deming said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it,” and “You cannot inspect quality into the product; it is already there.” Instead of trying to inspect-in quality, focus on adding value once you’re assured that the previous process was done right and to specification.
Since the mid-1980’s, tens of thousands of machine vision camera systems have been installed along manufacturing lines and in assembly stations. They can be found in every conceivable industry where there are volume users - automotive, pharmaceutical, medical devices, electronics, aerospace, and, at this point, almost every industry that makes something. Why? Because subsequently adding value to a good part reduces the cost of goods, making the manufacturer more money. In fact, machine vision is one of the reasons the U.S. regained its world position producing quality products at reasonable prices.