Flir Systems and Neurala Develop AI-Powered Industrial Machine Vision

April 13, 2021
The goal of combining artificial intelligence with industrial vision systems is to enable manufacturers to place automated inspection points anywhere and be able to quickly reconfigure them for new applications as needed.

Like the old “Intel Inside” ads, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming the technology inside industrial devices and software. From its use in enterprise resource planning software and operator interface applications to controllers and I/O, AI is bringing new levels of analytics and added functionality to a number of widely used industrial technologies.

One of the more interesting applications of AI is its use in improving quality control inspections. Not long ago, Automation World connected with Anatoli Gorchet of Neurala to learn how AI-powered software can, on its own, learn which aspects of a product or component are important and create rules that determine the combinations of features that define quality products, rather than having the machine vision system rely on static rules. Now we’ve learned that Nuerala has been working with Flir Systems, a well-known supplier of imaging cameras and sensors, to deliver an AI-based industrial imaging system.

Acccording to Flir and Neurala, this new imaging system allows users to “rapidly create deep learning models using Neurala’s Brain Builder on the VIA platform with little data and no AI expertise. These models can be directly uploaded to a Flir Firefly DL camera using the free Flir Spinnaker software development kit.”

Because the models can be deployed directly onto Flir Firefly DL camera, the companies claim an intelligent, automated inspection point can be placed “practically anywhere in-line and quickly reconfigured for new applications.”

Typical applications for this AI-powered imaging system include printed circuit board inspection, detection of foreign objects, identification of surface level metal defects, and product uniformity issues.

Max Versace, CEO and co-founder of Neurala, said, “The rise of Industry 4.0 has challenged manufacturers to rethink the tools and systems they are using as part of their workflow. With cameras and sensors gathering product data and analyzing the overall health of industrial equipment, manufacturers have realized the power of AI to draw actionable insights from this data.”

Learn what the term "explainable AI" means and how it creates a human-readable path from a given piece of data to a specific decision so users can understand how artificial intelligence works in specific applications.

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