EPIC often receives inquiries regarding our global roll-out programs for multi-line vision systems; vision systems that perform that same inspection but are installed at multiple locations around the globe. Potential clients and partners ask us, “How can a company in St. Louis effectively and consistently support the deployment of multiple vision systems across the world?”
The key to EPIC’s ability to produce such a mass amount of system roll-outs in diverse areas of the world is our thorough and meticulous design process. Every system we design has consistency, dependability, and ease of use in mind but as it pertains to your particular product. This is a different approach than most of our competitors who don’t take the time to intentionally design each system so that it can be easily rolled out, reproduced, and managed and fixed from afar. We go through the same design process for a single system as we do for a variety of systems, and this is what enables us to guarantee our product across the globe.
What exactly does this rock-solid design system entail? It’s about mastering the image quality before we even begin building. Consistent, high-quality images depend on a well-designed system that uses the right lens, angles, cameras, and mechanical setups. We are very intentional with how we design the mechanical aspects and individual control systems for each vision system.
We start by mocking up inspections in our vision lab so that we can run test products – actual samples of real product from the client – on the system. Our state-of-the-art vision lab can simulate products moving by cameras at high speeds. During this mock-up, we consider every aspect of the build such as what lens needs to be used, lighting, camera positions, bracket placement and more. We take the time to truly understand what the line and process is like, so that we design a vision system that allows us to completely control the image quality.
With many of our competitors, the image quality is uncontrolled. This means that if the images change (because, for example, sub-optimal lighting from dust accumulation or easily moved brackets), then the inspection that was built into processing those images has to change as well. One variable leads to more variables and it results in a vicious cycle of adjustment. This type of system would be impossible to roll out globally.
With an EPIC vision system this isn’t the case because our systems are thoroughly designed for the specific plant environment they are going to and built to maintain image quality. With less changing variables systems require less adjustment, images are consistent, and systems perform better in your plants around the world.
This intentional design process exists whether we build it once or hundreds of times. And everything is documented so we can easily reproduce our results. This process leads to repeat customers, and it leads to the global roll-out programs we have today. Creating our software programs with the intention of creating a system that will work on multiple product types and reapplying it.
The process we follow for every multi-line roll-out is simple:
- Develop a proof of concept in our vision lab (sometimes including lab testing to test repeat-ability)
- Mock-up a pilot line to test vision technologies & make adjustments
- Create a second system reproduction and test consistency with the first
- Mass reproduce the systems for roll out around the globe
Once the roll-out is finished, our work doesn’t end there. There are numerous ways that we support our global customers from vision engineers who can provide personal support to plant staff around the world, to our ability to remotely access cameras and make any changes if necessary.
EPIC takes total responsibility for your global roll-out with standardized systems, guaranteed ship-dates, and a fool-proof development method that takes into account the detail and foresight needed to create a successful roll-out. Read our case studies and more about our capabilities here.