What do you focus on? What is the main aim of your work?
Our main mission is to help our customers to implement automated quality inspections throughout their productive process. We help them with every step of the process - from brainstorming an initial idea, project planning, implementation, up to maintenance.
As the name of the company, “Machine Vision Consulting” suggests, we sell products through consultancy. Companies from various sectors reach us because they need to make some changes in the way they work and we can help them with that. We define ourselves as tailors who provide a "tailor-made" solution for each specific need. But it does not end there, we try to give an added value to the sale. Our motto is "creating partnerships with customers" and our work is led by that. Our main goal is to create real partnerships with manufacturers. We do not want to build just a basic business “supplier–customer” relationship.
So, let’s suppose a company that produces car tires contacts you. How can you help them?
We can offer our experience and a desire to learn all the peculiarities of their production process in order to assist in finding a solution for their challenges in quality inspection and automation. Even though we have thirty years of experience and we have dealt with companies from a wide range of fields, we know that every customer has specific demands that need to be addressed. That is why we listen to every one of them, we understand their problems, and we help them overcome those challenges and make their production quality even better.
Machine Vision Consulting assists customers in implementing AI into their production process. Do you see progress in this field?
There was a huge progress. Thanks to the technology provided by PEKAT VISION software, we can now help out customers with their most challenging projects, solutions that could not be resolved until a few years ago. Typically, concerning defect detection, we were asked why some AI softwares could not detect a defect even though it was visible to the human eye. But those were softwares that were not based on AI algorithms so we replied that behind the eyes of a man there is a brain that processes and interprets what it sees and this software cannot do that.
Fortunately, the situation has changed. Now we can finally say that behind the cameras, we have an AI based software that can actually interpret images almost like a human brain!
Do you think companies in general are prepared to use AI or, to “take a step towards automation”, to put it metaphorically?
Absolutely! Now more than ever. All the problems they were facing and that could not be addressed due to limitations of traditional softwares, which now is possible with artificial intelligence. We can develop projects based on their needs, and come up with a tailor made AI based solution, which can be then also applied in several other factories.
What are the challenges that automation and AI can help companies with?
The identification of the defective products is among the biggest challenges that automation and AI can help our customers with. Thanks to AI, we are no longer in a situation where almost the only thing we could offer was a suitable telecentric optic and the right lighting system and camera resolution with which they could check whether a product dimension is correct or not. Nowadays we can deal with much more complex issues that are often connected with the visual aspect of the product, not just its size. For example, when you perform a weld inspection, it is not just a matter of measurement, we also need to be able to detect unexpected defects.
Or we can take an inspection of metallic products as an example. When dealing with that, you have to identify whether there are surface defects present. However, those defects can be often confused as a defect free surface. We can think of thousands of similar examples from other industries like food, textile and pharma. In all these fields, we can now offer high precision product inspection that can deal with challenges which we would have not been able to handle without AI.
What plans do you have for the future?
Our plan is to build several new cooperations with customers and continue being a technological consultancy provider, performing feasibility studies in our laboratories and providing them with all necessary support required. Thanks to the collaboration with PEKAT VISION, we are able to satisfy our customers' requirements in a wide range of complex quality inspection projects.
Machine Vision Consulting Srl is based in Milano (Via Veglia 2), Italy.