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Software Adds Machine Vision-Based Registration Functionality For Advanced Photometric Analysis

Radiant Vision Systems, a provider of automated visual inspection systems, has introduced its new VIP (Vision Inspection Pack) software – the first solution for backlit component inspection that combines the benefits of photometry for light and color measurement with machine vision for defect detection.

From illuminated automotive panels and avionics to backlit buttons and ports on electronics—light-emitting components require inspection to ensure quality according to specifications and standards. Backlit icons, shapes, and text are difficult to inspect not only because of their variety, but because their quality is determined by a combination of factors. Photometric properties must be measured to ensure accurate brightness, color, and uniformity of the illuminated area. Dimensional integrity must also be evaluated to ensure each area is free from defects and has the correct size, shape, and position. Photometric systems like spot meters excel at light and color measurement that reflects human visual perception, but these systems have historically lacked machine vision benefits like image analysis and registration functions that enable efficient measurement and defect detection within uniquely shaped regions. For this reason, evaluating backlit components has required multiple pieces of equipment or complex customization of machine vision software to ensure all inspection requirements are met.

The VIP software license leverages photometric analyses for luminance and chromaticity from Radiant’s TrueTest Software platform and adds precise, responsive registration for unique shapes such as backlit icons, text, and freeform areas. By registering the exact contours of each illuminated area to create custom measurement regions, VIP enables defect detection to ensure regions are free from inclusions or exclusions caused by inaccurate laser etch or errors in overlays, filters, or other substrate layers. In high-throughput inspection applications, VIP provides an efficient solution for rapid registration of multiple shapes captured in a single measurement image. VIP quickly applies trained measurement regions to components inspected in series, regardless of component position or orientation, without requiring repeat registration or re-placement of measurement points-of-interest (POI).

“Evaluating backlit symbols is a unique challenge because the visual quality of each symbol is determined equally by its photometric properties as it is by its dimensional integrity,” says Doug Kreysar, Chief Executive Officer at Radiant Vision Systems. “Machine vision equipment has long provided an effective method for registering the area of distinct objects and shapes within images. Separately, photometric measurement systems have been designed to evaluate the relatively undefined distribution areas produced by light sources, or the rectangular measurement areas of displays. Backlit symbol inspection, therefore, has required either human inspection, or a combination of software or equipment—usually a photometric system and a machine vision system—each component accomplishing only part of the quality control objective. In the latter case, a photometric system measures the brightness and color of a symbol, while separately a machine vision system evaluates shape quality (performing defect detection within the registered area of a symbol). To address the need for greater efficiency in backlit symbol measurement in industries like automotive, aerospace, and electronics, Radiant has developed a new software extension for our TrueTest Software platform that combines these capabilities within a single system. With VIP, Radiant offers the first complete solution for backlit symbol inspection, which simultaneously performs photometric measurement of light and color and machine vision-based registration and defect detection for efficient lab testing and production-level quality control.”

The VIP solution enables manufacturers to:

  • Simultaneously inspect integrity of backlit icons, text, and shapes while measuring photometric values
  • Accurately apply registration regions and POI locations for each symbol if components move or rotate
  • Simplify component placement and system fixturing
  • Inspect multiple icons and shapes in a single measurement image
  • Achieve highly efficient automated testing for quality control of multiple parts in production

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