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OIT: Proprietary Registered Technology

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OIT: Proprietary Registered Technology

“Optical Inspection Technology”, are the words behind OIT. This is the denomination under which ISR Specular Vision has developed the mechatronic system that goes with the technology of Specular Vision. OIT technology is the commodity where the integration of systems take place, where the software finds the hardware to be involved in the final purpose of the automatic inspection. 

 This was not the name used in the beginning. It was first used in 2019, during the development and validation of the first prototype headlamp inspection system for our main customer at that time. The name is composed of three words: 

  • Optical: field of study, the branch of physic, that studies the fundamental properties related to the behavior of light in interaction with matter.  
  • Inspection: the act of looking at something carefully. In the technical or the industry context, to check potential failures. 
  • Technology: the joint of both previous concepts. 

 Why was it adopted? It explained well the devices that we were developing to follow our purpose: OIT systems of ISR Specular Vision are the eyes of the industry, and that is our leitmotiv. 

What is OIT

But what is an OIT system? What is the original and technological approach of the term? ISR was founded in 2016 under the name of (Spanish): Integración Sensorial y Robótica (ISR). The translation: Sensory and Robotic Integration. The OIT is just the integration of a huge sensor, served to industry with the orchestra of the robotic and the automatic sub-systems. The big sensor is, as you can already imagine, the camera system. The origin of the technological approach comes from the computer vision concepts of sensor and image acquisition. 

The importance of the term resides in the technological assets of ISR Specular Vision, particularly in two of them: 

  1. Integration in the production line: OIT systems are fully integrated and automated together with the process and the production lines. 
  1. Flexibility in inspection: we are full owners of our own systems design and development, which means that the requirements of inspection and integration can change completely the OIT system if needed. 

 The orchestra starts playing when the computers (a non-single quantity of them) begin to send orders. One channel is open with the PLCs (Program Logic Controllers), which subsequently send orders to the rest of the actuators, such as the lighting. Another channel is open with the cameras, ready to snap images when the time is right. And, if robots are present, also robots are commanded on what to do, where to move, and how to interact with the part inspected, to reach the established cycle time. This integration, all together, is what means Optical Inspection Technology. 

Advantages of OIT

In 2021, ISR decided to register the brand name of OIT: National brand registered. The reason for that was purely marketing. There are other names for the same technology, for example, EOL (End of Line Inspection), or AOI (Automated Optical Inspection). The key is not in the name but in the technology behind it. 

 In the market, what are the main advantages of the systems such as the OITs developed by ISR Specular Vision? Firstly, as mentioned, the customers enjoy the experience of deciding freely how their process is going to be. They are free of constraints when the definition of an OIT system is made. The customer chooses the best way to integrate the automatic inspection in the factory, which makes the work easier for the engineers involved. At the other end, the engineers and designers of ISR Specular Vision are working closely with customers to fulfill the expectations of industrialization. The result is a fine combination of work between the two parties interested in the automatic inspection, and an OIT system integrated into the production line doing its job: to inspect parts or surfaces 24/7. 

 Secondly, the OIT systems are not black boxes, at least not anymore. The team of software developers in ISR Specular Vision is focusing efforts on the robustness and openness of our systems. We know deeply the needs of our customers, and we try to align constantly with them. The use of AI is contaminating partially the view of the software systems that intersect with human morality or values. In this case, the decisions made by OIT systems on whether a manufactured part is OK or KO is not away from the debate, especially when AI is used in the decision tree. ISR Specular Vision technology has been opening the software since its conception, chasing the goal of having a back-frontend more reliable and friendly to users in the factory, 

  1. To let the customer have the autonomy to control the decisions over the quality-production KPIs. 
  1. To let the customer understand how the vision algorithms work. 
  1. To let them define new defects or integrate new models.  

And still, there is work to do. 

The last point to mention, ISR OITs can be adapted to any kind of manufacturing process, any kind of part or any kind of surface. This is why this technology shows great potential in different sectors. In the following articles, we will treat the process of designing an OIT, understanding how, first, is the detection of defects, and second is the industrialization of OIT systems. They are two related but different things. This path is the key to obtaining the flexibility that ISR Specular Vision can offer in the market. 

Summarizing the key points

In today’s article, we have introduced our view of the concept of OIT. It can be summarized in the following points: 

  1. OIT is the mechatronic system that goes with the technology of Specular Vision. 
  2. Two main assets:                                                                                                                                                                                                 a) Integration in the production line: OIT systems are fully integrated and automated in the process and the production lines.   b) Flexibility in inspection: the requirements of inspection and integration can change completely the OIT system if needed.
  3. OIT systems are not black boxes. Customers can access, understand, and modify software parameters to have autonomy over production and flexibility in new integrations. 
  4. OITs can adapt to any kind of manufacturing process, any kind of part, or any kind of surface. 
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