Zebra Technologies Points to Deep Learning Machine Vision to Help Overcome Manufacturing Challenges in Germany
At Motek, Zebra automation specialists will showcase why and how new solutions can help businesses battling productivity and labour challenges.
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a leading digital solution provider enabling businesses to intelligently connect data, assets, and people, is pointing German manufacturers and machine builders toward a new breed of AI-powered machine vision solutions to overcome productivity and labour challenges.
At the 41st Motek from 10-13 October 2023 at Messe Stuttgart, Hall 7, Stand 7108, Zebra will demonstrate its extensive portfolio of machine vision hardware and the Aurora software suite powered by an advanced type of artificial intelligence called deep learning neural networks. These advanced machine vision solutions are unlocking new levels of speed, accuracy, compliance and quality for manufacturers across the automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and electronics industries.
Zebra’s machine vision specialists will set out a vision of how new machine vision solutions can help manufacturers and machine builders like Bosch and MOSAIC increase and improve their automation operations, address labour challenges and elevate the role of industrial imaging engineers who are thinking and acting more like data and AI specialists.
Recent data from Germany has shown a sharp decline in carmaking, fuelling a downturn in German industry as production fell for the third consecutive month in July. The 0.8 per cent month-on-month decline was reported by Germany’s statistical office. Production in Germany’s carmaking sector has fallen 9%, says the reports. One German automotive industry association leader is quoted saying the labour shortage is a central industry challenge, citing a survey of suppliers that found more than three-quarters of companies have a severe shortage of workers. Another industry leader in the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry says the situation has deteriorated since 2021, with more than 70% of companies in the sector experiencing severe shortages, and they expect it to get worse throughout 2023.
“Now is the time for German manufacturers and machine builders across the automotive, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage industries to review and ramp up investments in automation technologies such as deep learning machine vision,” said Rudolf Schambeck, Machine Vision Lead, Germany, Zebra Technologies. “There are opportunities across the supply chain to address these challenges in the short term and futureproof business in the long term with the right modern technology. Automation technologies like machine vision take on many important tasks to ensure new levels of quality and compliance, freeing up valuable employee time for other high-value activities. Hard to use legacy technology that requires a lot of time to implement and train isn’t up to today’s challenges.”
Zebra’s Aurora software suite is specially designed for a variety of manufacturing and machine builder professionals. Zebra’s deep learning optical character recognition (OCR) offers a flexible experience for industrial imaging engineers without AI experience. It can be deployed on desktop PCs, whether Windows, Linux or Linux ARM embedded (ideal for compact devices like Raspberry Pi or Nvidia Jetson), Android handheld devices, and Zebra smart cameras. This powerful tool delivers very high accuracy straight out-of-the-box and works on both a graphics processing unit central processing unit.
Zebra’s deep learning OCR overcomes the problems with current OCR systems, which need a lot of training time, can be unstable when faced with a change in environment, and don’t handle complex use cases well. Current OCR systems may also struggle to read obscure and damaged characters, engraved and embossed formats, characters on reflective and curved surfaces, or perform in changing or harsh lighting conditions.
Manufacturers can take full control over development and integration with other applications using Zebra’s Aurora Vision Library, Vision Studio, Imaging Library, Design Assistant, and Deep Learning, aimed at machine vision and computer vision engineers and programmers. These software environments come with easy to use, drag and drop interfaces and the tools needed to create bespoke user interfaces and solutions quickly, with features including C++ and .NET code generators and portable API, 1,000+ functions for image analysis, software development kit, and advanced deep learning tools, depending on the Aurora option selected.
“There’s no doubt the automotive manufacturing ecosystem is undergoing a seismic shift with huge hurdles to cross, including essentially running two distinct manufacturing processes – one for traditional gasoline/diesel vehicles and the other for next generation electric, hybrid and autonomous self-driving vehicles,” said Schambeck. “The pressure to meet regulations and do more, faster with less labour is possible with the right technology—and right now, it’s deep learning machine vision.”