Introduction to MERLIC

MERLIC is an all-in-one software product for quickly building machine vision applications without programming. It is based on MVTec’s extensive machine vision expertise and combines reliable, fast performance with ease of use.

With the release of MERLIC 3, MVTec addresses one of the market’s strongest demands: Exploiting the power of deep learning in machine vision software.

In MERLIC 3, the technologies for optical character recognition (OCR) have been further improved. MERLIC now includes a new, deep-learning-based OCR classifier that can be applied to numerous different fonts. This allows MERLIC 3 to achieve higher-than-ever recognition rates of number and character combinations on workpieces for reliable identification and further processing. Another advantage resulting from these improvements: Dot-print fonts are now read more robustly. Find out more about Deep-learning based OCR…

Improved Bar and Data Code Reading

The reading of bar and data codes has also been improved in MERLIC 3: Blurry, over-exposed, distorted, or low-contrast QR codes are now read more robustly. In addition, MERLIC can now even read partly occluded bar codes as well as QR codes with inconsistent column width.


Tools & Features:

Image-centered user interface

The very clear and reduced interface presents a large view on the processed image in the centre of the program. The tool library on the left side provides many standard vision tools such as acquisition, calibration, alignment, measuring, counting, checking, reading, position determination, and defect detection. It can also be extended with customised tools. Each tool has its own graphical representation in the workspace, which allows you to see and review every step of your vision application when scrolling the workspace. The image-centered design allows you to configure the application directly via the image without the need to write source code or to adjust lots of parameters.


An outstanding, innovative, and unique feature in MERLIC is the easyTouch concept. It helps to guide the user interactively towards the solution. For example, simply hover the mouse pointer over an image and easyTouch recognises and marks objects to be identified.

You can choose relevant objects with just a single click. Thus, you don’t have to configure complex parameters. In addition, some tools support easyTouch+ where you can select multiple objects (by holding the ctrl-key) to configure parameters even better for your purpose. easyTouch saves you a lot of time during development.

Check out this video showing the use of easyTouch with MERLIC

Machine vision application without programming

While most common machine vision programs require extensive programming knowledge, MERLIC was created to build a machine vision application without programming a single line of code. So instead of coding line by line, you can simply step through your application and rely on the many standard machine vision tools. The vision tools in the MERLIC “MVApp” are connected automatically. Alternatively, you can simply reconnect them by drag & drop.Watch this video to find out just how easy it is to create an application with MERLIC.

Integrated tool library

MERLIC’s integrated tool library not only contains a wide range of tools for the most common vision processing tasks, but can also be expanded by adding customised tools. To facilitate the ease of use, all included tools are named after the task they are meant to execute. Several ‘Evaluation’ tools support you with a variety of evaluation processes. For example, they perform calculations or evaluate a feature of a specific region. Having set up the application, MERLIC offers a wide range of ‘Communication’ tools, which enable you to send and receive data or alternatively read and write to files. Last but not least, the existing tool library can be extended flexibly with customised, user-defined tools to suit any additional needs. These tools can be developed in MVTec HALCON’s integrated development environment HDevelop.

MERLIC Designer

MERLIC’s Designer lets you create a customised operator interface in just a few steps. Interactively design a frontend for your application: choose between various widgets and simply place them by drag-and-drop. MERLIC’s Designer automatically links the widgets to parameters of MERLIC tools. The parameter values can then be used either for visualisation or to enable the operator to interactively configure parameters in the frontend. Properties of widgets can be adjusted easily with just a few clicks. You may even customise the frontend, for example, by integrating any background image or company logo.

Take a look at this video of MERLIC’s Designer. It shows how to build a customised frontend to check fuses based on a simple MERLIC application.

Multiple Languages

MERLIC realises a highly user-friendly and efficient workflow. Consequently, the support for multiple languages is a key feature. Therefore, MERLIC is available in the following languages: simplified and traditional Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, and Thai.

Imagine this: Not only the graphical user interface (GUI) is translated, but even the entire standard documentation is available in these languages.

PLC Communication

MERLIC goes beyond mere imaging and facilitates access to all elements of the machine vision peripherals as well as a seamless PLC connection. The software supports the entire process of developing an application, from acquiring and processing images to the programmable control (PLC) of the machine. As a stand-alone software package, MERLIC therefore offers full integration, including digital I/O and the OPC UA standard.

Application training in the frontend

With a special widget, MERLIC allows you to train your machine vision application directly in the frontend. You can now teach the system new sample parts or regions of interest (ROIs) with just a few clicks. Additionally, the display of the ROIs can be adapted (e.g., its colour) to increase the user-friendliness.

Apps Protection

MERLIC secures your know-how: you can protect the content of MERLIC applications (MVApps) with a password. The password protection can be enabled for each MVApp in the MERLIC Backend (note: it is not enabled by default). Thus, when loading the MVApp in the MERLIC Backend the password must be entered in order to change the MVApp.

Using the password protection can be useful if you want to pass on a MERLIC MVApp to customers who should not be able to change the application. Furthermore, this is important to protect your MVApps against non-authorised access from third parties to secure your intellectual property of the application.


The MERLIC Engine enables you to integrate a MERLIC Vision App (MVApp) into your user application, i.e., C# or C++ application. Using the MERLIC Engine, you can create a framework that loads and executes MVApps on demand. This way, you can build your own simple solutions with the MERLIC Backend, store them as MVApps, and use them in your own framework.

Utilising functions of the MERLIC Engine, you can control the execution of MVApps within your framework such as setting parameter values. Moreover, you can query values of parameters and results.

MERLIC also allows you to integrate the Frontend as an ActiveX Control into your application. The ActiveX Control communicates with the MERLIC Engine; e.g., to adapt parameter values or visualise results. By this you can easily create a GUI with the MERLIC Designer and directly use it within your application.

The MERLIC Engine can be purchased separately.