Experience MERLIC in Action

This video shows a MERLIC-based machine vision solution inspecting bottles for missing caps. The system is running on a standard industrial PC with a standard industrial camera and PLC.

This setup in particular shows the following MERLIC features

MERLIC Backend with its image-centered user interface

The backend interface consists of a large view on the processed image in the centre of the program. The tool library on the bottom left side provides many standard vision tools such as acquisition, calibration, alignment, measuring, counting, checking, reading, position determination, and defect detection, and can also be extended with custom tools. Each tool has its own graphical representation in the workspace, which allows you to see and review every step of your vision application. The “Tool Flow” window displays an overview and “flow chart” of the various tools that are being used in the current workflow.

Running MERLIC with multiple (remote) frontends

With MERLIC, multiple frontends can be connected to your machine simultaneously. The application shown in the video is connected to two different frontends: one shows the “Engineering View”, which includes a live view of the currently analysed image, as well as interactive elements, to, for example, start and stop the application.
The other frontend is displayed on a tablet computer, which is connected to the machine remotely. It shows a “Quality Assurance View” with realtime statistics on cycle time and error rates.
Being able to feed different frontends with custom live data, MERLIC can supply various stakeholders with relevant data simultaneously and location-independently: While the production engineer can check settings on the machine, several remote frontends can also be connected to show statistics to a supervisor.

PLC Communication via OPC UA

The OPC UA communication model establishes MERLIC as the OPC UA client, which communicates with the PLC via an OPC UA server. The PLC in our demo application is used to control the signal lights, which indicate good and bad samples, and flashes up red whenever a bottle is missing its cap.

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The video impressively shows that 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.

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