Bottle Inspection with MVTec MERLIC

Experience MERLIC in Action: Bottle Inspection

MERLIC is based on MVTec’s comprehensive machine vision expertise and combines reliability and speed with first-class ease of use. An image-centric user interface and an intuitive operating concept ensure an efficient workflow. This enormously shortens the creation and deployment of machine vision applications.

Thanks to the graphical user interface and powerful tools, complete machine vision applications can be created easily and intuitively with MERLIC. With its “all-in-one” approach, it covers the entire process: from image acquisition, image processing, integrated communication interface, to visualization of the results. The software supports all common industry standards and a wide range of hardware.

The software includes state-of-the-art deep learning functions as well as all essential methods of classical image processing. With this comprehensive tool library, a wide range of image processing tasks can be solved easily and intuitively. These include classification, measuring, counting, checking, reading of text and numbers, bar codes, and data codes, position determination, as well as 3D vision based on height images.

MVTec MERLIC is available for Windows- and Linux-based PC systems as well as for Arm®-based embedded platforms.

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.

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.