The 2019 UKIVA Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes on Thursday 6th June 2019. Paul Wilson, UKIVA Chairman, tells MEPCA what visitors can expect to find at the event.
This will be the third year that the event has been run, and it is becoming increasingly popular, with attendance figures in 2018 up 17% compared to 2017.
The format will be similar to previous years with a comprehensive program of technical seminars supported by an exhibition featuring vision component manufacturers, vision component and system distributors and systems integrators from around the world. However, the 2019 Conference will feature an additional theme covering applications of vision in automation and robotics.
The combination of vision, robotics and automation will be an important factor in the realisation of Industry 4.0 and the smart factories of the future. This has taken a step closer with the announcement in June 2018 by the VDMA (the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association in Germany) that it has released the OPC UA Companion Specifications for Robotics and Machine Vision. The standardisation of communication interfaces is essential for machines of all types to be able to communicate with each other as part of the smart factory. OPC UA is a platform-independent, open standard for machine-to-machine communications. The OPC UA Companion Specification for Machine Vision provides a generic model for all machine vision systems – from simple vision sensors to complex inspection systems. It allows the control of a machine vision system in a generalised way, abstracting the necessary behaviour via a state machine concept. It handles the management of recipes, configurations and results in a standardised way, whereas the contents stay vendor-specific and are treated as black boxes. Similarly, the OPC UA Companion Specification for Robotics offers a standardised information model that can display all robot-related data uniformly, regardless of manufacturer and location.
Chris Valdes, the UKIVA event organiser, said: “At the event in 2018 many exhibitors included robots and cobots in their displays and there was a great deal of interest in them. These latest developments in the communication standards for use in Industry 4.0 make technical seminars on vision, robotics and automation even more relevant.
“UKIVA has a natural affinity with the combined use of vision and robotics as BARA (British Automation & Robotics Association) is, like UKIVA, part of the umbrella PPMA (Processing & Packaging Machinery Association) and many of our members have an active interest in BARA as well,” added Valdes.
While the Conference sets out to cover the key issues in machine vision – such as deep learning and embedded vision – as well as Industry 4.0, there are plenty of presentations that cover basic vision technology. The previous events have attracted large numbers of people who wanted to learn more about the fundamentals of vision technology coupled with those who were keen to explore the latest developments. Other key topics that will be covered in depth at the Conference will include 3D vision, optics and illumination, vision innovation, systems and applications and camera technology.
Keynote speakers at the previous events have also attracted large audiences, and details of the 2019 keynotes, together with the conference program and information about the exhibition will be published on the Conference website as soon as they are finalised.