All industrial vision systems require an element of machine vision software, be it for just camera control or to complete a bespoke application. For many industrial inspection needs, an easy to configure machine vision development environment with simple user interfaces allows for the most cost effective solutions to be deployed. For more bespoke requirements companies with good software development skills often use a machine vision software library.
With sophisticated image processing and measurement capabilities and simple point and click user interfaces, vision systems have their own role in the automation process, but they also provide a powerful link with robotics.
The term ‘Image Processing Software’ is a very broad church as it can be applied to commercially available photo manipulation packages as used by photographers. Using image processing software, photos and other image types can be manipulated to improve an image for example, or remove unwanted components or artifacts - think of imperfections on a model’s otherwise perfect face - so ‘airbrushing’ is a form of image processing.
In the context of machine vision, image processing is used to enhance, filter, mask and analyse images. Well known machine vision software packages such as Common Vision Blox, Scorpion Vision Software, Halcon, Matrox Imaging Library or Cognex VisionPro are applications that run on Microsoft Windows and are used to create advanced and powerful automation software that will take an image input and output data based on the content of the image. Ultimately, in commercial machine vision, image processing is used to classify, read characters, recognise shapes or measure.