Konica Minolta offers…

Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), VQI automatically detects errors and irregularities, thus improving quality assurance.

Quality control is a costly and time consuming task that requires many continuous inspections by qualified professionals – especially in manufacturing, logistics and warehousing. In addition, due to the increasing complexity of production lines, manual inspections are sometimes not able to provide the required level of accuracy. In response to these challenges, Konica Minolta introduces VQI, a visual quality inspection system that integrates Konica Minolta technologies. The solution is based on the use of artificial intelligence and smart video solutions. The control system is designed to greatly improve the production process, in terms of safety and efficiency. It can be used in many industries.

The correction process can be time consuming

Spotting errors in manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing can be a lengthy process. Manual examination usually depends on human judgment, but due to various factors such as vision, experience, fatigue and the like, it can lead to poor judgment. Accurate quality control is essential for a more cost-effective production line, to prevent damage to expensive equipment, to optimum consumption of raw materials, to process products that do not meet quality standards, and even to injury or death.

Therefore, Konica Minolta has combined its many years of experience in image technology with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and has developed a unique visual quality control system. The quality control system is designed to detect defects and irregularities according to their size and severity: dents, dents, cracks, spills, leaks, the presence of foreign objects, as well as to detect improper positioning of certain objects. This can reduce the number of human errors and produce more consistent and higher quality products.

Visual Quality Check – A video analytics solution based on the FORXAI IoT platform

Visual Quality Check is the first video analysis solution based on Konica Minolta’s FORXAI IoT platform. The platform enables real-time processing and analysis of images and videos based on artificial intelligence. Image data is provided by highly sensitive and intelligent video solutions that detect errors more accurately and quickly than the human eye. Based on deep learning1FORXAI Imaging AI analyzes these images and recognizes certain patterns and thus identifies errors. The system is trained for this monotonous but crucial task and achieves a much higher level of accuracy and consistency than human screening procedures. The platform provides all the information in real time. On a scale from 0 to 100%, deficiencies are evaluated according to their severity, and the process manager is immediately notified via the control panel. It can then retrieve images from the appropriate cameras and select the type of alert. This allows you to respond to the problem in real time and reduces the number of staff required, as not every camera has to be constantly monitored. The user interface is very user friendly and easy to operate. To make production predictable, the platform also provides long-term analytics and statistics on the number of items detected and the type of errors.

Konica Minolta has already implemented a number of use cases with several test customers:

  • Konice Minolte Phoenix, based in the Czech Republic, pharmaceutical logistics customers in Poland and Spain use plastic boxes to deliver pharmaceutical products to pharmacies. These boxes are used multiple times and can be damaged or dirty which is not acceptable for the transportation of medicines. If the customer returns the products because of these transport boxes, it may be expensive for the logistics company. VQI checks the boxes and asks the worker on the production line to remove the damaged boxes or send the soiled boxes for immediate cleaning.
  • Ronal, a Czech-based manufacturer of car rims, was also looking for a solution to visually control the quality of car rims. Konica Minolta’s VQI technology now detects scratches, dirt, oxides, pores, dents, abrasions and distortions in semi-finished products. It also acts as a pre-filter as it removes products with serious defects greater than one millimeter in size.
  • Konica Minolta also has excellent cooperation with Severotisk from the Czech Republic, whose main activity is industrial printing. The company has repeatedly suffered from paper quality problems in rotary presses, which has resulted in the machines being shut down frequently. The VQI system detects various errors in / on the paper and immediately notifies the employees. This prevents the press from jamming and shutting down before it happens.
  • Another Czech client, NC Line, which provides comprehensive sheet metal processing services, is looking into the use of a VQI system to detect defects in metal and plastic parts as part of an innovative project in collaboration with Brno University of Technology. The first results are great.
  • Konica Minolta also has a client in the Netherlands that produces cheese slices for the food industry. The cheese slices they produce can come out of the machine broken or wet, which may affect the quality of the product. The chip may also be placed incorrectly in the package. The VQI system detects irregularities in cheese slice production and immediately notifies the operator.
  • In Poland, Konica Minolta has a customer of the automotive industry that manufactures heavy-duty tires for semi-trailers. This manufacturing process can be dangerous, especially if the tires need to be moved by a crane. There have been many injuries and hazardous situations at the factory while lifting the tire, usually because the jack head was not properly attached to the tire – due to human error. VQI verifies that the crane head is properly and securely attached to the trailer frame, increasing workplace safety.
  • Konica Minolta has a customer in the Czech Republic that produces insulating films. VQI can detect defects in insulation films better and faster than humans, thus improving production efficiency and providing customers with high-quality products.
  • In Denmark, Konica Minolta has a customer that manufactures wall insulation. In practice, the adhesive often seeps through the back layer, but this is not always immediately visible to the human eye, since the adhesive is transparent. It is necessary to detect this defect before the cutting process. VQI automatically detects glue leakage.
  • A global home appliance manufacturer is looking for a solution to visually inspect the quality of its washing machine manufacturing process in Poland. VQI verifies that all screws used in washers are fitted before the top cover is installed. In addition, a review of print quality and barcode readability is carried out.

“We are pleased to be able to support clients from different sectors with our visual quality inspection technology,” says Boštjan Kavčnik, Director of Konica Minolta in Slovenia. “The first trial customers are from different industries, which indicates the great demand for automation in quality assurance. We carefully examine each individual customer and its processes and develop customized solutions for it, which are meticulously tailored to the relevant requirements.” Since the algorithms on the FORXAI platform can be tailored to meet client needs, the above use cases can be freely expanded. With the number of applications increasing as the amount of field data and customer feedback increases, Konica Minolta is improving its algorithms to improve AI training programs.

1Deep learning learns from its experience and optimizes the algorithm over and over to improve the outcome. Similar to the human brain, neural networks are created, with different layers providing more and more information, leading to increasingly accurate results.Fifth.

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