Home News Achieving Manufacturing Excellence With Image Recognition Models for Surface Defect Detection

Achieving Manufacturing Excellence With Image Recognition Models for Surface Defect Detection

Achieving Manufacturing Excellence With Image Recognition Models for Surface Defect Detection

On average, the price of poor product quality for manufacturing industries is about 20% of the full sales. Quality control plays an important role in lots of industries and the flexibility to detect and discover surface defects is of utmost importance. Traditional manual inspection methods, which depend on human perception and judgment, often fall short when it comes to time consumption, subjectivity, and human error.

Nevertheless, with advancements in artificial intelligence and image recognition models, it’s now possible to automate surface defect detection processes with greater accuracy and efficiency. On this blog, we are going to explore the concept of leveraging image recognition models for surface defect detection and discuss an example use case within the steel industry. By breaking down the inspection process into distinct steps, we aim to know of how AI-powered systems can accurately detect and classify surface defects.

Challenges in Surface Defect Detection

A wide range of complications in surface defect detection for industries including manufacturing, automotive, electronics, and textile can result in flaws in product quality. The complexity in manufacturing faults poses a major barrier for organizations, potentially resulting in compromised product integrity and customer dissatisfaction. The breakneck speeds at which production lines operate demand rapid defect identification mechanisms, emphasizing the urgency for real-time detection solutions. Among the key obstacles to effective defect detection are:

  • Defect diversity and complexity: Manufacturing processes can lead to an array of defects, various in size and complexity. For example, in automotive manufacturing, defects might range from subtle paint imperfections to structural abnormalities, making consistent detection and classification a demanding task.
  • High production speeds: Industries like consumer electronics require rapid defect identification to stop flawed items from reaching the market. For example, in PCB assembly, quick identification of soldering issues is crucial to take care of product reliability and customer satisfaction.
  • Real-time processing: The pharmaceutical industry needs real-time detection to make sure product safety and compliance. Detecting defects in pill coating, as an illustration, prevents compromised medication quality and potential regulatory issues.
  • Manual visual inspection: Involves scrutinizing products for surface defects and irregularities. Attributable to the manual process, it might be time-consuming, especially for big quantities, resulting in workflow delays. It is usually susceptible to defect oversight or misclassification during prolonged inspection periods. Manual inspection heavily relies on individual expertise, which can lack scalability and availability.

Advantages of using Artificial Intelligence

AI-based visual inspection offers a promising solution to beat the challenges faced during manual visual inspection within the manufacturing industry.

  • By leveraging artificial intelligence and image recognition models, AI-based systems can provide consistent and objective defect detection, minimizing the impact of human subjectivity.
  • These systems have the aptitude to research large volumes of information with remarkable speed and accuracy, leading to significant reductions in inspection time and improved overall efficiency.
  • AI models will be trained to detect even subtle or hard-to-identify defects which will go unnoticed by human inspectors, surpassing the constraints of human visual perception and enhancing the general accuracy of defect identification.
  • Unlike manual inspections that heavily depend on the skill and expertise of individual inspectors, AI-based visual inspection just isn’t depending on individual proficiency, making it scalable and adaptable across different inspection scenarios.
  • With continuous learning and improvement, these systems can evolve to handle complex defect patterns and supply increasingly reliable and efficient quality control.

Three stages of defect handling

Image detection models integrate the facility of deep learning and a meticulously designed framework to perform multiple tasks with great accuracy. It excels in the important thing stages of defect handling: detection, classification, and localization providing a superior solution compared to traditional methods.

By employing these three stages of defect handling, industries can streamline their quality control processes and ensure effective remedial measures are taken promptly.

Next-generation AI-driven visual inspection

At Sigmoid we have now developed an answer that harnesses cutting-edge deep learning algorithms specifically crafted for image processing. A vital component is its meticulous optimization of every stage inside the defect handling process, utilizing tailored architectures that give attention to specific elements to make sure exceptional performance.

Detection and classification: The primary two stages, detection, and classification, use a pre-trained CNN architecture designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of feature extraction. This pre-trained model has already undergone extensive training on a big dataset, it is very useful when we have now limited data specific to the use case. To further make sure the robustness and reliability of our framework, various augmentation techniques are employed, increasing its effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Localization: This stage utilizes a dedicated deep learning architecture that’s specifically designed for semantic segmentation, where the goal just isn’t only to categorise each pixel but additionally to delineate object boundaries. It consists of an encoder pathway to capture contextual information and a symmetric decoder pathway to get better spatial details. This structure aids in capturing each global and native features crucial for accurate localization. Furthermore, each distinct defect type possesses its individualized localization model, adept at encapsulating distinctive features inherent to that defect.

Throughout this process, our solution maintains a high accuracy rate across all three stages of defect handling. An illustration of our proprietary solution framework is given below:


Leveraging image recognition models for surface defect detection heralds a brand new era in quality control. AI-powered systems offer consistent, objective detection, speeding up the method and improving accuracy. They discover subtle defects, surpassing human capabilities, and are scalable across various scenarios. Embracing this technology not only reduces costs but enhances product reliability, and boosts competitiveness, marking a major step forward in manufacturing efficiency and excellence.


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