Development of a semi-automatic self learning pattern recognition system for the control of electronic boards
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This project was funded under the Applied Research Grants Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland. The project was a partnership between Galway - Mayo Institute of Technology and an industrial company, Tyco/Mallinckrodt Galway. The project aimed to develop a semi - automatic, self - learning pattern recognition system capable of detecting defects on the printed circuits boards such as component vacancy, component misalignment, component orientation, component error, and component weld. The research was conducted in three directions: image acquisition, image filtering/recognition and software development. Image acquisition studied the process of forming and digitizing images and some fundamental aspects regarding the human visual perception. The importance of choosing the right camera and illumination system for a certain type of problem has been highlighted. Probably the most important step towards image recognition is image filtering, The filters are used to correct and enhance images in order to prepare them for recognition. Convolution, histogram equalisation, filters based on Boolean mathematics, noise reduction, edge detection, geometrical filters, cross-correlation filters and image compression are some examples of the filters that have been studied and successfully implemented in the software application. The software application developed during the research is customized in order to meet the requirements of the industrial partner. The application is able to analyze pictures, perform the filtering, build libraries, process images and generate log files. It incorporates most of the filters studied and together with the illumination system and the camera it provides a fully integrated framework able to analyze defects on printed circuit boards.
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