Since the latter half of the 1970s, we have promoted in-house development of automated production facilities, and through such approaches as the installation of sensor modules to inspect products, we have elevated the accuracy of machine vision technology, which assesses situations and responds without human involvement. Although our emphasis was on the development of optical modules for factory automation cameras and sensors to accelerate automation at our own production sites, we provided some of our results to customers across a wide range of industry sectors, including automotive, security and distribution and earned high marks, for application in their own operations.
Machine vision not only offers performance incredibly close to that of human sight, it also has the capacity to instantaneously identify two- and three-dimensional information as well as information that are imperceptible to the human eye. Consequently, machine vision facilitates automation in areas where manufacturers have always had to rely on human workers, and it will become indispensable to the social infrastructures of tomorrow.
Factory automation camera application
Rewritable recording technology is a technical field attracting considerable attention from the perspective of convenience and reduced environmental impact. Ricoh was quick to put into practical application a thermal rewritable recording medium using heat, and the associated system featuring a thermal printhead as the recording mechanism has been widely adopted for cards, particularly loyalty cards and IC cards, showing numbers and expiry dates. The labels can be used repeatedly, helping to mitigate environmental impact because wasted label volume is lower and label-related tasks are deemphasized.
Currently, this rewritable recording technology is used in industrial applications, such as factory automation and distribution. In the distribution sector, where delivery labels are affixed to returnable tote containers on regular service routes, the use of rewritable labels can lead to a huge improvement in operating efficiency. The use of rewritable recording technology obviates the need for removal of old labels and reapplication of new ones and thereby cuts associated personnel costs.
In addition, this contactless, high-speed rewriting technology from Ricoh allows labels to be reused about 1,000 times, which extends label life to five years or more.
Rewritable laser system boasting high speed and high durability can be used outdoors as well as indoors
Original technology point