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Machine Vision Applications Within A Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Manufacturing ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.824.1 - 7.824.9



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Paper Authors

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Andrew Otieno

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Session number: 3548

Machine Vision Applications within a Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program.

Andrew W. Otieno and Clifford R. Mirman

Department of Technology, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115, USA Email: or


The implementation and usage of industrial automation is undergoing major and rapid changes. This change is driven by the need for industry both remain competitive in their cost structure and to increase the levels of quality and consistency in the products that are produced. Today, companies can implement automation at a reasonable price, through advances in sensor technology, networking capabilities, microprocessor design, open architecture for machine controls, Internet applications in machine control, and standardized software. During the past few years, the acquisition cost of vision inspection systems has dropped to levels that permit most companies to purchase and implement the systems. In addition, with the advent of faster computer processors, the vision system is software controlled, and thus the applications are increased. Vision systems provide means by which continuous and total autonomous inspection can be achieved during production. Today's vision systems can easily control guidance of automated manufacturing support components such as robots, as well as interface to sensors and output to auxiliary devices.

The Department of Technology at Northern Illinois University has recognized these needs and challenges and has responded by strengthening its curriculum and adding new relevant areas in its automation courses such as machine vision. Within our automation course, basics principles of vision are covered, including camera systems, basic optics, lighting, and image capturing and processing. A key component in this section of the automation course is the hands on experience in which student teams use and apply the vision systems components and software in an automation cell. In addition, the students are taught the principles of vision integration with other control devices, such as PLC’s and robotics. From this level of automation instruction, the department has generated much interest in the students, as well as much industrial collaboration with companies in the Northern Illinois region.


In order to prepare the next generation of manufacturing engineers to perform in the fast changing industrial environment, educators must provide training that mirrors this environment that students seek to enter. This means that future manufacturing engineers must be comfortable

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Otieno, A. (2002, June), Machine Vision Applications Within A Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10723

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