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Vetron AutoSeam - The Automated Sewing Machine

Following is the story about AutoSeam. The automated industrial sewing machine that I'm developing in VETRON. The article covers the idea behind, the design process of this machine vision project, the current status and the future road map for that.

Machine Vision and Factory Automation

Nowadays, vision systems are almost every where. Automation of production, based on machine vision and applications, is one of the biggest undergoing processes in factory automation industry.

Currently, in the most automated industries, there are lots of instances of factory automation systems that have fully utilized robot vision system. However, some parts of this process pipeline are not fully automated yet.

For example in automobile industries, one of these sections is the production of automobile seats, furniture and so on using upholstery Sewing Machines. Currently industrial sewing is done mostly by hand with some processes being semi-autonomous. For example Cutting stacks of fabric is readily performed by NC machines , then the process of sewing is done manually in large parts with professionals operators of sewing machines. But a revolution is going to happen by new industrial sewing machines.

To make this revolution, one of the leaders of industrial sewing machine innovations is trying to fill the gap by making some kind of new sewing machines. This year at  the International Trade Fair for Processing Textile and Flexible Materials, as an applications of industrial automation,VETRON demonstrated Vetron AutoSeam - an automated sewing machine - upgraded from the company's standard sewing machine, which is capable of automated sewing, by tracking the movement of fabric with intelligent cameras and controlling the movement of the fabric under the needle on a stitch by stitch basis.

AUTOSEAM - The VETRON's Automated Sewing Machine

VETRON named the machine AutoSeam  which is an industrial sewing machine, that identifies, adjusts and sews together the edges of the material layers stitch by stitch. The product is focused on customer processing middle to heavy materials found mainly in the automotive, leather or furniture industry.

"In cost-sensitive markets the level of automation decides about the success of a production in a high-wage area" said Holger Labes, VETRON's CEO. 

AutoSeam - Tex Process 2015 -1

Vetron AUTOSEAM - The Best Sewing Machine: How It Works

But how are systems of this kind designed and what are the vision system requirements for them?

The Vetron Auto Seam mostly relies on image processing and there are  important steps toward an effective image processing system. These steps are selection of the camera, selection of the lens and lighting source, evaluation of image quality, selection of hardware and software, developing custom algorithms and the configuration of all components.

But the first step in design of such a system is understanding what´s required or in the other words: Requirements Definition

It's really important to know what will be the goal of machine vision system in such a system. At first, it seems obvious but it is frequently overlooked and not answered in proper details. But if you are able to clear, up front about precisely what is desired from the system, it will save money and time later.

 The image processing system for the VETRON AutoSeam is designed to be a cost effective solution, which is capable of finding the material edge position, guide the mechanical parts to move the material under the needle and track the position of the material to ensure the precise sewing on each step. 

AutoSeam VETRON- Start of Process

AutoSeam VETRON - Mahmoud Farshbaf - Tex Process 2015 -Machine Vision

AutoSeam - Tex Process 2015 -7

Resolution and Sensor Selection for  Vetron Auto Seam stitching machine

The requirement definition of the project derived target specification of the resolution, sensor size, color or mono chrome. Also mechanical limitations in machine vision camera setup like camera boxing size, camera distance to the object and so on, effects the field of view that dictates the depiction scale, which will later be crucial for the selection of the lens.

Generally, most applications do not really need a color camera.  If the characteristics can be detected via their color , then color is often - but not always - needed. Yet these characteristics can also in many cases be picked up in black and white images from a monochrome camera if colored lighting is used.

In addition to the resolution Light sensitivity, Dynamic range, and Signal-to-noise ratio of the camera sensor is also important. Furthermore, As long as the system  operates on a high speed and should evaluate the position of the material on every stitch a high speed camera system is required. 

VETRON AutoSeam - Tex Process 2015 -2

Scale and lens performance in machine vision

In many cases, a standard lens is powerful enough to handle the task. To decide what's needed, we need information about the following parameters and when this information is available, it becomes much easier to examine the spec sheets from lens makers to review whether an affordable standard lens is sufficient or whether a foray into the higher-end lenses is needed.

  • Lens interface
  • Pixel size
  • Sensor size
  • Image scale: meaning the ratio between image and object size. This corresponds to the ratio of the size of the individual pixels divided by the pixel resolution (The pixel resolution is the length of the edges of a square within the object being inspected that should fill up precisely one pixel of the camera sensor.
  • Focal length of the lens :that determines the image scale and the distance between camera and object.
  • Lighting intensity

VETRON AutoSeam Sewing Machne- Tex Process 2015 -3

Vision systems lighting

As in poor light, it's hard to see anything for us, it also holds true for image processing systems as well.

High inspection speeds typically require sensitive camera and powerful lenses. In many cases however the easier option is to modify or improve the lighting situation to boost the image brightness. There are a variety of options for attaining greater image brightness: Increasing the ambient light and sculpting the light using lenses or flashes to create a suitable light source are two examples. But it's not just the lighting strength that's important. The path that the light moves through the lens to the camera matters too. 

One common example from photography is the use of a flash: if the ambient lighting is too diffuse, then a flash is used to aim the light in a targeted manner - although then you need to deal with unwanted reflections off smooth surfaces in the image area that can overwhelm the desired details. During image processing, these kinds of effects may actually be desired to deliver high light intensities on straight, low-reflecting surfaces. For objects with many surfaces reflecting in various direction, diffuse light is better. 

VETRON Automated Sewing MAchine - Tex Process 2015 -3-2

Hardware for AutoSeam sewing machine

The massive computation required by Auto Seam high speed vision system is provided with a embedded system control box that processes and control the position and movement of the material and also machine operations.

Software

Vetron Auto Seam like other products of VETRON is a software controlled sewing machine and obviously for this high speed machine vision system, software is required  to assess the images. The specialized software for this machine, control everything on the operation from capturing the images to processing the images, controlling the movement and also tracking of the material.

Summary

Industrial sewing needs Skilled, highly trained operators that operate several different machines. So finding qualified employees can be very difficult, a fact that prompted sewing -machine manufacturer VETRON develop an automated easy to use sewing machines that encompasses machine vision.

With VETRON's machine,named AutoSeam, the operator does not require prior skills to perform the task, merely he needs the skills to use a sewing machine and just initiate the process. The vision system guides the machine to move the material to the correct location.

This machine has developed with this idea in mind that a basic operator (not just a professional one) can use the machine and sew every part professionally and precisely without any previous knowledge or experience. This sewing machine cost effective solution could be one of the best sewing machines and maybe it could be named a handy sewing machine for new operators (sewing machine for beginners) in industrial sewing.

Vetron autoseam price

Vetron auto seam price is not defined precisely by the company yet, but it is planned to be cost effective and not much more expensive than the base general sewing machine (not very different from the general cost of vetron sewing machine). It is hopped to be available in the next year and the interested companies can order and buy vetron auto seam from the VETRON company.

Although an operator is still required to feed the material, the machine accomplishes the complete movement of the material and linking task. Furthermore, since only the operator is needed to feed the material and initiate the process, the quality of finished products is less dependent on operator error in such an automation in manufacturing.

About VETRON, Heavy Duty and Small Sewing Machine

The VETRON stands for high level products developed for processing textiles and leather. The Vetron sewing machines brand awarded multiple innovative solutions focused on the customer´s needs, and the German art of engineering connected with professional service.

The products of this Vetron sewing machine supplier are made from selected components throughout Europe and Asia offering a superior price performance ratio and innovative functionality, setting new standards of process security through the use of high technology.

During the design of the company's Professional machine the easy, ergonomic and clear interface structure for operators and service technicians is a top priority. The company produces a wide range of industrial Small sewing machine that can be seen from here.

The company is best known for Computerized sewing machine. The products of the company are fully software controlled and this was the first principle in designing these Digital sewing machines. One of the other properties of these international sewing machines is that they have different languages on the control panel.

To continue the goal of invitational solutions in Computer sewing machine VETRON has designed the most advanced sewing machine which identifies, adjusts and sews together the edges of the material layers stitch by stitch. 

AutoSeam At the Wordwide Textile Fairs

The AutoSeam Machine will be presented in Texprocess Americas, May 3 - 5, 2016. You can see the autoseam by visiting PIMA (Premium Industrial Machines of America), the Vetron's Exclusive Importer and Distributer in the USA.

Before Texprocess Americas, the autoseam will be presented in Fabric Istanbul, April 27-30, 2016, by the Vetron turkish partner, GM.

AutoSeam - Tex Process Innovation Award 2015

5 Comments :

Bonnie Anderson said...
catalog ? Where to buy these machines? Cost? Webpage?
September 30, 2015 03:21
Mahmoud Farshbafdoustar (author) said...

Auto Seam is the newest product by VETRON-TYPICAL. This is the webpage on the Typical Europe's Homepage about the Auto Seam I can find right now. You can send your contact details to me or VETRON's sales team. It will be managed to contact you with more information (catalog, price and etc ) about the Auto Seam.

September 30, 2015 10:05
Eva marse said...
Awesome
September 30, 2015 01:40
Adrian Soto said...
Will this technology will be at the texprocess this May-2016 @ Atlanta GA?.
March 21, 2016 12:18
Mahmoud Farshbafdoustar (author) said...

Yes,it is planned to present the Auto Seam machine on the Texprocess of Americas, May 2016. I will update this page when I get furthure information.

March 21, 2016 02:00

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