Machine vision systems enable effective and high throughput production by automating quality inspection. However, a lack of skilled in-house machine vision engineers in manufacturing can be a significant barrier to its adoption. Domestic facilities seeking to re-shore manufacturing opportunities or addressing a CAPA (corrective and preventive action) directive may seek a feasibility/engineering study into a machine vision solution before committing to the cost of a full turnkey solution.
Our engineering studies can narrow down a project's risk and cost by putting together a proof of concept demo. We would start by bringing samples into our lab (or onsite) and piecing together a lighting mockup to acquire a series of images. From there, a vision script is developed and results and performance tabulated, which is then summarized into a report. Generally, our machine vision lab will have what is needed to conduct the study, but if not, our relationships with vendors allow us to borrow the necessary equipment. Occasionally we may need to purchase a specialized piece of equipment, and that cost would be added to the project.
R&I Tax Credit
Having a proof of concept demo and bill of materials will instill confidence in a full turnkey solution's technical merit and economic feasibility. Such studies can be structured where the bulk of the engineering time and key components may qualify for up to 60% of the cost as a Research and Innovation (US) tax credit.
SME for SBIR
Phase 1 for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants up to $150k for approximately 6 months of support to explore the technical merit or feasibility of an idea involving technology. For a self-funding startup, this is not a lot of money and yet, if successful, could generate interest from venture capitalists. We can provide a fixed fee service for a clearly-defined and narrow scope of work where we serve as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the grant. Service agreement could also include lending our lab equipment to assist with Phase 1 of a project, freeing up more grant funds to be used elsewhere.