Boxes are read by a Zebra machine vision camera as they move down a conveyor belt.
By Will Corns | May 19, 2022

Machine Vision May Have a Storied Past, but It Is Giving Supply Chain Organizations Hope for a Better Future

Today’s supply chain operations are dynamic and data driven. But so are today’s industrial automation solutions, as we’ll prove to you in the new “Industrial Automation Insider” podcast series. The first episode is available now.

Machine vision used to be a necessary evil, but now it’s a rocking’ space, says my colleague Jim Witherspoon who has been in the industrial automation space for 20+ years. That’s why I launched a new “Industrial Automation Insider” Your Edge Podcast series today and invited Jim to be my first guest. 

What you see happening with machine vision and other automation technologies today is just the start of what’s to come. We’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential returns for industrial automation investments. The technology’s intelligence and strengths are growing by the minute, and there are numerous applications within factories, warehouses, distribution centers and other supply chain environments that we’ve yet to fully scale. Who knows what other creative use cases may emerge in the coming months as we more closely assess operational needs, especially given Zebra’s intent to acquire Matrox Imaging. All I do know is that we have the potential to bring to market some of the most innovative industrial automation solutions of the last 50+ years.

So, I encourage you to listen to what Jim has to say about the state of industrial automation today. He explains what “machine vision” means in modern terms, especially as “help wanted” signs appear in windows around the world, and why you should pay more attention to what’s happening in artificial intelligence, computer vision, 3D and deep learning. I also give a download on what happened at MODEX 2022 and challenge you to rethink how you’re approaching “technology as a solution.” 

Tune into our 25-minute conversation now:

Industrial Automation Insider Episode #1: Machine Vision's Storied Past Gives Way to a Bright Future

Like What You Heard?

I will be checking in with the people engineering modern industrial automation systems, as well as the teams applying them in real-world settings at least once a month to learn more about how industrial automation is being used to support dynamic supply chain operations as well as applications in other sectors, such as healthcare. We’ll debate the opportunities, analyze applications, and disclose the specific research and design (R&D), testing, implementation and optimization efforts that Zebra is engaged in with partners and customers. We’ll also hear from the engineers, project managers and IT teams involved in recent (and ongoing) industrial automation projects about the positive outcomes and lessons learned. 

In fact, next month I have a very special guest joining me, but you’re going to have to tune in to find out who it is. The easiest way to stay connected is to subscribe to the Your Edge blog. All podcast episodes will air here and on the Zebra Your Edge Podcast channel on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other major platforms. 


Did You Know?

It has only been one year since we introduced Zebra’s modern machine vision, fixed industrial scanning and Aurora™ software platforms to the world. Yet, it feels like years when you look at how much these technologies have matured since then. 

On the surface, it may seem like our portfolio is comprised of seven smart cameras. But digging deeper, it becomes apparent these are just the foundational components – the vehicles, if you will – of a very powerful data delivery platform that is positively transforming production, distribution, and logistics operations. 

Around the world, workers throughout the supply chain are now being told what is happening with goods and processes every second of every day, and they’re getting a better understanding why it’s happening – and it’s all thanks to the increased use of industrial automation solutions such as machine vision and fixed industrial scanning systems. These technologies are automatically analyzing situations based on what they’ve learned via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, as well as human-led training. As a result, workers are being empowered to make the right decision about what to do when issues arise or how to adapt processes to maintain smooth workflows. In some cases, they aren’t even having to make those decisions. The technology’s intelligent analysis of the situation in the context of the broader operation is automating decision-making. So, workers just have to follow through on a prescribed action. 

It’s quite remarkable. You should check it out.


Related Resources:


Best Practices, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Warehouse and Distribution, Automation, Innovative Ideas, Transportation and Logistics, Podcast, Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector,
Will Corns
Will Corns

William Corns is the Senior North American Sales Manager for Fixed Industrial Scanning & Machine Vision at Zebra Technologies, leading a team of industrial automation experts and driving key conversations with customers about the value of industrial automation in today's challenging business environment. William joined Zebra in 2021 after selling his machine vision company that he founded in 2003. With nearly two decades of machine vision experience, William brings with him knowledge of complex vision systems, artificial intelligence, 3D scanning, robotics and integrated industrial automation workflows. Now he leads our team of Fixed Industrial Scanner & Machine Vision experts for Zebra. 

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