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我們提供高效能和可靠性的自動化產品
和解決方案
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偲倢不僅僅是軟體開發公司,我們也致力於自動化
產業的發展,與自動化相關的應用夥伴並肩合作。
02
2021年9月
兼具產業跨域與模組化設計 偲倢科技讓AI視覺檢測效益穩定發揮
▲前端導入、智能排程與數據賦能 - 偲倢產品結構概念。偲倢科技 製造領域中AI是建構智慧化系統的關鍵,在成本效益的考量下,視覺檢測成為業者導入重點,其中透過圖形化平台、工業相機、自動光學檢查(AOI)與AI演算法的整合,提供製造業可簡易導入、快速浮現效益的產線視覺檢測平台的偲倢科技,其模組化設計且兼具產業know-how的跨域能力,不僅為多家被動元件業者採用,也成為今(2021)年進軍中國、越南市場的關鍵。 偲倢科技總經理陳青煒觀察:「AI是近年最火熱的話題,不過要找到合適的應用場域,並設計出架構和功能都獲客戶接受的系統並不容易,尤其製造系統對穩定度與效能的要求甚高,加上需有高度專業,因此建構貼身合用的AI系統有其難度;另一方面,雖然市場已經有成熟的AOI技術,但因為產品外觀瑕疵檢測複雜多變,許多外觀檢測需求,不是使用AOI會有極高的過殺率,就是得繼續仰賴人員來目測,所以AOI必須再進化,搭配AI的技術方能滿足此市場需求。」 偲倢科技的平台將軟硬體技術整合在產線終端設備上,並透過自行研發的的深度學習演算法與平台,讓設備能有快速使用AI辨識產品瑕疵類型的能力,快速進行產品檢測。 陳青煒坦言,目前市場上已有眾多廠商推出以AI演算法辨識產品瑕疵的平台,不過這些平台能在製造場域中順利落地並持續產生效益者極少。他點出主要原因在於多數AI團隊在遇到落地問題時都僅調整AI模型,忽略了AI導入製造現場後,尚需因應源源不絕產出的數據,以調整平台的軟硬體架構,因而造成AI系統遲遲無法順利運作,或是效益難以穩定浮現。 他進一步指出,工廠產線的環境複雜,偲倢科技因團隊成員有長期服務製造業的經驗,再加上AI專業知識,在這兩大區塊的專業下,得以協助客戶確保系統的準確度及效益。 在充足的專業準備與即時調整服務,偲倢科技的平台已有多起成功案例。陳青煒表示,公司除了建構SmaSEQ與SmaAI等平台外,也在導入的前、中、後不同階段提供諮詢、調校與維修等完整的技術服務,平台成效都相當理想。他以台灣大型被動元件廠為例,被動元件的出貨量龐大,若後端檢測品質不佳將對業者帶來重大損失,在導入偲倢科技平台後,該廠商的產品過殺率(overkill rate)降低2%~3%,每年省下新台幣2~3億元的報廢支出與70%篩檢人力。 除了被動元件外,未來偲倢科技的產品也將致力開拓金屬製造領域的應用,因金屬件模具等產品有高度的外觀瑕疵檢測需求。陳青煒表示,目前許多客戶積極布局中國與越南海外市場,偲倢科技也跟隨客戶的腳步前往設點,不過他也指出,兩處市場廠商所具備的AI能力不盡相同,須有不同的策略因應。 陳青煒分析中國市場的競爭對手,在技術和資源上都有不可忽視的實力,但其系統多聚焦在單一產業,跨域能力和經驗較為不足。偲倢科技的平台將功能拆分為大量模組,客戶可視本身需求選擇模組,快速組建兼具速度、效能的最適化系統,構築雄厚的海外市場競爭力,為2021年前進中國與越南市場打下紮實的基礎。 陳青煒認為,缺工是全球產業面臨的挑戰,製造業數位轉型是必然趨勢,但智慧製造並非要把人力完全去除,而是從根本思考如何讓人力在整個製造環節中,將勞動層級升級成具備技術與專業能力,讓智慧製造真正落地,產生效益。 對客戶而言,提供一起成長、與時俱進的服務,也是偲倢科技的發展重點,以本身累積多年的經驗及產品平台,提供客戶一條龍AOI+AI 智慧製造落地服務,在前期技術評估、中期上線驗證、後期數據分析結合起來,讓客戶達到持續精進的生產智慧化。 Source: DIGITIMES
07
2021年6月
Advantech MIC-730AI Review NVIDIA Jetson Xavier AI Edge Appliance
Advantech MIC 730AI Passive Heatsink There are few reviews where we genuinely go into so much effort to test a product. In our Advantech MIC-730AI review, we are going to great lengths to show off the innovative solution that the company has. Built around the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier platform, we transformed the STH studio into a textile defect inspection plant. In our review, we are going to show how this NVIDIA AI edge inferencing machine works, and then we are going to show it being used. Advantech MIC-730AI Hardware Overview The front of the Advantech unit contains all of the I/O, and that I/O is a big factor in these types of edge systems. Moving from the left to right we have the power button and an expansion slot on the bottom. We also have a 16-bit DI/DO block in green. Next to those are two COM ports. The two LAN ports are both Gigabit. One is a Marvell 88E1512 and the other is an Intel i210. Advantech MIC 730AI IO There are two USB 2 and two USB 3 ports. One will see on either side there are holes to help with custom connectors retain the USB Type-A plugs. One can also see a HDMI video output and the power delivery/ grounding points. The entire unit is 192mm x 230mm x 87mm and a big portion of that is the other major external chassis feature: the passive cooling heatsink. This passive heatsink is designed to allow the system to run without fans in up to 55C-60C operating temperatures depending on the operating modes. Advantech MIC 730AI Passive Heatsink That heatsink is largely cooling the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier SOM. This SOM sits atop the main system PCB that also has features such as the ports shown above. Advantech MIC 730AI NVIDIA Jetson Xavier The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier SoC is designed to provide AI vision acceleration in a single chip package with eight Arm v8.2 Carmel cores and the video encode/ decode acceleration along with a Volta-generation GPU. NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier SoC The CPU also gets 32GB of LPDDR4X memory on the module. In some ways, this is not too dissimilar to NVIDIA’s version of the Apple M1 chip, except that NVIDIA is focusing on video AI and Apple the desktop market. NVIDIA’s CPU cores are not overly fast with integer performance around that of an Intel Xeon E3-1240. On the other hand, the Volta generation GPU means we get tensor cores onboard. This is not meant to be a desktop replacement CPU, rather the CPU is designed more to enable the use of the GPU and accelerators. Advantech MIC 730AI NVIDIA Jetson Lscpu Ubuntu 18.04 LTS NVIDIA Desktop 800 Here is the quick layout of the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier CPU layout. One can see 2MB of L2 cache per two NVIDIA Arm Carmel cores and then a 4MB L3 shared cache. NVIDIA Jetson Xavier CPU Complex On the bottom side of the motherboard has a lot of internal I/O expansion. We normally start from the top and move to the bottom, but here instead we are going to move from the bottom up. Advantech MIC 730AI Internal Overview At the bottom edge in our orientation, we have the DC power board. One likely saw the DC power input on the port overview section. This is the internal side of that connector. We will quickly note for some of our readers less versed in the embedded space that it is possible to have an AC adapter for desktop use even with the industrial versus barrel-type power input connector. The industrial version is simply designed to be more secure and prevent accidental removal. Advantech MIC 730AI Power Board Above this power board, we get the connection to the main PCB. There are PCIe x8 and x16 expansion slots above this but enabling their use requires getting into options that we did not have for testing. Advantech MIC 730AI Expansion Slot There is a small feature we wanted to point out on the left side above. Below the internal reset button, there is an OTG MicroUSB port that one may miss if just casually looking at the photo. On the right side, there are SATA data and power headers. Advantech MIC 730AI SATA Power And Data Headers One can add a 2.5″ disk such as a SSD by adding cables to these headers. The system itself only has 32GB of eMMC storage standard, so this can be a big deal. Advantech MIC 730AI SATA Power And Data Cables On the top edge of the motherboard in our orientation, we get a SD card slot on the left side. There is a MiniPCIe slot in white. Then we get a M.2 2280 (80mm) slot for NVMe storage. Advantech MIC 730AI MiniPCIe And M.2 With SD From an operating perspective, it is important that we do not have any fans here. For industrial applications passive cooling means a lower chance of failure as fans, especially when ingesting debris, can be a point of failure. We also want to quickly note that this unit has been shipped around the world a few times. One can see the wear on some of the metal panels such as in the corners of the photo below. Despite this use, the system still works perfectly fine. Still, we wanted to try to recreate a use case where we may find a system like this. Next, we are going to turn the STH studio into a textile factory. Advantech MIC-730AI Textile / OCR Demo with Smasoft When we decided to do this review, one of the big questions I had was the “so what?” We normally have a performance section, but with CPU performance more akin to a Xeon E3-1240 that seemed less exciting. A 30W passively cooled system is never going to reach the levels of raw performance of 280W CPUs and 500W+ GPUs that we have today. So as a result, we managed to turn the STH studio into a textile inspection factory. Advantech MIC 730AI Smasoft Demo Here is the overall setup. Just a quick thank you to the Advantech and Smasoft folks for helping with this. I felt that I wanted to show off what a solution looks like and they certainly helped make it happen. Advantech MIC 7700 MIC 730AI You will quickly notice we have not one, but two Advantech units. Alongside this MIC-730AI NVIDIA Jetson-based unit, we had an Advantech MIC-7700 Intel-based solution running Windows and the Smasoft software. We will just note that the MIC-7700 was quite loud and used fans, so these are different classes of embedded systems. The basic idea is that the Advantech MIC-730AI to x86 box does not need to be a 1:1 ratio. Instead of adding expensive and power-hungry GPUs to every system, one can use and scale with the Jetson-based solutions. Advantech MIC 730AI Camera Next, we have the camera. The camera is a PoE industrial camera that is held in a fixed position on a stand. There are a number of ways to get power, and Advantech has PoE solutions as well, but here we have a simple PoE injector. Advantech MIC 730AI Camera PoE Injector The Smasoft software also used the camera. This would normally be mounted on a production line, but in our case, the IP camera is being mounted on a test rig so we can photograph it. Advantech Smasoft Robot Camera Below the camera, we have a ring light to get enough light for the camera. Advantech MIC 730AI Ring Light Below this, we have space where we are running our “textile line” and also have a sample OCR page that is being lit by the light and captured via the camera. The Smasoft solution then uses the setup to identify characters. Advantech MIC 730AI Smasoft OCR Fabric can be passed under the camera. One can imagine this is being moved past the camera on a long line, but for the demo, we only have a small piece here. Advantech MIC 730AI Smasoft Fabric Inspection The Smasoft solution can identify a defect in the fabric, or a specific set of text from the OCR demo, and then perform actions on the line to tag what is going across. Fabric Defect Highlighted An example of how this tagging is used is to trigger automation tools. Perhaps to pick the defective part off of a line. One item we did not have was a robot arm. Luckily, Smasoft had an emulator for the robot arm that may be doing picks based on the OCR/ image recognition. Advantec Smasoft Robot Arm Overall, this is a fairly cool solution. Hopefully, this helps you visualize what a more end-to-end solution looks like versus just looking at a box. We know a lot of our readers want to see these systems in action. Unfortunately, we do not have a full factory, but we can set up a small textile mill. As one can imagine, the Smasoft folks have solutions for different industries that are based on the Advantech compute platforms like the MIC-730AI we see here. Advantech MIC-730AI Power Consumption and Noise Just as a quick note here, on 120V AC power we saw up to 30W of power consumption in our demo. NVIDIA’s Jetson line has configurable TDP so one can lower the power consumption at the expense of some performance. Although 30W was the maximum, we saw idle closer to 15W. Advantech MIC 730AI FSP AC DC PSU On the noise front, this unit was very quiet. We had a passively cooled chassis with a passively cooled FSP external AC adapter. In a 24dba ambient environment, we could not register even a 1dba increase from coil whine on our trusty Extech sound meter so we are going to call this silent for our purposes. Final Words Overall, this was a fun solution to take a look at. We wanted to give a better sense of not just the physical solution, but also how it is used in a broader setup. Indeed, the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier platform is popular, and going beyond the developer kit to something that can be deployed. Advantech MIC 730AI Passive Heatsink We are at a time when there is an intense focus on the edge and specifically taking the AI models that have been trained in data centers and putting them to use. AI has gone from a curiosity to being deployed every day. That is really the market for the MIC-730AI. Advantech MIC 730AI NVIDIA Jetson Lscpu Desktop 800 Overall, this is a very cool solution. Having a fanless embedded platform that is designed for a wide range of environments means that one can bring GPU accelerated computing to the edge. Source: STH