This paper describes a vision-basedfabric inspection system that accomplishes on-loom inspection of the fabric under constructionwith 100% coverage. The inspection system,which offers a scalable, open architecture, can bemanufactured at relatively low cost using off-the-shelf components. While synchronized to themotion of the loom, the developed system ﬁrstacquires very high-quality, vibration-free imagesof the fabric using either front or backlighting.Then the acquired images are subjected to a noveldefect segmentation algorithm, which is based onthe concepts of wavelet transform, image fusion,and the correlation dimension. The essence of thissegmentation algorithm is the localization of thoseevents (i.e., defects) in the input images that dis-rupt the global homogeneity of the backgroundtexture. The efﬁcacy of this algorithm, as well asthe overall inspection system, has been testedthoroughly under realistic conditions. The systemwas used to acquire and to analyze more than3700 images of fabrics that were constructed withtwo different types of yarn. In each case, the per-formance of the system was evaluated as an oper-ator introduced defects from 26 categories intothe weaving process. The overall detection rate of the presented approach was found to be 89% witha localization accuracy of 0.2 in. (i.e., the mini-mum defect size) and a false alarm rate of 2.5%.Index Terms--
Textile Industry, Fabric Inspection,Computer Vision, Real-Time Systems, WaveletTransform, Defect Detection, Quality Assurance,Process Control
Measurement of quality during the production of woven fabrics is highly important to the textileindustry in lowering costs and improving the ﬁnishedproduct. Presently, much of the fabric inspection isperformed manually by human inspectors and usingoff-line stations. Many defects are missed, and theinspection is inconsistent, with its outcome depend-ing on the training and the skill level of the person-nel. As a result, the textile industry has been movingtoward automated fabric inspection. An automatedfabric inspection system can provide consistentresults that correlate with the quality-control stan-dards of the textile industry. Up to this point, most if not all of such automated technologies have been off-line (or off-loom), inspecting large rolls of fabricafter they have been produced. To provide the mostprecise control of quality, however, the fabric mustbe monitored as it is constructed so that correctionscan be made immediately to minimize the quantity of poor-quality fabric. In addition, higher productionspeeds make the timely detection of defects moreimportant than ever.There are more than 50 identiﬁed categories of fabric (weaving) defects in the textile industry. It isinteresting to note that approximately 80% of thesedefects have a preferred orientation, either in thedirection of motion (i.e., warp direction) or perpen-dicular to it (i.e., pick direction). Many defects arecaused by machine malfunctions, while others aredue to faulty yarns. For air-jet looms, which are themost widely used, the predominant defects aremispicks (missing or broken pick yarns), end-outs(missing or broken warp yarns), and slubs (or waste).These looms, as well as other less widely usedlooms, may have machine faults that produce otherdefects, such as holes, oil spots, or dirt. Theseassorted defects can produce a wide range of visibleeffects on the ﬁnished fabric and render it off-quality.Warp or pick defects tend to be long and narrow,slubs can produce point defects, and moiré defectschange the apparent texture of the weaving pattern.Automation of fabric inspection has been a topicof considerable research. The inspection systems arepredominantly optically based and primarily useeither line-scan [1-3] or area  sensors for image
, and James S. Goddard Jr.,
Member, IEEE Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Research supported under the AMTEX Cooperative Research and Development Agreement at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, man-aged by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC05-96OR22464.