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ImagingLab Srl: a Brief Company Presentation and some key company concepts

Ignazio E M Piacentini

Rivoli, Workshop @ Kuka, 20°May 2009

Who is ImagingLab?
The mission is in our logo Our best ‘product’ is our know-how From consulting to complete systems Heavily focused on integrated machine vision & robotics (approx 50 robotvision installation over the past 2 1/2 years) Alliance Member of National Instruments
@ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation 2

Where are we?
In Lodi, 30 km south of Milan, in an historical building dating back from 1450 Approx 400 sqm office and lab space

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


Who am I? Who are we?
Ignazio Piacentini, 55 years old, M. Sc. from the Polytechnic of Central London
A past in research working for the European Commission (Euratom: thermonuclear fusion, 1976-1991) Co-founder and president of Graftek Italia (Machine Vision) In 1996: Graftek France software machine vision library is acquired by National Instruments (Austin, Texas) From 1999 to 2003 hired by National Instruments Corporate as Machine Vision Business Developer Manager for Europe In 2004 soft shut-down and restart in ImagingLab Srl

Francesco Romanò, 30 years old,, Polytechnic of Milan, co-founder of ImagingLab Gabriele Galeazzi, 35 years old, High School Diploma in Electronics Engineering, Milan, co-founder of ImagingLab Simone Rocchi, 33 years old, Degree in Mechanical Engineering Uni of Ancona, PhD Uni of Padova The full team today: 8 people (6 engineering, 2 admin / finance)

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


Turnover 2004-2008
A small but very active company: start-up in April 2004 From 200k€ to 1,2 k€ (double digit growth), from 3 to 8 people, in less than 5 years

1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
@ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation

Yearly turnover k€


ImagingLab: an integrator or a design bureau? ImagingLab does not build and deploy complete ‘machines’, but works in close cooperation with other companies / partners with machine production facilities (mechanics, electrics, pneumatics, etc.) Our activities starts with a feasibility study all the way to a fully working prototype Application sw is designed and developed mostly in-house Special attention is given to repetitive business in areas like packaging and automated assembly Technology transfer and training is also part of our skills / services to ensure the successful deployment of new technologies
@ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation 6

Machine Vision and Robotics is a growing mkt
We might be biased (90% of our small company business is linked to the tight integration of vision and robotics), but there is a fast growing presence of MV in the field of robotics

There are plenty of new areas for robots, especially low payload, high accuracy ones Today only 5-10 % of robotics apps make use of MV, but these number is destined to grow: 35% by 2012 ??
The number of robots in Europe / world is also increasing

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


Italy: 'meccanica e macchine' : the weight of Italy in Europe
The weight of Italy in Europe: GDP (GEP?), manufacturing industry, ‘machines’ production Italy ranks at the 4th place, but machine manufacturing is 2nd after Germany

Noi italiani siamo bravi a fare ‘macchine’
Weight of Italy in Europe Other EU members






% of Gross European Product







Manufacturing industry







Machine manufacturing







Source: Federmacchine / Eurostat @ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation 8

Why and what is 'flexible manufacturing'? 1: market changes
Market and economics changes have a deep effect on engineering Production methods and requirements have changed a lot in recent years:
Smaller production lots Faster time to market Lowering production costs to respond to agressive new competitors (China, India mkts)

Flexibility vs production speed
Cycle time: what does it really means? Design for speed Design for flexibility Design for ease of use Design for low cost of ownership

Pictures courtesy of Automatismi Brazzale and Cabur
@ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation 9

Why and what is 'flexible manufacturing'? 2: robotics
Assembly machines need to be able to produce different objects / products:
At least in the same class of products No re-tooling required Fast production lot change with limited or no operator intervention Used by non skilled personnel Reconfigurable / reusable for new products In-process quality control (as opposed to end-of-line quality control)

Flexible automated assembly:
Loading / feeding components Putting the components together

Flexible and reconfigurable ‘mechanics’ for handling and assembly Highly modular The answer is: more robotics

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


Why and what is 'flexible manufacturing'? 3: machine vision
The robots need to perform more complex and ‘dynamic’ (i.e.) work cycles Robots need to see! Vision is used to:
Locate the parts and send info to the robot Perform quality inspection of single components Verify assembly correctness

In-process vs end of line quality control:
Discards only defective component Prevents machine malfunctioning / jamming

The answer is: more vision
@ Kuka, 20th may 2009 ImagingLab Company Presentation 11

Why and what is 'flexible manufacturing'? 4: better integrated software
Machines need to be reconfigurable by the end user Vision and robotics sw needs to have simple user interface The integration of robotics and vision must take care of calibration procedures, machine commissioning and start-up tools, etc The answer is: high level software libraries and tools specific to vision and robotics integration

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


LabVIEW: one platform for tight integration of vision & robotics
ImagingLab: a vision-centric view of robotics One single sw platform for all integration aspects: robotics, vision, HMI, …. Reducing the cost and time to market of new applications

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation


Any questions?

@ Kuka, 20th may 2009

ImagingLab Company Presentation