Finding a machine vision technology partner

Finding a machine vision partner: edge AI & cloud cheat sheet

Does your machine vision technology partner have experience in both edge AI and cloud computing?  

Machine vision deployments that deliver real value result from a careful balance of artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge and in the cloud. Optimized machine vision involves training the system in the cloud and enabling inferencing at the edge. This strategy produces value from day one – then the model keeps learning about the data it interacts with, creating an opportunity to continually adjust and optimize the model for the best performance.  

Automated packing inspection at Evans Distribution Systems, the sole Girl Scout cookie distributor in the U.S., is a great illustration. The 3PL and supply chain solution company doubled its shipping volume while decreasing error rates with AI machine vision trained to identify cookie varieties by box color. The system was 90% accurate on day one and increased to 99.8% accuracy with training and fine-tuning lighting over the next few weeks.  

Although AI and machine vision are becoming more commonplace in manufacturing and distribution operations, optimizing these systems with cloud and edge computing is still relatively new to many Systems integrators (SIs). While you navigate the learning curve, the partner ecosystem you build will directly impact your ability to provide your clients with a machine vision system that delivers real value – and stay competitive in your market.  

Get the Answers You Need  

As with any partnership, you need answers to specific questions to ensure your potential edge AI partner is equipped to provide the solutions and support you need.  

Edge IoT Solution Built upon ADLINK Data River

Questions for the vendor:  

  • Can your technology help us run intelligence on on-premises systems, at the edge, or in the cloud?
  • Do you offer a full line of edge devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, smart sensors, and data extraction that can help us address any of our clients’ use cases? 
  • Can your solutions be used indoors and outdoors, even in harsh industrial environments or exposed to weather extremes? 
  • How can we connect edge devices? Do you provide options that can connect via network, cable, or sensor? 
  • Can we connect devices to cloud applications, on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or warehouse management systems (WMS), individual machines, or controllers? 
  • Does your technology allow data to flow where it’s needed, whether that’s to another device, historians, databases, an asset, or a person? 
  • To add machine vision AI to a process, will it require making modifications to equipment or systems? 
  • What are our options for powering your devices – and making sure they have a continuous power supply? 
  • How can we physically secure the devices? 

Understand How the Partnership Will Impact Your Business 

Partnering with a vendor and incorporating their solutions into your offerings will also have an impact on your business. The ease of hardware and software integration into your team’s workflow will directly impact how effectively you can build the technology into the solutions you provide.  

Questions for the vendor:  

  • How do we monitor and control your technology and its data? 
  • What options do we have for managing edge devices? 
  • How can we limit access to the solutions we provide and ensure they are secure? 
  • What resources do you make available to partners for technical and sales support? 
  • What are the terms of your partner program for SIs, including margin and tiered benefits?  

Give Your Business the Advantage of a Partner’s Expertise 

Before you can find the right machine vision solution partner, you need to have a clear idea of how that vendor’s technology will be used. It may be easy to define if your business focus is a particular vertical or use case, for example, QA/QC, worker safety, or surveillance. However, if your client portfolio is diverse, you need to dig deeper into your potential partner’s solutions to ensure their offerings will give you the tools you need to adapt to different circumstances.  

And with machine vision systems trending toward using both cloud and edge AI, you will benefit from companies with extensive partner ecosystems of their own. ADLINK has formed partnerships with a wide array of businesses in all industry segments and have ensured that we can provide solutions for edge and cloud. Our recent promotion to AWS Select Partner is just one example of how we are committed to meeting the business requirements of our delivery partners and end customers.  

Learn more about the advantages the ADLINK-AWS partnership brings to machine vision, and the operational challenges it can help you solve for your clients. We’re ready to answer your questions – and we think you’ll like the answers. 

Find an overview of ADLINK’s Catalyst partner program here.  

Author: Stephen Gereb
Author: Stephen Gereb

Senior Director, Global Partners & Alliances