New tool helps manufacturers search for obscure parts

By Kylie Veleta, for Inside Indiana Business

Sep 08, 2016

Get Plant Services delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday! Sign up for  Plant Services' complimentary Smart Minute (Monday-Thursday) and Smart Digest  (Friday) e-newsletters to get maintenance and reliability know-how you can put  to use today, plus the latest manufacturing news from around the Web, white  papers, and more. Learn more and subscribe for free today.

In a world where complex parts are plentiful, searching for the right widget or thingamajig can be maddening for a manufacturer—and costly.

Imaginestics LLC, based at the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, has invented a tool it says will save manufacturers time and money. Called VizSeek, the technology can use things like a sketch or picture to search a manufacturer’s entire database to find that nondescript doohickey.

Imaginestics describes VizSeek as a visual search software. Think of it like a Google search for shapes: rather than entering text into a search engine, users enter an image, such as a drawing, 3D model or photo, and the technology searches the manufacturer’s database for similar shapes.

“When the user uploads a visual file, VizSeek computes its ‘shape signature,’ and compares it with the shape signatures of parts in the [manufacturer’s] database,” says VizSeek Application Engineer Rob Hill. “[That database] could be a catalog of parts of their supplier, CAD data if they’re a designer, images, 3D models or drawings.”

The technology, which can be used on a computer or smartphone, is about to launch a new feature; users can take a picture with their phone, which automatically synchs with a nearby computer to complete the search.

Read the full story.

 

Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments