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How video and motion analysis tools unmask otherwise unseen conditions

March 1, 2022
Sheila Kennedy explores the expanding world of video and motion analysis.

Situational awareness and condition monitoring are paramount in industrial environments. Visualized insights from video and motion analysis tools are helping to detect unfavorable conditions, solve equipment and process problems, mitigate safety and security risks, and avoid compliance and quality concerns.

Technology Toolbox

This article is part of our monthly Technology Toolbox column. Read more from Sheila Kennedy.

Innovative motion analysis


Camera-based Motion Amplification technology from RDI Technologies detects, measures, and visualizes subtle movement and vibration, enabling targeted troubleshooting and corrective actions. A new partnership combines RDI’s capabilities with the robotic capabilities of Spot, an agile mobile robot from Boston Dynamics, to provide automated route-based vibration monitoring and surveys.

“Leveraging RDI’s patented Iris technology platform, Spot can autonomously perform full vibration measurements and use Motion Amplification to turn every pixel in the camera into a non-contact displacement sensor,” says Jeff Hay, CEO of RDI Technologies, who adds that it provides a more comprehensive balance-of-plant asset condition monitoring solution.

EnVibe’s method of motion analysis processing (MAPing) allows users to see, demonstrate, and verify structural and asset movement. It generates detailed and action-oriented reports and summaries of vibration spectra along with slow-motion video reflecting the root issue. The speed of video model creation and cost savings over an Operating Deflection Shape (ODS) model boost its value proposition.

The MAPing process “makes every video pixel into a two-axis accelerometer with phase angles,” explains Aaron Cichon, account manager at EnVibe. “This level of information gives us unprecedented opportunities to identify areas not seen by the naked eye or understood with data and words. Imbalance, misalignment, piping vibration, structural issues, resonance, and foundation problems are only a few of the conditions we can see with this technology.”

Cortex motion capture and editing software from Motion Analysis Corporation enables accurate and precise low-latency measurement of kinetic movement and body angles to help identify issues that can lead to injury. Example industrial applications include occupational movement analysis, ergonomics and safety assessments, product design, employee training, and drone and robotic movement validation.

“Once a 3D video capture has been recorded, Cortex software is used to analyze the results,” notes Lucy Keighley, president of Motion Analysis Corporation. “This data is then used to improve movement efficiency, worker safety, and ergonomic conditions.” The resulting data and videos are frequently integrated into employee training and procedure manuals to demonstrate the correct way to conduct these critical tasks and activities, she adds.

Valuable video analytics


Video surveillance analysis and triggered notifications help to spur action on anomalies or vulnerabilities to the operation. Industrial-grade network video solutions from Industrial Video and Control (IVC) include a broad range of cameras, purpose-built enclosures, and a video and camera management software suite. Example uses include monitoring critical assets and processes such as high-speed production lines; detecting leaks, spills, and intruders; and exposing quality and compliance issues.

IVC’s Longwatch video management software platform can automatically correlate recorded process video with historical SCADA data for downtime events. Video analytics can trigger process alarms for operators when an unusual event occurs. “Super slow-motion” and forward and backward frame-by-frame playback are supported. Integrating with other devices and systems extends the solution’s capabilities.

The VideoXpert Video Management System and explosion-proof IP cameras from Pelco provide a solution suited for extreme environments such as the oil and gas industry. Real-time alerts and the ability to analyze video data remotely are among its capabilities.

VideoXpert’s user interface, designed to be customizable, performance-oriented, and intuitive, is “easy for beginners and powerful for experienced operators,” says Todd Dunning, director of product management for video security and access control at Pelco, a Motorola Solutions company. “The solution can also be easily scaled for multiple cameras or users, with no downtime. The platform is also trusted and secure, employing cybersecurity best practices like RMF, TLS 1.2, and FIPS 140-2.”

BriefCam recently introduced edge video processing on Axis deep learning cameras, enabling faster real-time alerting with its video surveillance analytics. This new hybrid deployment option for the BriefCam platform allows plants to leverage video intelligence to make data-driven decisions related to overcoming inefficiencies, protecting workers and visitors, and keeping supply chains moving.

Besides the usual security applications, organizations are “increasingly understanding that intelligent video can powerfully influence business productivity and performance as well,” observes Stephanie Weagle, CMO of BriefCam. “The manufacturing industry is poised to benefit significantly from actionable insights about factory and warehouse operations, from identifying behavioral patterns to safety risks, employee noncompliance, and more.”

This story originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.

About the Author: Sheila Kennedy
About the Author

Sheila Kennedy | CMRP

Sheila Kennedy, CMRP, is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at [email protected] or www.linkedin.com/in/kennedysheila.

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