Applications that require speed, high resolution and good sensitivity to light will push vision-system technology forward.
John Butler, North American sales manager at Pleora Technologies (www.pleora.com), identifies those applications as:
Sorting systems—The faster the systems are the more cost-effective they can be; they are looking into 10 GigE in the near future.
Semiconductor manufacturing inspection—Companies get cutting-edge speed by using short wavelength imaging. Even though most companies are enduring the downturn, they can benefit from a 10 GigE throughput.
High-end surveillance and the military—Though not typical machine-vision systems, the military uses machine-vision technology and looks for nothing less than the latest advances, believes Butler.
“One trend has been toward more sensor-like vision systems that don’t require a computer for setup or programming,” says Brent Evanger, applications engineer, vision, Banner Engineering (www.bannerengineering.com/ivu). “A wide range of industries can benefit from the capable simplicity of a sensor that retains many of the features from higher-end, more-complex platforms while offering a comfortable, intuitive, digital-camera-like interface.”
Pharmaceutical and food and beverage applications for machine vision are expanding greatly, says Bradley Weber, director of application engineering at PPT Vision (www.pptvision.com). “For a relatively small cost, a smart camera ensures the quality, safety and traceability of the products being packaged,” he says. “The true advancements in machine-vision technology today are demonstrated in the software now available, which includes complex algorithms presented in an intuitive, easy-to-use way.”
A couple of industries that recently have benefited are the packaging industry and the solar industry, says Joshua Jelonek, technical product manager—vision and marking technology, Keyence of America (www.keyence.com).“One application would be inspecting for packaged goods through cellophane,” he states. “Previously it was difficult to get an accurate count on the targets, but by using some new image-enhancement tools we’re able to eliminate the glare from the cellophane to clearly see the product underneath.”
Any industry where fast, precise or repetitive measurements or readings are required can benefit from machine vision, says Ben Dawson, director of strategic development, Dalsa (www.dalsa.com). “Examples include measuring caliper diameters on bolts, defects in flat-screen TVs, shape and color of baked goods or agricultural products and critical tolerances for medical devices,” he explains.
IPD VA61 GigE-ready vision appliance has two expandable GigE camera ports and industrial I/O and processor for multiple monochrome or color GigE cameras applications. It supports resolutions 640x480 to 1,600x1,200 and Spyder 3 line-scan cameras that have dual-line-scan technology for improved noise immunity. The VA61 can power and drive cameras locally via dedicated camera I/O connections or interface with them remotely using Ethernet only.
NI 1744, 1762 and 1764 smart cameras are shipped with NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection interactive software and integrate with LabView and the NI library of image processing and machine-vision algorithms. A 533 MHz PowerPC powers NI 1744, with a high-resolution image sensor that acquires images up to 1.3 megapixels (1,280x1,024). NI 1762 has a 720 MHz TI DSP coprocessor alongside the 533 MHz PowerPC. NI 1764 offers the highest resolution and performance, featuring the 1.3 megapixel sensor and the 720 MHz coprocessor.
|NO PC REQUIRED
The iVu series TG image sensor combines the simplicity of a photoelectric sensor and the intelligence of a vision sensor. It offers three advanced sensor types in one compact, rugged package, integrated or external lighting, 68.5-mm LCD touchscreen, software emulator to program the iVu off-line, 752x480 CMOS imager, remote teach function, onboard USB port for upload/download to USB drive and inspection/system logging for rapid analysis.
CV-5000 vision system has a 5-megapixel camera for transferring ultra-high-definition images in 61.2 msec. Connecting extra lighting controllers or camera expansion units to either side of the base controller creates a solution without added PLC programming or wiring. New algorithms detect foreign objects or burrs on irregularly shaped profiles and filter out glare or background noise. The controllers have built-in statistical functions that let the user view the inspection results in real-time.