INDUSTRIAL

Inspection Cameras

Industrial cameras are designed to face the challenges of high or varying ambient temperatures, shocks and vibrations and long-time operation for maximum durability and reliability

Industrial Inspection cameras are often used for automated inspection, quality assurance testing, medical imaging, laboratory automation, video security, night vision surveillance and many other applications.  There are a variety of camera types including CMOS, CCD and infrared cameras with interfaces including FireWire, Camera Link, Camera Link HS, GigE Vision, CoaXPress, USB 2.0, and USB3 Vision. How an Industrial Camera Works? Typical industrial cameras include an image sensor (CCD or CMOS), lens and a digital interface. With hundreds of thousands of light sensitive cells (or pixels), the image sensor converts light into electrons. The digital interface then converts the electron output to form an image and transfers it to a computer. Industrial cameras include a variety of types such as analog and digital,colour or monochrome and in the digital arena, there are line scan and area scan cameras. Other industrial camera types include block cameras, board level cameras, UV, Infrared, HD, multi-CCD and smart cameras.

Frame Grabbers

Frame grabbers and capture cards allow the user to capture, record, or broadcast high resolution and high frame rate video signals from virtually any display source without loss in quality or resolution

PC-based Machine Vision systems all require an interface between the camera and computer. In modern systems this is based on a number of machine vision camera interface standards. Some interfacing standards use the consumer ports that reside inside a PC such as USB or FireWire while others require an additional camera interface card often called a frame grabber. A frame grabber captures individual, digital still frames from an analog video signal or a digital video stream. Usually video frames are captured in digital form and then displayed, stored or transmitted in raw or compressed digital form. Historically, frame grabbers were the predominant way to interface cameras to PCs. This has substantially changed in recent years as direct camera connections via USB, Ethernet and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interfaces have become prevalent. Early frame grabbers had only enough memory to acquire or grab and store a single digitised video frame, hence the name. Modern frame grabbers typically can store multiple frames and compress them in real-time using algorithms such as MPEG-2 and JPEG. Frame grabbers that perform compression on the video frames are referred to as ’Active Frame Grabbers’, while frame grabbers that simply capture raw video data are called ’Passive Frame Grabbers’. Technological demands in fields such as radar acquisition, manufacturing and remote guidance have led to the development of frame grabbers with the ability to capture images at high frame rates and resolutions.

Machine Vision

Machine vision has become a key technology in manufacturing and quality control due to the increasing quality demands of manufacturers and customers

Machine vision utilises industrial image processing through the use of cameras mounted over production lines and cells in order to visually inspect products in real-time without operator intervention. Machine vision (also called ‘industrial vision‘ or ’vision systems‘) is primarily focused on computer vision in the context of industrial manufacturing processes, be it in the inspection process itself (e.g. checking a measurement or identifying a character string is printed correctly) or through some other responsive input needed for control (e.g. robot control or type verification). The machine vision system can consist of a number of cameras all capturing, interpreting and signalling individually with a control system related to some pre-determined tolerance or requirement.

Intelligent Transport Systems

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are used to add information and communications technologies to transport infrastructure and vehicles which can result in major improvements in safety, network management and information provision

Increasingly, transport authorities need to better manage traffic and other road users to minimise congestion and the impact of incident and maintenance activities. ITS enables the intelligent management of traffic and provides quantifiable evidence of the success of management approaches. There are a number of ways in which ITS can be used to optimise the service provided by public transport – something that is essential if people are to be encouraged out of their cars and onto buses and trains. The main aim being to reduce pressure on road space and give public transport priority in congested traffic, making it a more viable option.

 

Code Readers / Scanners

Industrial product identification has become a standard function in industrial automation

It is an essential part of a modern production facility. When employed for controlling the manufacturing process, the product identification has to meet the same availability criteria as all other components involved in the manufacturing process. To achieve this, corresponding components and technologies are now available to industry. The plant design is crucial for success and should take into account the influences exerted by an industrial production environment, the properties of the product materials and the applications. Code readers reliably capture 1D- and 2D-codes; depending on the type, printed to directly marked, omnidirectional, static or in fast motion, inverse or mirrored codes. 

Optically Readable Markings Advantages: 

  • Very low-cost marking methods available (e.g., inkjet printing)
  • Resistant to high temperatures (laser printing)
  • Resistant to high mechanical stresses (embossing into metal)
  • Reading simultaneously, supplies the exact position of the code in the image

Disadvantages: 

  • Reading requires positioning in the field of view of the reader
  • Bad visibility in the production affects the reading rate
     

RFID Tags/Labels (See our Identification section) Advantages: 

  • Data media can be written to and are rewritable
  • Low-cost labels available (UHF)
  • Minimal reading requirements on the positioning of the product

Disadvantages: 

  • Products with high metal content require special data storage types
  • High temperatures require special data storage types or are an exclusion criteria