Quality Magazine

Stand-Alone Camera Systems to be Highlighted at Vision 2010

August 24, 2010

The machine vision industry is still showing a high degree of innovative capacity even though it suffered a temporary drop in turnover in 2009. This innovative capacity will also be demonstrated at Vision 2010, the world’s leading trade fair for machine vision, which will be held for the 23rd time from 9 to 11 November 2010. The technological focal points of Vision 2010 at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre will include, for example, further developments of camera systems with different standard interfaces. Stand-alone camera systems, which integrate complete PC functions, will be highlighted in particular. They must satisfy strict requirements and provide superb test quality through high image resolution, a high degree of flexibility during use, a compact design and first-rate functional safety by means of efficient software. They must also be easy to program and install.

Cognex will celebrate a premiere at Vision 2010 with In-Sight 5605, a complete stand-alone vision system. “The smooth interaction between all performance characteristics leads to greater cost-effectiveness of the application solution,” says Torsten Zöller, European marketing communication manager at Cognex. The image resolution of 5 megapixels and a frame rate of 16 frames per second (fps) mean that larger or even several objects can be simultaneously detected with maximum precision, but still very quickly. The system also features a complete library of highly efficient Cognex vision tools and a gigabit Ethernet connection (GigE). Zöller adds: “Different performance characteristics enable the stand-alone vision system to use applications which were previously reserved for PC-based solutions, for example localization of tiny edge defects or simultaneous reading in real time of 1D and 2D codes of palletized products.” Products can also be traced precisely in combination with the optional In-Sight Track & Trace software package.

Leutron Vision is also following the trend towards completely independently operating vision systems for complex machine vision tasks, including the development environment. The company will present the available version of the CheckSight PC camera, which has a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor from the Embedded line, at VISION 2010 for the first time. It is a combination of a camera and a PC in a rigid compact cabinet with numerous interfaces such as GigE, DVI-D for monitors, audio I/O, USB 2.0, TTL and opto-coupled I/Os and RS 232. One special feature is the modular design which allows the user to select - from 26 image sensors CCD and CMOS in resolutions from VGA to 5 megapixels - as a colour or monochrome version. Windows XP SP3 is currently used as the operating system. Thanks to the compact flash card as an internal memory, the operating system or software configuration can be very easily replaced.

“The CheckSight PC camera is utilised wherever there is a need for a compact system with high computing power, for example during complex inspection tasks or traffic monitoring,” says Erwin Herre from the sales department of Leutron Vision GmbH.

Imaging Diagnostics also attaches great importance to a modular design and, thus, high flexibility. Maxx Vision will present the latest DSP-based USB 2.0 smart camera from Imaging Diagnostics at Vision 2010. The modular cameras from the µCamelot Series feature a powerful Blackfin processor (600 MHz, 8 MB RAM), WVGA resolutions up to 10 megapixels, flexible GPIOs (general purpose input/output) and camera software which can be programmed according to customer specifications. The smart cameras are available as a board variant with very compact dimensions of 24 x 24 mm or complete with an aluminium housing (29 x 29 x 29 mm). Lenses can be connected via C-mount or an M12 adapter.

The new nano model of the smart camera VC6210 nano, which will be presented for the first time at Vision 2010, is said to be intelligent, extremely powerful and space-saving. According to the manufacturer, its 32 MB Flash and 128 MB DDRAM mean that it has more storage space than any other VC camera. With a 700 MHz digital signal processor and computing power of 5,600 MIPS, it is also extremely fast and efficient and performs all machine vision tasks without an external PC. Pictures are taken by a global shutter CMOS sensor. “It can match up to the efficiency of a CCD sensor and supply pin sharp pictures even in extremely quick applications”, says Jan-Erik Schmitt, managing director of Vision Components. In addition to the standard SPS I/Os, a 100 MB Ethernet interface and a RS 232 interface – an optional extra - are offered.

After Basler Vision Technologies launched the “ace” 2D camera series with CCD image sensors at Vision 2009, this will be followed this year by a new member of the “ace” series with a CMOS sensor and a resolution of 5 megapixels (14 fps). Other models are currently being planned. “The camera uses innovative algorithms to substantially improve the colour quality of the pictures”, says Henning Tiaras, product manager at Basler. The compact housing and low power consumption ensure that the camera can also be used in confined, closed applications, e.g. medical systems. Great advantages are offered by the GigE interface with Power over Ethernet technology, which makes installation easier and reduces the amount of wiring required.

Baumer is also relying on the standard GigE interface with Power over Ethernet. Developers at Baumer are now going one step further with dual GigE technology which permits the integration of cameras with fast sensors and high frame rates in a GigE network. The new interface reaches the double bandwidth of GigE and is able with 240 MB/s to exploit the full performance of Kodak quad-tap sensors. Baumer will present SXG industrial cameras, the first products to contain a dual GigE interface, at Vision 2010. These cameras feature resolutions ranging from 1 to 8 megapixels and frame rates of up to 120 fps. “The redundant system concept,” says Jens Klattenhoff, sales and marketing manager at Baumer, “also leads to increased transmission security which enables the camera to be reliably operated even if one of the two Ethernet cables fails.”

The new high-speed video system from Mikrotron may be just the right solution when it is necessary to analyse quick processes in industry or research. MotionBlitz LTR1 for long-time recording will be presented for the first time at VISION 2010. Thanks to an extremely light-sensitive and compact camera from the EoSens Series, video recordings of up t0 165 minutes can be made directly on the hard disk with a full image resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 pixels and 506 fps. The integrated region of interest (ROI) function allows variable arrangement of image fields in terms of their position, resolution and speed, and facilitates recording frequencies of up to 30,000 fps. LTR1 is offered as a complete system comprising a 19” rack PC, a compact 1.3 megapixel CMOS camera, a CameraLink frame grabber, cables and operating software. “Thanks to the high-speed LTR1 video system, turbulences in liquids or gases, the behaviour of fine dust in a vacuum or processes in medical diagnostics can be ideally observed”, says Jürgen Zimmermann, managing director of Mikrotron.

Stemmer Imaging will exhibit a very special highlight at Vision 2010. The company will present the LQ-200CL, a world innovation of the Danish industrial camera manufacturer JAI. This 4 CCD line camera can simultaneously record image data in the red, green, blue and near infrared range (NIR). “As the only industrial 4 CCD line camera available on the market with a prism block, it works with a dichromatic hard material coating,” says Peter Stiefenhöfer, marketing manager at Stemmer Imaging. The four CCD sensors are mounted on this specially developed optical prism, which divides the light into red, green, blue and green NIR color channels. Their precise alignment on the same optical axis is ensured by means of a patented alignment method. The camera records a maximum of 19,048 lines per second. “Thanks to the NIR sensor, it is now possible to detect a large number of additional defects. The prism block technology eliminates the complex configuration of the system, which is normally required in trilinear line cameras,” adds Stiefenhöfer. A large number of pre-processing functions are also available, e.g. flat field correction, gamma correction and gain correction, as well as manual or automatic white balance.

As an international showcase with around 300 exhibitors of machine vision technologies, Vision 2010 will present the following products on a total gross exhibition area of 20,000 square metres in Halls 4 and 6 at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre: innovative camera systems, vision sensors, frame grabbers, illumination, lasers, optics/lenses, optical filters, accessories, software libraries, application-specific machine vision systems, configurable machine vision systems and complete solutions and services. The extended “Integration Area” and the “Application Park” will re-emphasise the user proximity of Vision 2010. The extremely diverse accompanying programme will also inform experts about the latest state of the art, will provide innovative solutions and will promote the exchange of know-how.