BOA, the new optical inspection system from Dalsa (Billerica, MA) aims to make inspection easy, yet cost-effective.
When Quality magazine spoke to Dalsa in early August, the product was still in its beta phase; the main launch will be at the Vision show in Stuttgart, Germany, November 3 to 5, 2009. The company is excited about the new offering. “We hadn’t been a big player in single-point inspection,” says Steve Geraghty, director of Dalsa IPD, but the company anticipates that this new product will garner interest for a range of customers, from machine builders to manufacturers.
The system differentiates itself in the market by offering customers an all-in-one vision system without the price tag that would typically come with such a system, Geraghty says.
“It fits a nice niche between vision sensors and mid-range vision systems,” he adds.
The product is aimed at end product manufacturers that use, or are looking to use, vision to improve quality or increase productivity through automation; machine builders looking for vision-based industrial platforms that can be customized to meet their needs; and small equipment manufacturers looking for a private brand platform to accelerate their time to market, says Geraghty.
He describes BOA as an optical inspection system for quality control and factory automation. It is a highly integrated smart camera that comprises all of the elements of an industrial machine vision system: sensor, light control, processing, input/output, factory communications, developer and operator application interfaces, and protective enclosure. It has multiple processing engines: algorithm optimization via digital signal processing, application management via a central processing unit and sensor management via field-programmable gate array.
The product includes embedded application software set up through a Web browser so there’s no software to install. It also has an easy-to-mount enclosure, built-in factory communications and a low deployment cost.
BOA starts at $1,995, which includes software. Dalsa’s iNspect software alone usually sells for $1,500. The built-in software is a key part of the product, says Geraghty: “We differentiate ourselves in the software.”
Dalsa offers a dual-software strategy supported by a full range of hardware deployment options: smart cameras, vision appliances and industrial PCs.
The software is easy for novices to use, but still flexible enough for advanced applications, says Geraghty. BOA includes a full complement of vision tools. It also offers multi-language support, direct support for programmable logic controllers and factory protocols, and support for inline and background scripting, which offers greater application control.
The software includes image logging and runtime history viewing, runtime editing and customization, user access control and data logging for CFR Part 11 compliance, and Emulator for offline editing.
BOA can be applied to industries including automotive, electronics, medical, packaging and pharmaceutical. Automotive applications include wheel inspection, bearing inspection, assembly or part verification, adhesive bead inspection and robot guidance.
The first version, BVS-0640M, with a 640 by 480 charge-coupled device sensor, was released this month, with the BVS-0640C to follow in November. Higher resolution models are in development as well.
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