How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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Another year has gone by and we're all preparing for VISION 2008 in Stuttgart. Last year we stumbled around just a bit as we got acquainted with the new Messe. It should go much smoother for everyone this time around. The fair will be held in Halls 4 and 6 with a gross exhibition area of 20,000 square meters (more than 215,000 square feet). That's 5,000 square meters more than last year's show.
The most exciting thing about the show—not including the legendary Stemmer party—is getting a first look at all the new products sure to be exhibited. But, of course, there's more. For example, the first application-oriented special show "Automotive Application Park: Watch with ease!" will be held. It's a joint stand promoted by BMWi that will give young companies an opportunity to show their products. VISION Academy will organize workshops for first-time machine vision attendees. For more on the show, see our preview on Page 22. And during the show, be sure to check our web site, www.advancedimagingpro.com, for updates.
Since this issue will be distributed at VISION, it makes sense to include machine vision stories. Our lead piece is about new 3D inspection technology. It actually made its debut at last year's VISION show and I was impressed. AQSENSE, a Spanish company, uses shape-processor software that allows the alignment and comparison of dense 3D clouds of points with their respective models in a fraction of a second. The company's technical director, Dr. Josep Forest, explains the technology on Page 8.
On the subject of inspection and analysis, there's an interesting development in CMOS sensors—pixel shaping. Dr. Guy Meynants, co-founder and CEO of CMOSIS in Antwerp, Belgium, describes a demand for image acquisition systems featuring a global shutter and the widest possible dynamic range. On Page 12 he explains how that demand shifts the center of the design targets of application-specific CMOS image sensors from integration of additional functionality to novel ways of shaping the pixels and the electronic circuitry.
And, as we all know, if you don't have proper illumination, your whole project probably is doomed. Ken Zeiler of Mercron (Richardson, Texas) explains how to integrate fluorescent illumination into a machine vision project. He also provides a warning. "The fluorescent lamp is particularly affected by even small changes in ambient temperature," he writes on Page 18, "but this characteristic is routinely overlooked by machine vision integrators.... Even the most tedious and scrupulous design engineer can overlook heating problems in an application that may cause problems in the field."
Next stop Stuttgart. Be sure to stop by our booth, A87 in Hall 4, to say hello. I'm looking forward to seeing those of you I know and meeting those I don't.