Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Cost-justified High Speed Cameras Help Industries in Tighter Economic Times


By Stacey Meacham

Like most embedded systems, machine-vision applications consistently face escalating challenges for higher levels of intelligence processing combined with tightening allowances for power consumption and physical size. Add in current economic factors facing nearly every industry and what is left is a struggle to find the right camera for the job at the right price.

"Perhaps the fastest growing segment in the high-speed camera market is the 'under $10,000 category,'" said John J. Foley, Executive Vice President of Fastec Imaging Corp. (San Diego, Calif.). "As camera prices have come down, manufacturing companies are finding that a high-speed camera can now be more easily cost-justified by helping to reduce waste, increase productivity and reduce machine downtime," he said. "Historically, the 'power users' for high-speed cameras have been universities, research laboratories and military test ranges. The advent of small, inexpensive point-and-shoot high-speed cameras has helped to open up the production and packaging line troubleshooting arena. Companies in such key industries as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, converted paper products and personal-care products are reaping the benefits of these new 'low-end' high-speed cameras."

Cypress Lupa 1300 Image Sensor Socket from AndonAndon (Lincoln, R.I.) has developed a new Image Sensor Socket for the 68-pin Lupa Image Sensor. Andon's socket for Thru-hole is IS230-6367D-75M-P27-L14-A and for Surface Mount is IS230-6367D-384M-P27-L14-A. The socket eliminates production-line ESD problems. RoHS soldering at high-temperature damages the color array and causes PCB blistering. It also eliminates aggressive cleaning solutions that can soften the glass seal and cloud the glass cover as well as eliminating exposure to humidity and shock. The socket is soldered onto the PCB and the image sensor is plugged into the socket after all other assembly. Replacements and upgrades are fast and easy on vision systems preventing costly down time. The Andon unique sensor socket SENSTAC™ CONTACT was specifically designed for image sensors to maintain the focal length and are produced in-house to accept various lead sizes.The insulators match the mother board for CTE to prevent distortion.


Basler Introduces new Low-cost scout light FireWire Camera SeriesBasler Vision Technologies (Ahrensburg, Germany) is adding the new Basler scout light series to its product portfolio. This series consists of four new camera models based on Sony CCD sensors and Micron's popular MT9V CMOS sensor. The Basler scout light is aimed at very price-sensitive applications. The four camera models in wide VGA, XGA, 1.3 megapixels and 2 megapixels resolution feature a standard IEEE 1394b interface. All cameras are equipped with a standard C-mount lens adapter and are available with monochrome sensors. The cameras provide progressive scan readout and global shutter technology. Aside from the trend towards GigE Vision, Basler still sees numerous applications where IEEE 1394b technology is beneficial, especially in applications with only one camera and short distances between camera and computer. The Basler scout light camera models come in a compact 29 mm x 44 mm x 73.7 mm industrial-proven housing with screw mount options for the IEEE 1394b connector. The cameras also feature one industrial proven input and one output through a Hirose-connector for tight fit. Basler's free-of-charge pylon driver package supports both GigE and FireWire cameras. The Basler pylon SDK enables straightforward integration into existing applications via extensive documentation and code samples that can often be simply cut and pasted into customer applications. The pylon driver technology developed by


New network components for industrial GigE cameras from Baumer.Baumer (Southington, Conn.) introduces several versatile network components to support their industrial customers with a complete GigE system solution. With the tremendous growth in the use of both standard and PoE GigE cameras, the lack of appropriate industrial network components is concerning. To rectify the situation, Baumer has developed innovative industrial power switches and power injectors. The components are designed to meet industrial standards with an operation voltage between 24 and 48 volts and DIN rail mounting. The injectors can supply operating voltages for up to two independent PoE cameras. The new power switches are available in different variations. The four-port switch allows you to connect up to three cameras. All ports are able to handle standard GigE cameras as well as PoE cameras. A clever technique automatically identifies which type of camera is connected to each port and delivers power only if requested by the camera. The extended six-port switch is even more flexible and provides two more ports where the last port can be used as a standard copper port or as a SFP-compatible fiber optic port to realize set-ups in harsh environments or to communicate over longer distances.


BDR Group is integrating the processing power and connectivity of an analog device into the BDR Embedded Camera.BDR Group (Nes-Ziona, Israel) is integrating the processing power and connectivity of an analog device Blackfin BF548 into the BDR Embedded Camera (BEC)—the company's newest family of industrialimaging modules. BEC is a family of digital cameras for machine vision applications with fast USB 2.0 connection and embedded digital signal processor capable of performing advanced image processing algorithms in the camera on the fly and capable of storing a buffer of images on the camera without the need to send all images to the PC. For this new line of high end USB2 Cameras, BDR's choice to base their design on the Blackfin processor takes BEC-based cameras to a new level of quality for real-time imaging with exceptional on-camera image processing capacity. The BEC's processor-centric architecture transfers real-time image data from the module's sophisticated on-camera sensor directly to the Blackfin BF548 high performance DSP for processing.


The Cognex Model 252 adds pass/fail inspection of height, width.Cognex Corp. (Natick, Mass.)has expanded its Checker vision sensor product line with the Checker 252 model. The 252 includes all inspection capabilities of the award-winning Checker vision sensor family, plus additional software sensors that verify height, width, and diameter and deliver reliable pass/fail results on high-speed production lines.Key to the simplicity of the Checker 252 is its One-Click Setup. By simply clicking on the center of the part feature to be inspected, an image of a familiar caliper appears and locks on the edges of the part feature, sets the minimum and maximum thresholds, and learns edge polarity...all automatically. As with other Checker models, the 252 is available with the Cognex SensorView 350, a compact, industrial, panel-mount display.


Dual line scan provides ease-of-use and affordability for color imaging from Dalsa.DALSA Corp.'s (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) Spyder3 Color camera provides high color fidelity, ease of use, and affordable solutions for the fast growing color imaging market. The Spyder3 Color camera is based on DALSA's successful Spyder3 monochrome models using dual line sensor technology. The Spyder3 Color camera is well-suited for food, drug, cotton, textile, wood, and tile inspection, recycle sorting, and other general machine vision applications. Combining DALSA's patented dual line scan architecture and high quality pigment color filters, the Spyder3 Color provides excellent color quality, reliability and affordability. DALSA's Spyder3 Color offers 2k and 4k resolutions with a 14x14μm or 10x10 μm pixel size. It offers both Camera Link and GigE interfaces.Key features and benefits include: high resolution; high throughput; RGB, RG/BG, or G only color formats; choice of interface; and cost-effective.


Edmund Optics expands its USB machine vision camera line suitable for harsh and space limited environments.Edmund Optics (Barrington, N.J.)announces the expansion of its USB 2.0 intelligent machine vision cameras line to include Harsh Environment (HE) and Lite Edition (LE) versions. The USB cameras feature ultra-compact housing, progressive scanning, adjustable frame rate, and a powerful, easy-to-use software interface. The EO family of USB 2.0 cameras includes a software interface that allows users to set a specified Area of interest , gain, exposure time, frame rate, trigger delay and even digital output (flash) delay and duration. The camera software enables capturing of still images in JPEG and bitmap file format or video in AVI format. Additionally the software can perform edge enhancement, image mirroring and image binning, in the vertical and horizontal directions, as well as hot pixel correction. Direct Show (WDM), ActiveX and TWAIN drivers as well as SDK documentation are included. The HE (Harsh Environment) versions of the EO USB 2.0 cameras feature a sealed, rugged housing making the EO USB HE cameras suitable for harsh environments. When used in conjunction with the optional lens tubes, they meet the requirements of protection class IP 65 and IP 67. The USB and the I/O signals are connected via two connectors, which comply with the same protection class (HE cameras utilize non-standard USB connectors). Each camera features a 41mm x 41mm x 25.4mm housing and weighs only 32g. Interchangeable lenses offer tremendous versatility for machine vision and inspection applications. The EO family cameras are available in four resolution and speed combinations ranging from 752x480-pixels at 87 fps to 2560x1920-pixels at 6 fps. Lower resolution cameras are available in monochrome or color versions while the higher resolution cameras are color-only. Each camera in the family features a progressive-scan CMOS sensor, software-based exposure control, C-mount lens fittings, and a USB 2.0 interface. The cameras have the same 34x32x27.4-mm dimensions, allowing users to interchange cameras without system modifications.

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