Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Sensors: Capturing An Iimage and A Whole Lot More

Checker Vision Sensor
Cognex introduces new Checker Vision Sensor.
TDI-CCD provides enhanced sensitivity from Hamamatsu.
LMI Technologies Firesync’s modular vision sensor platform
LMI Technologies Firesync’s modular vision sensor platform allows for rapid development of machine vision systems .
 Sensors Unlimited, Inc. announces high sensitivity, extended shortwave infrared wavelength linear arrays for advanced imaging.
Sensors Unlimited, Inc. announces high sensitivity, extended shortwave infrared wavelength linear arrays for advanced imaging.

By Stacey Meacham

A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal that can be read by an observer or by an instrument. Applications include automobiles, machines, aerospace, medicine, industry, and robotics.

Cognex Corp. (Natick, Mass.), has added the Checker® 232 model to its Checker vision sensor product line. Designed to inspect small features over a wide area, Checker 232 provides reliable inspection results on the fastest production lines, detecting and inspecting up to 1,500 parts per minute. Checker 232 is ideal for applications where small features are being inspected on large parts, such as the inspection of clips and springs on large automotive assemblies. Checker 232 is also ideal when a much longer working distance is needed and the vision sensor must be mounted far from the area to be inspected. Unlike traditional sensors, there's no limit to the number of part features that a single Checker can inspect. Checker uses patent-pending multi-image analysis to determine if a part is present without an external trigger, greatly simplifying installation. This unique capability also enables Checker to track parts in varying positions along the production line, overcoming imprecise part positioning and delivering consistent, precisely timed pass/fall results. The Checker 200 series are simple to set up, small enough to fit almost anywhere, and offer IP67 protection. Checker 232 joins three existing 200 series models: The Checker 200 for part detection, the Checker 201 for part detection and inspection, and the Checker 202, with ladder logic that can be used when more complex pass/fail inspections and decisions are required.

DALSA Corp. (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) announces the availability of the High Quanta family of sensors tailored for scientific, life sciences, and astronomy applications. DALSA's High Quanta sensors are large-format area sensors that provide a new benchmark in imaging performance. Using advanced fabrication techniques to realize smaller CCD transistor structures, these sensors achieve incredible improvements in noise performance and quantum efficiency; peaking at more than 75 percent. The new sensors also employ the latest designs in output amplifiers providing exceptionally low noise at high data rates. The High Quanta sensor family is ideal for low-light imaging. The High Quanta family currently includes three sensors with resolutions of 2084 x 2084, 1044 x 1044 and 524 x 524 and feature a 24 µm size pixel. For those applications demanding ultra violet sensitivity and greater than 90 percent QE, back side thinned devices will be available on a custom basis.

Hamamatsu's (Bridgewater, N.J.) four new CCD sensors are back-thinned, full-frame transfer CCDs designed for Time Delay Integration (TDI) operation. These TDI-CCDs capture clear images of fast-moving objects by transferring signal charges from one pixel to the next in the same direction and speed as the moving object. Through this process, a single exposure can be integrated over the many vertical stages in the sensor. Each TDI-CCD sensor features 128 vertical stages, resulting in approximately 128 times greater signal strength than conventional non-TDI sensors. This enhanced sensitivity is complemented by the sensors' multiple output ports, which yield a high-speed line rate of 50 kHz or greater. The new sensors share the same pixel size (12 x 12 microns) and have different numbers of channels and output ports.

LMI Technologies, Inc. (Delta, British Columbia, Canada) has developed a complete modular vision sensor platform of hardware and software components under its FireSync™ brand. The system allows fast and easy integration of components into a scalable machine vision system along with microsecond synchronization. LMI's FireSync™platform allows developing a single unified design for building vision applications ranging from smart sensors to complex web scanning systems anywhere from specification to final assembly. FireSync™ solves the classic problem of synchronization between lighting, camera and processing components and allows developing a fully scalable design. The FireSync™ platform consists of a number of tightly integrated OEM hardware and software components. Components include sensor controllers, camera and embedded sensors, machine vision software, industrial computers, lighting and others. Components selected can be configured in a number of different ways, depending on the need and application. With high performance image streaming, these components are combined with proportional/functional control of sub-components, the synchronization of image collection to within microsecond accuracy, simple cabling and impressive stitching. The sensor controller precisely controls the camera light and DSP (digital signal processor) functions. Once de-serialized, image data is transferred directly to host memory, compressed through processing by the DSP and transferred to PC systems over Gigabit Ethernet for further distribution and reduction.

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