How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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Asynchronous control refers to the start and stop of an exposure (and therefore the frame period and integration time of the camera) when controlled by an external signal. This is a camera functionality that can be used when the exposure of the camera has to be locked to an external signal, such as a strobe lighting signal or a conveyor belt move.
This parameter is often important to machine vision users since the camera acts as a slave to the system and the camera needs to act without any delay to the external signal.
Another camera feature that can be important is the sensor mounting accuracy and the sensor mounting stability in the camera. An accurate and reproducible sensor position eliminates the need for adjustments, maximizing production time, minimizing down time. Besides that, it is important that the sensor position remain stable over time and temperature, even when the camera suffers vibration in the system. The best way to achieve accurate and reproducible sensor mounting is for the sensor to be aligned by the camera manufacturer with a high accuracy in X, Y, Z, rotation and perpendicularity.
The ease to be able to upgrade the system, for example to a camera with a higher resolution, is another important factor to consider. Camera manufacturers that offer a complete line of cameras with similar mechanical, electrical, and software interface will minimize the development time and the risks for a system upgrade.
Since there is no perfect camera for every application, it is important to consider the tradeoffs made by different camera manufacturers to determine the best fit for your system. Data sheets cannot provide all of the information required and some specifications can be reported differently. Since quantification of other important features such as image quality is very difficult, it is often important to test several cameras in your system. Camera manufacturers employ application engineers and have evaluation programs to help you fully analyze different options.