ALLIED VISION TECHNOLOGIES - DIGITAL MACHINE VISION CAMERAS Allied Vision Technologies GmbH (AVT) designs, produces and sells cameras and components for image processing in industrial and life science applications such as industrial automation, medical imaging, traffic monitoring and more. With innovative products, superior manufacturing quality and a service-driven organization, Allied Vision Technologies is well established as a premier provider of digital camera solutions for machine vision worldwide. Allied Vision Technologies owns subsidiaries in Germany, the USA, Canada, Singapore and China, and is represented by distribution partners in more than 30 countries. INNOVATIVE R&D Building on more than 20 years experience in the machine vision market, AVT engineers develop high-tech digital camera solutions for the most demanding applications both in the visible and non-visible spectrum (infrared). CAMERAS FOR ALL APPLICATIONS All AVT cameras are manufactured by Allied Vision Technologies' own production sites located in Germany and Canada. Highly skilled staff and clean room facilities ensure the highest level of quality. All cameras that leave the production floor undergo a thorough quality test prior to shipment. AVT offers one of the largest camera portfolios with digital interfaces in the market, featuring a large number of monochrome, color and infrared sensitive sensors in resolutions from VGA (0.3 Megapixels) up to 29 Megapixels. The different camera families provide a large choice of form factors, image optimization functions and interfaces (FireWire, GigE Vision, Camera Link and USB3 Vision) for any application. Besides standard models for mainstream machine vision applications, the AVT portfolio includes high-performance cameras in the visible and non-visible spectrum for demanding applications such as highspeed, infrared, medical imaging, or thermal imaging. Allied Vision Technologies is well recognized in the market as the specialist for camera customizations.Thanks to the AVT Modular Concept, a wide range of modifications such as angled heads, optical filters, board-level versions, medical housings or alternative cable outlets are available "à la carte".Allied Vision Technologies has a strong expertise in specific OEM camera development. FIRST CLASS SERVICE AVT's sales and technical support teams counsel and assist customers in choosing the right camera, selecting appropriate accessories and SDKs, installing and running the camera quickly and efficiently.AVT has established itself as a market leader in custom designed camera modifications to meet with specific requirements not addressed by standard camera models. MAKE THE SMART CAMERA CHOICE MATROX IRIS GT WITH MATROX DESIGN ASSISTANT The Matrox Iris GT smart camera with Matrox Design Assistant is intended for system integrators, machine builders, and OEMs who need to quickly configure and deploy machine vision applications. The smart camera offers a dustproof, immersion-resistant and extremely rugged construction. A choice of image sensors, combined with an efficient Intel® Atom® embedded processor, allow the camera to tackle a wide variety of applications. Matrox Design Assistant is an intuitive, versatile and extendable integrated development environment (IDE), which allows applications to be created by constructing a flowchart.Video capture, analysis, location, measurement, reading, verification, communication and I/O operations, as well as a web-based operator interface are all set up within this single IDE. SMART CAMERA OFFERS STREAMLINED APPLICATION FLOWCHART AND HMI DESIGN Matrox Iris GT smart cameras work Matrox Design Assistant 3.0, the latest release of its flowchart-based integrated development environment (IDE). The Iris GT smart camera and Design Assistant software bundle has always offered full-featured hardware, an intuitive flowchartbased development environment, and field-proven vision tools. With Design Assistant 3.0, it's become even faster and easier for users to design their application's flowchart and HMI. Plus, Matrox Imaging now offers optional advance replacement and extended warranties for these smart cameras. Design Assistant 3.0 smart camera software simplifies and accelerates HMI design with more ready-made operator view layouts. The new analysis status step consolidates decision making and simplifies flowchart design, while filmstrip views ensure that previously analyzed images are close at hand.Release 3.0 also permits monitoring and controlling multiple smart cameras via a multi-camera HMI application and provides support for PROFINET communication, which allows for direct interfacing to Siemens automation devices. This latest version of Design Assistant includes other enhancements that improve productivity and the appearance of the operator interface. Matrox Iris GT color smart cameras work with Design Assistant 2.4 software to offer new possibilities for manufacturing control and inspection.Matrox Design Assistant 2.4 introduces a set of tools to identify parts, products, and items using color, assess quality from color, and isolate features using color. The Color Matcher step determines the best matching color from a collection of samples for each region of interest within an image. A color sample can be specified interactively from an image- with the ability to mask undesired colors-or through the use of numerical values. A color sample can be a single color or a distribution of colors (i.e., histogram). Matrox Design Assistant's fixturing capability can establish the regions where colors are to be matched using the results of other steps such as Model Finder. The color matching method and the interpretation of color differences can be manually adjusted to suit particular application requirements.The Color Matcher step can also match each image pixel to color samples, which segments the image into appropriate elements for further analysis using other steps such as Blob Analysis. The Image Processing step includes operations to calculate the color distance and perform color projection. The distance operation reveals the extent of color differences within and between images, while the projection operation enhances color to grayscale image conversion for analysis using other grayscale processing steps. In addition to color analysis tools, Matrox Design Assistant 2.4 introduces several features to facilitate project design and maintenance. To learn more about Matrox Iris GT smart cameras, or to order your free 30-day smart camera software, visit: www.matrox.com/imaging. TECHSPEC® COMPACT FIXED FOCAL LENGTH LENSES • High resolution design with industry leading price-to-performance ratio • Ruggedized tamper-proof housing • Visible and VIS-NIR options available Designed for use in machine vision applications, Edmund Optics TECHSPEC® Compact Fixed Focal Length lenses are ideal for use in factory automation, inspection or qualification.These machine vision lenses have been optically designed with the working distance and resolution requirements of factory automation and inspection in mind. Featuring large maximum apertures, these high performance lenses can be used in even the most restrictive lighting conditions.Each lens has a broadband anti-reflection coating, which increases transmission by up to 12 percent over the standard MgF2 coating on competitive lenses. The TECHSPEC® Compact Fixed Focal Length lenses feature locking iris and focus adjustment with recessed set screws to prevent unintentional lens adjustments. The lens housing is ruggedized and robust, yet compact enough for space-restrictive applications. Each lens is manufactured to a high tolerance, resulting in high levels of imaging performance and low lens-tolens variation, assuring simple installation into multiple systems. Combining high optical performance, industrial features and small package size, these lenses represent a new standard in factory automation optics. COMPARISON OF INDUSTRIAL VISION SENSORS TO STANDARD PHOTOELECTRIC SENSORS IN COMPLEX SORTING, CHECKING AND EVALUATING APPLICATIONS Requirements for product testing varies widely within the market. Clearly, there are a variety of means to accomplish this task from simple photoelectric sensors capable of evaluating a single feature to expensive custom vision systems with nearly endless capabilities, limited only by the size of one's checkbook. In the end, however, the questions are "How much testing is necessary?" and "How can one minimize the costs of such testing?" Let's look at some decision points of a new series of product called "vision sensors," and how they might relate to this continuum of testing needs from simple to complicated. The vision sensor emerged on the market several years ago. Recently, with the participation of many vendors and an array of products in their offering, the number quickly escalated so that today there are myriad products to choose from. From a hardware standpoint, vision sensors share common capabilities with vision systems and smart cameras. Generally speaking they are not so different and consist of imaging optics, imager, processor, I/O, firmware or software, etc. Where they do differ is in the flexibility of the firmware or software to accomplish certain tasks. A vision sensor has a much-abbreviated set of methods that are specific to its testing capabilities. If the function is not included from the manufacturer it is generally not possible to add the capability.On the other hand, the smart camera has a large array of functions from which to build an application with the possibility of writing external routines and hooking them into the program environment to semi-customize tasks. Finally, a vision system may be completely free-form, allowing it to be configured to specialized test and inspection needs. FLEXIBILITY OF POSITION Unlike a traditional sensor, an important feature of the vision sensor is its ability to evaluate pixels; these pixels are in a region of interest rather than at a specific spatial point. Therefore, an evaluation can be made at any location within the field of view of the imager as we see in Figure 1. In this example, the component is free to move vertically or horizontally so long as the attribute we are inspecting (the c-ring and its opening) remains in the region of interest (the yellow box). Making a presence measurement of the c-ring with traditional sensors would likely be quite easy, but the ability to make that evaluation over a dimensional variation that exceeds the thickness of the c-ring would be impossible; it simply would not remain in the field of view of the sensor (typically called the "spot"). FLEXIBILITY OF NUMBER OF TESTS Traditional sensors do a single job very well; however, they do not typically have the latitude to make several tests, for instance, with the gum pack in Figure 2. Inspecting the presence of any one of the products in the wrapper is easy, but inspecting all six using traditional sensors either requires six sensors connected in some logical AND configuration, or an elaborate indexing and control mechanism to carry out six separate tests and some storage mechanism to tabulate the index vs. result for each position and logically AND them together at the end of the steps. For the vision sensor, there is also no requirement that the method used in the first evaluation be repeated. We could just have easily asked for an inspection of printing and sealing components in the same field of view as the count. All can be accomplished in a single test so long as the vision sensor can see all the attributes that it needs to inspect. A great example of multiple checks is the milk carton (Figure 3). During production, several attributes need to be checked, these include: • Seal integrity • Printed date and lot coding • Cap integrity It is easy for the vision sensor to locate the part feature of a specific check, such as the cap, and test for its presence then move to the date code, the sealed edge, etc. FLEXIBILITY OF INSPECTION TECHNIQUE As noted earlier, in most cases, a photoelectric sensor comes out of the box ready to use. There may be some setup, certainly alignment, and also perhaps some sensitivity adjustment, which may be mechanical or programmed via pushbutton. The point being, that outside of minor adjustments, when it comes to detecting a single aspect of an object, the capability of a photoelectric sensor cannot be matched by vision sensors. In the case of the vision sensor, flexibility lies in its ease-of-use. The ability to vary the test method is generally accomplished via a program, a graphical user interface that facilitates customizing the application to achieve the test result. Once the user has setup the program, it is downloaded to the vision sensor and the vision sensor carries out the set of instructions. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Figure 4 is an example of the programming environment for one type of sensor.It is a single screen divided into sections for operation, configuration, results, setup, and display. Some manufacturers of vision sensors compartmentalize the user interface into a step-by-step wizard. In either case, under the umbrella of "ease-of-use," the functionality of the program environment is huge, albeit fixed to certain methods. ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT As with any vision system, the need to appropriately illuminate the subject matter in order to achieve unambiguous results is paramount in the setup. Considerations for interchangeable optics, if available, and external lighting to maximize image contrast and minimizing ambient lighting variations are real considerations that need to be factored into one's decision and budget. The vision sensor is a great addition to the tool box of industrial process engineers and technicians; it brings new capability to error-proofing in a variety of production environments from automotive to consumer packaged goods. Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc. Twinsburg, Ohio 330-486-0001 Fafirstname.lastname@example.org www.pepperl-fuchs.us
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