VDMA MACHINE VISION AND OPC FOUNDATION BEGIN TO DEVELOP COMPANION SPECIFICATION FRANKFURT — During the AUTOMATICA trade fair, VDMA Machine Vision and the OPC Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding on the preparation of an OPC UA Machine Vision Companion Specification. “We want to make machine vision fit for Industry 4.0 and for the factory of the future. We are aiming at straightforward integration of machine vision systems into production control and IT systems via OPC Unified Architecture,” says Dr. Klaus-Henning Noffz, CEO of Silicon Software and in charge of standardization issues at the Board of VDMA Machine Vision. The resolution was preceded by an international study under the lead of VDMA Machine Vision last summer. It was aimed at showing which standards are important to prepare the sector for the future. “Camera interfaces and standards for communication and networking of various machine vision components within the system are already there, tremendously facilitating the work of systems integrators. What is missing is a generic interface for machine vision systems at user level,” says Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen, managing director of ASENTICS and board member of VDMA Machine Vision. VDMA Machine Vision wants to address this topic by introducing an OPC UA Machine Vision Companion Specification.First discussions have already been initiated on which information, data, functions and services should be integrated into a production network and mapped in OPC UA. Machine vision systems have become an indispensable part of industrial production. They perform quality tests, guide machines, control processes, identify components, read codes and deliver valuable data for optimizing production.No other current component in the production process gathers and interprets as many data as machine vision does. “In my view, it is a key technology for the successful implementation of Industry4. 0,” says Noffz. Heinol-Heikkinen adds, “Standardized integration of machine vision with all its possibilities will advance it from a mere inspection system to a genuine production optimizer.” “The OPC Foundation provides THE industrial interoperability standard for horizontal and vertical information integration from sensors to the enterprise,” Stefan Hoppe, vice president of the OPC Foundation, said. “OPC UA’s initial focus was the industrial automation market and because OPC UA is completely vendor and operating system independent, it has quickly become the adopted interoperability solution for other markets and domains.” Machine and device manufacturers describe their data and interfaces and then configure the security credentials to make them available or keep them protected. Different transport mechanisms are integrated to move data and information best for different scenarios for both the shop floor and also for cloud solutions. OPC UA technology has already been named the recommended communication technology in Germany’s Industrie 4.0 initiative.The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), thoroughly analyzed OPC UA data security and published a highly positive review. Many other organizations have taken advantage of the OPC UA information modeling capabilities allowing seamless information integration between previously disconnected systems. VDMA Machine Vision early recognized the potential of OPC UA – the joint working group will create a companion specification which will enable camera vision systems to be easily and securely connected to controllers but also into the IT world.” More and more VDMA trade associations focus on OPC Unified Architecture. A VDMA guideline “Industrie-4.0-Kommunikation mit OPC-UA” (Industrie 4.0 communication with OPC UA) is currently being prepared. It is intended to support the mechanical engineering industry in the integration process and provide recommendations for action. “With the guideline, we aim at giving a clear endorsement for OPC UA as communication protocol for Industrie 4.0. This leads to lowering the barriers of small and medium-sized companies in the establishment and expansion of industrial communication within the Industrie 4.0 context,” says Dr. Christian Mosch of the VDMA Industrie 4.0 Forum. The VDMA represents over 3,100 mainly small and medium size member companies in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe.As a part of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, VDMA Machine Vision unites more than 115 members: companies offering machine vision systems and components.The objective of this industry- driven platform is to support the machine vision sector through a wide spectrum of activities and services. Current activities include statistics and the annual VDMA Machine Vision Market Survey, marketing services, public relations, trade fair policy, future radar, networking events and conferences. BUSINESS NEWS BitFlow secured Conformité Européenne Mark clearance for its Axion-CL and Cyton-CXP frame grabbers, setting the stage for the company to launch both to European Union customers who deploy Camera Link or CoaXPress based technology in machine vision, industrial automation and inspection, or medical design projects. “CE Mark approval is a very important milestone for BitFlow and validates the dedication of our engineering team to deliver innovative vision products of the highest quality,” said Donal Waide, director of sales and marketing for BitFlow. “We are pleased to now be able to provide our European customers with these advanced imaging components. It is an important step in achieving our vision of being a truly global force in frame grabbers.” In order to receive the CE Mark, BitFlow performed an audit of all required safety and electromagnetic compatibility tests at an approved testing facility. The CE Mark ensures compliance of Axion-CL and Cyton-CXP frame grabbers with the most stringent requirements for machine vision technology delivered to European Union customers. BitFlow’s flagship Cyton CXP frame grabbers are based on CoaXPress, an asymmetric high speed point to point serial communication standard for the transmission of video, scalable over single or multiple coaxial cables. In addition to leveraging the power of CoaXPress the Cyton-CXP incorporates the Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface on its back-end, an advancement that doubles the data rate of the Gen 1.0 bus for the ultimate high speed access to host memory in multi-camera systems, while using the same compact footprint and connectors. Built on the same half-size x8 PCI Express Gen 2.0 Board as the Cyton, the Axion-CL exploits many of the features that have made the Cyton one of the most successful CXP frame grabbers on the market while using the more cost-effective, highly compatible Camera Link interface.This includes the Cyton’s highly optimized DMA engine, StreamSync™ acquisition engine and buffer manager, along with its Timing Sequencer, I/O capabilities and Frame Sequence, all giving machine vision integrators an amazing amount of power at their fingertips, ready to accelerate image processing functions and solve real world vision problems. Integro Technologies Corp., a vision integrator in Salisbury, N.C., was named a Certified Integration Partner for MVTec. MVTec Software GmbH is an international manufacturer of software for machine vision used in all demanding areas of imaging: semiconductor industry, web inspection, quality control, and inspection applications. MVTec and their Certified Integration Partners work closely to provide end-customers with firstclass vision solutions. Certified Integration Partners can integrate MVTec software quickly and seamlessly into machine vision systems. All engineering companies within the MVTec Certified Integration Partner Program are handpicked. Integro Technologies joins an elite group of only six partners in North America. “The partnership with MVTec dramatically increases Integro’s 2D and 3D machine vision algorithm arsenal and supported 3D imaging platforms including Laser, WLI, Stereoscopic, and Moire/Fringe Analysis. This partnership further broadens our application solution range for a variety of industries in North America and for our international clients,” said Shawn Campion, president of Integro Technologies. “MVTec is an innovative, world class organization with phenomenal innovative talent, and we are privileged to have such a great team mate in generating unique inspection solutions.” North American Machine Vision Market Contracts ANN ARBOR, MI — North American sales of machine vision components and systems fell 11 percent year-over-year to $546 million in the first quarter of 2016, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group. Total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision components and systems.The machine vision components category decreased seven percent to $79 million in the first quarter of 2016. Individual component categories such as cameras, lighting, optics, and software were down, while sales of imaging boards were flat. The machine vision systems category also cooled in the first quarter of 2016 to $465 million. Within machine vision systems, sales of application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems decreased 13 percent to $391 million, while smart cameras contracted by two percent to $75 million. Despite the declines on a year-over-year basis, the machine vision market in North America saw growth over year-end 2015 levels. More specifically, the components category saw an increase of five percent in sales over the fourth quarter of 2015, while machine vision systems increased by two percent. “Fifty-six percent of industry experts are expecting things to turn upward for machine vision component markets in the next six months of 2016, 38 percent believe they will remain flat, and 6 percent expect further declines,” said Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis. “We are in the midst of what appears to be a cyclical downturn for this market. Similar cyclicality was recorded in 2012, for example, which preceded a significant growth year (2013) for the North American vision market.” “Despite the market’s cyclicality, interest in vision and imaging is at an all-time high,” said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. “The growing interest in these technologies was apparent at The Vision Show in Boston this past May. The show set new records for attendance, exhibitors, and its corresponding technical conference, and brought in interested users of vision technology from a multitude of industries.” On the heels of a successful trade show, AIA expects its fall workshop, the Canadian Machine Vision Conference, to set new records as well. The one day event will be held on Oct. 20 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, at the River Rock Hotel & Casino, and will be preceded by two days of Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Basic level training on Oct. 18 and 19. Registration for the conference and CVP training is now open on AIA’s website. AIA has also recently announced the release of its new CVP Online Training Center and 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market Study. For the first time, AIA is offering its CVP Basic and Advanced courses online, where Basic level videos are provided for free, and access to the Advanced videos can be purchased via company subscription.AIA’s 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market Study aggregates data directly from leading machine vision camera manufacturers from across the world. The study breaks down the updated global camera data by customer type, region, sensor type, interface, resolution, color, and lighting, among others. Also included are analyses of pricing, interfaces, industries, and market trends.Both the CVP Online Training Center and the 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market study are available now on AIA’s website.
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