This section provides an overview for vision sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 15 vision sensor manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A vision sensor is a device that can perform various inspections by processing images captured by a camera using a computer.
In recent years, the manufacturing industry has been increasing the speed of production lines and diversifying the types of products manufactured.
In conjunction with this trend, the required level of quality has become higher and higher.
In order to meet these requirements, visual inspections of all products are unavoidable, but there are various problems and issues, such as soaring labor costs, personnel shortages, and the time required to train inspectors.
Therefore, vision sensors are increasingly being adopted as an alternative to conventional visual inspections.
Vision sensors are used in a wide variety of industries in multiple ways.
They can be broadly categorized into the following five applications:
In the case of visual inspections by inspectors, it is possible to miss defects due to errors in quantity counts, wrong type of product, or ambiguous judgment criteria.
On the other hand, in the case of vision sensors, the judgment criteria can be controlled by numerical values, and by setting them appropriately, stable inspections can be performed.
Image inspection with vision sensors consists of hardware and software that operates the hardware.
Hardware includes cameras, lenses, and lighting.
The first step in image inspection is to ensure that the content to be inspected can be captured.
Proper hardware selection is essential for accurate image inspection.
Software includes algorithms and programs.
An image inspection algorithm can be defined as a means of analyzing an image and inspecting it for correctness.
In order for the computer to detect such as scratches, rust, or foreign objects in the image as NG, the image inspection algorithm must be properly constructed.
By organizing images captured by a camera using an image inspection algorithm, various defects and positional information can be calculated and output for use in the operation of the equipment.
Based on the algorithm, a program is assembled using a computer language, such as C, to associate inputs and outputs so that the inspection can proceed.
When the hardware and software function properly, it can be utilized as a vision sensor.
Both are similar to the extent that they are equipment for capturing and converting images and video to digital data by combining an imaging device such as CMOS or CCD and an optical lens.
In a camera (digital camera), the images and video obtained in this way are stored for later review or for use in creating documents, etc. In a vision sensor, the images and video are stored for later review or for use in creating documents, etc.
Vision sensors, on the other hand, use computers to analyze images and video in real time. They can be used to inspect the appearance and quantity of products, measure dimensions and angles, and replace sensors, which until now have been done visually by humans. Depending on the model and settings, it is also possible to keep the images and videos used for inspection and use them for traceability.
First, it is necessary to prepare the camera of the vision sensor so that it can correctly capture images and video. No matter how sophisticated the vision sensor is, if it cannot capture images properly in the first place, it will not be able to demonstrate its true performance.
Many considerations must be taken into account, including the selection of the vision sensor and lens to be used, the fixing and positioning of the vision sensor itself and the object to be inspected, and the brightness of the surroundings (including changes in sunlight with time).
Depending on the product, vision sensors can perform many processes, such as finding a specific shape registered as a master from the captured image or video, examining the color of a specific area, finding a straight line or circle, or measuring dimensions. Depending on what you want to inspect, set the appropriate processing to be performed.
In some cases, "pre-processing" such as shooting extremely bright (or dark), inverting colors, or removing noise can make subsequent inspections easier or improve accuracy.
Inspection results can be output via contact output or via Ethernet or other communications. Select a compatible host (PC, PLC, etc.).
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Diamond Technologies was founded in 1997 and is based in Hudson, Massachusetts and is a custom designer and engineer for data collection automation, and industrial communications. Diamond Technologies’s automation solutions segment offers OEMs and other customers system configuration, component selection, verification of compatibility, review of power requirements, software development, and other services. Data collection includes integration of data collection equipmpent, maintained OEM delivery, pre-programmed barcode, RFID, or embedded data collection components, OEM labeling, and others.
ONExia Inc is based in Exton, Pennsylvania and is a robotics integrator, custom machine builder, and industrial distributor. ONExia specializing in manual process automation and assists manufacturers of all sizes increase throughput with cutting edge technology. ONExia works with customers to develop turnkey custom machines including 2D & 3D vision system integration, software design & development, and machine safety services. ONExia uses robotics to automate line packaging. ONExia also offers robot palletizers that are compatible with new or existing packaging lines.
PLC Hardware (PLCH) was founded in 1993 and operates out of Owings Mills, Maryland. PLCH is an independent distributor of used and surplus industrial automation and networking equipment. PLCH offers a 1-year warranty on all products and ships globally. PLCH’s emphasis is on hardware and distributes hardware from such brands as Cisco, HP Networking, Rockwell Automation and Siemens. A few of the many categories of hardware include application networking products, cables, optical networking systems, routers, switches, rack servers, content delivery devices, as well as HVAC controllers, and safety integrated systems.
American Surplus Inc (ASI) was founded in Rumford, Rhode Island in the early 1990s. ASI is a distributor of both new and used material handling equipment and warehouse equipment and also purchases used equipment. ASI specializes in distributing both new and used pallet racks, conveyor systems, mezzanines, industrial, and other warehouse equipment. Other offers include cantilever racks, dock equipment, floor scrubbers, flow racks, forklifts, inplant offices, industrial cabinets, industrial containers, lift equipment, lockers, packing equipment, pallet racking, scales, and pick modules.
Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc. was founded in Mannheim, Germany in 1945 developing the forerunner of the proximity switch. Pepperl+Fuchs continues to develop proximity sensors as well as other industrial sensors including ultrasonic sensors, rotary encoders, positioning systems, display and signal processing, vibration monitoring, industrial communication, and signal processing as well as related accessories and software. Explosive protection products include safety barriers, surge protection, wireless solutions, HMI systems, power supplies, electrical explosion protection equipment, level measurement, and related software.
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