Automate 2013

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North America's broadest automation event, Automate will take place from 21-24 January 2013 in Chicago, US. Here's a preview of what some of the vision companies will be exhibiting at the show

Allied Vision Technologies

Allied Vision Technologies (www.alliedvisiontec.com) will be exhibiting high quality FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, and Camera Link cameras. The cameras offer high image quality, outstanding reliability and a very high value for money both in the visible and non-visible spectrum.

Highlights will include dual-tap cameras from the company’s Manta family of feature-rich and modular GigE Vision cameras, and high resolution models from the Prosilica GT family of cameras designed to perform in extreme environments. Models from the new family of ultra-compact, entry-level machine vision cameras with GigE Vision and USB3 Vision interface will also be shown.

Basler

Basler (www.baslerweb.com) will introduce the first ten models featuring a USB 3.0 interface in the company’s Ace area scan camera series. The Ace USB 3.0 cameras have a very compact 29 x 29 x 29mm housing and can readily replace older cameras of similar size and construction, especially those with a FireWire or USB 2.0 interface. Apart from the footprint, certain technical aspects such as high bandwidth, real-time capability, and the sensor selection deliver convincing arguments for users to follow this replacement trend.

Basler will offer resolutions from VGA to 5 Megapixel, capturing up to 120fps. The cameras use modern CMOS sensors and high-quality Sony CCD sensors. All Ace USB 3.0 models are compliant with the USB3 Vision standard. This ensures reliable data transmission, easy integration, greatest possible flexibility in selecting a camera, and long-term safeguarding of investment.

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BitFlow

BitFlow (www.bitflow.com) will show its Cyton-CXP4, a four-channel frame grabber based on the CoaXPress (CXP) standard. With Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface, the frame grabber facilitates video capture speeds of up to 6.25Gb/s in applications deploying one to four CXP-6 cameras.

CXP also allows control commands, triggers and power to be sent to and from the cameras over the same coaxial cable, greatly reducing installation costs. Along with its four CXP connections, the Cyton-CXP4 contains a fifth CXP connector serving as a high-speed uplink capable of running the full 6.25Gb/s from the frame grabber to the camera.

The board features programmable region of interest sub-windowing and is supported by the CamEd GUI camera file editing utility, enabling it to acquire fixed or variable size images. There are separate hardware I/O signals which can be connected to and from external sources. Each connected CXP camera has a full set of these signals which can be run independently.

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Chromasens

Chromasens (chromasens.de) will showcase the 3D-Pixa stereo camera system for highly accurate 3D surface inspection. The camera has an optical resolution of 10µm and an amplitude resolution of up to 1µm.

Unlike traditional 3D processes, such as laser line projection and fringe projection methods in which matrix cameras are usually used, the Chromasens solution is based on colour line scan cameras. The camera therefore simultaneously provides both colour images and 3D altitude data of the object captured.

The cameras are available in two designs: a compact system with a resolution of 15µm and a line frequency of up to 22kHz, and the 3D-Pixa dual system with a resolution of 10µm and a line frequency of up to 50kHz, which is suitable for high speed inspection. The latter variant can inspect at speeds of up to 500mm/s. The altitude range of both 3D stereo camera systems is determined in each case by the depth of field and is 0.5mm.

The camera is ideal for 3D surface applications in automotive engineering, electronics and medical technology.

Cyth Systems

Cyth Systems (www.cyth.com), a leading systems integrator in southern California, will demonstrate its multispectral imaging system in the systems integration area at the show. The multispectral imaging system is a full inspection line of numerous vision technologies. Visitors will be able to determine which specific technologies will provide the required results for their application. The technology ensures 100 per cent automated inspection to help prevent unnecessary resource expenses associated with bad products and faulty packaging.

The Multispectral Vision Lab uses a wide variety of new imaging technology, including: real-time infrared and thermal imaging, area scan and 2D inspections, 3D Ranger cameras, X-ray imaging, smart cameras, and photonic mixer device 3D camera.

Cyth Systems CEO, Andrew Long and senior applications engineer, Michael Rabin will be on hand to discuss product inspection challenges.

Edmund Optics

Edmund Optics (www.edmundoptics.com) will be exhibiting its Techspec high-resolution lenses for 1-inch and 4/3-inch sensors. The lenses are designed for the harsh demands of industrial inspection applications and provide high resolution with strong contrast.

The 16mm, 25mm, and 35mm lenses are compatible with up to 1-inch sensor formats, while the 50mm lens is compatible with up to 4/3-inch sensor formats. Durable housing makes them ideal for factory automation. Fixed focal length lenses feature a locking focus and iris rings to prevent unwanted adjustments, and a front filter thread for integrating standard optical filters. The lenses are optimised for the newest Sony and Kodak high-resolution sensors and are in stock and available for immediate delivery.

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JAI

A blend of new high performance CMOS cameras and advanced prism technology will be highlighted in the JAI (www.jai.com) exhibit. In one of the featured demonstrations, JAI’s new SP-5000C-CXP model will show its combination of high speed, resolution, and image quality. This 5 Megapixel camera is built around a CMOS imager offering four-channel analogue front-end gain control for maximum tuning of image characteristics. A CoaXPress x2 interface supports the camera’s high frame rate of 209fps at full resolution.

The SP-5000 is one of several new high performance CMOS models being introduced by JAI. Others include a 2 Megapixel model at up to 340fps, a 4 Megapixel at 180fps, and a 20 Megapixel model at 30fps.

Other JAI demos will feature JAI’s 2CCD multi-spectral cameras (AD-080 and AD-130) and the LQ-200CL a 4CCD multi-spectral line scan camera offering a two-in-one combination of colour and near-infrared imaging in a single setup.

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LMI Technologies

LMI Technologies (www.lmi3D.com) will showcase its new Gocator Displacement Sensor series. With scan rates up to 32kHz, all-in-one Gocator Displacement Sensors are ideal for real-time closed loop control and automating processes requiring non-contact distance measurement.

Users can easily set up, measure, and control the system with the web-based interface found in all Gocator sensors, effectively eliminating software development. The device can be synchronised across a network of sensors, comes with an open source SDK for custom development, and can plug into PLCs using industry standard protocols. Gocators deliver a broad variety of user-friendly solutions for 3D measurement and control.

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Lumenera

Lumenera (www.lumenera.com) will exhibit its Lt425 camera, combining a USB 3.0 interface, a high-speed global shutter, and a CMOS sensor from Cmosis. Product highlights include a frame rate of up to 170fps, 4 Megapixel colour, mono, and NIR solutions, built-in image processing and frame memory, low noise and high sensitivity, and a robust enclosure.

Built-in FPGA-based image processing offloads the work from a computer and ensures excellent image quality without having to compromise on performance.

The industrial-grade version of the camera is ideally suited to applications that include biometrics, life sciences, traffic monitoring, high-speed inspection and motion control. Scientific-grade and OEM designs are also available.

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Matrox Imaging

Visitors to Matrox Imaging’s (www.matrox.com/imaging) booth will see high-speed surface inspection using a 16k-pixel, 100kHz line rate, four links, CoaXPress line scan camera, interfaced to a Matrox Radient eV-CXP CoaXPress frame grabber board in a Matrox Supersight imaging computer. The Supersight is outfitted with multiple multicore CPU/GPU-based compute clusters running the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL).

Also demonstrated will be multiple Matrox Iris GT smart cameras being monitored and controlled remotely from a single HMI application, which is included with the latest release of Matrox Design Assistant smart camera software.

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Microscan

Microscan (www.microscan.com) will showcase its complete line of automation solutions including barcode readers, machine vision software and hardware, and a range of technologies that provide real-time, precision data acquisition and quality control in production environments.

Microscan will also present the updated AutoVision 2.0 product suite at the show. This powerful but easy-to-use solution includes tools such as OCV and 1D/2D verification, as well as Microscan Link, which enables easy connectivity to industrial systems.

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Mikrotron

Mikrotron (www.mikrotron.de) will exhibit its 4 Megapixel high-speed EoSens 4CXP camera, with its powerful CoaXPress real-time data interface. Only one cable is needed with this interface to provide data transfer, communications, and a control link to the PC, as well as power at a high rate of up to 2GB/s (up to 40m length). These are decisive advantages when it comes to simplicity of system integration and operation.

The EoSens 4CXP records at 500fps at a resolution of 4 Megapixels (2,336 x 1,728 pixels). The camera can deliver 900fps at full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and with variable region of interest, frequencies of more than 100,000fps can be reached.

The camera has a high light sensitivity: 3200 ASA monochrome and 2400 ASA in RGB using a Bayer filter. Image control using freeze frame or a full image shutter guarantees distortion-free shots. Due to its large functional scope, the EoSens 4CXP meets the requirements for demanding tasks in industrial image processing, as well as in event analysis in research and development, and in sports and broadcasting applications.

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Point Grey

In addition to existing products, Point Grey (www.ptgrey.com) will demonstrate two new camera lines live at the show: the cost-effective Blackfly and the high-performance Grasshopper3.

The affordable Blackfly camera line combines Power over Ethernet and a host of features into a small GigE Vision camera, measuring only 29 x 29 x 30mm. The camera incorporates a 16MB frame buffer; LED status indicators; and an on-camera image processing pipeline that provides colour interpolation, gamma and lookup table functionality. The first available model uses a 1.3 Megapixel global shutter CMOS sensor capable of running at 60fps, and is competitively priced at €299.

The new Grasshopper3 camera line combines the benefits of CCD with the affordability and data throughput of USB 3.0. The Grasshopper3's FPGA and frame buffer-based architecture provides optimal reliability, a rich set of features, and a full image processing pipeline. The first available model uses the Sony ICX687 2.8 Megapixel CCD and will be capable of outputting full resolution 24-bit images at 25fps. The ICX687 sensor supports high-definition 1080p30 imaging and uses Sony's EXview HAD CCD II technology to improve quantum efficiency, reduce smear, and increase sensitivity, including into the near infrared.

ProPhotonix

ProPhotonix (www.prophotonix.com) will exhibit the 3D Pro Laser and 3D Pro Laser Mini, structured light lasers designed specifically for machine vision. They combine a compact cylindrical form factor for easy mounting with a customer-specific fixed focus for precision alignment. Due to their industry-standard mechanical dimensions (19mm and 10mm) they can be utilised either for new functions or as drop-in replacements for existing applications. These lasers generate an extremely uniform laser line down to 30μm and are available in a variety of wavelengths, power levels, fan angles, intensity control and strobe.

Also on display will be the Cobra Max and Cobra Slim lasers, which offer extreme intensity in a slim, compact and modular design. They are available in a wide range of wavelengths and are offered with an optional strobing function and Ethernet control. Cobra Flex, a laser solution designed for restricted spaces, will also be shown and is available at high intensity levels.

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Schott and Moritex

Schott and Moritex (www.us.schott.com/lightingimaging) will showcase the miniMML telecentric vision unit. The unit is a small telecentric lens system for machine vision, measuring only 15mm in height. It has all essential components for image capture, such as LED illumination and a camera installed in its ultra-compact body.

This vision unit has been developed with a concept of all-in-one design that frees the user from the frustration of component selection and setting adjustment for optimal imaging applications.

The compact design enables 1/20 downsizing compared to a conventional lens, camera and illumination system, meaning it can be installed in tight spaces.

Also on show will be its LLS 3 LED light source, utilising a new high brightness, cool white LED light engine, and its digital LED controller MLEF-A015G2DT. The controller is the newest addition to their MCV light series of illumination products for image processing applications.

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Teledyne Dalsa

Teledyne Dalsa (www.teledynedalsa.com) will be displaying its Boa products, which are highly integrated vision systems in a tiny smart camera package specifically designed for industrial use. Complete with choice of application software embedded, Boa offers manufacturers a robust and flexible automated inspection system that is easy to integrate and deploy on the factory floor.

Boa vision systems comprise all of the elements of an industrial machine vision solution, including the sensor (640 x 480 to 1,600 x 1,200 pixels), lighting control, processing in CPU, DSP, or FPGA, the I/O is expandable via a PL-200, factory communication protocols, developer and operator application interfaces, and protective enclosures.

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The Imaging Source

The Imaging Source (www.theimagingsource.com) will display a new series of small GigE cameras. The footprint of the cameras is only 29 x 29mm, compatible with many analogue cameras. This series simplifies the migration from the analogue to digital imaging.

The cameras are supplied in a robust, industrial casing with a C/CS lens mount, trigger and digital I/0 inputs. The colour, monochrome and Bayer models are available in VGA, SXGA and 2 Megapixel resolutions. They are ideally suited to machine vision applications in automation, traffic surveillance, quality assurance, medicine, logistics, microscopy and security.

The cameras are supplied with drivers for Windows XP, Vista and 7, the SDK IC Imaging Control (.NET, ActiveX and C++ class library) and IC Capture. The latter is a powerful end-user application, which allows all camera parameters to be set, live video to be displayed, and singular images and image sequences to be captured.

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Toshiba Teli

Toshiba Teli (www.toshiba-teli.co.jp) will exhibit-new GigE (PoE) and USB 3.0 cameras called Bees, as well as a 6.5 Megapixel CMOS camera running at full 85fps.

The Bees camera series has an ultra compact body equipped with CCD sensors, with resolutions from VGA though to UXGA. The PoE cameras measure 29 x 29 x 40mm, while the USB 3.0 cameras are housed in a 29 x 29 x 17mm enclosure. The cameras are suitable for high-speed and high-resolution image processing and system integration.

The CSC6.5M85BM11 6.5 Megapixel CMOS camera (effective pixels 2,560 x 2,560) has low noise and provides high quality and high sensitivity. The camera has a very compact body, measuring 40mm3 in a lightweight enclosure.

Ximea

Ximea (www.ximea.com) will present new products and concepts at the show, including the xiQ, a family of small USB3 Vision SuperSpeed monochrome and colour cameras. The cameras are equipped with global shutter, resolutions from VGA to 4 Megapixel and frame rates up to 90fps at 4 Megapixels. The camera is available in a board-level version for OEM applications.

Also on show will be the Currera G intelligent PC cameras with 90GFlops, onboard PLC, and extensive I/O capabilities, including the ability to host four additional USB3 Vision cameras.

The xiRAY scientific cameras are now available for visual light and custom OEM products as well as X-ray, offering up to 16 Megapixel resolutions with removable sensor glass. Finally, the xiLINK, a prototype of an intelligent cable, will be on display. The cable connects a Camera Link PoCL camera directly to USB 3.0 host port. Software support is provided for the USB3 Vision standard.