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Multichannel Illumination System

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Schott has released its Multichannel Illumination System offering a standard solution for controlling line scan cameras and illumination in industrial image processing.

With automatic optical surface inspections of materials like glass, metal, plastics, wood, and paper, accurate detection of defects can often only be achieved by producing several inspection images at various illumination intensities. The Multichannel Illumination System is capable of capturing up to eight illumination levels with only a single monochrome camera line. This means it is no longer necessary to purchase expensive hardware or develop proprietary software.

Regardless of whether it's a scratch, bubble, inclusion, coating defect or pinhole, each type of material defect requires its own special type of illumination in order for it to be displayed clearly. Modern machine vision systems rely on special bright field or dark field light sources here, but also diffuse and directional lighting in various colours. The accuracy of detection and reliability of testing can be improved significantly by using a combination of these types of illumination arrangements.

The Schott Multichannel uses a specially programmed standard frame grabber from Silicon Software as its central control element. It can switch between up to eight types of illumination at staggered intervals and synchronise the exposure times of the line camera all at the same time. The resulting image can initially be considered a mixture of the various recording sequences. Then, the frame grabber rearranges these to allow for individual images to be accessed efficiently without increasing the load on the processor. Moreover, the system offers all of the normal functions commonly found in line and image triggers.

If a bank that features several cameras is used instead of only one camera, the frame grabber will synchronise any number of additional frame grabbers. Furthermore, the system is extremely flexible thanks to the fact that each component can be set with microsecond accuracy.

The service package developed by Schott also includes an intuitive software-based user interface for resetting system parameters and, as an option, 100 per cent compatible high brightness LED line lights.

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