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MVTec and Hilscher to integrate machine vision and PLC

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MVTec Software and Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation, a provider of PC cards for industrial communication, have partnered to enable easier integration of machine vision and process automation.

Combining MVTec software products with Hilscher PC cards enables powerful machine vision applications to be integrated easily into process control systems. For example, MVTec’s machine vision software Merlic can communicate with all commercial programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The partnership benefits customers by bundling two compatible technologies together.

The optimised process integration is largely based on the application programming interface (API) of the cifX PC card family from Hilscher. This API is a standardised interface for all PC cards which are provided by the manufacturer for all common form factors. Users of MVTec Merlic and MVTec Halcon can choose from among Fieldbus and Real-Time Ethernet industrial protocols, including Profinet and EtherCat.

All of Hilscher's cifX PC cards use the standardised API as well as the same drivers and tools, regardless of the protocol or card format. The integration of the multiprotocol netX processor enables all Real-Time Ethernet protocols to be realised with one hardware. To switch from one protocol to another, only the firmware has to be reloaded.

‘The combination of MVTec and Hilscher products proves how easy it is to connect the two worlds of machine vision and process automation,’ says Christoph Zierl, technical director at MVTec Software, about the collaborative effort.

Tim Pauls, product manager at Hilscher, said: ‘The combination of MVTec and Hilscher technology provides users with a unique range of drivers, form factors, and network protocols, along with powerful machine vision software.’

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