Machine vision systems don’t necessarily need lots of extra computing power and complex software to carry out difficult inspection tasks. That’s the guiding principle behind Banner Engineering’s new image sensing system, which is designed to be both simple and smart.
Called the iVu Series TG, this self-contained image sensing system features a 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen for factory-floor programming, a 752 x 480 CMOS imager and pattern-recognition software running on a DSP platform. “No PC or any other external equipment is required to set up or operate the system,” says Dan Holste, Banner’s director of vision.
With three built-in sensing modes–match, area and area with motion–the iVu doesn’t seem to suffer much from the lack of computer. “It can solve a full range of complex, high-speed vision problems,” says Holste. Among them are the inspection and verification of labels, packaging, product codes, part features and more. The system can also serve in a variety of part-presence and part-orientation applications. “In the past, all of these types of applications required vision systems with extensive sensor configuration using software and a PC,” says Holste.
As for speed, he puts the iVu’s average pattern recognition time at 50 milliseconds or so, depending on the specific application.
While iVu doesn’t need a computer to run and isn’t network ready, it does have a USB 2.0 drive that allows it to share data with offline PCs. Using a thumb drive, users can download inspection data from the iVu or upload programs developed in a free software emulator. “Users can program the system with either way, with the touchscreen or the software emulator,” Holste notes. Priced at $1195, the iVu occupies a middle ground between photoelectric sensing and high-end vision systems. “We believe there are many users who were forced into more of a vision system that they really needed whenever they couldn’t solve their inspection problems with photoelectrics. This system addresses their needs.”