Cognex released two new sensor product lines to the market. The In-Sight 5600 vision sensor series and Checker 200 inspection sensor series are now both available for implementation. The sensors carry very different features, “kind of like a Camry and a Cadillac ,” says Blake DeFrance, Cognex product marketing manager for factory automation, the In-Sight vision sensor being the Cadillac.
In-Sight 5600 vision sensors join a product family that gauge, guide, inspect, and identify products using a library of vision tools to address a range of applications from simple inspection and code reading to high-speed robot guidance and optical character verification. In contrast, Checker inspection sensors require no training or experience and they offer a simple solution for part detection, part inspection, and high-speed triggering applications.
The Checker 200 series inspection sensors, the evolution of the Checker 101 and 101E, are one fourth the size of its predecessors and noticeably lighter. The Checker 200 series has a different lighting system than the 100 series, which only used red LEDs. The 200 uses red, green and cyan LEDs , “which combine to give you extremely good contrast,” says John Keating, Cognex product marketing manager for sensor products.
There are two parts to the way the Checker 200 series works. First, the user sets up the sensor by watching a live video of what the Checker sees. The Checker, according to Keating, then “prompts the user to draw a box around a feature that is always there in every single product that goes by, good or bad.” Once the user has set the sensor to recognize a feature of the product, the software works to find that feature; “it’s very good across varying lighting, but it’s also been written to be extraordinarily fast,” he says.
Cognex claims that the Checker 200 series, which consists of the 201 and 202, can inspect over 6,000 pieces per minute. The 202 also includes ladder logic for custom configuration. The Checker 200 series is small and fast, but “an inspection sensor cannot do everything that a vision system can do; it’s not nearly as flexible,” says Keating. But what the Checker lacks in flexibility, it makes up for in simplicity. “It’s remarkably easy,” he says.
More flexible than Checker, the In-Sight 5600 analyzes what it sees and produces a result. The In-Sight can also read and interpret specific data. According to John Lewis, Public Relations Manager for Cognex, there are four major functions for vision systems: “inspection, ID, gauging and guidance.”
The big news with the In-Sight 5600 is it has twice the processing speed and more memory than the In-Sight 5400. It also doesn’t require a PC – all necessary components for networking and data collection are built in. “There’s a wide variety of applications in all kinds of manufacturing environments – food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive, semiconductor and robotics – where this type of vision sensor can be used to find problems, locate problems, maybe knock bad products off-line faster than a human inspector might be able to do it, and more reliably,” says DeFrance.
The 5600 is also built to withstand the often harsh environment of the manufacturing floor. The sensor has an IP67 rating, meaning that neither dust nor water can get in, as long as it isn’t submerged deeper than 1m. The 5600 can be washed down or sterilized without damage.
The Checker 200 series varies in price according to model, with the Checker 201 at $1,495 and the Checker 202, with built-in ladder logic, at $1,695. The 5600 series varies in price depending on the needs of the facility but starts at $4,995 and tops out at $9,495.
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