In an effort to reach
out to machine builders who want to make machine vision easier to implement, Cognex has started to reduce the size
of its vision systems without skimping on features.
"The big things that appeal to machine builders
are size and ease-of-use," says John Keating, Cognex product manager. The
company's In-Sight Micro vision system addresses both needs for users who need to put
systems in awkward places and get them up and running quickly.
According to Keating, advances
in processing power allowed Cognex to create a self-contained unit whose camera
and electronics fit in a 30 x 30 x 60 mm package, which makes this complete vision
system smaller than many "dumb" remote cameras in the past.
ease-of-use standpoint, the
In-Sight Micro also supports a collection of software tools aimed at set-up and
accurate inspections. For one, it works with Cognex's Easy Builder configuration
software, which allows users to create custom vision applications using a
four-step point-and-click process. "There's no programming involved," Keating says.
In-Sight Micro provides a non-linear calibration tool that compensates for camera
angles that are less than ideal. Keating says space constraints on the machine
can keep users from mounting the cameras orthogonally to the inspected parts.
"The non-linear calibration tool lets the system automatically adjust to
camera angles up to 45 degrees," he says.
In-Sight Micro's line-up of
software vision tools also includes PatMax, a geometric pattern matching tool
designed to locate parts even under changing conditions – including variations
in lighting, part orientation and part size. And accurate part location has positive
implications not just from the perspective of improved inspection yields but
also from the possible elimination of inspection-related fixturing.
Five camera models are available as part
of the In-Sight line, including a two-megapixel model and even a version
that functions as a 2D data reader.