Monday, November 3, 2008

In praise of vision sensors

Have you noticed a tendency for machine vision gurus to be rather dismissive of the humble vision sensor? I’ve heard comments along the lines of, “Well it might be OK for a basic job, but it’s not a real vision system,” and while this might be true, I think it overlooks the fact that manufacturing engineers just need a tool to do a job.

In the factory environment the challenge is to get each problem solved as quickly as possible, and move on to the next opportunity. I know a ‘Checker’ from Cognex lacks the capabilities of, for example, a CameraLink framegrabber-based system running Matrox MIL 9.0 on a quad core PC, but does it matter so long as it does the job?

What I’m talking about is ‘fitness for purpose.’ There’s a good article about just this on Authored by Brian Schriver of Rockwell Automation, it discusses how the vision sensor can often be the ideal tool for the job.

Read the article, and remember, in manufacturing it's about getting the job done. There are no bonus points for style.

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