Sunday, April 12, 2009

Banner iVu versus Checker 3G

In the vision sensors arena these are the two newest contenders. Both claim to be easy to deploy, so let’s take a moment to compare them.

iVu, from Banner, is priced at $1,200 while the Cognex Checker 3G is $1,000. But the iVu has a higher resolution sensor and provides a live display of what the sensor’s ‘seeing’ via an LCD panel on the rear. In that regard it’s a lot like a consumer digital camera. You’ll need to drop an additional $600 with Cognex to get a live view from the 3G via their “SensorView” interface pendant, but you can hook it up to multiple 3G’s.

One little quirk to watch is that there are different model references for the iVu, depending on whether the outputs are PNP or NPN. A small but significant detail.

Without doing a direct, hands-on test it’s difficult to compare the imaging tools, but I suspect the 3G has the edge. Cognex have so much strength in software development that’s it’s hard to imagine they’d put an inferior product out in the marketplace.

So which would I buy? Of course, it’s task-dependent, but on balance I think I’d go with the iVu. In my opinion the superior resolution compensates for the less finely-honed algorithms. Plus, I really like having a live display on the back on the sensor. That’s been a gripe of mine with the Insight range, and while SensorView is an option it’s more money and needs hooking up.

The win goes to Banner, but it’s very close.


VCIGreg said...

Banner wins over Cognex, are you insane?!?! Superior vision tools offer the end user less risk, reducing risk in integration is what is important. The difference in cost will be quickly exhausted and then some, when trying to get an inferior sensor to work to even a reasonable level of repeatability.

VCIGreg said...

Banner offers a display on the back for one reason, because you have to continue to futz with it for ever! With more repeatable and reliable vision tools, and a little grey matter between your ears, you will be able to set up the sensor once and let it run. If done correctly there is no need to have the image displayed on the back of the sensor all the time. How practical is the display, it is low res, like the one on my digital camera it will not last for ever, and most imporatantly, the sensor us usually buried down in the machine where it is not practical to see, let alone interact with the display.

Bob Tremblay, Cognex Technical Product Manager said...

Yes the Banner iVu is like a digital camera with its built in 2.5 inch LCD screen but that is also its greatest shortcoming. Vision Sensors are mounted inside machines and over manufacturing lines where users can't always see the back of the sensor. This can make setup, configuration and troubleshooting a nightmare if you can't see the image. Imagine trying taking a picture of someone with your digital camera without looking at the LCD display or through the viewing window. I bet you chop their head off 50% of the time!
Higher resolution can be useful however is not always necessary when solving basic presence /absence applications such as verifying the presence of an O-Ring, printed text or that a plastic molded part is still present in the mold cavity. Many vision sensors subsample the image prior to processing so the effective number of pixels used is actually much lower. Checker take a slightly different approach in that it takes many pictures per second , up to 500, and analyzes parts multiple times before making a pass/fail determination.

In addition lets not forget that Checker is also the only product on the market capable of both detecting and inspecting products without the need of photoeye or external trigger. Checker learns what your part looks like and uses its fast image acquisition to detect the part when it passes by to provide a single pass/fail result.

So yes the SensorView Teach Pendant is an additional $650 but one unit can configure multiple Checker3Gs and may be panel mounted on the line where viewing the inspection results is convenient. If you don't want to spend the extra money you can always install our free PC software onto a laptop to connect to your Checker and configure, edit and monitor your inspection.

Metroinstruments said...

Si para mi el IVU de banner es mas superior al Checker COGNEX en esta version de "bajo costo", la luz integrada le da un significativo poder al IVU. la capacidad de tomar fotos de las inspecciones defectuosas le dan un valor agregado. he trabajado con las dos marcas y a este nivel mi opinion y voto es para el IVU de Banner.

B Grey said...

I thought an English translation of the comment from Metroinstruments might be useful, so here goes:
If the SUT for my banner is more than COGNEX Checker in this version of "low cost", the integrated light gives significant power to the SUT. the ability to take photos of the faulty inspections give added value. I have worked with both brands and this level is my opinion and vote for Banner IVU.