Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Machine vision is not the only sensor

It’s sometimes said that when you’re carrying a hammer the world is full of nails, and so it goes with machine vision. Let’s admit it, we are eager to use cameras all over the place, because that’s what we know and do, even when it might not be the best solution. So what other options should we be considering?

I found a great discussion of different sensor technologies on the Machine Design website. Under the heading of “Sensor Selection for Inspection and Control” (September 3rd, 2010,) Robert Repas and Brad Johnson go through some of the many options that should be on the table. These include the various types of photoelectric sensor as well as fiber-optics and ultrasound.

This is the kind of material every vision engineer should have at his fingertips, otherwise he might get caught out when the maintenance guy suggests something a tenth the cost of a vision system.

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