Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vision sensor upgraded

I have always been a fan of the vision products from Banner, so I paid close attention to news of an upgrade to the iVu sensor line. This product has been around a year, maybe longer, but it doesn’t seem to have attracted much interest, so let me give you a summary.

The iVu is a vision sensor, much like the Checker from Cognex. It’s a small box with integrated lens and designed to run just a single vision tool – perhaps an intensity check or a pattern-match. What I felt gave the iVu an edge however was the small display screen on the rear. This means a user can see what it’s doing without needing to hook up a laptop.

A weakness with the iVu was the absence of any Ethernet connectivity. This made it a little awkward to get it talking to other production equipment. Banner must have agreed with me because they’ve now launched the iVu Plus. This has, and I’m quoting from the Banner website, “Ethernet communication, multiple inspections and a new Sort Sensor.”

I haven’t got my hands on the iVu Plus so I can’t say just how easy and capable it is, but if it follows in the footsteps of its upscale brethren, the PresencePLUS line, it should be a user-friendly product. I also have no word on pricing but my guess is that it’s in the $1,400 - $1,700 range, so it’s definitely a Checker alternative.

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