Monday, June 20, 2011

More on Keyence machine vision

I received a very nice email from Keyence following my review of their CV-5502 vision system. They appreciated the comments but suggested I take a look at their latest and greatest, the XG-7000. So I did.

The XG-7000 family of machine vision products, (details at are really quite impressive. Basically, they’ve taken the CV-5502 and upgraded the software, providing touchscreen functionality and VNC-based remote access while retaining the ability to use up to 4 matrix or area cameras. And for those who like to write their own algorithms, it’s now possible to incorporate C code.

The hardware is pretty much unchanged: there’s a remote teach pendant and the proprietary cameras go up to 5Mp. (Frame rates aren’t quoted; instead they state image transfer time, but this seems to work out to about 15fps.) Linescan is not an option. As before, the box is fanless and there’s PC connectivity, should you want to program offline.

What I did find interesting were the arguments for going with Keyence rather than a conventional PC-based vision system. Essentially, Keyence argue that application development is faster on their system because less time is spent on hooking up cameras and I/O, configuring the GUI and debugging.

I suspect that, for an experienced user, this is true, but who would a product like this be aimed at? My feeling is the likely customer is a machine builder who needs to incorporate fairly high-end inspection into their production equipment; perhaps companies who build pharma equipment.

Pricing is of course an issue, so here’s what I know: Keyence say the XG-7000 is a little more expensive than the CV-5500 but that the price of the cameras is unchanged. I think that means you’re looking at $8,000 or so for a two camera configuration, which is comparable to a 2 camera PC set up. Where this scores then is when using 3 or 4 cameras. Alternatively, if you’re happy to jump into bed with Keyence, it could be a great general purpose solution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The system and manuals are not very user friendly. You basically need some computer programming skills to set it up for use. We have had this vision system here for over 2 years now and it still is not programmed properly for what we need it for and no one knows how to use it. We had a keyence rep here recently and even he was unable to show us how to use it. If our administrators cant figure it out then how are our basic operators supposed to use it? We have another vision system of a different brand that is very user friendly, so I do have some comparison here