Monday, June 6, 2011

A warning about camera voltages

I noticed a message recently on the AVT website that I thought I should share with you. This related to some older models of Prosilica camera that had an upper voltage limit of 16V. Apparently they’ve now realized that this might not be particularly smart, and have modified newer product to accept 24V. (Here’s a link to the pdf of their announcement.)

If you’re wondering why this is a problem, consider this: pretty much all factory automation runs on 24V. Controls guys, maintenance techs and other plant people tend to assume they can put 24V on all shop floor technology, so it’s understandable that they’d do it to a Prosilica camera. In fact it was probably a nice moneymaker for the repair side of the business, so kudos to AVT for fixing the problem.

It does however beg some questions:

  1. How many other cameras are limited to less than 24V?
  2. Can older cameras be retrofitted, and will AVT be issuing a recall?
  3. Do all those people who paid for repairs to their Prosilica cameras now get refunds? I’m no lawyer but making the design change would seem to imply they recognize there was a design flaw.
Now I’m off to check on all our other cameras.

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