Monday, October 17, 2011

Keyence goes linescan

As far as I know, the last machine vision company that attempted to make linescan imaging accessible to the regular user was DVT, and that wasn’t hugely successful, so I think it’s pretty big news that with their new XG-8000 product, Keyence is moving into linescan imaging.

The XG-8000 is actually the vision processor unit, but it will take a linescan camera, two if you also buy the expansion module. As with all Keyence vision products, the cameras are proprietary, meaning that you can’t plug in your Dalsa or Basler cameras. But there are some interesting features.

In terms of resolution, they’re offering 2k, 4k and 8k sensors, all of which are CMOS. The smaller sensors take a C-mount lens while the 8k takes a special M40 lens. Going to a C-mount format makes the cameras smaller than most linescans, and also permits a shorter working distance, both of which might be useful when space is tight.

No word on pricing - in fact at the time of writing the XG-8000 isn’t even on their website – but my guess would be around $15 to $18k. But I am guessing! That makes it expensive for a single camera configuration, but if you need two cameras the economics become more attractive. I imagine that the Keyence linescan cameras would be pretty much plug-and-play, which could be quite a time saver, and it also saves you from having to buy a framegrabber.

In terms of software and vision tools, the last Keyence system I played with was quite impressive, so I have no reason to think this will be any different. One other benefit I see is that while most linescan systems need some programming expertise, Keyence doesn’t.

In short, if you want to implement a linescan system quickly, and you’re not a skilled C++ or VB programmer, this might be a good product to consider.


Anonymous said...

DVT was not the most recent smart camera to be offered in linescan. Cognex makes an In-Sight unit with a 1K imager that can create up to
1K x 8K images at a rate of up to 44,000 lines per second. It takes a C-mount lens (for 1" format) and will do timed or counted line triggers. Cost is under $9K. It is not geared toward continuous web inspection, but will do discrete part inspections quite well.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the Cognex was a re-packaged DVT unit, so I checked the spec’s. According to Cognex the 5604 is 1K by 2K only. It was the DVT LS that was 1K by 8K (not that it will make too much difference for discrete part inspection)-I presume that Cognex reduced the spec’s for marketing and product placement reasons. I saw Keyence claiming spec’s of 8K by 8K for their product

Anonymous said...

Don't overlook PPT Vision in your discussion of line scan cameras. They offer 6 line scan models, with scans up to 56K per minute -- all GigE compatible for fast integration with M-Series processors.

See the Difference:

Anonymous said...

The 5604 is actually 1K x 8K. They updated the software to handle the higher ratio. It is still only 1K, but a fast 1K.

Anonymous said...

Used the Keyence line scan at a large LI-Ion manufacturer and found it simple to use and powerful. It took the typically solid defect tools of the Keyence system and made them better. I respect PPT's efforts, but really? Limit of 2k imager? Really? And Cognex is only up to 1k. This is probably sufficient for the easiest of line scan applications but Keyence seems to bridge the gap between PC based (like Dalsa and Dr. Schenk) and smart cameras.