Monday, September 10, 2012

A flexible machine vision system

Machine vision application stories always show high volume, single product applications. Bottle caps and labels seem to be some of the most common, and they’re nice because once the cameras and lighting are set there’s no need to make adjustments.

Unfortunately, I live in a world where the volumes aren’t so high. As a result, I have to design-in flexibility to cope with different sizes and shapes of product. Often that means higher resolutions and more cameras than I might really want, which naturally results in higher costs. Wouldn’t it be good then to have some flexibility in where the cameras point?

Wolf Vision Systems, from Neulingen-Göbrichen in Germany has an answer. They’re using pan-tilt cameras. As these are under computer control it’s a simple job to re-aim them for every different part that needs to be inspected. Unfortunately there’s no English language option on the website, but Google does a good translation.

The downside is that, so far as I can tell, the lenses are not C-mount, so image quality may leave something to be desired. Even so, it seems like a good idea to me.

Does anyone know of a C-mount pan-tilt camera? If not, I might want to start making them.


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