to leverage the benefits of an intelligent vision system
Key considerations when choosing the smart camera advantage
of incorporating a Smart Camera into a vision system
Combining a camera, embedded optics, programmable processors, software,
frame grabbers and I/O boards (and sometimes lighting, for example,
BOA Spot), a smart camera can be described as being "a computer
with an eye". Thanks
to these on-board capabilities, smart cameras simplify the deployment
of machine vision systems as they lower system cost overall. And
because smart cameras take some of the guesswork out of component
selection and system design, they allow users to focus on what is
most important - getting the application right.
These cameras are an "all-in-one" solution to a range
of machine vision applications as they simplify and streamline the
integration and deployment of a vision system. Additionally, their
robustness makes them suitable for operation in harsh environments
while their small footprint and integration ease allow them to be
installed into pre-existing machinery or on to a robotic arm.
Equally, image processing is also simplified as the smart camera
saves bandwidth and speeds up the inspection by capturing, processing
and outputting a result (and/or an image) rather than merely sending
the data to a PC for processing.
Choosing a vision system wisely needs an understanding of the most
important cost and performance differences that result in a successful
application where the benefits of smart deployment are evident.
Five key points to consider when investigating
a smart camera system
Before considering any machine vision solution, it is important
to know how the resulting data will be used; the camera's operating
environment; employees' skills sets - can they initiate and than
maintain the system; and the budget.
DALSA's BOA Spot
||Will a smart
camera meet the processing speed and throughput requirements of my
|| A smart camera must be able to produce
a solution within the cycle time of the inspection and unless exceptionally
high throughput and processing speeds are required, then a smart camera
will probably satisfy. Determining whether any machine vision system,
including a PC-based system, can deliver the throughput needed will
depend on the content and quality of the images to be captured, the
inspection area and the types of software tools available. Our technical
staff can advise.
the smart camera deliver the resolution I need?
||Currently, smart cameras use both CCD and
CMOS sensors and come with a range of resolutions (for example, Teledyne
DALSA's BOA2 uses an up-to 5 megapixel CMOS sensor) that can provide
the right resolution to capture the detail required. The benefits
of choosing a larger sensor means that a bigger area can be inspeced
at the one time and even the smallest detail can be captured.
smart camera offer appropriate software tools that are easy to use
and to maintain?
||Embedded vision software
is an element of every smart camera system with different tools being
offered by different manufacturers. These tools cover the the most
common inspection tasks. The difference between a smart camera and
a PC-based camera is that a smart camera's operations can be used
and modified by an operator with just basic knowledge (after it has
been set up by an expert). Costs are saved because an engineer or
integrator is not needed to modify or create a new application once
the cameras has been set up.
If a smart camera provided the ideal solution but more flexible software
is required, then some manufacturers make tools that can accommodate
a change. However, the trade-off is that increased software flexibility
also requires more operator expertise and set up time.
smart camera support my communication protocols?
||Any smart camera chosen
should provide standard communication protocols so that it can integrate
quickly and seamlessly into the network. When using a smart camera,
results can be transmitted easily using a low-cost Ethernet interface
which can accommodate long distances. This can speed the data delivered
to the application running on a PC, shared with other steps in a production
line, or logged and archived for future analysis. However, It is important
to note that smart cameras do not have their own monitor to view images
and that setting up a second-party viewing device might result in
smart camera system make it simple to migrate to a more powerful camera
||Choosing a smart camera
that is part of a “family” of cameras will simplify the
migration process; in many cases, a camera with a faster processor
will be “plug and play,” allowing you to transition your
application seamlessly. However, migrating to a smart camera with
the same throughput but a higher resolution is not as simple but is
still possible. Also, if a smart camera is damaged, its replacement
is less expensive and easier to replace than the traditional PC-based
machine vision system.
This article is a summary of Teledyne DALAS's white
paper: "Considering a Smart Camera? Keep These Five Key Features
here to learn more about smart cameras available through Adept
Need a price or more application
information? Please email
Adept Turnkey or call our offices
Adept Turnkey are "The Machine Vision and Imaging Specialists"
and distributor of Machine Vision products in Australia and New Zealand.
To find out more about any machine vision product, please call us at:
Perth (08) 9242 5411 / Sydney (02) 9905 5551/ Melbourne (03) 9384 1775
or use our online contact