What the New Direction in Vision Sensing Means for You

E-mail Barbara Goode

Vision sensing has undergone dramatic change in the past few years. High-end machine vision systems, the original vision sensing technology, is still important for certain types of inspection, but technology advances and decreased costs have made possible the heretofore inconceivable: Camera phones and in-vehicle automobile applications are just two examples (note yesterday's news from Honda). How can you take advantage of falling prices and increased functionality to solve problems or add capability?

The article Vision Sensors See More Details in Sensors' September issue helps answer this question. It points out that a new breed of vision sensors (such as PresencePLUS P4 GEO from Banner Engineering and Checker from Cognex) is "an obvious choice for inspections that require several photoelectric sensors but are not complex enough for human inspection." Sample applications are ensuring that package labels are present and properly aligned, that bottles are capped, or that cartons contain the proper number of units.

Advances Engender Changes
The fact that vision sensors can compete with photoelectrics is a remarkable development given the traditional cost differential, and will be of interest to the majority of respondents to a recent Quick Poll survey on the Sensors site: 37.5% said they have three or more photoelectric sensors set up in one location.

It might come as no surprise, then, that 50% of respondents to another survey said they are using "many more vision sensors now than 2 years ago" and the remaining 50% said they are using "slightly more vision sensors now than 2 years ago."

How can you determine whether vision sensors are a good choice for your application? The article explains the criteria for understanding.