News round-up: Machine vision contracts, OMAC plans, PLCopen data project

Braintech reported new orders for vision-guided robotics software through its ABB alliance: ABB purchased five eVisionFactory (eVF) software packages recently for the ABB TrueView Vision Guided Robotics System.


Braintech reported new orders for vision-guided robotics software through its ABB alliance: ABB purchased five eVisionFactory (eVF) software packages recently for the ABB TrueView Vision Guided Robotics System. A major North American automaker will be using the technology for material handling and engine head decking, the company said.

Matrox Imaging announced a $3.3 million order for wafer inspection equipment for the semiconductor industry. The order is for Matrox Imaging vision processors, frame grabbers, industrial vision computers and software to be delivered over the next twelve months to a North American semiconductor original equipment manufacturer.

OMAC announces plan to showcase interoperability at ISA Expo 2005 : OMAC—The Open Modular Architecture Controls Users’ Group, an ISA organization, plans to host a pavilion on manufacturing infrastructure, packaging machinery, and machine control systems at ISA Expo 2005, Oct. 25-27, in Chicago, IL. The announcement follows OMAC’s recent merger with ISA—The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society. The previously reported merger was finalized Feb. 24.

PLCopen is looking at practicality of standardizing data types in a performance measurement project. Based on the IEC 1131-3 set of instructions and data types, the goal is to offer customers a standard method to find realistic performance data. IEC 61131-3 standard defines the language items for PLC programming and the data types. The combination of a language items (operand) and data type (either basic data types such as BOOL, BYTE, INT, etc. or even user defined data types such as structures) in a sequence, involves different IEC languages. Within projects, performance data typically either only refer to a certain data type (that is: “1,000 lines of Boolean operands”), or are random mixed set data types and operands, rather than easily accessible, standard structures. A technical committee hopes to find the most practical methods of performance measurements relating to IEC language items; define generic projects for measurement purposes; and look into possible certification issues.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,

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