Benefits of smart cameras in industrial settings

Smart cameras incorporate an image sensor and CPU capabilities into the camera, which has a few consequences for certain applications and can capture and process images without the need for an external PC.
By AIA December 19, 2017

Image courtesy: Bob Vavra, CFE MediaDeployment of smart cameras in industrial settings has gained popularity over the past few years. These cameras provide numerous advantages over host-based systems in the right applications, and can open up entirely new possibilities for inspection, measurement and other vision applications.

Why are smart cameras being used in industrial settings? Typical cameras for industrial vision consist mainly of an image sensor, speaking strictly of internal imaging capabilities. Any image processing, interpreting and decision-making must take place externally on a PC, or not take place at all.

Smart cameras incorporate an image sensor and CPU capabilities into the camera, which has a few consequences for certain applications. Basically, a smart camera captures and processes images without the need for an external PC.

Why use smart cameras in industrial settings?

Using numerous cameras interfaced to a PC system can take up a lot of space. Industrial settings are typically crowded, or at least require the efficient use of floor space. Smart cameras get rid of the need for all these connections and multiple camera systems. They require much less space and streamline machine vision systems.

Smart cameras enable localized pass/fail decision making, I/O part rejection and networked management capabilities. This leads to smaller system footprints and further streamlines and simplifies vision systems.

Most smart cameras allow system integrators and manufacturers great customization for image enhancement, feature location, object measurement and more. They provide high performance in a compact package and are versatile enough to fit a wide range of industrial imaging needs.

Smart camera deployment in industrial settings has grown steadily over the past several years. While this technology is now making its way into the healthcare and entertainment industries, they’ve been primarily used in the industrial sector and continue to enjoy increasing rates of adoption.

Smart cameras, while not a fit for every application, can provide advantages over traditional machine vision systems in industrial settings.

This article originally appeared on the AIA website. The AIA is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). A3 is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineeringcvavra@cfemedia.com.

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