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Embroidery as low-cost solution for wearable electronics
Embroidering power-generating yarns onto fabric can offer a low-cost, potentially scalable method for making wearable devices.
Synaptic transistor can enhance functions for robots, wearable devices
A wearable synaptic transistor has been developed by Penn State researchers to enhance device performance for robotics and wearable devices.
Improved methods for using sensors in robots
Efficiency, flexibility and visibility can be improved in manufacturing plants by using sensor-level networks to enable sensors in robots to collect better data and more of it.
Engineers repurpose photography technique to enhance sensors, vision
MIT researchers have repurposed a 19th century photography technique to make stretchy, color-changing films, which could improve manufacturing of pressure-monitoring bandages, shade-shifting fabrics touch-sensing robots and more.
Helping future development of multimodal sensors
Penn State researchers examined the ways to decouple input signals for multimodal sensors, which is important for avoiding complicated signal processing steps.
Strain-sensing smart skin developed for monitoring large structures
Rice University researchers have developed strain-sensing smart skin that uses very small structures, carbon nanotubes, to monitor and detect damage in large structures.
Turning 3D images into 360-degree models
A Mizzou Engineering team has devised a new way to turn single panoramic images into 3D models with a system called OmniFusion.
Algorithm created to make computer vision autonomous
An algorithm has been created to solve one of the hardest tasks in computer vision: assigning a label to every pixel without human supervision.
Enabling simple cameras to see in 3D
Stanford researchers devised a compact optical device that could soon be used by common digital cameras to measure the distance to objects.
Deep-ultraviolet laser used for water purification, sensing
Cornell engineers have created a deep-ultraviolet laser using semiconductor materials that show great promise for improving the use of ultraviolet light for sterilizing medical tools, purifying water, sensing hazardous gases and more.
Four machine vision innovations for industrial automation
From optics and lighting to smart cameras to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), machine vision is growing in industrial automation and changing in many ways. Four innovations are highlighted.
Machine vision, machine control convergence with PC-based automation
Machine vision systems have moved beyond elevated sensors to inspection integrated in controllers. Choosing the right based PC-based automation platform can make them even better.
Peripheral vision benefits for machines
MIT researchers have found similarities between how some computer-vision systems process images and how humans see out of the corners of their eyes.
Industrial networks delivering bandwidth for vision sensors
CoaXPress 2.0 (CXP 2.0) and 10GigE Vision (10 GigE) are the two most popular interfaces for machine vision and discrete sensors; CXP 2.0 has advantages in flexibility, speed, bandwidth and cable length.
Angle sensor allows microscopic measurements at video speeds
An ultra-compact angle sensor built from flat optics captures these measurements at 30 frames per second, which will allow for more accurate and precise measurements of tiny atomic materials.
AI vision for monitoring manufacturing and industrial environments
Manufacturers can benefit from AI machine vision technologies by increasing uptime, leverage preventive maintenance and more.
Machine vibration analysis benefits for manufacturers
Vibration analysis allows early detection of wear, fatigue and failure in rotating machinery because vibration occurs in all rotational assets, but generally highlights an issue discovered by higher readings and particular frequencies.
Smart laser cutter system detects different materials
A smart material-sensing platform for laser cutters that can differentiate between 30 materials commonly found in makerspaces and workshops has been developed by MIT researchers. See video demonstration.
Room temperature superconductor achieves record
A new record for the temperature at which materials have superconductivity and has developed a novel way to synthesize superconducting materials at lower pressures than previously reported. See video.
Built-in vibration control can help soundproof rooms, vehicles
The Ohio State University researchers developed a design for absorbing vibrations that could help create better soundproof walls, make vehicles more streamlined and help in other engineering aspects.
Electronic solenoid interlock
The AZM40 is a safety rated solenoid interlock with an integrated radio frequency identification (RFID) based electronic safety sensor.
Machine vision technologies are more important than ever for automation
The need for automation and accompanying technologies such as machine vision and robotics will grow as manufacturing changes in the wake of COVID-19.
Face mask prototype can detect COVID-19 infection
Engineers at MIT and Harvard have designed a prototype face mask that can diagnose the person wearing the mask with COVID-19 within about 90 minutes and can be used to detect other pathogens and chemicals.
Five tips for choosing the right vision inspection system
With 2D, 3D, and even deep learning inspections all being realistic product inspection options today, it's can be hard to choose. Five tips for picking the right system are highlighted.
Machine vision groups create group for exploring API standards
The call for exploratory group participation to all sensor and camera manufacturers, silicon vendors, and software developers working on vision and sensor processing
Smart clothes powered by Wi-Fi monitors wearer’s health
Purdue University engineers have developed smart clothes that are powered wirelessly through a flexible, silk-based coil sewn on the textile.
Industry standard size 25 encoder reference website, push-button programmable encoders
An encoder part number reference website, www.autotechsmartencoder.net, deciphers more than 200,000 size-25 encoder combinations, gives descriptions and replacement options with next-day delivery for orders placed by 6 p.m. CST; 10 two-button-programmable encoders are said to cover all combinations.
Touchless temperature sensor developed
A touchless temperature sensor using infrared light to take a person's body temperature to detect COVID-19 and more has been developed by Rice University engineers. See video.
Graphene-based biosensors used to develop mass COVID-19 tests
Graphene-based biosensors are being used to develop better, cheaper, quicker, more accessible testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Imaging system allows users to see UV and visible light simultaneously
A passive down-conversion imaging system created allows engineers to peer into the UV range while still viewing the visible spectrum for better machine vision results.
How 3D LIDAR scanning adds value for industrial, manufacturing clients
Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) scanning offers critical benefits to clients and engineers and makes projects more efficient and minimizes conflicts.
4D vision’s benefits for robotic automation
4D vision takes some aspects from 2D machine vision and gives it more human elements and a boost with artificial intelligence (AI), which can help robots perform better in automation applications.
Nonlinear optical process developed
Columbia researchers engineered a technique to exploit the tunable symmetry of 2D materials for nonlinear optical applications, including laser, optical spectroscopy, imaging, and metrology systems, as well as next-generation optical quantum information processing and computing.
Four machine vision and imaging events announced
The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) announced four events to promote the use of machine vision and imaging technologies – three virtual conferences and an in-person trade show in 2022.
Wearable sensor developed to detect COVID-19, other diseases
A University of Missouri engineer received a grant from the National Science Foundation to plan for large-scale manufacturing of an on-skin, wearable bioelectronic device.
Lens developed to focus at multiple depths without moving
MIT researchers have developed that design may enable miniature zoom lenses for drones, cellphones or night-vision goggles without moving or tilting.
How industrial vision systems differ from the human brain
Industrial machine vision applications work a lot like the human brain does, but they aren't quite as flexible and have other potential limitations we may not realize.
Optical sensor used for greenhouse gas detection
An optical sensor is being used with the satellite Hugo to detect greenhouse gas emissions from outer space.
Top 5 Control Engineering Articles Nov. 16-22, 2020
Articles about SCADA, HMI and MES projects, deep learning enabling machine vision solutions, maintenance automation, IIoT, and more were Control Engineering’s five most clicked articles from Nov. 16-22, 2020. Miss something? You can catch up here.
Stretchable sensor gives robots and VR a human touch
A fiber-optic sensor that combines low-cost LEDs and dyes has been created by Cornell researchers, which results in a stretchable “skin” that detects deformations such as pressure, bending and strain.
How deep learning enables machine vision solutions
Deep learning offers machine vision designers a powerful new tool for advanced inspection and it's getting easier to apply thanks to technology advances.
Digital twin start-up offers guidance to manufacturers
Albert Kao, CEO and co-founder of the company, offered some background about his company, i-5O, and their work with digital twins powered by computer vision systems.
How hollow-shaft encoders break the multi-turn barrier
Adding multi-turn measurement capabilities to hollow-shaft encoders used to be challenging, but adding a Wiegand wire system makes it easier and expands usable applications, including robotics.
Engineers print wearable sensors directly on skin without heat
An international team of researchers have developed a method of printing sensors directly on human skin without the use of heat.
Monitoring network, sensors developed to improve longwall mine safety
Researchers are working on a methane monitoring network to increase the safety of longwall mines, which could help other industries where hazardous gases are a major factor.
Benefits of scalable machine vision systems
The challenge for machine vision systems remains the ease of configuration and processing, which affects scalability. This needs to improve as the technology becomes more common.
Lidar advances could improve safety, security for vehicles, smartphones
CU Boulder researchers are working on a silicon chip – with no moving parts or electronics – that improves the resolution and scanning speed needed for a lidar system while making them less expensive and more efficient.
Researchers receive grant to develop rapid sensor technology for cattle disease
Purdue University researchers are developing technology to reduce diagnosis time of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) to around 30 minutes, which could help reduce the costs of the disease to the agricultural industry.
Enhanced lidar developed for autonomous vehicles
Researchers have built a way to make lidar achieve higher-resolution detection of nearby fast-moving objects through mechanical control and modulation of light on a silicon chip, which could maker autonomous vehicles smarter and more self-aware.
Wireless sensors for N95 masks could enable more accurate decontamination
University of Michigan researchers are developing tiny wireless sensors for recycled N95 masks could verify, in real time, whether the respirators are being exposed to proper decontamination conditions
Wearable COVID-19 sensor receives research grant
A Northwestern research team received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue developing a novel wearable device and set of algorithms specifically tailored to catch early signs and monitor progression of COVID-19.
Artificial neural networks, sensor computing speeds up machine vision
One of the greatest challenges in terms of biological engineering is creating accurate and reliable artificial machine vision.
Advancements in LiDAR embedded vision technology for safer autonomous vehicles
Autonomous cars are coming, and advancements in technology are improving their performance to the point where their current novelty will become future acceptance and commonality.
Six computer vision technology trends
Computer vision is a part of everyday life for most people. Take a look at six of the hottest trends in computer vision technology.
Hyperspectral imaging use in industrial machine vision systems grows
Hyperspectral imagining uses a greater number of possible wavelengths of light and gathering data for individual pixels of an image, and is able to identify a large number of distinct colors.
As demand for computer vision grows, what key technologies are trending?
Take a look at some of the newest trends in computer vision including smart cities, home security, and more.
Nanoscale microscopic sensors see the light
Cornell researchers who build nanoscale electronics have developed microsensors that are equipped with an integrated circuit, solar cells and LEDs that enable them to harness light for power and communication.
Machine vision is finding its way into new applications as automation demand increases
Advancements in machine vision capabilities have created opportunities to incorporate machine vision into more functions.
Emphasizing and implementing safe practices for using AI in medical fields
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a crucial development in the health care field. It is important to create safe practices for the AI being used within a highly regulated industry.
Advanced bioimaging center pushing the limits of imaging technology
UC Berkeley will be opening an advanced bioimaging center that aims to promote imaging technology in life sciences.
Pharmaceutical industry processes benefiting from machine vision
Machine vision applications for pharmaceutical manufacturers include everything from formulation to packaging to shipping and are designed to protect consumers.
University physicists, engineers upgrading Large Hadron Collider sensors
Rice University physicists and engineers are working on improving machine vision sensors to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for better insights and information about the universe's inner workings.
Technologies developed to make 3D cameras easier to use
A Purdue University professor who has developed new technologies aimed at making 3D cameras easier to use by compressing 3D camera files and automating focus and exposure settings.
Comparing the different interface standards for embedded vision
Embedded vision interfaces vary on the application's specific needs. Mobile industry processor interfaces and USB 3.0 are the most common.
How machine vision is disrupting and changing life science industries
Machine vision is making life science industries more interactive and safer for workers as artificial intelligence takes on a greater role.
Convolutional neural networks help embedded vision applications
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have the ability to replicate the human thought process and use embedded vision to automate those processes.
How embedded vision and AI can reduce manufacturers’ costs
Embedded vision is being added to imaging technology used in drones, collaborative robots and other devices on the manufacturing floor to improve efficiency.
Processors best suited for embedded vision applications
The rise of embedded vision technology is increasing demand for processors. Processors like CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs can help.
Computational imaging and machine vision improve image processing
Computational imaging (CI) redefines the design of traditional image capture for machine vision applications and offers cost savings and flexibility for manufacturers.
Three applications deep learning and computer vision can improve
Utilizing deep learning and computer vision can improve image classification, object segmentation and image reconstruction.
Motion prediction algorithms enhance safety features for automated vehicles
The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed a machine vision system that predicts pedestrian movements with a convolutional neural network (CNN).
Machine vision cables and connectors need to be strong
Vision sensors and software have since become more sophisticated and their application more diverse, but this evolution has also increased demand for cables that can carry more data over longer distances, which presents new challenges for manufacturers.
Three things to consider when choosing a smart camera for an embedded vision application
Users choosing smart cameras for embedded vision applications should think about the camera's processor, vision software and automation system integration.
Machine learning shapes microwaves for a computer’s eyes
Researchers have developed a method to identify objects using microwaves that improves accuracy while reducing the associated computing time and power requirements.
Critical sensor applications: Diagnostics or redundancy?
Using sensors in age of smart devices and systems require more knowledge about sensor system design to ensure reliability and accuracy in critical automation applications. See three key trends in sensor engineering and design.
Wearable air conditioning device developed to monitor human condition
University of Missouri engineers have developed an on-skin device that functions as wearable air conditioning and has numerous human health care applications such as the ability to monitor blood pressure and body temperature.
Wearable sensor developed with kirigami architectures
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign successfully applied kirigami architectures to graphene to create sensors suitable for wearable devices.
Embedded 3-D machine vision enhances automotive production
3-D machine vision can be used for a wide range of automotive manufacturing applications where fast and accurate object detection is needed.
Three machine vision trends for 2020
Machine vision trends to watch out for include embedded vision and improved metrology and vision-guided robotics
Shape memory polymer developed for gripping heavy objects
A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University developed a magnetic shape memory polymer that could improve gripper arms for delicate or heavy objects.
Restoring graphene’s symmetry with a twistable electronics device
Columbia University researchers have developed a method to restore graphene's symmetry by adjusting the twist angle between them, which could enable the development of nanoelectromechanical sensors with applications in astronomy, medicine, search and rescue, and more.
Machine vision sales drop in Q3 2019
The AIA reported a 4.6% decline in North American machine vision sales in the third quarter of 2019.
3 steps to a successful machine vision project
Machine vision can add to a project’s quality and throughput. Heed these three ways to help a vision project succeed.
Machine vision can improve random bin picking
Random 3-D bin picking is a developing robotic skill that requires robots to see and act more like humans, which is a complex task. Machine vision can help.
Machine vision and AI enhance 3-D printing
Adding machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to 3-D printing allows industrial printers to produce products that have never been printed before.
Researchers generate terahertz laser with laughing gas
Researchers from MIT, Harvard University, and the U.S. Army have built a compact device to produce a terahertz laser whose frequency they can tune over a wide range using nitrous oxide for better wireless communication.
Improve the supply chain with drone-based image recognition
Warehouses are turning to drone-based image recognition to improve supply chain efficiencies.
Hyperspectral cameras designed to improve agricultural practices
A Duke University researcher is working on developing a small, inexpensive hyperspectral camera to enable worldwide precision agricultural practices thanks to a recently-awarded fellowship.
Logistics industry looking to improve with machine vision
Logistics operations must be able to process massive databases of SKUs and information and enhancements in machine vision can help improve efficiency.
Civilian drones are an emerging market in machine vision
A growing number of applications and opportunities for machine vision components — from improving drone navigation and safety to capturing image data are main drivers of the civilian drone market for automation and inspection applications.
Artificial intelligence will revolutionize, not replace, machine vision
Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved to become a constant part of our daily lives and the technology will enhance and change machine vision for the better.
Eye-tracking technology could help make driving safer
Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed two eye-tracking technologies to improve collision avoidance and evaluating rear-end accidents for automotive drivers.
Machine vision trends for food inspection applications
Machine vision inspections require lighting and sensors in order for food to be properly imaged and in-depth information to be ascertained and technologies like neural net inspection and near-infrared inspection are helping.
Sensors developed to detect physiological signals emanating from skin
Stanford engineers have developed a way to detect physiological signals with sensors that stick like band-aids onto the skin and transmit readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing, which could improve worker health and safety.
Using augmented reality for increased visibility
Complex augmented reality (AR) could soon find everyday use on assembly lines, in operating rooms and in the classroom as technology advances.
Camera expands vision capabilities with lasers
Stanford University researchers have developed a high-powered laser that captures reflected particles of light and reconstructs them with a camera’s advanced sensors and processing algorithm.
Smart textiles improve device connectivity for HMIs, medical applications
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have incorporated conductive textiles called metamaterials into clothing to connect several wearable devices at once, which could be used for human-machine interfaces (HMIs), health monitoring and other medical applications.
Machine vision starts thinking for itself
Machine vision developments such as image registration, computer-vision, deep learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are beginning to enable radical market change.
Machine vision advances improve surveillance, public safety
Machine vision technology is widely used for surveillance, and researchers are working to make it more and more intelligent, but occlusion is still a well-known issue in people-detection.
Eye-tracking technology as the future of human-computer interaction
Eye-tracking technology is being used for research and industrial applications and will improve right along with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems and become the basis for human-computer interaction
3-D machine vision for safer collaborative robot automation
3-D machine vision lets a robot sense, process information and mimic the way two humans adjust to working around each other.
Agricultural imagery and machine vision
Machine vision technologies are helping the agricultural industry prevent food losses by giving farmers a better look at their crops' health.
Secondary mirror for telescope deploys using spacecraft flight electronics
The James Webb Space Telescope’s Secondary Mirror Support Structure (SMSS) was deployed for the first time using the telescope’s flight electronics at Northrop Grumman’s clean room in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Emerging 3-D vision technologies for robot and machine vision
3-D machine vision is a growing trend that delivers accurate, real-time information to improve performance in applications. 3-D machine vision detects objects regardless of position.
Embedded vision for industrial inspection purposes
Embedded vision systems can help businesses improve on the current standards set by manual inspection procedures.
Teaching vision-guided robots with software, programming advances
Random bin picking is a challenge for vision-guided robotics (VGRs), but manufacturers are developing software and end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) technology to make the process more efficient.
Improving automated inspection in manufacturing
Machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI) are making their way into production and manufacturing and improving inspection practices by making it automated.
Six tips for picking the correct machine vision lens
Picking the right machine vision lens requires the user to consider the type of lens, sensor, and more.
Embedded vision is driving ADAS technology advances
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) offer simplification of the driving process, including reduction of driver distraction and inattention and embedded vision is integral to these advances.
Terahertz frequency comb developed for medical, biological applications
Northwestern Engineering researchers have developed a chip-based terahertz frequency comb that works at room temperature and is designed for medical and biological screening.
Deep embedded vision benefits for manufacturers
Deep embedded vision systems can work without operating systems and feature advanced algorithms for processing raw image streams from integrated image sensors.
Detecting defects with 2-D and 3-D automated optical inspection
2-D and 3-D automated optical inspection (AOI) scan printed circuit boards (PCBs) for both catastrophic failure and quality defects, but each inspection system has particular strengths and weaknesses.
Machine vision component and system sales decline in first quarter
The AIA reported that machine vision component and system sales declined 4.5% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
Machine vision technologies, innovations are expanding the landscape
Machine vision enables a whole new perspective on what humans can inspect, analyze, sort, and read and technologies such as infrared, multispectral, and time of flight are changing the landscape.
Envisioning more at Ford
Plans are underway at Ford to use machine vision with robotics to increase quality and throughput, as explained at Automate 2019. See video.
Differences between machine vision and embedded vision
Embedded vision and machine vision applications are effective, but they have different priorities and interfaces that need to be considered.
Company uses machine vision and artificial intelligence to enhance 3-D printing
Inkbit, a startup out of MIT, is working to bring 3-D printing benefits to a slew of products that have never been printed before by pairing its multimaterial inkjet 3-D printer with machine vision and machine learning systems.
Sensor glove developed to learn human grasp signatures for robotics, medical applications
MIT researchers have developed a scalable tactile glove (STAG) designed to help a neural network identify objects by touch, which could aid robotics and prosthetics design.
Four ways embedded vision systems are used to enhance robotics
Embedded vision systems can help robots achieve and accomplish tasks they weren't able to do before including automated assembly and robotic inspection.
Embedded vision systems improve virtual reality
Embedded vision systems are being used to track human eye movements and determining, which is improving virtual reality (VR) applications.
Researchers develop portable hyperspectral camera for imaging, research applications
Rice University engineers are building a portable hyperspectral camera, Tunable Light-Guide Image Processing Snapshot Spectrometer (TuLIPSS), which allows researchers to instantly capture data across the visible and near-infrared spectrum.
Technologies advancing machine vision identification
Many technologies are pushing the machine vision industry forward in regards to identification capabilities, which is a central aspect of what machine vision systems have to offer in nearly any scenario.
3-D imaging offers new machine vision inspection potential
Advances in 3-D imaging have allowed machine vision users to overcome some challenging inspection tasks and tackles applications 2-D imaging cannot.
Benefits of FPGAs and GPUs in embedded vision image processing
While embedded vision is still an emerging technology, to date there are typically two main types of processors used in embedded systems – field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).
Vision systems in advanced driver assistance systems
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have come a long way since their inception and new technologies are helping them achieve greater degrees of autonomy in navigation and operation.
Machine vision system design challenges
Modern machine vision systems have advanced with developments such as higher resolutions, sensitivities, and frame rates, but they haven't happened in parallel, which has created some problems.
Machine vision industry growth expected to continue
The machine vision industry is expected to continue growing as investors begin to realize the market's potential and its benefits for manufacturing and other industries.
FPGA benefits for embedded vision applications
Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) are designed to offer flexibility and performance to improve overall system functionality and viability for embedded vision applications.
Stereo cameras help self-driving cars ‘see’
Cornell researchers use two inexpensive cameras on either side of the windshield to detect objects with high accuracy and a low cost. See link to video for more information.
Optics and lighting design crucial for machine vision applications
Sensor selection is dependent on the application and so is the lighting, which makes optics just as important. However, optics suppliers do struggle to keep pace with the machine vision industry's rapid evolution.
Four embedded vision trends enabling adoption
Embedded vision systems are being leveraged in industrial manufacturing and trends such as ease of use, lower costs, and smaller chips are helping their widespread adoption.
Machine vision standards help the industry grow
Four machine vision standards are helping the industry grow as a whole and help facilitate new business opportunities.
Machine vision equipment market expected to double growth by 2022
Frost & Sullivan expects the global machine vision equipment market to almost double by 2022 as industries' demand for quality inspection grows.
Energy monitor can find electrical failures before they happen
MIT researchers have developed a sensor that can monitor wiring in a building or ship, and signal when repairs are needed.
Machine vision users adopting cloud computing
Many companies are turning to cloud computing to handle the large data flows coming from their machine vision systems.
Defense sector applications for embedded vision technology
The military is using advanced embedded vision technologies to provide soldiers with faster and more reliable information to keep them safe in the field.
Medical industry leveraging embedded vision technologies
The medical industry is leveraging embedded vision technologies, but there are challenges surrounding the cost and the customization required for a new product.
Embedded vision’s future role in manufacturing and automation
The manufacturing sector is moving towards greater and greater levels of automation as they strive for higher levels of productivity, safety, and low-cost production and embedded vision will a key role in the future.
Sensor developed to help autonomous vehicles steer through fog and dust
MIT researchers have developed an on-chip system that detects signals at sub-terahertz wavelengths, which could help steer driverless cars through fog and dust.
Machine vision industry growth expected in 2019
The machine vision industry, coming off a strong 2018, will see continued growth throughout 2019 as major changes, largely driven by technology and economic advances.
Benefits of frame grabbers for machine vision applications
Frame grabbers continue to provide benefits for machine vision applications because of the rising resolution and speed of image sensors.
Four machine vision software advances
Advances in deep learning, 3-D imaging, and optical character recognition (OCR) software are among the major machine vision developments happening right now.
Embedded vision’s role in augmented and virtual reality advances
Embedded vision technology is an essential component for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) environments and allows headsets to capture the world around them in an extremely compact space.
Four machine vision industry trends for 2019
Industry trends impacting the machine vision industry include embedded vision growth, deep learning technology, and global economic uncertainty.
Machine vision use growing in food and beverage industry
The food and beverage industry has been an early adopter of machine vision technology, which has inspired some companies to develop technology that meets stricter industry standards.
Shaft encoders versus bearingless encoders: Technology types, applications
Should shaft encoders or bearingless encoders be used? Should capacitive, magnetic, or inductive encoder sensors be used? Where should design engineers deploy each encoder type and why?
Embedded vision technology advances are key for medical applications
There is growing demand for optimized medical instruments that can provide a solution regardless of location or user expertise and machine vision is crucial in making those advances happen.
Vision-based track and trace improves product integrity
Vision-based track-and-trace systems represent big profit potential for companies looking to improve operations and overall safety in industries such as food and beverage, which are subject to potential recalls.
Smart cameras are becoming more complex and smarter
Smart cameras are part of the reason why the machine vision is growing. The technology behind smart cameras is making them more complex and diverse and enabling them to use deep learning.
What is machine vision, and how can it help?
Understanding how machine vision works will help you see if machine vision will clear up specific application difficulties in manufacturing or processing.
Embedded vision is changing how people, machines interact
Embedded vision immerses the user in a more natural way by allowing the products to better augment our existing capabilities.
Solution developed to connect sensors to existing infrastructure
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced that group members developed to connect sensors to an IT system using existing infrastructure without affecting real-time operations for brownfield facilities.
Embedded system benefits in mechanical, automotive applications
Embedded vision technology has the potential to transform how the automotive, consumer electronics, robotics, and semiconductor industries work.
Military, machine vision interfaces converge for mutual benefit
Machine vision standards bring benefits in image data delivery and compatibility while helping keep soldiers safe as well as reducing the cost of upgrading militaries to the newest technologies.
Updates to 2018 machine vision standards
Machine vision standards help provide component interoperability for manufacturers who are trying to develop products with the potential for widespread industry use.
Embedded vision uses for remote healthcare and diagnosis applications
Embedded vision has the ability to help remotely care for patients, which increases the global accessibility of healthcare, improves healthcare's overall quality, and lowers the cost of healthcare services.
Embedded vision systems improve 3-D mapping capabilities
Embedded vision technology is used to combine known locations with movement tracking to autonomously navigate new and diverse environments and is playing an important role for feeding data to autonomous systems for navigation.
Advanced image sensors’ role in developing autonomous vehicles
Advances in machine vision technology are leading us closer to a future of driverless cars and trucks, but challenges such as the massive amount of data produced by vision systems remain, which companies are working to overcome.
Discrete Sensors 101: Sensor types and best practices
Measuring success: Understand which type of discrete sensors to use for what applications, terminology, and tips.
Applications that benefit from 3-D sensing
3-D sensing is helping machine vision solving many automation challenges, but it's not suited for all applications. Knowing what types of 3-D vision are out there and understanding the application helps.
Robust vision inspection in 5 steps
Inside Machines: When performing a machine vision inspection, users should assess the application, optics, lighting, setup, and runtime considerations.
Embedded vision benefits and applications
While embedded vision systems cannot take the place of PC-based vision systems altogether, embedded systems do present many advantages for certain applications and provide benefits such as small size, low cost, and low energy consumption.
EC: EZProx Inductive Proximity Sensors
Machine & Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: EZProx is a low cost inductive proximity sensor with top-end industry standard specs. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
EC: O3D Smart Sensor O3D302
Machine & Embedded Control - Machine vision, barcode readers: ifm efector's O3D Smart Sensor for industrial applications is a one-of-a kind, powerful imaging solution designed to simplify difficult applications such as case completeness verification and box dimensioning at an industry-leading price point. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: PCH420 HART enabled 4-20 mA vibration sensors
Machine & Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: The PCH420 series of loop powered vibration sensors adds intelligent bi-directional communications using the digital technology of HART protocol on top of common 4- to 20-mA analog signals in field installed sensors. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Honorable Mention.
EC: In-Sight 8405 with PatMax Redline
Machine & Embedded Control - Machine vision, barcode readers: In-Sight 8405 helps manufacturers reduce cycle times, increase production throughput, and provide a higher resolution; or perform additional applications without increasing cycle times and is suitable for guidance, inspection, gauging and identification. This is a Control Engineering 2016 Engineers’ Choice Awards Winner.
Emissions standards drive automotive powertrain silicon sensors past $1 billion
The global market for automotive powertrain silicon sensors crossed the $1 billion threshold at the end of 2013, with stricter emission standards in the U.S. as well as Europe projected to drive the market forward, according to a new report from IHS Inc.
Ultrasonic sensor series works independent of color, surface finish
Balluff’s ultrasonic sensors are designed for distance measurement and operate independently of color and surface finish and are useful for critical applications.
Inductive sensors for extreme environments
Steute Xtreme's ATEX- IECEx Certified Inductive Sensors are designed for use in Zone 0 and 20 explosive atmospheres and extreme environments and are built with a stainless steel enclosure.
Frame light grids detect and count parts as small as 4 mm
The Frame Light Grids (FLG) by Sick detect and count parts as small as 4 mm and feature closed- and open-side designs on applications that require counting parts on conveyors and machines.
Vision system for color applications
The In-Sight 7010C by Cognex features a 24-bit color resolution that can identify 16 million color variations distinguish parts by color and features IP67-rated housing and autofocus technology as well as integrated lighting options.
Reading software with automatic tuning
OCRMax reading software from Cognex now includes automatic tuning capability, which automatically adjusts to the tool being used and can prevent misreads and font management.
Touch probes with hybrid technology
The TS 460 and TT 460 touch probes by Heidenhain feature hybrid technology and radio and has a 360-degree range of transmission.
Capacitive proximity sensors, 12 mm, 30 mm
AutomationDirect's line of proximity sensors include 12 mm round bodied DC models and unshielded 30 mm models feature AC and DC versions with plastic housings.
EC: E67 Series Long Range Perfect Prox sensor
Machine and Embedded Control - Discrete sensors: The E67 Series Long Range Perfect Prox sensor is engineered to solve the most difficult photoelectric sensing applications through patented optics technology reliably detecting targets regardless of material color, texture, reflectance, contrast, or surface shape. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Full-frame CCD image sensor
The FTF9168 CCD Image Sensors by Teledyne Dalsa are designed for applications like document scanning and aerial photogrammetry, which require high resolution.
CMOS industrial line scan camera
The Piranha4 8k CMOS camera is designed for automatic optical inspection and is uses bilinear line scan technology.
The UK1 sensors by AutomationDirect now include 18 mm round plastic DC models. The UK1 sensors are also IP67-rated and offer six output types and four sensing ranges.
Vision system has autofocus, integrated lighting
Cognex entry level vision system has autofocus and integrated lighting. Cognex In-Sight 7010 targets applications not previously considered for a vision system.
Rotary single axis inclinometer
Turck's rotary single axis inclinometer has a monitoring range of 360 degrees, making it ideal for mobile equipment, and is IP68-rated.
Smart camera with IP67 rating and color, monochrome sensors
The Iris GT smart camera by Matrox Imaging will be demonstrated at ATX East in Philadelphia from May 22-24.
Angle encoder for metrology systems
The ERO 6000 by Heidenhain has two design types with line counts of 9,000 and 18,000 and are designed for high dynamic applications like air bearing spindles and laser trackers.
Magnetic rotary sensors reduces mechanical wear
The R-series by Novotechnik use a magnetic pick-up to determine angle so there is mechanical wear on the product.
EC: DataMan 500
Machine and embedded control – Machine vision, barcode readers: DataMan 500 from Cognex is a revolutionary new image-based barcode reader that brings the technology to a new level of performance and ease of use for area-scan image-based readers. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
EC: TM18 Photoelectric Sensor
Machine and embedded control – Discrete sensors: The TM18 is a compact photoelectric sensor from Banner Engineering that features metal housing for superior durability and resistance in harsh sensing environments. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.
Non-contact laser sensor
The L-Gage LH Series laser sensor from Banner Engineering is used for precision displacement and thickness measure for quality control inspections.
Cables for fiber-optic sensors
Omega's E32 series of shock and vibration resistant cables for fiber-optic sensors is designed to withstand higher temperatures and is designed for automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
New registration mark sensor has easier teach function
Banner Engineering R58B Series sensor has a simplified teach button to help improve the sensor's functionality for the user, the company said.
Sensors for contrast, color, luminescence
Sick offers industrial registration sensors detect contrast, color, luminescence. Array and fork sensors also are available.
Photoelectric sensor for heavy-duty applications
Banner's TM18 photoelectric sensor is designed for heavy-duty environments and uses red emitter LED models to allow the sensor to track its target more efficiently.
CMOS-based X-ray camera
Teledyne Dalsa CMOS-based, standard product camera is the first in the industry designed specifically for industrial CT (computed tomography) imaging at 30 fps in full resolution, the company said.
Embedded Vision Alliance promotes computer vision
Technology companies form the Embedded Vision Alliance to help engineers add computer vision capabilities to their products, with standards and other information, which could help machine vision efforts.
Density meter improves quality for Cartier Del Garda paper mill
Accuracy of Micro Motion density meter removes need for expensive coating additives, enabling significant annual savings.
Long-lasting second generation gear motor, 150 W
Crouzet's New 150 Watt Brushless DC Motor features high speed and torque capabilities in compact, durable housing.
Encoders support Modbus-TCP Ethernet protocol
AMCI NR25 series encoders support Modbus TCP/IP. The encoders are designed for increased durability as well as single or multi-turn capacity for stronger functionality.
Motion module is an IEC 61131-3 controller
Yaskawa MP2600iec motion module is an IEC 61131-3 controller with PLCopen Motion function blocks for 1.5 axis applications. It expands Yaskawa's machine control offerings.
Photoelectric sensors extend sensing range, ruggedness
Carlo Gavazzi PA18 Series photoelectric sensors in M18 housing have an extended sensing range and ability to withstand extreme temperature and high pressure.
Back to Basics: Non-contact laser measurement
Manufacturers in a range of industries can use non-contact laser encoders to accurately measure the length and speed of products and optimize process control. Tutorial follows with diagram, photos, and links.
Light curtains pick to light for error-free shelf control
Wenglor sensoric light curtain uses a pre-mounted reflector foil attached to the back of the sensor´s housing to reduce the efforts for installation and wiring, reduce the initial start-up costs, and reduce search time.
Portable ultrasonic flowmeter offers features, budget price
Sierra’s portable transit-time flowmeter increases versatility by using sophisticated signal processing.
Choosing between machine vision or sensors
To determine whether discrete or vision sensors will be the most robust and cost-effective way to error proof a parts production, look at the level of complexity in the sensing required. See photo gallery and checklist: 8 ways to choose between machine vision or sensors.
Image-based code reader for 1D, 2D codes
Sick Lector620 image-based code reader equips engineers to track, traceability applications in a range of industries.
New basic sensor line: photoelectric, inductive proximity sensors
New high-performance industrial sensors by AutomationDirect have been released: photoelectric sensors and inductive dc proximity sensors in various sizes, models, and ranges.
Long range inductive sensor for difficult applications
Balluff Q40 inductive proximity block sensor is compact in size, senses at long ranges, withstands hostile environments.
Motor controller targets mobile robot, automation applications
Roboteq’s MDC2250 controller is capable of driving two dc motors up to 60 amps each.
Universal code reader reads all common 1D and 2D codes
Mac335 from Pepperl+Fuchs can read small and large codes at distances ranging from 20 mm to 300 mm.
Machine vision market soared 54% in North America in 2010
Sales of machine vision components and systems in North America soared 54% in 2010 to nearly $1.8 billion, according to figures released by the AIA.
Vision system cuts downtime, improves inspection productivity 60%
Royal Canadian Mint uses a machine vision system to improve inspection productivity from 25,000 to 40,000 rolls per shift, cut downtime, and reduce manual tasks.
Fixed field sensors with background suppression provide more reliable detection
Banner Engineering World-Beam Q20FF fixed-field background suppression sensor delivers enhanced sensing capabilities with fixed field background suppression.
Vision sensor reads linear and data matrix codes
Balluff Sharpshooter ID vision sensor reads the most common codes on the market with high code module resolutions available.
Servo drives with sinusoidal commutation, less torque ripple
Galil Motion Control has added two multi-axis servo drives that perform sinusoidal commutation, which minimize torque ripple.
Machine Vision ROI at Polaris Industries
Vision system reduces scrap in high-mix welding environment and paid for itself in 2 weeks, according to return on investment calculations. See images, table.
Advanced monitoring, trending capabilities for Inspector Vision sensors
Sick’s Inspector Viewer offers compact, real-time, touch-screen monitor provides advanced monitoring and trending.
No-drift absolute gaging package couples gage, metrology readouts
Heidenhain couples Acanto Absolute Length Gage and ND 2100G Gage-Chek metrology readouts to form a no-drift absolute gaging package.
Registration sensors detect color, contrast, luminescence, other marks
Sick has updated its registration sensors product catalog are solutions for reliable detection, differentiation of contrasts, colors, fluorescent materials, and more.
Evaluation platform drives 3-phase brushless motors for quicker time to spin
Texas Instruments’ out-of-the-box motor control solution speeds development of brushless DC, permanent magnet synchronous motors.
Task force for operator environments
CAN in Automation (CiA) has established the CANopen Task Force for operator environments, such as driver and operator seats, including how an interface hides the sub-layered devices including joysticks, foot-pedals, encoders, display, pushbuttons, pulse wheels, and other devices.
Camera link base cameras offer image quality comparable to CCD-based cameras
Adimec’s Qs-4A40 and a Qs-2A80 cameras deliver performance of up to 170 fps with CCD-comparable quality through Adimec True Accurate Imaging technology.
CoaXPress used in Karbon-CXP frame grabbers
BitFlow Karbon-CXP frame grabbers are CoaXPress 1.0 compliant, support from one to four CXP cameras and up to four CXP multi-links, for machine vision use.
8LV servo motor series expanded for high-performance
B and R Industrial Automation has expanded the 8LV servo motor series to feature more steps per revolution in a smaller package.
Imaging technology advancing for defense, security
Teledyne imaging components, sub-systems development capabilities are shown at the Latin America Aero and Defense conference.
Precision linear motor tables available in aluminum
MMG Mini-Mag line of precision linear motor tables combines high throughput XY positioning with precision focusing, sub-micron stability for imaging applications.
BOA IDR for identification and verification applications
Teledyne Dalsa’s BOA IDR features the ability to read 2D matrix codes, 1D barcodes, printed characters, patterns on products.
Teledyne Dalsa machine vision technology at Vision China
Teledyne Dalsa featured line, area scan image capture machine vision technology at Vision China.
Positioning sensor capable of blob detection
Sick’s vision sensor offers flexible method for part location, provides a precise positioning point of a known target.
GigE vision business class cameras delivered at economy prices
Framos’ GigE Vision Smartek camera series allows for seamless integration in existing cost-sensitive systems.
Inductive proximity sensors feature eco-friendly design, advanced features
Carlo Gavazzi’s ICB series of inductive proximity sensors is made from recycled cord by-product, features air-core sensing coil.
3D spatial vision provides flexible, scalable vision guidance
Motoman Robotics’ MotoSight 3D Spatial Vision System offers six degrees of position, pose information; multiple calibration settings; 2-4 mm accuracy.
Machine vision software enhances 2D data matrix inspection
PPT Vision’s Impact 10.1 software is compatible with any PPT Vision smart camera system, has enhanced 2D data matrix inspection tool.
Smart Camera, GigE Vision showcased at Automate
Teledyne DALSA showcased BOA smart cameras, BOA IDR, GEVA, and Genie GigE Vision compliant cameras; educated on color machine vision, camera interface technologies.
AC powered electro-mechanical actuators offer UL listing
Exlar Tritex II linear and rotary actuators now UL listed under file number E325731, operate from 100-240 V AC.
Think Again: Improve processes, then automate
Advice: Don’t upgrade automation on old processes. Get lean, fix the processes, then apply leading-edge controls and automation to optimize results.
10-bit magnetic rotary encoder integrates wake-up, power-down features
austriamicrosystems produces the AS5050 10-bit magnetic rotary encoder in a small 4x4 mm package which operates over a temperature range of -40 to +85°C.
Production-ready CoaXPress-certified cameras
Adimec’s latest OPAL series cameras support high-speed, long-length CoaXPress interface standard.
Electro-mechanical actuators support Modbus TCP/IP protocol, enhancing communications
Exlar’s latest EtherNet-based communications protocol is supported by the Tritex II linear, rotary actuators.
Stepper motor driver delivers high torque
Stac5 step motor driver from Applied Motion Products provides up to 5 amps per phase, 84 to 1700 ounce-inches of holding torque.
Addressing device for AS-Interface specification 3.0
The AS-Interface Handheld VBP-HH1-V3.0-110V from Pepperl+Fuchs provides identification and readdressing of slave address and addressing or programming of up to 62 slaves, with support for AS-Interface Spec 3.0 and AS-Interface Safety at Work.
Embedded PLCs with Ethernet
New FMD series PLCs from Triangle Research offers low-cost processing with high connectivity.
Absolute magnetic encoder, low cost and multi-turn
BTR Controls added a multi-turn magnetic absolute encoder to its line of products, custom layouts for multiple applications.
Touch screen vision sensors accommodate rapid product changeover
Banner's iVu Plus stores up to 30 inspections, distinguishes up to 10 patterns with new Sort sensor function.
Dalsa shareholders approve acquisition by Teledyne Technologies
Teledyne Technologies Inc. and Dalsa Corp. announced Feb. 14 that the Teledyne acquired Dalsa. The companies announced on Feb. 10 that Dalsa received the requisite shareholder approvals to be acquired by Teledyne. Link to related Dalsa and machine vision coverage.
Low profile encoders suitable for small-dimension servos
Heidenhain 1000 and 1100 series encoders feature short overall length, opto-ASIC based photoelectric scanning with integrated interpolation.
Smart camera software gains advance inspection functions, is easier to use
Dalsa released software for its line of BOA Smart Cameras, featuring optimized core processing capability, advanced inspection functionality, and greater ease of use.
Absolute, inductive rotary encoder
ECI 119 Absolute Rotary Encoder features a low profile, 524288 positions per revolution, ±90” system accuracy.
Absolute miniature encoders deliver precise position data
Turck makes absolute version of miniature encoders available, offer high speed ratings, large temperature range, and compact size.
Image-based readers surpass laser scanner in code-reading ability, said Cognex
1D and 2D codes can be obscured and difficult to read in many applications, because of size, quality, printing method, or environment. Because of higher accuracy, image-based readers are rapidly replacing laser scanners in a wide range of manufacturing and logistics applications, Cognex said.
High temperature inductive proximity sensors
Automation Systems Interconnect introduces 50 mm sensors to their line of high temperature sensors, offer switching distances of 40 mm.
Class 5 smart motor offers fast communication speeds
Animatics’ Class 5 SmartMotor allows more than 100 servos to link together over CAN, speeds up to 115.2 kBaud, with Animatics’ Combitronic technology. It integrates an internal brushless motor, encoder, controller and amplifier.
Wilcoxon.com adds Spanish-language page
Meggitt has added a Spanish-language page to its homepage, offering information on vibration sensors for industrial machinery health monitoring. Léalo en español.
Matrox Imaging: How to plan your first vision system
Developing a machine vision application for the first time need not be a headache.
Rotary sensor boasts small size, enhanced functionality
The non-contacting MTS 360 SMD rotary position senor by Piher International Corporation offers a fully featured sensor, compact size.
Stepping Motor, Linear and Cylinder Actuators Product Line gains new products
Oriental Motor USA adds products to Stepping Motor, Linear and Cylinder Actuators product lines.
Hi-res smart cameras deliver accuracy for high-precision machine vision applications
High-resolution M-390 Smart Cameras deliver increased precision and speed to the asynchronously-triggered, four camera Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System from PPT Vision.
Inspection system, hi-resolution cameras for high-speed production lines
Cognex has added color and hi-resolution enhancements to its OmniView 360 inspection system allow products to be inspected at a rate of 1200 parts per minute.
Motion control system for demanding industry applications
New drive module for NYCe4000 can drive up to 5 axes of brushed or brushless motors
Back to Basics: Finding, measuring the right product attributes
Tutorial: What characteristics of a product are most important, and how do you measure them? A recent Ask Control Engineering blog question dealt with finding a sensor that would be able to tell if the liquid flowing through a pipe was water or orange juice. This question brought up the larger issue of defining product attributes and finding an appropriate approach for measuring them. What kind of sensors should you use?
Custom direct drive motors
Applimotion offers direct drive motor systems using frameless motor kits. Motor assemblies can be created using low profile ULT, high output UTH, out-runner UTO motors and newly introduced UTS slotless motor kits.
New integrated brushless motor-drives
Dunkermotoren’s family of high performance modular brushless permanent magnet motors are driven by integrated servo motor drives
Line scan camera has 16k resolution, fast througput
Dalsa Corporation has introduced the Piranha3 16k metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) line scan camera. This high-speed model features 16k resolution with a 3.5 µm pixel size and a 70 kHz line rate for ultra-fast 1146 Mpixels/s throughput
Absolute angle encoders
New absolute angle encoders from Heidenhain offer simple mounting and high accuracy, greater mounting tolerances, and optimized new scanning.
Service robots special interest group established
CAN in Automation established the CANopen SIG for service robots, standardizing the mapping of the RTC specification to CANopen network technology.
Encoder options for all angles of stepping motors
Oriental Motor is providing customers purchasing stepping motors with more options.
Joshua Hauskins, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010
Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Joshua Hauskins ...
Raytrix uEye light-field option: 3D captured with one camera
Technology developed by Raytrix GmbH allows the generation of real 3D images with just one camera and a single lens. The trick that makes this possible is a modified sensor that allows ...
Cameras for high speed color acquisition are GigE Vision-compliant
New GigE Vision-Compliant Camera Series from Dalsa to be showcased at Vision 2010 in Stuttgart.
EC: ACT20P Bridge Signal Converter/Isolator
Network Integration - signal conditioning/diagnostics - Weidmuller - ACT20P Bridge Signal Converter/Isolator. The ACT20P Bridge reads signals from load cells and converts the signals (such as engine and turbine strain measurement, or weight or level controls measurement) into standard analog signals. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: VPort 461 Video Encoder
Network Integration - data acquisition, integration – Moxa -VPort 461 Video Encoder - The VPort 461 is an industrial video encoder that takes analog video and converts it to digital to send over the Ethernet. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: HF-JP series servo motors
Motion Control - motors Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.: HF-JP series servo motors The manufacturing technology of HF-JP series motors make more compact, higher speed, more torque compared to previous HA-LP series motors. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
EC: RIO Pocket PLC
Machine and Embedded Control - PLCs: Galil Motion Control, Inc., RIO Pocket PLC. The RIO-47202 is a compact PLC with Ethernet /RS-232 communications with both analog and digital I/O. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System
Machine and Embedded Control - machine vision: PPT Vision, Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System. The Impact M-Series Embedded Vision System is an advanced asynchronously-triggered four-camera embedded vision system that achieves cost savings and simplifies setup. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.
EC: BOA Smart Camera
Machine and Embedded Control - machine vision: Dalsa Industrial Products, BOA Smart Camera. BOA is a fully integrated vision system in a compact smart camera format. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
EC: iVu Bar Code Reader
Hardware HMI - bar code and ID readers: Banner Engineering, iVu Bar Code Reader. The iVu Bar Code Reader reads 11 industry-standard bar codes and allows users to efficiently configure, monitor and modify an inspection on-site through its integrated touch screen. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
Pack Expo: Smart cameras boost packing quality, reduce costs
Dalsa will demonstrate how smart cameras and multi-camera vision systems can improve packing product quality, increase productivity and reduce costs, at Pack Expo International 2010.
Computer numerical control market implodes after growth, expects rebound
After nearly seven years of continued growth, the CNC market came to a halt, and now looks for a rebound, according to analysis by ARC Advisory Group.
Stainless steel sensors for wash down: photoelectric, inductive
Rockwell Automation's 42CS photoelectric and 871TS inductive sensor families address the most demanding applications in the food and beverage industry. Highly durable, corrosion-resistant sensors designed for reliable, long-life performance in high-temperature, high-pressure wash downs.
Universal industrial-application code reader
Pepperl+Fuchs MAC335 universal code reader can read all common 1D and 2D code symbologies (25 symbologies) within an extremely large range (20 mm to 300 mm) without requiring mechanical modifications. With high resolution of 1.3 megapixels can read small and large codes without a setting change.
Linearity in measurement: meaning and examples
Dear Control Engineering: Sometimes I see the term “linearity” used in reference to measuring devices. What does this mean? What does linearity mean? Linearity reflects the ability of a sensor to respond to changes in a measured variable in the same way across the full range. If you’ve seen old pressure gages, they often have uneven scales where the divisions are larger at one end of the scale than the other.
Inside Machines: Pinpoint Inspection Precision via Machine Vision
An electronics components manufacturer uses machine vision to achieve 100% inspection of interconnect pins, improving quality control and eliminating costly product returns.
Alpha rack and pinion systems, 6 degrees of motion
New options are available for Wittenstein alpha rack and pinion Value Class Systems, with customizable racks and low-cost options for low-duty applications. One application for the value class of rack and pinion has been the 6 degree-of-freedom robot used for assembly.
Application Update: Machine vision saves fruit, by better sizing and sorting
More than 30% of fruits and vegetables are discarded before the grocery store; machine vision used in MAF Roda Agrobotic systems can help reduce waste. Images are processed using the Matrox Imaging Library (MIL) toolkit. The sorting system’s intuitive user interface and 3D display gives operators adjust quality and sorting parameters in real-time. October Control Engineering
Technology Update: Machine vision can ensure reliable, repeatable bar code inspection
When applied for bar code reading (BCR), a vision system can ensure each product on a packaging line contains the proper bar code—which in turn contains the proper product identification and manufacturing location data. UPC symbols, for instance, include five digits of data about the product manufacturer and five digits about the specific product. Here’s how it works. October Control Engineering
Network safety standard: European standard EN 50325-5
A new safety protocol is published as a European standard and is available as EN 50325-5.
Control Engineering Digital Edition, September 2010, North American issue
Control Engineering Digital Edition, September 2010, North American issue, is available at Find past issues HTML articles using the search box atop of the site or by browsing here (since June/July 2010) ... https://www.controleng.com/magazine/magazine-archives.html September 2010 monthly coverage includes: Integrated controllers grow in power Simulation software in motion control Electromagnetic linear encoders to the rescue The case for wireless standards convergence Building control strategy in the brewhouse Automation strengthens supply chain As well as departments, news, and tutorials.
Photoelectric sensors enable longer sensing distances
ML100 series photoelectric sensors now feature a more powerful and brighter light spot to enable greater signal strength and longer sensing distances of up to 30 meters (98 ft).
Cylinder position sensors with NPN outputs
Magnetic cylinder position sensors, designed to mount within C-groove cylinders with no accessories, now include NPN outputs.
Low-cost array sensor detects irregularly shaped objects
Reflex array photoelectric sensor provides continuous edge detection of irregularly shaped objects, pallets and multi-height objects, such as bagged product, warped boards, and packaged products.
9 ways optoelectronic sensors can be used in industrial environments
Optoelectronic sensors, present in consumer electronics, also can be used in many industrial applications, according to Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. (TAOS). Nine applications are...
Venting protects enclosed electronics in attitude sensor
Gore Protective Vent prevents condensation in the Sunsight Instruments AntennAware Attitude Sensor. The sensor uses time of day, latitude and longitude information to determine solar positioning, to +/-2˚ of accuracy. High-sensitivity accelerometers measure down-tilt and antenna plumb to within +/-.25˚ accuracy.
Social media discussion: Selecting a level sensor for dry material
A user of the Automation & Control Engineering group on LinkedIn wants some help choosing a level sensor.
New technology improves barcode reader performance
Improved processing algorithm helps extend range of 1D and 2D code reading accuracy.
Video clip: On target machine vision, motion control demo makes novice marksman an expert
Using machine vision, logic, and 2 axis motion control, the target moves rapidly to meet the foam dart every time, even in rapid-fire mode, according to National Instruments at NIWeek 2010.
Dustproof, flood-tight proximity switches
Proximity sensors: Dustproof and flood-tight proximity switches offer industry-compatible mounting capability with IP52-IP68 (~NEMA 2-6) enclosure ratings.
Video: Warping a telescope lens to match atmospheric distortion
NIWeek demo simulates atmospheric distortion collecting 500 high-resolution frames per second through machine vision, into an FPGA into four rack-mounted controllers that instruct more than 1,000 actuators how to change a 42 meter diameter telescope lens in less than 2 milliseconds.
Back to Basics: Sensor tips & techniques
Working with resistive sensor elements and rewiring proximity sensors are two recently discussed topics in the Ask Control Engineering blog.
Automated Inspection Made Easy with Machine Vision
An automotive part supplier implemented a very low cost inspection system by using one camera to perform three functions.
Machine vision: Integrating Multiple Viewing Techniques
Combining 2D and 3D sensing in one package simplifies integration and improves productivity.
How to Inspect Closures with Machine Vision
An explanation of the “template” and “features” methods of closure inspection and the role of vision systems in automating the process.
Incremental magnetic ring encoder from ASM Sensors
ASM Sensors Inc. announces the addition of new magnetic encoder rings, PMIR7 series, to the Posirot family. These incremental encoder magnetic rings are available in three sizes to accommodate different shaft sizes and yield up to 184,320 pulses per revolution in conjunction with the quadrature encoder read head, PMIS4 series. The units were designed to operate in harsh environments, ASM Sensors says.
Developing a safety monitoring system for exposed gas pipelines
Gas pipelines mounted on bridges and other above-ground supports are subject to many types of potential damage. A monitoring system warns of safety incidents.
Short photoelectric sensors suppress backgrounds, have IP69K rating
Sick MHTB15 and MHTB15V compact photoelectric sensors are ideal for wash down applications in packaging, food and beverage.
Cognex Advantage Image Engines: a family of programmable vision devices for OEMs
Cognex Advantage Image Engines combine code reading and vision tools for OEM applications.
RSF rotary ring encoder via Heidenhain in North America
A new modular steel tape rotary encoder from RSF Elektronik is now available for measurement applications with diameters of 6 in. (150 mm) to 6 ft (~2 m). Heidenhain is selling it in North America.
2-in. incremental encoder is rated IP67 for harsh environments: Turck
Kübler by Turck offers Sendix 5006 2-inch incremental encoder, with stainless steel housing and seals to resist corrosion and physical abuse in harsh plant environments.
Sensors: World’s fastest laser displacement sensor?
Keyence RS-CMOS sensor is 8x faster than previous models. ‘Multi-Able Control' for transparent targets optimizes the laser intensity by sensing and adjusting to the reflected light for each layer of a transparent object.
PMMI-certified training for machine vision
Mettler-Toledo CI-Vision Institute offers hands on machine vision training certified by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute.
Sensors: Photoelectric sensor has adjustable field, foreground suppression
Foreground suppression sensors enable detection regardless of target color, reflectivity or background.
Application software: Versatyle Testr3 Studio
Versatyle Testr3 Studio from Versatyle Test Corp. is a stand-alone application engineered to build an effective test automation environment and eliminate dependency on third-party software programming.
Pepperl+Fuchs acquires the proximity sensor business of Siemens
Pepperl+Fuchs, Mannheim, Germany, and the Siemens Division Industry Automation, Nuremberg, have signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of the Siemens binary proximity sensors business by Pepperl+Fuchs. Both companies said they guarantee a delivery capacity without interruption during the integration.
Sick OLM fine positioning sensor
The new Sick OLM distance measurement positioning sensor is designed for high-speed, high-precision positioning of overhead cranes, rail and transfer cars, monorails, shuttles, elevators and other vehicles. Vehicles can be positioned around curves and inclines where traditional laser measurement systems cannot be used.
Academy Award winning image scanner
Dalsa Corp., a supplier of industrial imaging systems and components, enjoyed a red carpet moment when its customer, DFT Digital Film Technology, won a scientific and engineering award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its Spirit 4K/2K film scanner. Dalsa provided key technology in the form of a custom-built dual line scan sensor.
Fixed mount, 1D barcode readers
Cognex Corp. introduces two new 1D barcode readers to its DataMan line of industrial ID readers. DataMan 100 QL and DataMan 200 QL units easily read codes that laser barcode scanners fail to read, such as marks that are low contrast, damaged, or distorted by severe perspective. Units use Cognex 1DMax, a new 1D code reading algorithm.
Cognex DataMan 100 QL, DataMan 200 QL fixed mount, 1D barcode readers
Two new ID barcode readers offer best-in-class 1D barcode reading performance, Cognex Corp. says.
Futek offers miniature panel mount load cell with easy installation
Futek Advanced Sensor Technology Inc. added the LPM200 Panel Mount Load Cell to its miniature sensors line. It also has a USB output option.
Panasonic FX-500 series digital fiber sensors
Panasonic Electric Works Corporation of America offers the new Sunx brand FX-500 series high end digital fiber sensors for ultra high speed calculations, long sensing range.
Sick OLM High-speed, Long-range Fine Positioning Sensor
High-speed, high-precision positioning, where traditional laser measurement systems cannot be used, by using Sick's new OLM Distance Measurement Positioning Sensor, company says.
3D vision software gives position information: Cognex
3D-Locate from Cognex Corp. delivers accurate, real-time, three-dimensional position information that enables automation equipment to work with a wider variety of parts, including items that are stacked or tilted. This library of 3D vision software tools expands application possibilities in vision-guided robotics, assembly, and inspection.
Sick SLG family of light grids: slimmest, sleekest in their class
Sick launched its new SLG family of non-safety, through-beam light grids, using only 8 mm of space for the optics, so the SLG can hide inside machines, frames, doors, and other places where space and aesthetics are desired.
Turck Quick-Disconnect Receptacle, certified explosion-proof
Explosion-proof network connection: Turck new 7/8-16UN minifast explosion-proof feed-through receptacle is CSA certified as a secondary conduit seal.
Better cell phones with smart math: Camera module alignment assembly, test automation
Automation Engineering Incorporated (AEi) system cuts time to market for ultra-small format mobile phone cameras.
SEW-Eurodrive DR motor series offers millions of drive combinations
Motors come in three efficiency levels, exceed international energy standards, and provide multiple sealing, connectivity, and other options.
High-temp motor for down hole measurement while drilling
BEI Kimco Magnetics' 3.0-in. diameter x 8.5-in. length motor performs at up to 220 ºC.
Motion, magnetic, pressure, temperature sensors with 32-bit processing
STMicroelectronics combines multiple sensors with microcontrollers to boost accuracy in robotics, navigation.
Sick BCG EcoLine wire draw encoders
Sick launches new BCG EcoLine wire draw encoders for distance measurement applications, with analog output, compact housing, affordable price, company says.
Fisher 4320 Wireless Position Monitor
Emerson Process Management Fisher 4320 Wireless Position Monitor from Emerson Process Management is a wireless position transmitter and limit switch. It can monitor any device that moves in rotary or linear fashion. The monitor periodically reads the position of measured devices and transmits that data over a wireless network.
MR318 MRI-compatible Fiber Optic Rotary Encoder
Micronor Inc. The MR318 Fiber Optic Rotary Encoder from Micronor Inc. is a non-metallic rotary position sensor that can operate with complete “transparency” in extreme electromagnetic fields. The product concept grew out of requests from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) community for a non-metallic version of Micronor’s existing fiber optic encoder products.
Machine Vision Protects Pharmaceutical Packaging
Sophisticated machine vision and OCR system keeps a very close eye on pharmaceutical packaging and labeling processes to minimize risks to patients.
Sick ICR845-2L FlexLens Image Code Reader sees 12-in. to 2 m
Sick ICR845-2L FlexLens Image Code Reader is a vision-based, omni-directional image code reader with exceptional reading and decoding performance of stationary and fast-moving bar codes, the company says.
Drive modules handle 1.5 to 600 hp at 480 V ac: ABB
ACS850 drive module from ABB is designed for industrial machinery applications such as converting, extruders, mixers, and web handling in the 1.5 to 600 hp at 480 V ac power range. Module features on-board safe-torque-off, removable memory block, an intelligent user interface with a series of assistant wizards, and modular hardware and software.
Dalsa’s Boa smart camera brings color to end-user machine vision applications
Dalsa Corp. offers color processing for its Boa vision system, Dalsa's highly integrated smart camera.
Test and measurement system automatically locates parts
Keyence IM-6000 Series test system delivers high precision dimension inspection through pattern registration and pattern search functions.
Non-contact position sensor provides 360 degree continuous rotation
BEI Duncan Electronics has added the 8360 non-contacting, through-hole position sensor series to its line up. Specific uses include position sensing for steering wheel, boom angle, throttling, pivoting, and traction control.
Machine vision cameras include Kodak Quad-Tap CCD image sensors
For industrial vision applications requiring 1 to 2 megapixel resolutions at frame rates up to 120 frames per second (FPS), Baumer has introduced the new SX cameras that feature Kodak's progressive scan, interline CCD image sensors with Quad-Tap technology.
Discrete sensors: Hall-effect digital position sensors with built in pull-up resistor
Honeywell announces two new Hall-effect digital position sensors, the SS345PT and SS445P Unipolar, which reportedly reduce total system cost for customers by having built-in pull-up resistors
Vibration sensor: Triaxial accelerometer for industrial monitoring
Dytran Instruments, Inc. has released the Model 3213M6 rugged, triaxial accelerometer, which uses pizeoceramic shear technology coupled with 2-wire internal IEPE electronics.
High-, premium-efficiency SEW Eurodrive motors
SEW Eurodrive high-efficiency DRE motors are available from 1 hp to 300 hp, and Premium Efficiency/IE3 (NEMA Premium) DRP motors range from 1 hp to 50 hp, to meet international energy efficiency standards. This is a January 2010 Control Engineering North American print edition Product Exclusive.
Photoelectric sensor for wash down environments
Sick, a manufacturer of sensors, safety systems, machine vision, and automatic identification products for factory and logistics automation, has launched its W4S-3 Inox photoelectric sensor. The sensor features a smooth, IP69K stainless steel housing that withstands harsh wash down applications in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, solar, and semiconductor industries, Sick says.
Luminescence sensors with improved performance
Sick, manufacturer of industrial sensors, safety systems, machine vision, and automatic identification products, announces its LUT8 and LUT9 luminescent sensors. These sensors, which react to luminescent pigments activated by an ultraviolet (UV) light source in the sensor, provide longer sensing ranges and more selection models than previous versions.
Machine vision system enables ‘previously impossible inspections’
Keyence CV-5000 Vision System offers ultra high-speed image processing for production lines. The (11x) high-speed 5 megapixel camera transfers ultra high-definition images (2,432 x 2,050 pixels) in 61.2 ms (16.3 times/sec). This is 11 times faster than previous models, enabling previously impossible inspections to be performed with one camera.
Machine vision system for production lines is 11 times faster
System enables previously impossible inspections to be performed with a single camera, and lets users combine up to four 5 megapixel cameras to allow high-definition inspections of up to 20 million pixels.
Luminescence sensors have improved performance
LUT8 and LUT9 sensors from Sick react to UV-activated pigments; bar code scanners serve material handling applications.
LDT sensor interface module for ControlLogix PLC
AMCI has released what it says is the only linear displacement transducer (LDT) position sensor interface module for the Rockwell Automation 1756 ControlLogix PLC.
Vision Sensor Helps Robot Rock On
Vision sensor, edge tool software, and a PLC make robot "Roxanne" a Guitar Hero winner-and gives her student-inventor crucial vision system experience.
Active Vision System for 3D Product Inspection
Learn how to construct three-dimensional vision applications by reviewing triangulation equations and measurement procedures.
Carlo Gavazzi Wireless Photoelectric Sensor: Battery power avoids buried cables
Carlo Gavazzi long range through-beam photoelectric sensor has a battery-powered emitter, avoiding buried cables. The PD180 can be powered for up to 2.5 years on a pair of 3.6V lithium batteries with user-set 15 or 30 m range.
Allen-Bradley VisiSight Photoelectric Sensors from Rockwell Automation
Allen-Bradley VisiSight line of general purpose photoelectric sensors from Rockwell Automation offers a full range of sensing modes in a sealed, compact, cavity-free housing that minimizes collection of dust and debris and allows easy sensor cleanup.
New absolute encoders better enable customization
Sick introduces programmable singleturn, multiturn units.
Machine vision: GigE cameras enable better light control
Baumer cameras directly control pulse width modulated signals, have 4 I/O ports.
Photoelectric sensors take high temperatures, chemical sprays in Elopak filling machines
Elopak, maker of carton-based packaging systems for non-carbonated liquid food and non-food products, needed more rugged discrete sensors and worked with ifm efector's OG Series photoelectric sensors for washdown conditions.
Marking and Vision System Tracks NASCAR Spec Engine Components
The North American Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) has adopted a new spec engine for its Camping World East and West series that uses many off-the-shelf parts to provide performance and durability at only about one-half the cost of custom-built engines. Each of the major parts in the new motor has a 2D barcode that can be read in seconds by a handheld scanner, greatly reducing the inspection time at ...
Proximity Sensors: How to Choose, Use Them
Matching the correct sensor to the application saves a lot of cost and aggravation with easier setup, proper operation, and longer life. Recent advances in inductive, photoelectric, and laser area sensing are giving users even more choices and enabling better decisions. Sensor manufacturers continue to innovate during and beyond the global manufacturing economic slowdown. Link to related resources.
New proximity sensors designed for manufacturing
Manufacturers of proximity sensors are among those showing new products at the Design & Manufacturing Midwest show, Sept. 22-24, in Rosemont, IL, including Balluff, Banner Engineering, Carlo Gavazzi, and Turck, among others. See related proximity sensor tutorial videos.
Discrete sensor sales to rebound sharply in 2010, says ARC Advisory Group
Sensors used for discrete applications are expected to strongly rebound in 2010, according to an ARC Advisory Group study, "Proximity Sensors Worldwide Outlook."
Encoder offers absolute position measurement with scale tape linear design
Heidenhain has released its new LIC 4000 encoder, which applies absolute position measurement technology to a multi-substrate scale tape linear encoder design. According to the company, its specialized scanning technologies are "insensitive to contamination and therefore guarantee a high degree of equipment availability and a high traverse speed, while at the same time achieving a high resoluti...
Turck Q08 uprox+ factor 1 sensor has an extended 8 mm range
Turck Q08 uprox+ factor 1 sensor, which is designed to detect steel, stainless steel, copper, brass and aluminum at the same rated sensing distance, offers an extended range of 8 mm, the company says.
Machine vision: Color camera runs at 60fps, has 4 megapixel resolution
Dalsa announced the addition of the Falcon 4M60 and 4M30 Color CMOS shutter cameras for industrial machine vision and inspection.
Machine vision: New Matrox computing platform enables high-throughput image processing
Matrox Supersight e2 high-performance computing platform for industrial machine vision will be available in Q3 2009.
Encoder: Absolute position measurement with scale tape linear design
Heidenhain LIC 4000 encoder provides high traverse speed and absolute position measurement at a resolution of 1 nanometer.
Machine vision inspection benefits from color support in cameras
Machine vision vendor Dalsa has added Falcon 4M60 and 4M30 Color CMOS cameras to its family of Falcon global shutter cameras.
Quality control, inspection applications benefit from new vision sensor
Inspector I20 Flex vision sensor augments Sick’s line of Inspector vision sensors by providing new features that include interchangeable lenses and an I/O extension module with up to 16 outputs.
Machine vision’s GigE Vision standard
GigE Vision is a camera interface standard developed using the Gigabit Ethernet communication protocol. In industrial machine vision applications, GigE Vision allows fast image transfer using low cost standard cables over very long lengths. It also allows hardware and software from different vendors to interoperate easily.
Gage reading device available for larger wireless protocol
Analog to digital wireless converter now operates with Honeywell OneWireless platform.
Robotics: ABB Robots featured in upcoming Terminator movie
The visibility of industrial robotics will reach an entirely new level on May 21, 2009, when Warner Brothers Studios releases the new Terminator Salvation. ABB robots are 'very visible and instrumental in the final, climactic scene of the movie.' See photos; link to trailers, videos.
Motion controls keep step motors synchronized
Intelligent Motion Systems introduces new AccuStep motion control technology that, when applied to step motors, prevents the loss of synchronization due to transient or continued overload, extreme acceleration or deceleration, or excessive slew speed.
Six degrees of freedom sensor withstands high-speed impact
DTS 6DX sensor package combines three linear accelerometers and three angular rate sensors in a 28 mm square unit.
Machine vision’s next frontier: Facial recognition
Starting in the 1990s, engineers started to teach computers to identify faces in photographs. Can machine control via eye roll be far behind? Such vision software advances will help site security, manufacturing quality and, perhaps, future human-machine interface applications. Images show how it operates differently than most industrial machine vision applications. Here's how it works.
Motion and Vision Combine to Detect Flaws
Plastic film is highly valued in the computer industry where plastic sheeting is used in the creation of printed circuit boards (PCBs). MicroCraft, a Japanese company, was challenged by a plastic sheeting manufacturer to come up with an inspection system that could find and categorize the micron-sized defects that can occur in plastic film production.
Photoelectric sensor with touchscreen
Banner Engineering Corp. has introduced the iVu Series TG Image Sensor, which combines the simplicity of a photoelectric sensor with the intelligence of a vision sensor to deliver inspection capabilities. Reportedly the first sensor with touchscreen, the iVu allows even first-time users to apply and support inspections right on the factory floor, without the use of a PC, vision software, or oth...
The New Look of Facial Recognition
While the ability of a computer to look at a person’s face and compare it to one in a database is fairly common, current technology can go much farther. A system can now look at an individual and make some conclusions about that person, and even his or her state of mind. Omron has developed a group of facial recognition products under the name Okao Vision, borrowing the Japanese word for...
Angle sensor provides full quadrature, large signal without amplification
NVE AAT001-10E TMR Angle Sensor is the first commercial sensor from NVE to use tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR), producing an "even more giant signal than giant magnetoresistance." Uses include rotary encoders, automotive rotary sensors, motor shaft position sensors, and knob position sensors.
RFID, machine vision sensors, I/O network components help error proofing
Error proofing machine-related processes with appropriate applications of sensor technologies can save a lot of money, Balluff says, with smart investments in industrial radio identification, machine vision sensors, I/O networks, and ...
Balluff IO-Link Profibus/Profinet modular expansion
Balluff IO-Link system enables quick and easy expansion or simplification of Profibus and Profinet networks. Example shows up to 40% savings for users and OEM equipment builder.
Generic Batch Procedures for Flexible Manufacturing
Transforming a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility from a multiple-campaign, multiple established product-based operation, to one that can also accommodate single-development product campaigns is a challenge. Even so, this feat was accomplished successfully at one of Eli Lilly’s bulk pharmaceutical production buildings. See diagram.
Submersible accelerometer for vibration measurements
Dytran Instruments introduces a new general purpose accelerometer with a factory molded urethane boot and urethane cable for underwater vibration measurements. It features shear design ceramic seismic elements for high natural frequency and ruggedness. The company says that adding an on-board miniature IC amplifier converts the very high impedance voltage signals from the crystal to a much lowe...
Automation Alliance Group (AAG) integrates Autoware as new business unit
AAG, a collection of system integrators formed in 2002, announced on Feb. 17 that it added Autoware as its newest business unit. Autoware, founded in 1996, has offices in Vicenza, Italy. Customers, history, and purpose include...
Largest gas turbine: 2,838 sensors, 90 GB data per hour of testing
Largest gas turbine, from Siemens, is expected to deliver 530 MW at more than 60% thermal efficiency. Some 2,838 sensors and associated wiring are deployed to monitor the turbine. Of these, 597 turn with the rotor; total data collection during testing amounts to 90 GB/hour. Other sensors include...
Compact microstepping drive for medical machine, laboratory automation
MDrive14Plus products are capable of full microstepping, says Intelligent Motion Systems.
Bottom line challenges? Machine vision reduces waste, improves quality
Machine vision and industrial identification solutions can improve the bottom line in manufacturing, according to Cognex. See images, links to resources.
Pancake load cell with USB output
The newest product in Futek Sensor Technology’s USB Sensor Solutions product line is the improved LCF400 pancake load cell with a new USB digital interface. LCF400 includes structural changes and complete welding which improves output symmetry and accuracy. The model is offered in 500 to 5,000 lbs, various outputs (3 mV/V, +/-5 V dc, +/-10 V dc, 4-20 mA), with heat-treated 17-4 stainless ...
Sensor data: Accuracy vs. resolution
Distinguishing between accuracy and resolution is important when determining system needs. Application note provides examples and illustrations to show the difference.
Machine vision: new FireDragon cameras have high speed, color resolution
Toshiba Teli America Inc. expanded its FireDragon line of progressive scan cameras with the model CCSFU15CC18, said to be a UXGA resolution (1,600 px by 1,200 px) color camera incorporating FireWire-B (IEEE-1394.b) technology. The company says the camera provides extremely fast image-signal output rates of 800 Mbps.
Discrete sensors: New sensors to track head acceleration during possible injurious events
Endevco/Meggitt has developed a new miniature tri-axial accelerometer that is small enough to be placed in the ear canal portion of communication earplugs (earpieces) used by race-car drivers. This system improves coupling to the driver’s head and reliability of recordings during multi-axial crash events.
Embedded control: Control modules fit tiny footprint
Micro/sys has added to its line of 1.85 in. x 1.75 in. StackableUSB products with a PIC32 controller, two mass storage cards, a Zigbee Wireless Transceiver, and an accelerometer.
3D system creates flexible safety zone around hazardous equipment
To improve plant safety and decrease industrial accidents, Castell’s QuadCam system with 3D imaging technology can identify objects and people moving in and around machinery, distinguishing between one, two, or more persons with real-time tracking of all people within its field of view.
Machine vision software offers user-friendly interface, sophisticated tools
Impact Software Suite, v. 8.0, from PPT Vision Inc., supports the latest PPT Vision Impact T3X Series hardware and includes enhancements and additional functions to make machine vision software easier to use and more effective.
Digital camera line for crash testing, assembly line analysis
Phantom Miro family of digital cameras from Vision Research consists of high-speed cameras targeted at industrial applications.
Machine vision: GigE vision-compliant cameras feature high-sensitivity sensors
Genie C1410 and M1410, two new Genie GigE vision-compliant cameras with high quality, high sensitivity sensors from Dalsa Corp., are designed for industrial imaging applications.
By the Numbers – 2008-12-01
3,303,000 U.S. high school students are expected to graduate during the 2007-08 school year (about 3 of 4 students enrolled as freshman in public schools), according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics. In 1909-10 total was 156,000.
Smart vision sensor features simple setup, high-speed inspection
Omron Electronics new ZFX machine vision sensor, in 1-camera and 2-camera models, is said to simplify automated inspection by condensing image-processing know-how into recipes that allow the user to select from auto-listed options, resulting in shorter commissioning time and lower costs.
High-speed vision system with multi-camera platform
CV-3000 vision system from Keyence Corp. of America provides multiple color and monochrome camera connectivity using up to 4 cameras from among 8 models. Three processors make this 10 times faster than conventional systems. Flexible memory and new software tools handle applications that...
Machine vision and discrete sensors: Laser scanner supports crime scene investigation
Mobile laser scanner platform enables crime-scene investigators to “freeze the scene in time.”
Torque: Hall-effect sensor, reaction torque sensor, torque data acquisition
The new Micronas Hall-effect sensor targets automotive and industrial applications; Futek has announced a new USB feature to its TFF400 Reaction Torque Sensor; and Binsfeld Engineering released its Op-Torq Field Test Data Acquisition System.
Vibration Testing of Miniature S-Beam and Miniature Beam Load Cell
Futek Advanced Sensor Technology found itself faced with a unique challenge from a client requiring a specialized sensor. This new challenge would not only require the sensors in question to endure the usual environmental hazards of high/low temperature and moisture, but also survive vibration testing to a controlled industry vibration standard by an independent testing lab. This white paper details a chronological account of the preparation, testing, and an analysis of the required vibration testing.
Microscan completed purchase of Siemens’ machine vision business
Microscan is showing machine vision expertise with acquisition of that business from Siemens.
IPM motors for highest energy efficiency
Industry “workhorse” ac induction motors have been at the forefront of energy-efficient (EE) developments due to their huge installed numbers that account for a significant part of total electricity usage. Efficiency standards and mandatory minimum energy performance specs have spurred EE designs for these general-purpose motors in the 1-500 hp (0.
Torque sensor offers testing conveniences
Torque Sensor Series 4503A from Kistler Instrument has two separately calibrated test ranges for simplified rotary device testing. A single instrument is able to sense specimen operating ranges and sense the torque peaks far above nameplate levels encountered in typical test sequences. Where engines, pumps, and turbines are cycled, torsional vibration and torque peak into the capability of the ...
Line-scan cameras: Sensor technology bridges gap between prismatic 3-chip and 1-chip cameras
System integrators (and others) wonder what type of camera to use. As images show and text explains, more automated systems rely upon color to trigger their actions, and this color technology continues to innovate and evolve. Tutorial provides guidance, images, tables, and links.
Machine Vision, RFID Technologies Combine to Meet Tracking, Tracing Challenges
Applying tracking and tracing technologies as part of manufacturing and supply chain operations provides the full range of functions companies need to ensure product safety, alleviate product liability, and promote product value.
Scanners: Bar code specifications receive comments in Chinese? New scanners
Two bar codes specifications (Grid Matrix and DotCode) are out for public review draft via AIM Global, as Sick launches two lines of high-performance bar code scanners. Grid matrix is designed to include Chinese characters. See photos of each.
Wilson Sports bats 99+ compliance with Zebra RFID technology
When Wilson Sports moved on deck to address Wal-Mart's call for the next round of suppliers to meet the retailer's RFID mandate, the Chicago-based sports equipment company turned to Zebra Technologies to ensure solid performance. Wilson selected Zebra R110Xi printer/encoders for labeling shipments outbound for Wal-Mart with Alien Technology EPC Gen 2 Squiggle tags.
Digital readouts for gauging
Heidenhain’s ND 200 Series Digital Readouts (DROs) host multiple inputs and offer flexibility in configuration. The single-axis ND 200 DROs come in two variants: ND 280 features standard functions (with monochrome flat screen) and ND 287 (with color flat screen) is modular and allows up to four inputs.
Powerful stuff: World’s largest high-speed VFD
An 8 MW variable frequency drive operates with an output frequency of 500 Hz; it is claimed to be the world’s largest high-speed VFD.
Positioning: Revolutionary 2D linear encoder
Encoder allows measurement of linear guiding and thermal drift errors during movements.
Machine vision: Image sensors offer advanced capabilities
Image sensors can serve practically every automation-focused machine-vision application.
GenICam, GigE Vision standards update
Leading technical representatives from the machine vision industry met in Pilsen, Czech Republic, last April to discuss progress on two industry standards, GigE Vision and GenICam. The four-day session was a success with the drafting of the GenICam module: GenICam Transport Layer (GenTL), which defines image and data transfers.
Vision systems: Machine vision gets smarter
Market growth in machine vision is above the average for industrial automation in general.
Standards: GenICam, GigE Vision, status, ratification timing
Progress on two industry standards, GigE Vision and GenICam, could make machine vision more efficient.
Intelligent camera, updated software released
Vendor says the industrially rugged, yet compact, system offers high-performance on-board image processing, a digital imaging sensor, real-time I/O and 256 MB of on-board memory.
Actuators: Intelligent control, quiet gear motor, fluid power scholarship
Power plants will operate more efficiently, pumps run more quietly, and education will be a little more affordable as a result of three actuation-related developments announced by CyboSoft, Crouzet, and Asco Numatics.
Using the NI 17xx Smart Camera Direct Drive Lighting Controller by National Instruments
The use of proper lighting is often overlooked when designing a machine vision application. More robust and accurate inspections can be achieved when appropriate lighting techniques are utilized. With the NI 17xx Smart Camera Direct Drive integrated lighting controller, LED lights can be powered directly from the camera without requiring an external controller, providing a quicker and lower cost development cycle.
Gen 2 genius: Sporting goods leader to meet shipping mandates using Zebra solutions
Amer Sports will use Zebra Technologies’ EPC Gen 2-standard labeling system in a RFID compliance labeling project for shipments of its Wilson Sporting Goods brand.
Shedding Light on Machine Vision
GIGO. It’s as true for information technology today as it ever was. Garbage in = garbage out. When it comes to machine vision, however, the old computer acronym can be updated: Good images = good output. Desirable machine vision GIGO starts with lighting. “The very first step in devising a machine vision system should be the lighting,” says Siemens business manager for machine...
Sensors: Measure six degrees of freedom
New Honeywell sensors provide key data for automated steering, stability, and vehicle controls for material handling and other applications, enhancing safety, stability, productivity, and....
BIG motion: Ultra-precise positioning for the largest telescope in the northern hemisphere
After seven years of construction, the largest optical telescope in the northern hemisphere, the Gran Telescopio Canarias (Grantecan) on La Palma, Spain, has begun trial operation. Heidenhain model ERA 780C angle encoders are being used to position the telescope. The telescope rotates about two axes: elevation (vertical motion) and azimuth (horizontal motion); earth motion also requires compensation during the sometimes hour-long observations.
Easier connections: Encoders get faster wireless
BEI Industrial Encoders has released SwiftComm, a wireless interface for encoders that was designed for motion control applications, providing a robust wireless signal in real time over a secure network.
High-performance kit encoder
RENCO Encoders Inc. has introduced a high-performance, low cost kit encoder with choice of locking connector. The RE200 Series encoders improve upon read-head style products by providing six different connector configurations with various output options. The encoders use low cost industry standard connector systems with integral locking features.
Measure very fast pressure transients
Dytran Instruments has announced a series of piezoelectric high-frequency pressure sensors. Model Series 2301B probe-type pressure sensors measure very fast pressure transients, such as those encountered in field blast and shock tube applications. They feature 1 microsecond rise times and acceleration compensation, plus very high natural frequency to minimize ringing induced by fast rise time i...
Sensor-Driven Error Proofing
Industrial sensors have proven their effectiveness in basic automation tasks and are being used increasingly in error-proofing functions. Sensor-driven error proofing, often in concert with RFID, provides a simple and effective means of ensuring that a part is present and in the correct orientation or position.
System controls milling machines and machining centers with up to 5 axes, plus spindle.
Automation best pick
Packaging small parts at DePuy Spine is a good example of low-volume/high-mix processing.
Limit switch adapter could save time
Honeywell introduces limit switch adapter for Deutsch DT4 connectors.
New, affordable: Micro vision system
A new small vision system, just 30 mm x 30 mm x 60 mm, works with easy to use configuration software and a "smart" operator interface display.
‘LabVIEW Mastery’ online video-based training
Exercises, quizzes, printable materials, and online peer forums for Beginner, Applications, and Professional courses.
A better view: Technology improvements make vision systems viable production tools
Prudent use of machine vision systems can reduce the overall need for human labor, which is a critical cost factor in developed countries. Quality control processes that currently rely on human intervention also can be error-proofed by switching certain functions to machine vision systems. These are a few of the observations contained in a report titled Advances in Machine Vision Systems, issue...
Compact magnetic encoder
The ERM 2400 Series of modular magnetic encoders from Heidenhain features more compact dimensions than the current ERM 200, already commonly used on C axes in lathes. They can be used at higher rotational speeds, making them useful in applications such as spindles for milling machines. Encoders consist of scanning heads and scale drum assemblies, which are designed for small installation spaces.
Rugged, mechanical limit switches
New mechanical limit switches are constructed of durable thermoplastic or rugged zinc alloy metal.
New machine vision sensor: 1,500 parts per minute
A new vision sensor inspects small features over a wide area, quickly, with easy set up.
Low-profile through-hole-mounted accelerometer
Dytran Instruments introduced a new integrated electronics piezo electric (IEPE) accelerometer that is specifically designed for applications where a 360° orientation and a low profile design are important. The company says the lightweight accelerometer (9.6 grams) is ideal for use where vertical clearance is limited.
Rugged electromagentic linear actuators tolerate harsh operating conditions
SKF USA introduced Jaeger-brand IMD3 Series electromechanical linear actuators. The company says these actuators have been engineered to run quietly and deliver longer service life for a wide range of industrial actuation applications. Enhanced corrosion resistance and rugged construction contribute to reliable performance even under the most demanding or harsh operating conditions.
AIMing for Automated Vehicles blog: Brakes have 10x the power of engine
Oak Brook, IL – Braking power, human-machine interface, global positioning systems, touch sensors, sonar, lasers, and machine vision are among technologies covered in recent postings, with photographs and diagrams, in the Control Engineering blog, AIMing for Automated Vehicles.
Servomotors with higher moment of inertia
Beckhoff Automation has expanded its drive technology products with the AM3500 Series servomotors. A higher moment of inertia makes them suitable for machine tool axes with stringent synchronism requirements. The motors can eliminate a gear box in high inertia applications such as rotary tables. Motor flanges, connectors, and shafts are compatible with the company’s AM3000 motors.
Proximity sensors: Harsh-duty sensors have extended proximity-sensing range
Turck has incorporated its Uprox+ technology into its line of M8 miniature picoprox proximity sensors to provide compact housings with sensing distances that far exceed ferrite core sensors, especially while sensing non-ferrous metals. The sensors feature welded stainless steel housings for use in harsh duty environments.
Machine vision: NI introduces its first smart camera for industrial applications
National Instruments (NI) introduced the NI 1722 and NI 1742 Smart Cameras to provide engineers and scientists with high-performance systems at a low cost. Smart cameras combine an industrial controller with an image sensor and integrate with vision software to offer on-camera image processing.
Smart thinking: Industry-specific RFID hits packaging, chemicals markets
A new line of "smart boxes" for packaging manufacturers and a value-model tool targeted at chemical processors that want to assess RFID adoption are the latest vertical RFID technology offerings to hit the marketplace.
Microsoft Windows embedded CE 6.0 R2: Beckhoff Automation helps with introduction
Minneapolis, MN—Microsoft’s new version of the CE operating system, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, featuring Web Services on Devices (WSD), was announced last month in Yokohama, Japan. A Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partner, Beckhoff Automation is a development partner for WSD and the supplier of control equipment for a demonstration of the technology.
Underwater force/torque sensor
The IP68 Underwater DAQ Sensor is a force/torque sensor for use in underwater (fresh water) environments. ATI Industrial Automation reports that its sensors are used in Naval research applications and tank testing for aerospace applications. Nitrile and silicone O-rings are incorporated to assure that no water enters the units.
Machine Vision Lens selection Makes the Difference
The role of machine vision in controlling industrial processes continues to expand, especially in the arenas of robot guidance, object recognition and quality assurance. Today’s sophisticated vision systems go beyond basic blob analysis—distinguishing a part from a pile and establishing its orientation—to providing information for subsequent functions such as moving an object ...
Acquisition: Sensor company adds capacitive sensor capability
Florence, KY—Balluff Inc. in North America has announced that its parent company, Balluff GmbH, located in Neuhausen, Germany, has acquired SIE Sensorik Industrie GmbH, based in Viernheim, Germany. SIE is a manufacturer of capacitive sensors, including those use for level sensing applications.
Proximity, displacement sensors driven by production efficiency; emerging economies
Palo Alto, CA– Economic growth in emerging economies plus the pursuit of production efficiency should drive future growth in the world proximity and displacement sensors market according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. World Proximity and Displacement Sensors Market reports that the market earned revenues of $2.26 billion in 2006 and forecasts a figure of $3.07 billion by 2013.
Industrial Scales & Load Cells Product Research October 2007
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding industrial scales and load cells.
Encoders: Linear displacement sensor market growth spotty
A recent market study by Venture Development Corporation reveals that the North American market for linear displacement sensors including encoders, linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs), laser systems, magnetostrictive, potentiometric, capacitive, inductive, and ultrasonic products totaled $338.7 million in 2006.
Encoders: Linear encoders provide robust output signals
Heidenhain continued support for conversion of linear encoders for machine tool applications from 11 µA interface to the more robust 1 V interface, and established a common platform for the company’s linear encoders, by introducing the new state-of-the-art LS 688C linear encoder.
Rotary encoders: Hollow shaft encoders display superior performance
Sick Stegmann introduced the VFS 60 Motor Feedback Systems, which are hollow shaft encoders that mount to asynchronous motors and deliver from 1 to 10,000 ppr (pulses per revolution) in an industry-standard 60 mm housing.
Easier safety: Camera-based measurement, protection system
Canton, MI–Pilz Automation Safety L.P. has launched Pilz PSENvip, a measurement and protection system for press brakes to reduce industry reliance on light curtains and to increase productivity through low maintenance and reliable operation.
Dalsa’s Falcon 1.4M100 camera delivers 100 frames per second
Dalsa Corp. has released the Falcon 1.4M100, a 1.4 mega pixel area camera that delivers 100 frames per second at full resolution in a compact body. Applications include electronics manufacturing and semiconductor inspection, which require fast inspection rates and high accuracy.
RedPrairie WMS gains RFID printer matchup
The offering of a pre-integrated solution results in faster time-to-benefit for joint customers.
Connective process indicator
Sartorius Corp.’s X3 Process Indicator provides controls of process hopper scales with strain gauge load cells for use in process automation applications. Its standard Ethernet TCP/IP interface allows integration into existing computer networks for transmission of weight values, process status messages, or other controllable information via integrated OPC-server technology.
Sensing at the Nano-Level
At least once in every episode of Fox’s popular medical drama “House”, we are treated to a brief but beautiful journey through the human body, traveling with a virus or cell awaiting discovery by the renowned doctor and his team later in the show. Reduced to nano-size, we see—and sense—at a level impossible to discern in the macro, or even micro, world.
Bowater to install reel optimizing system in MS paper mill
Malvern, PA—Bowater Inc., a pulp and paper manufacturing company, is installing a Reel Optimizing System from Vishay Intertechnology Inc. in its Grenada, MS, paper mill, which produces mechanical pulp, graphic paper, and newsprint.
Bridge testing: digital wireless technology
Ensuring the integrity and performance of the country’s bridges and infrastructure is critical after the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, MN, in August. Physical Acoustics Corporation (PAC) has developed digital wireless sensor technology that assists bridge operators in preventing bridge failures.
On Track with Machine Vision
Want to increase inspection time by factor of 10, raise quality, lower costs, augment worker satisfaction, improve safety, and lower variability? Advanced machine vision technologies can help. Users, system integrators, and vision vendors have tracked these results: Get on track with benefits machine vision can bring to you..
Mechatrolink meets LabView for simplified motion control
Control equipment manufacturer Yaskawa introduced LabView drivers for their NT 100 PCI card, making it easy to have any PC class computer programmed in the LabView test-programming environment from National Instruments host a real-time servo system interconnected through Yaskawa’s Mechatrolink networking system
Ultra low power capacitance converter for proximity sensing
The AD7150 delivers a complete signal processing solution for capacitive proximity sensors, according to the IC’s producer, Analog Devices.
Encoders 101: BEI’s guide for dummies
Goleta, CA—BEI Industrial Encoders, an operation of Custom Sensors and Technologies business unit of Schneider Electric, offers a complimentary guide to industrial encoders titled, BEI Industrial Encoders for Dummies.
Machine control: 200,000th NC control shipped, tool show
Schaumburg, IL--After 30 years in business, Heidenhain Corp. is celebrating the shipment of its 200,000th NC control.
The Guidance System is a complete, four-axis, vision-guided motion-control system in a compact enclosure. The system allows the controller to be located at the point of use, which is connected to motor and logic power supplies, fans and filters for cooling and easy-to-use standard connectors. An integrated motor power supply generates 320 VDC and can power a wide range of brushless motors that ...
The new RCH50 hollow-shaft encoder features easy installation in cost-effective packaging, the company says. The foundation of this product is a custom Opto-ASIC, supporting incremental encoder line counts up to 4,096. The commutation signals are said to have been implemented with precision optical logic to provide accurate switch points for smooth and efficient motor operation at any pole count.
Proximity Sensor Product Research July 2007
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding proximity sensors.
Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division released two high-torque motors from its MaxPlusPlus (MPP) servomotor family. The company says the higher-performance MPP230 and MPP270 offer the torque users need for high-power applications, such as press feeders, tube benders, and plastic extruders.
Sealed encoders for harsh environments
BEI Industrial Encoders introduced the ES encoder series, which are environmentally sealed encoders designed specifically for harsh industrial applications.
Exclusive: Wireless presence sensor, up to 10-year battery life
Banner Engineering M-Gage wireless presence sensor greatly improves the performance and reliability at a lower installed cost, since it can be placed in a core cut-out with no additional connection, like inductive loops. Minneapolis, MN — Banner Engineering Corp. introduces the M-Gage Wireless Sensor Node for vehicle sensing using Banner’s new SureCross Wireless Network. The sensor, encapsulated in an IP67/NEMA 6 SureCross Node enclosure, has a long-lasting FlexPower battery, said to supply power for sensing and wireless connectivity for up to 10 years.
Correction: machine vision Product Research, May 2007
Oak Brook, IL —Two years of cumulative or 2006 data were used in place of one year in several locations in Control Engineering , May 2007, p. 86, Product Research article, “ Machine Vision: Now is the Time .” In addition, the article has "Online Extra" links posted, providing additional information. The online version has been corrected as follows: Spending95% expect to spend as much if not more45% expect more Use of integrator34% currently use a machine vision integrator13% plan to do so within next year Performance support - currently in useProprietary 58%Gigabit Ethernet 53%USB 49%Camera Link 42%IEEE 1394 30%Other 28% Units purchased21% purchased 1– 2 units42% 3– 6 units16% 7– 15 units20% 16 or more Machine vision vendorsRank order of vendors named in the 2007 survey: Cognex (DVT), Keyence; Banner Engineering; National Instruments; Omron Electronics; Matrox Imaging; ipd, a group of Dalsa Digital Imaging; PPT Vision; Systech International; Siemens (RVSI Acuity CiMatrix); JAI Pulnix; and Toshiba. -- Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief Control Engineering Daily News Desk.
Welding productivity increases with hardened products
Balluff has introduced a family of products that significantly increases the life expectancy of sensors and connector components in harsh weld cell environments. The Weld Select family consists of Weld Field Immune sensors, SteelFace sensors, SlagMaster slag resistant laminate coatings, improved mounting hardware, connector components, and Weld Repel products designed to protect sensor connector components from damage in welding cells.
Sensors, robotics, vision: Seismic accelerometer, hands-on demos
Endevco Corp. introduces the lowest-noise compact seismic accelerometer and provides two hands-on demonstrations at Sensors Expo 2007.
Design Production for Automation
Maximizing savings from automation requires thinking about controls when designing manufacturing operations, especially in the highly competitive food and beverage industry, as Dan DeClark can attest, based on experiences, old and new. DeClark has been in the food and beverage flavor business since 1969.
Motion, vision: DARPA Challenge teams advance; June safety assessment
Continuing to advance control engineering technologies such as motors, motion control, machine vision, advanced sensing, and networking, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says 53 of the initial 89 teams will move to the next stage in the selection process for DARPA’s Urban Challenge.
Software minimizes design time
Version 1.8 of Eplan Electric P8 from Eplan Software & Services continues to focus on minimizing design time. New features include in-place editing to speed and simplify the incorporation of modifications arising during machine build or start up into the project. Users can edit device tags, function texts, or component numbers in the wiring diagram with a mouse click.
Encoders: Kübler by Turck now U.S. assembled
Turck Inc. announced that “Kübler by Turck” 2 in. encoders are assembled in Minneapolis to shorten lead times, now less than one week for encoders with 1,024 pulses per revolution or less. These die-cast aluminum encoders are available with up to 3,600 pulses per revolution and are ideal for strenuous factory applications such as material handling, conveyor systems, process con...
USB cameras simplify machine vision
EO family of intelligent machine-vision cameras are equipped with software features said to make machine vision easier to implement and control and a USB 2.0 interface that provides a high-speed link for data downloads.
Motion control: SERCOS III rolls out beyond Germany
Hannover, Germany —At Hannover Fair 2007, SERCOS International updated its developments in three focus areas: motion control, safety, and I/O systems. Its latest SERCOS III—offering faster, bidirectional Ethernet communication technology—is now starting international rollout outside of Germany, noted Peter Lutz, SERCOS managing director. The SERCOS joint stand included 15 exhibitors, ranging from Altera to Yaskawa. SERCOS III is heading for IEC standard status in 2007, and is scheduled to make it by the third quarter. New SERCOS hardware products were announced at the fair, and the first products for “CIP Safety on SERCOS” are expected in late 2007, said Lutz.
Inspection sensors: Next-generation devices fit almost anywhere
Natick, MA —Checker 200 series models are the next-generation of inspection sensors from Cognex Corp . The sensors, designed to replace arrays of photoelectric sensors or low-end machine vision, are said to be as simple to set up as Checker 101 devices but offer more capability and are small enough to fit almost anywhere. Next generation of inspection sensors from Cognex Corp. includes Checker 201 (shown), for part finding and inspection, and Checker 202, which adds ladder logic for custom configurations.
In-Sight 5600 from Cognex Corp. claims to be the world's fastest vision sensor. It offers the same rugged design and outstanding performance as the company’s In-Sight 5400 series, but with twice the processing speed and memory.
Metric incremental encoders
New metric incremental encoders from BEI Industrial Encoders include Model M58, a 58-mm dia industrial grade metric device that provides a wide range of functional options in a rugged industrial package.
License-free controller for low cost Sercos III I/O
Sercos International has introduced Easy-I/O, which is free IP core software for low-cost FPGA chips that allows Sercos III to be integrated into basic I/O slave devices with minimal development and integration effort.
Eye on Hazardous Area Sensors
Sensors pervade our lives. From the appliances in our homes to the automobiles that move us from place to place to the automation and control systems that operate and monitor our industrial processes, sensors are everywhere. Like most components, however, they are part of the larger whole—elements in systems growing ever more complex.
20/20 hindsight says start now
If I had known it was going to be this good, I would have started using machine vision years ago. This was one of many clarity-ridden, user-contributed comments for the machine vision “Product Research” article in this issue. We started asking those taking the survey to write in advice. Some comments are included in the article; others are linked online, posted with the April 24 Wee...
Vision sensors: Machine vision software
The Value Engineering Alliance announced the addition of a Vision Components VC4XXX series-compatible software option to its Piati family of ECC200 Data Matrix decoding solutions.
Low-profile optical commutation encoder
RCML15 compact optical encoder from Renco Encoders Inc. provides signals for brushless motor commutation and incremental position feedback in a low profile (0.35-in. height) unit.
Machine design: Modular, embedded controllers
EMC 40 Series controllers from Athena Controls, said to provide a wide range of communications options for demanding temperature and process control applications, debuted in the March print issue of Control Engineering magazine. Plymouth Meeting, PA and Oak Brook, IL —EMC 40 Series controllers from Athena Controls offer the capabilities of a multi-zone PLC with analog functions on a small (4.5 x 7-in.), inexpensive control board for maximum flexibility in machine design applications. The new boards, said to give design engineers the wide range of expanded communications options required by today's demanding temperature and process control applications, was introduced last week in the March issue of Control Engineering magazine. Basic board has four 24 V dc isolated digital inputs and six 24 V dc isolated digital sourcing outputs that share 750 mA of current.
Modular, embedded controllers
EMC 40 Series controllers from Athena Controls offer the capabilities of a multi-zone PLC with analog functions on a small (4.5 x 7-in.), inexpensive control board for maximum flexibility in machine design applications. Board is said to give design engineers the wide range of expanded communications options required by today’s demanding temperature and process control applications.
Inside an application: Transducer aids pressure test
Heat Transfer Products uses the Setra Model 201 to perform a pressure decay test during production of its Munchkin water heater. During this phase, the Munchin is tested to ensure that the water is heated to the proper temperature. When Steve Asselin joined Heat Transfer Products of East Freetown, MA, as a project manager and specialist in automated test measurement, his initial assignment was to design a production line for the company's Munchkin line of water heaters.
Motor control: Control unit synchronizes 6 actuators
SKF introduced what they call "Smart Control Units" (SCUs) that can synchronize the speeds of up to six actuators and store frequently used positions for quick selection using one command. These units feature a standardized plug system (DIN8 for actuators and HD15 for operating devices), three or six channels for actuators, and adjustable operating parameters. All promote customization to satisfy a wide range of medical and industrial applications. A single fault safety is standard with all three versions (24 V dc, 120 V ac, and 230 V ac), which interrupts or prevents movement of all actuators upon detection of electrical failures of internal and connected hardware.
Motion control: Digital encoder platform
Mercury II digital encoder platform from MicroE Systems comes in four models and is available with stick-on bi-directional optical index and limit markers. Natick, MA —Mercury II digital encoder platform for high-performance motion control applications from MicroE Systems comes in four models with resolutions ranging from 5 Operating speed at 50 nm resolution is 2 m/s, or reportedly three times faster than similar 20icted motion platform designs. The encoder family also is available with stick-on bi-directional optical index and limit markers that let designers configure the scale to the application during production. Repeatability for the index is 1 LSB at full speed.
Handheld analyzer for machine diagnostics
VSA-1214 and 1215 vibration spectrum analyzers from Datastick Systems Inc. are said to allow facilities of all sizes to use vibration analysis in machine-condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and routine troubleshooting to reduce costs and downtime.
Push-button operation: ICs offer contactless alternative
AS5030 and AS5130 magnetic rotary encoder ICs from austriamicrosystems, with push button and low-power mode features, offer a contactless alternative to mechanical rotary knobs. Unterpremstaetten, Austria —Two 8-bit absolute magnetic rotary encoder ICs from austriamicrosystems feature push-button and low-power mode features. AS5030 and AS5130 expand the company's rotary encoder family offering a contactless alternative to mechanical rotary knobs in a variety of automotive and industrial applications. Devices provide an angle resolution of 1.4° over a 360° turn (8 bit), accessible via digital serial interface (SSI) or pulse width modulated (PWM) outputs.
New product: One size fits all pressure transducer
Pressure transducer fits any application. Setra Systems ' Model 260 capacitance-sensor is a 'One size fits all' low differential pressure transducer, the company says. The unit offers user selectable pressure ranges and analog outputs, a standard LCD, and ac/dc excitation on voltage-output operation.
Ultra-low pressure rupture disk
Prolp rupture disk from Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co. Inc. operates in very low pressure vessels where equipment operating costs are key considerations.
Online Update for November 10, 2006
LED technology: Evolution improves illumination
Optek's Lednium Series Array is said to be among the brightest single source LED assemblies in the lighting industry. As LED technology advances, its function has progressed from backlighting, indicators, and general illumination to use in warning signs, machine vision systems, and other industrial applications. Not only have uses increased, the LEDs have evolved from single chips to multi-chip arrays. Industrial environments require devices that are reliable and long lasting.
Non-traditional, compact encoders
QD12 compact encoder from Quantum Devices Inc. provides improved feedback for applications that typically use modular encoders.
Strategic alliance: Joint effort seeks to grow non-contact robotic measurement, inspection market
Improving manufacturing processes in the automotive industry is among anticipated benefits of a recent alliance to promote growth of the non-contact robotic measurement and inspection market. Orion, MI —A software firm and an automation company are joining technologies and services to promote growth of the non-contact robotic measurement and inspection market. Applied Manufacturing Technologies Inc .
Load cell for OEMs
Mass Monitor moment-insensitive load cell from Setra Systems Inc. is intended for OEMs.
Focus on finer points: UV camera for detailed inspections
Model CS3930UV machine vision camera from Toshiba Teli uses near-UV light to perform detailed inspections and see superficial defects, including scratches, dust, or other imperfections that can adversely affect product quality. Irvine, CA —Intended for detailed surface inspection of semiconductors, soldering, and other precision applications, Toshiba Teli ’s CS3930UV machine vision camera uses near-UV light to see superficial defects such as scratches or dust that can impact adversely finished product quality. Camera’s 1/2-in. progressive scan CCD is sensitive to light below the visible spectrum up to 240 nm, reportedly yielding measurement accuracy approximately twice that of standard machine vision cameras operating with white or red light.
Correction – 2006-10-01
Control Engineering, September 2006, p. 52, cover story, “Measure Up with Machine Vision,” should have included www.bannerengineering.com. To read that article, and additional information about importance of lighting, go to www.controleng.com/archive under September 2006.
Machine Vision: Not Just for Metrology Anymore
To many manufacturing engineers, machine vision (MV) on the factory floor is just a metrology tool. They’ve gotten used to applying machine vision to speed up inspection and gauging applications for quality control, especially for 100% inspection situations. What they haven’t come to grips with, yet, is something that electronic printed-circuit assembly engineers embraced years ago:...
Magnetic linear encoders
E Series of linear magnetic encoders from Admotec Inc. are intended for demanding automated machinery applications.
Mathstar offers family of FPOAs
Mathstar introduces a family of field programmable object arrays (FPOAs), which work at a higher level (2-4 times greater performance) than field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). An FPOA is a two-dimensional array of silicon objects, which are 16-bit configurable machines, such as a multiply-accumulate unit, or register file. Both the silicon object behavior and the interconnection among silicon objects are field-programmable.
Vision sensor sees shapes, colors
ZFV-C Smart Sensor from Omron Electronics is said to offer sensing capabilities close to human vision. New color sensing abilities allow the device to “see” images invisible to monochromatic sensors and make it more reliable for inspecting complex targets.
Machine vision illuminator
Dolan-Jenner Fiber-Lite DC950 150-W quartz-halogen-regulated machine-vision fiber-optic illuminator features dc regulated output, fast lamp response, and a 0-5 V dc remote intensity control interface with linear voltage adjustment (8 bit D/A module available).
Exclusive: Vision software supports color
Sherlock 7 next-generation machine vision software from ipd, a group of Dalsa Digital Imaging, offers enhanced tools and flexibility to address automated inspection needs.
Incremental encoder, counter for motion control
Tews Technologies offers a line of embedded I/O board products, including this standard single-width 32-bit PMC module with six channels. Tews Technology offers the TPMC117, a standard single-width 32-bit PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) module with six channels. It operates as a standard SSI (Serial Synchronous Interface) interface controller, a SSI “listen only” device, an incremental encoder, or a general-purpose counter.
Free machine vision seminars aim to improve quality, reduce costs
Cognex Corp. offers free seminars for better use of machine vision sensors and systems. Company says it’s the world’s leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 300,000 machine vision systems, representing over $2 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company's founding in 1981.
Subminiature accelerometers endure up to 60,000 G
Smaller-than-dime-sized Endevco model 71 series of subminiature SMT piezoresistive accelerometers has a rugged design to measure shock. Endevco Corp. , a Meggitt group company specializing in sensing technologies for demanding vibration, shock, and pressure applications, expanded its line of high shock sensors for the most extreme aerospace and test and measurement applications with the new subminiature model 71 series surface-mount accelerometer.
LN series linear encoders from BEI Industrial Encoder Div. are said to provide rapid, accurate, and repeatable position feedback in a rugged design.
Vision software supports color
Sherlock 7 next-generation machine vision software from ipd, a group of Dalsa Digital Imaging, offers enhanced tools and flexibility to address automated inspection needs. New version adds support for color image processing, including a suite of color tools and methods for a wide range of applications.
Sensor modifications made
Schneider Electric expanded its North American Adaptation Center in Dayton, OH, to handle Type "A" modifications (any cable or labeling alterations to the external housing of the sensor). Customers can specify a reduced cable length, a customized bracket style or label requirement or any specialized type of connector according to the application requirement.
Linear encoders for machine tools
LC Series absolute linear encoders from Heidenhain Corp. have reportedly been redesigned to meet today's measurement requirements in machine tools better, and also now include two interfaces: EnDat 2.2 and Fanuc 02. LC 183 and 483 Series with EnDat interface and LC 193 and 493 with Fanuc interface offer electrical advantages, including making possible purely serial axis-control.
Firewire-based machine vision
CS8581QF remote-head FireWire camera is intended for automation applications needing ultra-fast frame rates, high resolution, and a micro-sized remote camera head to fit restricted mounting spaces.
Interactive machine vision
VisionPro machine visions systems now have interactive tools said to make it fast and easy to evaluate, implement, and deploy multi-camera applications without programming.
Rotary torque sensors for automotive uses
Torkdisc rotary torque sensor system is designed for automotive driveline and power-train dynamometers and torque measurement applications that require a robust torque transducer.
Servo controller includes Ethernet, CAN
SilverDust IG8 single-axis controller/driver is said to provide low-cost network support.
Angle encoders offer accuracy, large hollow shafts
Series 4000 angle encoders from Heidenhain Corp. is available in seven diameters for use on rotary systems, spindles, and other motors. Schaumburg , IL —Expanded Series of ERA 4000 angle encoders from Heidenhain Corp.
Mergers in vision, brewing, instrumentation
In recent merger and acquisition activities, Cognex acquired an in-vehicle vision firm; GEA purchased Huppmann; and Thermo Electric and Fisher Scientific agreed to combine. Cognex Corp. moves into the emerging in-vehicle machine-vision systems field with its purchase of AssistWare Technology Inc., a privately held developer of lane departure warning (LDW) systems for the heavy truck market.
Load cell provides top accuracy, protection
Scaime , a leading manufacturer of weighing components and systems, has launched a new product line of stainless-steel welded seal shear-beam load cells. Designated SK30X Series, these load cells are designed to fit industrial applications and, more specifically, are legal for trade scales. SK30X load cells have capacity ratings from 300 to 2,000 kg (660-4,400 lb), with certified accuracy up to 6,000 divisions OIML and 5,000 divisions NTEP.
Sensors Expo 2006: Programmable gyroscope
Programmable MEMS gyroscope from Analog Devices Inc. provides digital range scaling for industrial applications. Norwood , MA and Rosemont, IL— Newest addition to Analog Devices ’ i Sensor family of highly integrated intelligent sensors is the ADIS16250 gyroscope.
Power, communication cables
Madison industrial and factory automation cable line has been expanded to include additional designs, technologies, and options for power, encoder, communication, and serial interfaces.
Laser encoder features picometer resolution
Hoffman Estates, IL—RLE20 fiberoptic laser encoder system from Renishaw converts a laser interferometer from a complex scientific instrument into a simple production device that offers picometer resolution, differential measurements, and part-per-billion laser frequency stability.
Thin-beam load cells measure a little
LCL Series thin-beam load cells are said to be well suited for small load measurements. LCL Series, which measures force or weight, handles many applications found in medical instrumentation, process controls, robotics, and other high-volume operations. Specially developed integrated strain gauge includes 4-active-arm full bridge, and all-balancing, compensating, and conductive elements.
Cognex acquires in-vehicle vision-systems firm
Natick, MA — Cognex Corp . moves into the emerging in-vehicle machine-vision systems field with its purchase of AssistWare Technology Inc ., a privately held developer of lane departure warning (LDW) systems for the heavy truck market. The equipment uses a small video camera and machine vision technology to watch the road ahead and alert drivers if they unintentionally leave a lane or their driving pattern becomes erratic. The in-vehicle market for machine vision is "a large and exciting one," said Cognex, and includes many potential applications beyond LDW, such as collision warning, blind spot detection, headlight dimming and aiming, and adaptive cruise control.
Bin picking system cuts parts, costs
With a range up to 2 m (6.56 ft), Pick2Light system from Sick is protected from reflections and ambient light.. Designed to simplify assembly and picking applications, Pick2Light bin control system was recently introduced by Sick , a global manufacturer of industrial sensors, safety systems, and automatic identification products. Said to be easy to integrate into assembly and picking operations, Pick2Light has a unique, external mounting feature that requires fewer parts and cuts costs. Pick2Light system offers reliable hand detection and a 360-degree visible LED.
Corrections – 2006-05-01
Control Engineering, March 2006, p.48, "Healthy Machines" article should have listed the title for Vishnu Raman of Veits Group as CEO. In Control Engineering, April 2006, p. 10, Product Exclusive, the two photos appeared in opposite locations; images with correct captions are shown below: XB IEC terminal blocks from Eaton Corp.
Scales: Weighed down by high accuracy requirements?
Today's trend is toward higher-accuracy, lower-cost weigh scales, creating greater demand for high-performance, analog signal-processing circuitry. Initially, the performance requirement is not obvious. Most weigh scales output final weight values with a resolution of 1:3,000 or 1:10,000; so a 12-bit to 14-bit ADC would seem to be sufficient.
Level Measurement and Inventory Tank Gauging
Level measurement devices determine the elevation of liquids and/or granular solids intanks, containers, silos, or any other suitable container. A recent, VDC market study found 2004's worldwide market for process-level measurement devices totaled $1.32 billion, with the global market for inventory tank gauging systems at $327 million.
Vision: Frame grabber, small system, video server
Recent developments in machine vision include Leutron Vision's Camera Link frame grabber family based on PCI-express; Moxa VPort 3310 Video Server; and SmallFrEye PC compact multifunctional vision system by The Value Engineering Alliance.
PDA-based vibration analyzer
VSA-1212 vibration spectrum analyzer is PDA-based and uses open, non-proprietary desktop PC software.
Reviewing Connector Systems
Although electrical connectors are often thought of as a relatively minor component of industrial assembly and automation and control systems, their ability to perform reliably in these environments is critical to production uptime and quality control. With so many manufacturers now using advanced technologies—cellular manufacturing and assembly lines equipped with highly synchronized, co...
Color sensors help with transmission manufacture
A German transmission manufacturer is using new color area sensors in a pilot application for inspecting colored sealing plugs. Dustproof and splashproof devices can learn and save as many as 16 color samples without programming and complete up to 30 inspections per second. The Saarbrücken plant of ZF Getriebe GmbH is headquarters of the car driveline technology division of ZF Friedrichsha...
Next-generation frame grabbers
PicPort-Express-CL Series of latest generation frame grabbers features standard support for high-performance cameras, with high-speed Camera Link receivers (85 MHz) and interface boards that simplify connectivity using Power-over-Camera Link. FPGA- (field programmable gate array) based devices are said to offer image acquisition flexibility, high performance, field upgradeability, and customiza...
In-line rotary torque sensor
Torkdisc rotary sensor system is a compact in-line rotary torque sensor for spindle qualification testing of machining centers and other torque measurement applications that require a robust torque transducer where axial space is limited. Sensor helps select proper spindle sizes by comparing rated power to actual torque delivered to cutting tools.
Dual-output option for HS35 Series hollow shaft encoder provides redundant encoder signals to ensure maximum control system reliability. Two sets of internal electronics send identical isolated output signals to two separate connectors. If one is electrically damaged, the cable can be moved from one connector to the other quickly.
Valve for high operating pressures
VP60 proportional valve has an expanded input pressure range. Originally specified at 170 psi, the valve now can handle input pressure of 230 psi, allowing a flow-rate increase from 125 to 175 cfm. Device is suited for applications requiring very high operating pressures and can be deployed in a variety of sectors, including mechanical engineering, automotive manufacturing, packaging, printing ...
Cognex seeks patent non-infringement ruling
Natick, MA — Cognex Corp . is seeking a declaration of invalidity, unenforceability, and non-infringement of a 2-D symbology patent. The machine vision systems supplier served the complaint against Acacia Research Corp .
NMW 2006: Optimizing automation aids global competitiveness, NI exec tells NMW attendees
Rosemont, IL —Much of the improvement in U.S. manufacturing efficiency recently is attributable to automation, National Instruments ' Mike Santori told National Manufacturing Week attendees Tuesday. Delivering the event’s industrial automation keynote address, Santori, NI’s business and technology fellow, discussed how critical technologies and architectures are improving production and helping companies compete more successfully in a global economy.
Camera does 60 frames per sec; part-marking seminars
Toshiba Teli America CS8550DiF monochrome video camera features include random trigger shutter for capturing images with timing cued by an external signal and compatibility with standard C-mount lenses. Toshiba Teli America Inc .’s CS8550DiF monochrome video camera provides 60 frame-per-second, double-speed, non-compressed VGA (640 x 480 pixel) output, qualifying it for high-speed applications, including machine vision, bar-code reading, semiconductor inspection, and gauging. In separate news, Cognex is offering free direct-part-marking seminars.Toshiba’s CS8550DiF is targeted at the quality-sensitive OEM and for analog camera replacement markets, the company says.
NMW 2006: Heidenhain updates explosion-proof encoder
Rosemont, IL (Chicago suburb) —Control equipment and devices need to upgrade their built-in toughness to be able to keep pace with the harsh application environments they serve. A case in point is the increasing ruggedness exhibited by feedback devices. Among products displayed by Heidenhain Corp. at National Manufacturing Week (NMW) shows, March 21-23, was an explosion-proof version of its rotary encoder—ROD 420—which embodies a standard 58-mm (2.28 in.) diameter housing, compact total length of 83 mm, and line counts from 250 to 5,000.
Novel motor-drive unit features optics-based commutation
Stationary/rotating switches and associated electronics installed outside the main motor housing offer protection from heat and dirt and permit easy replacement. Rotor coil leads brought out through the bearing via slots in the motor shaft help implement the design. It may look like an ordinary ac or dc motor and consist of familiar mechanical parts, but that’s where similarities end for DynaMotor —a variable-speed brushless motor-drive package from DynaMotors Inc.— which applies optically controlled solid-state switches (transistors) embedded in its rotor windings to control current, hence torque.
Compact I/O modules for varying applications
Compact I/O modules from B&R Industrial Automation measure 6.7-in. high x 3.2-in. wide x 1.2-in.
Metal pushbuttons, 22 mm; no contact blocks
A number of 22 mm metal pushbuttons now come without contact blocks. Momentary flush and extended operators are available in red, green, or black. Devices have 30-mm actuators and mount in a 220-mm hole. Each pushbutton includes the operator and support base only. Both styles are CSA, IMQ (where specified), and UL approved.
Wire draw mechanism with encoder
MRA-F wire draw mechanism from Sick Stegmann Inc. combines with an absolute or incremental encoder for length measurement up to 50 m. Dayton, OH —MRA-F wire draw mechanism from Sick Stegmann Inc .
High-performance vision cameras
Three Linescan GigE-Vision cameras are based on Kodak CCD (charge-coupled device) trilinear and quadrilinear technology. Models TAG2 LCD 2049@9000, TAG2 LCD 4080@7000, and TAG2 LBD 8160@14000 include two color units&m>with 2,048 and 4,080 pixels, respectively, and a third black-and-white unit&m>with 8,160 pixels.
Hollow-shaft encoder adds high-res
HS35 hollow-shaft encoder now has finer resolution.
Software for vision applications
Piati_PGP is the latest addition to the Piati family of ECC200 data-matrix decoding solutions. Developed for those seeking an automatic identification component for data-matrix decoding software applications, PGP is suited for comprehensive vision application development, implementation environments that include other vision tools and associated functions, or serve as the heart of their own int...
Bacteria-reducing inductive sensor
Inductive proximity sensor with an anti-bacterial housing is designed to help food and pharmaceutical processors reduce contamination risks. Housing was developed in cooperation with performance plastics specialist Ensinger. Number of bacteria and germs on the housing is actively reduced through an FDA-approved additive.
I/O modules with pluggable wiring
KS Series bus-terminal I/O system from Beckhoff Automation now includes pluggable connections. Equipped with the same wiring procedure as the KL line, the KS Series gives end-users, system integrators, and OEMs a choice of a one-piece I/O module with integrated terminals or a two-piece design with removable connectors for maximum installation and maintenance flexibility.
Industrial Automation Show: Vision tips, CNC standards
Sessions at National Manufacturing Week’s Industrial Automation Show and Conference cover scores of hot topics, including tips and tricks for machine vision, and streamlined programming, open architecture, and standards for computer numerical control (CNC). More information on three of the sessions follows. 3A13: Integrating Machine Vision: Tips and Tricks Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 2-2:50 p.m.System integrators explain, through their hands-on expertise, integration tips and tricks for machine vision. Specific application examples will illustrate what to do and not to do.
Quality control enhancement
National Instruments has released NI Vision 8 Development Module, a suite of vision software tools that engineers, integrators, and machine builders can use to improve system efficiency by increasing quality control in manufacturing. Vision 8 (V8) combines a collection of vision libraries with acquisition software for thousands of cameras, including those based on the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connection standard, all optimized for common programming environments like NI LabView and Microsoft C++, Visual Basic and Microsoft.Net. Designed for engineers to identify packaging and assembly errors earlier in production, V8 includes new algorithms for: golden template comparison; optical character verification (OCV), and data matrix grading. Algorithms for golden template comparison and OCV inspection identify flaws in labels and defects in products, while the data-matrix grading tool verifies that 2D bar codes are applied correctly in accordance to the ISO 16022 (AIM) standard. Along with the hundreds of image processing and machine vision functions in the Vision 8 Development Module, engineers can use included software such as NI Vision Assistant and NI Vision Acquisition software.
Accelerometer with integral electronics
IEPE accelerometer from VIP sensors is intended for general vibration measurements on structures and objects. San Juan Capistrano, CA —A new, integral-electronics piezoelectric (IEPE) accelerometer from VIP Sensors features a high signal-to-noise ratio, high output sensitivity, and wide bandwidth up to 10 kHz. Model 2010A is a stud-mounted device intended for general vibration measurements on structures and objects and is sealed against external contamination. Signal ground is connected to the outer case of the unit.
Faster digital signal throughput, resolution
Three new digital signal controllers (DSCs) produced by Texas Instruments (TI) combine real-time performance of digital signal processors (DSPs) with integrated peripherals and microcontroller ease-of-use to address applications in motor control, digital power supply, and intelligent sensing. By reducing external parts count through a mix of peripherals, TMS320F2801, TMS320F2806, and TMS320F280...
Seal of Approval Best Technologies of 2005
Forty-five Editors' Choice Award winners were selected from among products covered by Control Engineering during 2005. Winners are based on service to the industry, technological advancement, and market impact. This is the 19th year editors nominate, discuss, and select the products they feel best meet those criteria.
What is a smart sensor?
One of the biggest advances in automation has been the development and spread of smart sensors. But what exactly is a "smart" sensor? Experts from six sensor manufacturers define this term. A good working "smart sensor" definition comes from Tom Griffiths, product manager, Honeywell Industrial Measurement and Control.
Partnership provides calibration, repair service to Japanese markets
Techno Co. Ltd. have joined forces to provide calibration and repair services for Endevco products in Japan.
Vibration spectrum analyzer uses piezoelectric accelerometers
VSA-1212 module from Datastick Systems is said to be the first PDA-based vibration spectrum analyzer to use standard, off-the-shelf ICP-type piezoelectric accelerometers for machine diagnostics. PDA-based vibration spectrum analyzer from Datastick Systems is said to be the first to use standard, off-the-shelf ICP-type piezoelectric accelerometers for machine diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and routine troubleshooting.System includes the VSA-1212 analyzer module that attaches to select PDAs running Palm OS; new Datastick Spectrum handheld software that collects vibration measurements and displays them in time waveforms and FFT spectra with alarm levels; and Datastick Reporting Systems (DRS) software that receives data from the handheld into a special VSA Microsoft Excel workbook on the PC. Data are collected, viewed, analyzed, and stored on the PDA, then exported to a desktop PC for further analysis, trending, reporting, storage, and publishing to the enterprise and the Web.
Camera has all-pixel readout
CS3969DCL camera uses a 1.5 megapixel, 2/3-type progressive scan CCD, said to provide sharper, more detailed pictures of moving objects than conventional machine-vision cameras.
Cameras for machine vision systems
PicSight camera for machine vision systems lets OEMs create industrial devices to meet specific needs. They may pick image characteristics from a large selection of sensor modules and select either a way to transfer images from available standard interface modules or in-camera processing using a smart processing module.
Shock Testing with Multi-tasking Motion Controller
Today's extreme mountain-bike riders subject suspension forks to high stress forces. After miles of ascents and descents on some of the world's toughest terrain, the forks have a tendency to fatigue. If failure occurs, it's typically on the critical weld between the top of the fork and the stem that fits into the frame headset.
Keyence calls 2 mega-pixel mode a ‘first’
By automatically shifting the 1-million pixel target area, the camera can use the full 2-million pixel image to perform inspections, widening range and increasing speed, says Keyence of its CV-2100/2600 line. (2600 is shown.) Keyence 's CV-2100/2600 machine vision cameras claim a number of industry firsts, including high-speed enhancement with 1 and 2 mega-pixel modes and highly sensitive image capturing, with an 81-level span/shift function. The 1 mega-pixel mode cuts an area of 1-million pixels from the 2-million-pixel CCD, improving speed and accuracy for better support of high-speed production line applications, Keyence says. Higher resolution with same field of view is said to augment measurement accuracy; wider range with same precision per pixel can avoid necessity of mounting multiple cameras.
Instrumentation, maintenance services firms partner for calibration, repair
San Juan Capistrano, CA — Endevco Corp . and Cambridge Vibration Maintenance Service (CVMSL) have agreed to provide calibration and repair services for Endevco products in the U.K. Endevco, a designer and manufacturer of dynamic instrumentation for vibration, shock, and pressure measurement, is reportedly known in British aerospace, automotive, and general testing communities for high-performance accelerometers; crash test, vibration, and pressure sensors; and signal conditioners. CVMSL is recognized for its technical field support in the test and measurement marketplace.
Accelerometer speeds collection of vibration data collection
Emerson Process Management introduced a triaxial accelerometer with integral magnet that is smaller than conventional triaxial accelerometers, delivers excellent measurement quality, and speeds data collection in the field by technicians using the dual-channel CSI 2130 Machinery Health Analyzer, the company says. Emerson’s new triaxial accelerometer decreases implementation costs because it does not require a stud mount for monitoring rotating equipment. Instead, it can be magnetically attached on a mounting pad and deliver measurements up to 10 kHz in the primary axis and above 3 kHz in the secondary axes. When used with Emerson’s PeakVue technology, the sensor’s high frequency response range identifies bearing faults and improper machine lubrication, ensuring users are made aware of these potentially damaging conditions, the company suggests.
Xilinx offers DSP-FPGA synergism
FPGA adds synergism to DSP performance via XtremeDSP's roadmap. Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are here to help raise the performance of digital signal processors (DSPs). In late October 2005, Xilinx Inc.
Siemens completes RVSI Acuity CiMatrix acquisition
Siemens Energy and Automation Inc. (SEA) completed acquisition of RVSI Acuity CiMatrix (RAC), a division of Robotic Visions SystemsInc. headquartered in Nashua, N.H. Siemens is expected to invest in the Nashua site to make that location its global center for machine vision sensors. RAC employs approximately 100 people who will be integrated SEA's business structure.
New company for vision and sensor solutions
A new company has formed to market and provide vision systems and turnkey installation and support for a wide range of sensors. Sensors vary from surface scanners for visually checking object surfaces for scratches, pores, pits, voids, and similar variables to single point devices, such as auto focusing, co-focal and triangulation, and white light interferometers.
Digital signal conditioner has TEDS tag
CellMite Model-4325B intelligent digital-signal conditioner with TEDS-tag for automatic load cell identification connects to a standard strain gauge, load cell, extensometer, or pressure sensor, and it simultaneously generates a serial output for connection to a PC or ±10-V analog output. TEDS-tag ID system (Transducer Electronic Data Sheet, enabled by the IEEE 1451.
OCR software expands compatibility
Value Engineering Alliance announced a new version of its EconoCR industrial OCR software for Vision Components’ Texas Instruments’ TMS320C6 series, DSP-based VC20-type smart cameras. The Value Engineering Alliance , a machine vision provider, announced a new version of its EconoCR industrial OCR (optical character recognition) software suitable for use on Vision Components’ Texas Instruments’ TMS320C6-series, digital-signal-processor-based, VC20-type smart cameras. Designed for programmers, software engineers, and machine vision specialists capable of operating at the library routine level, the software enables users to create stand-alone industrial OCR systems quickly; library routine format also allows the software to be easily combined with 1-D bar and 2-D matrix decoding software to produce more general-purpose video camera-based automatic identification applications. Characters to be read can be uniformly or proportionally spaced, dot matrix or continuous stroke, appreciably larger or smaller than those used in training, misaligned, rotated, and may use different fonts.
New company to provide vision, sensor solutions
Detroit, MI —A new company has formed to market and provide vision systems and turnkey installation and support for a wide range of sensors. Sensors vary from surface scanners for visually checking object surfaces for scratches, pores, pits, voids, and similar variables to single point devices such as auto focusing, co-focal and triangulation, and white light interferometers. Called Metrology Resource Co ., the firm will represent its own brand and Breitmeier Messtechnik of Germany, a maker of optical inspection equipment for the automotive industry. Among products offered are long-range lasers with measuring distances ranging from nano to 200 meters.
Encoder for underground mining
Model H38 explosion-proof rotary encoder now has Mine Safety & Health Administration certification.
Siemens acquires RVSI Acuity Cimatrix
Siemens Energy and Automation, Inc. (SEA) has completed the acquisition of RVSI Acuity CiMatrix (RAC), a division of Robotic Visions Systems, Inc. headquartered in Nashua, N.H.
Siemens buys RSVI Acuity CiMatrix
Atlanta, GA—Siemens Energy and Automation Inc. has completed the acquisition of RVSI Acuity CiMatrix, a division of Robotic Visions Systems Inc., Nashua, NH.
PackExpo 2005: Vision sensor designed for harsh use
Cognex’ stainless-steel, In-Sight-5400S vision sensor for harsh applications debuted last week at PackExpo in LasVegas. Las Vegas, NV; Natick, MA —In-Sight-5400S stainless-steel vision sensor from Cognex is an industrial grade device for tough environments. Introduced last week at the PackExpo show in Las Vegas, the sensor meets IEC specifications for shock and vibrations and achieves an IP68/NEMA 6P rating that stands up to chemical washdown and submersion.
GM benefits from automation system unification
A family approach to automation software and hardware is expected to make a major equipment manufacturer's products more durable and economical, while conserving energy, augmenting features, lowering costs, and easing integration of complex systems. Three levels of systems will be spread over multiple lines and models of machines, also adding safety and improving lifecycle cos...
High-resolution analog camera
CV-A2 machine vision camera offers a cost-effective, simple way to upgrade systems that use analog interfaces with a device that operates at high resolutions.
Honeywell agrees to acquire Lebow
To expand its sensing and control portfolio, Honeywell reports that it's agreed to acquire Lebow Corp., which manufactures automotive and aerospace force and torque sensors and load cells. Lebow will become part of Honeywell's Sensing and Control business unit. The transaction is expected to close in 2005's third quarter, pending some customary conditions.
Proximity Sensors Product Research August 2005
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding proximity sensors.
Although machine vision systems long have been a common fixture in electronics and semiconductor industries, dropping prices of components and integrated systems as well as improved performance are making them even more attractive additions to plants in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, pulp and paper, and pharmaceuticals.
Vision sensing lighting options
Lighting options for vision sensing applications include red, white, blue, green, infrared, and fluorescent as well as laser targeting models and specialty diffusers.
PPT Vision unveils high-resolution, intelligent machine vision cameras
Minneapolis, MN—PPT Vision Inc. has released two camera models, Impact T26 and T27, which it claims are the highest-resolution intelligent cameras in the machine vision industry.
Pentium-M node computer is fanless, dust tight
BoxPC-128 is designed for factory automation, facility monitoring, machine automation, and environmental monitoring applications. Fanless node computer uses an Intel Pentium-M low-power processor and features six high-speed USB 2.0 ports, suitable for vision applications. Other applications include temperature monitoring, process control, and liquid level measurement.
By the Numbers – 2005-08-01
4 automakers lead the most fuel-efficient list (eight EPA size classes) as of July 12 at www.fueleconomy.gov. They are BMW (Mini Cooper), Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Oak Ridge National Laboratory www.fueleconomy.gov 23 RFID products and services categories listed at CE SupplierSearch, powered by Kellysearch, as of July, 2005.
Dual-axis ‘averager’ for rotary applications
Mercury 3000Si dual axis averager includes two 8.4-mm tall high-performance Mercury encoder sensors, a SmartSignal dual-interpolator module, and a rotary glass scale.
Control Engineering Online Update for July 8, 2005
July 8, 2005 Highlights Sponsored byControl Engineering This review of the advantages and disadvantages of string potentiometers and string encoders, also known as cable position transducers (CPT), will help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of CPT technology for determining the optimal displacement measurement solution for your application. Cable Position Transducers for Control and Monitoring Cable position transducers (CPTs), or string potentiometers/encoders, were first developed in the mid-1960s in concert with the growth of the aerospace and aircraft industries. The first applications involved the monitoring of aircraft flight control mechanisms during flight testing. While the technology is now proven and mature, it is certainly not dated. A range of high-performance and cost-conscious applications use CPTs as the basis for key control and monitoring operations, such as: Delta IV missile thrust vectoring system; Military fighter level sensor; Diesel engine fuel index measurement; International Space Station environmental control systems; Commercial and military aircraft flight data recorder input sensors; Medical table actuation feedback system; and Logistics sorting and positioning equipment. The technology is so widely used that it is referred to by a variety of names, such as: cable-actuated position sensor, cable extension transducer, cable sensor, cable-actuated sensor, CET, CPT, draw wire encoder/transducer, wire rope transducer, wire sensor, wire-actuated transducer, and yo-yo potentiometer. These names all refer to devices that measure displacement via a flexible displacement cable that extracts from and retracts to a spring-loaded drum.
Dual-axis ‘averager’ for rotary applications
Mercury 3000Si dual axis averager includes two 8.4-mm tall high-performance Mercury encoder sensors, a SmartSignal dual-interpolator module, and a rotary glass scale. System eliminates eccentricity errors through an advanced signal-averaging algorithm. Processing and programmable interpolation to x1,024 occur within the unit's FPGA.
By the Numbers – 2005-07-01
7 Lessons on Working with Asia is the name of the article (April 2005 Control Engineering) ranking first in the top 10 articles read at www.controleng.com (as of June 15). Lesson 7, "Promises are sacred," explains how it is a mistake to treat Chinese colleagues as casually as those in the West. Profits suffer "when trust is lost due to excuses, delays, and lack of follow through," the article a...
Banner’s vision sensor uses 1.3-megapixel resolution to capture images
Minneapolis, MN—Banner Engineering Corp. reports that its new PresencePlus P4 Edge 1.3 vision sensor makes detailed, automated error proofing and inspections possible by using a 1,280 x 1,024 pixel imager (more than 1.3 mega pixels) to capture minute details of multiple features at ranges from a few inches to several feet, depending on the lenses used.
Material Sciences sells EMD division to TouchSensor
Elk Grove Village, IL—Material Sciences Co. (MSC) reports that it’s selling substantially all of the assets of its EMD business to TouchSensor Technologies (TST) LLC.
News analysis: Cognex strengthens vision offerings, reach in DVT buyout
The $115-million Cognex acquisition of DVT, announced May 9, will maintain operations at DVT’s facility in Duluth, GA, and expand markets.
.Net-compatible objects available with new motion control interface
Need to simplify your motion system design? If so, an object-oriented interface that eases creation of Microsoft Windows-based software for motion control products may be what you’re seeking.
CSB4000 Series machine-vision cameras extend the scope of CMOS camera capabilities with ultra-high resolution, FireWire or Camera Link output, full-frame global shutter, and window of interest (WOI) functionality.
Cognex buys DVT for $115 million
Cognex Corp. reports that it has acquired all outstanding shares of privately held DVT Corp. for approximately $115 million. This price tag includes $104 million in cash at closing and a final payment of up to an additional $11 million in cash to be paid at the end of a one-year escrow period.
Machine Vision Product Research (May 2005)
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding machine vision.
Bar-code grading for vision inspection systems
Tips Sentri machine vision inspection solutions now have On-Line RSS bar-code grading capabilities.
True-absolute rotary encoder
Model A18 true-absolute rotary encoder features opto/magnetic electronic technology and resolution of up to 12 bits.
Norgren merges with Syron; new CNC software; proximity sensor
Norgren combined with Syron Engineering and Manufacturing LLC for global integration of tooling systems for the automotive stamping press market and adjacent in-plant automotive processes.
ABCO Automation integrates NI’s PACs with Rockwell’s PLCs
ABCO Automation reports that it's using programmable automation controllers (PACs) from National Instruments (NI) to seamlessly integrate testing and automation offerings into existing PLCs. By using NI's LabView graphical development environment running on an embedded PXI controller, ABCO has created a PAC solution for its automotive wheel speed sensor assemblies and integra...
Color recognition sensor
PD12 fiber-optic-based "true color" recognition sensor includes a microprocessor-controlled amplifier that uses a complex algorithm to store and analyze up to four colors. With a teach-in process, the unit employs an RGB (red, green, blue) principle to accurately measure color and distinguish between subtle shades of similar colors.
10 Considerations for Direct Part Mark Identification
Many discrete manufacturers ensure quality control over production processes by directly marking parts with machine-readable codes and tracking those parts through their life cycle. This process is known as direct part mark identification (DPMI). Fast, accurate, and reliable DPMI is a challenge because codes can be difficult to read because of low contrast, variations in part surfaces, and part...
New tools for haptic devices to debut at conference
A new package for expanding the capabilities of the Phantom 1.5 platform for haptic research and development is set to debut at the upcoming 2005 World Haptics Conference in Pisa, Italy.
Encoder with electronic reset
HMT25 multi-turn absolute encoder features electronic reset capability. Electronic reset can use system software for initialization to improve machine set-up time, especially in systems with space constraints. A timed pulse is sent through the reset pin, setting the encoder value to zero through a non-volatile internal memory.
Applying Encoder Communications to Your Design by Danaher
The output of an incremental encoder is a stream of pulses on one or two channels, while the output of anabsolute encoder is a multi-bit word. This can be transmitted in either parallel or serial form.
Dalsa purchasing Coreco for about $72 million
Dalsa Corp. and Coreco Inc. recently agreed to have Dalsa acquire all of Coreco's issued and outstanding shares for approximately $72 million in cash and stock, pending regulatory approvals. The two firm's boards of directors have already approved the transaction, which is expected to close in late April.
Intelligent cameras offer self-contained machine vision system
Eden Prairie, MN—PPT Vision recently introduced its Impact T25 and Impact T21, which are the newest additions to its T-series intelligent cameras for high-speed, automated inspection.
Vision sensor provides high-speed error proofing, inspections
Minneapolis, MN—Banner Engineering Corp. reports that its new PresencePlus P4 Edge vision sensors can accurately sense and evaluate more than 10,000 objects per minute, and can validate parts’ height and width, label locations, or detect the edge of materials, such as plastic or paper in a web application.
High-precision load cells
Mass Monitor moment-insensitive load cell for OEMs achieves high resolution and weighing accuracy reportedly 10 times greater than conventional strain-gauge technology.
Encoder for speed-controlled drives
HOG 163 incremental encoder is intended for use with speed-controlled drives in tough environmental conditions. Hollow-shaft encoder has bores up to 70 mm in dia. It features resolution of up to 5,000 pulses per turn and a compact sealing element against dust and liquids that's low in friction and wear.
Measurement Specialties buys MWS Sensorik
Fairfield, NJ—Measurement Specialties Inc. (MSI) reports that it has purchased MWS Sensorik GmbH for approximately $1.2 million or 900,000 euros.
Time based subscription framework for Source and Channel coding in SCADA Clients
The need for industry has always been to collect continuous data and provide accurate monitoring locally and through servers remotely in Supervisory control and data acquisition – SCADA. If the SCADA system is not able to archive data at required high rate then the underlying manufacturer has the ability to store the values with a time stamp associated with process time and will be independent of the polled SCADA time basis making archiving assumption realistic.
Code reading software sees parts with 2-D codes
IDMax code reading software from Cognex is designed for direct part mark identification (DPMI), which is a segment of the industrial ID market that involves directly marking parts with permanent 2-D data matrix codes, and then reading those codes quickly and reliably throughout the production process.
Rotary torque sensor system
Torkdisc rotary torque sensor systems are designed for dynamometer and other torque measurement applications that require a robust torque transducer where space is limited. On board transducer is an electronic module that converts torque signals into a high-speed digital representation. In digital form, data are transmitted to a non-contact pick-up loop with no risk of noise or data corruption.
Meggitt/Endevco acquires Wilcoxon Research
Meggitt PLC, the parent of Endevco, is planning to purchase Wilcoxon Research Inc., a supplier of industrial vibration sensors and accessories, the company announced recently.
Self-contained vision sensor
PresencePlus P4 vision sensor performs 360° inspections and is said to be easy to use.
Vibration spectrum analysis on PDAs
DAS-1258 vibration spectrum analyzer and data acquisition module for ICP accelerometers with FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) displays attaches to a Palm PDA. Four analog inputs can be configured for ICP accelerometers and other ICP sensors using a Datastick four-channel ICP adaptor or a single-channel ICP cable with miniaturized electronics built into the connector.
Robotic Vision Systems files for bankruptcy, reports SEC action
Nashua, NH—Robotic Vision Systems Inc. (RVSI) reports that it has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manchester, NH.
Zebra identifies top 10 tips for choosing an RFID printer/encoder
Vernon Hills, IL—Because a deadline to comply with radio frequency identification (RFID) compliance labeling is looming for many companies in January 2005, Zebra Technologies is offering its top 10 tips for selecting the right printing/encoding solution to satisfy mandates for EPC-compliant RFID labeling.
Vision: Robotic patent; products
Vision sensors, a patent for single vision-guided robotics, an image acquistion board, cameras, contracts, and agreements are among recent news in machine vision.
Medical IVs by Advantech
“Checking each valve individually was a waste of man-power and time,” said Pawel Biegunski, President of Vision Controls, Inc. “When we offered them a way to make sure their items were perfect, every time, all while improving the manufacturing process automatically, they knew the old way had to go.”
Pack Expo 2004: Cognex debuts single-purpose sensors
Natick, MA—Cognex Corp. introduced its new Checker 101 single-purpose sensors at PackExpo International 2004, Nov. 7-11, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
iNspect prepackaged vision appliances are designed for applications that require multiple inspections based on independent views of the same part.
Exclusive: Check for presence, easily, with vision
Checker vision sensor is said to be a new approach to detecting presence or absence of product features, from the straw on a juice box to multiple buttons on an automotive instrument panel.
AB Fair 2004: Cognex adds color, high resolution to vision sensors
Orlando, FL—Cognex Corp. introduced its newly available In-Sight 5400C color vision sensor and In-Sight 5401 high-resolution vision sensor at Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley Automation Fair 2004, Oct. 27-28, at the Orange County Convention Center.
AB Fair 2004: Rockwell Automation stages 13th annual educational forum
To help manufacturers find new solutions for increasing productivity, Rockwell Automation hosted its 13th annual Allen-Bradley (AB) Automation Fair on Oct. 27-28 at the Orange County Convention Center. AB Fair typically attracts up to 10,000 attendees interested in working directly with Rockwell's products in lab sessions and in discovering new offerings that can help improv...
Vishay Intertechnology plans to buy SI Technologies
Malvern, PA—Vishay Intertechnology Inc. reports that it's planning to purchase SI Technologies Inc. for approximately $17.65 million in cash.
Industrial Scales & Load Cells Product Focus Study October 2004
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding industrial scales and load cells.
DVT 2004: vision moves past ‘big lie’ perception
Lies and big lies are among previous perceptions promoters of machine vision technologies are fighting on the plant floor, according to Robert Tait, research, General Electric, in his comments, "Future of Machine Vision in Manufacturing."
USB device turns PC to digital scale
USB device turns laptop computer into a high-resolution, low-cost digital indicator capable of reading 2000 samples per second.
Intelligent Accelerometers Enable Companies to Start a Predictive Maintenance Program Without Expert Vibration Knowledge
Historically, expert knowledge of vibration analysis was requiredto start and maintain a vibration-based predictive maintenanceprogram. This white paper describes how using intelligentsensors can alleviate the need for vibration experts.
DVT introduces OPC Server for machine vision
To eliminate the need for costly custom interfaces, DVT Corp. has introduced a PC-based OPC server designed to work with the company's Legend series of smart camera-based machine vision systems. DVT's OPC Server was developed by Iconics Inc. (Foxborough, MA), a leader in OPC-based, Web-enabled visualization software for manufacturing, automation, and business solutions.
New products: Safety, vision, gauging, and sensors
New products recently introduced include safety products from Carlo Gavazzi Inc.; vision products from DVT, Coreco Imaging, Cognex, and Jai Pulnix; and sensing and feedback products from Grayhill, LMI Technologies, and Pepperl+Fuchs.
Optical encoders provide different resolutions in one miniature package
Agilent Technologies Inc. recently announced a series of ultra-miniature, high-resolution, three-channel optical incremental encoder modules, intended for general-purpose housed encoder designs as well as integrated motor-encoder assemblies.
RFID smart label printer/encoder
R4Mplus RFID smart label printer/encoder combines smart label encoding and verification with thermal/thermal-transfer printing to help comply with emerging RFID supply-chain requirements.
Packagers Choose Machine Vision Quality Inspectionto Reduce Waste and Boost ROI (Omron)
Food and beverage packagers can choose frommany solutions to help them achieve greaterproductivity and profits without investing incapital equipment to increase capacity.Anincreasingly popular solution is to reduce theacceptable waste threshold and boost return oninvestment (ROI)using machine vision toperform quality inspections.Recenttechnological improvements have made machinevision accessible to small-and medium-sizepackagers so they can achieve improved resultsand even pursue brand
Panel with integrated I/O points
PP15 power panel has integrated I/O points for control, positioning, and visualization tasks.
Nortech Systems buys Zachariah and Lundbergh
Wayzata, MN—To diversify the products and customers for its Intercon 1 division, Nortech Systems recently bought the assets of Zachariah and Lundbergh Inc. (Z&L, Marco Island, FL), which manufactures camera power supplies and cable assemblies.
DVT buys MTI Machine Vision to grow in semiconductor industry
Duluth, GA; Providence, RI—DVT Corp. recently completed its acquisition of MTI Machine Vision LLC, which produces semiconductor wafer reading algorithms.
Aerotech: Direct-coupled motor boosts bandwidth of tiny linear stage
ATS125, the smallest hardcover, side-sealed linear stage from Aerotech, attributes several benefits to the design that directly couples its brushless motor to the ball-screw drive.
Model 7302BM4 accurately measures rotational or torsional accelerations, with stable frequency response from 0 to 1,600 Hz and linear output up to 50,000 rad/sec². Using a sensing system that consists of a temperature-compensated piezoresistive accelerometer and a Wheatstone-bridge element, device provides high rejection of cross-axis angular and linear accelerations.
ODVA reorganizes, enhances CIP protocol, network specifications
Ann Arbor, MI—ODVA reports that it has reorganized and realigned its DeviceNet specifica-tion with Ethernet/IP to aid user of both networks, and has enhanced the two protocols to give us-ers new networking functions for increasing manufacturing productivity.
Cognex’s machine vision system to check Campbell’s soup can labels
Natick, MA—Cognex Corp. reports that Campbell Soup Co. will use Cognex’s machine vision system to ensure proper product labeling all of Campbell's plants in North America.
Machine Vision Product Focus Study, April 2003
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding machine vision products.
Code reading software
IDMax code reading software is designed for Direct Part Mark Identification (DPMI), a segment of the industrial ID market that involves directly marking parts with permanent two-dimensional Data Matrix codes, then reading those codes quickly and reliably throughout the production process.
Subminiature load cells
SLB Series Subminiature load cells (load buttons) are offered for compression only in ranges up to 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 750, and 1,000 lb, full scale.
Data Translation vision board, RSVI Acuity CiMatrix code-reading
Recent product introductions by Data Translation and RSVI Acuity CiMatrix offer machine vision and data matrix direct part mark reading capabilities.
Control Engineering launches online “e-book” collection of Back to Basics tutorials
Oak Brook, IL—Control Engineering has compiled and published its first interactive, online “e-book.” This new electronic publication, Back to Basics 2000-2001, includes all of the 24 instructive Back to Basics department articles published in Control Engineering’s print editions in 2000-01.
Accelerometer has integral cable
Model 786F general-purpose accelerometer with integral cable is suited for submerged, high-temperature, or other harsh environments where use of a connector might introduce contaminants to the sensor.
GSI Lumonics purchasing MicroE Systems for $55 million
GSI Lumonics Inc. recently agreed to buy MicroE Systems Corp. for $55 million in cash. GSI manufactures laser-based manufacturing systems, and is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. MicroE designs and manufactures position encoders used in data storage, semiconductors and electronics, industrial automation, and medical equipment.
Vision: Molecules, inspection/remote sensing, smart industrial sensors
New readers for barcode and 2D direct part marks, more powerful vision sensors, smart cameras, and molecular-level inspection are among recent developments from Cognex, Dalsa, DVT, Jai Pulnix, Microscan, and Pentek.
Admotec’s split-ring encoder solves space problem
A novel, split-ring magnetic encoder from Admotec Inc. promises simpler installation of the sensing device in applications where the rotating shaft has limited access or is captive.
ifm efector’s vibration monitor predicts failure
Exton, PA—ifm efector reports that its new vibration monitor, efector Octavis, can detect rolling element bearing failures and shaft unbalance conditions on pumps, motors, compressors, fans, spindles, and other plant equipment.
Limit switch easy to wire
EVN2000 Series limit switch is designed for fast, easy wiring in a variety of OEM applications, including elevators and escalators, automated equipment, scissor/platform lifts, material handling, and packaging machinery.
Sick introduces distance measurement sensors
Cleveland, OH—To offer higher resolution and more useful features, Sick recently launched its new DME 5000 line of laser distance measurement sensors.
Cognex introduces industrial-grade vision sensors
Natick, MA—Cognex Corp. has expanded its In-Sight vision sensors to include two new models, In-Sight 5100 and In-Sight 5400, which have four times the processing power of comparably priced vision sensors and a rugged industrial design.
Control Valves Product Focus Study December 2003
Among those specifying, recommending, and/or buying control valves, 76% do so for in-plant requirements and 35% do so for OEM requirements.
Machine Vision Product Focus Study April 2003
Among those who specify, recommend, or buy machine vision products, 77% do so for in-plant requirements, while 39% do so for OEM needs. A slight majority (55%) do not consider machine vision too costly nor complex to implement.
NMW 2004: Heidenhain’s linear encoder offers high accuracy
Chicago, IL—Heidenhain Corp. reported at NMW 2004 that its latest miniature, incremental, exposed, linear encoder, the LIF400 series, was originally designed for the semiconductor industry.
Proximity sensors shine on the shop floor
Sensing the presence or absence of objects, liquid levels in clear containers, or counting cans moving down a conveyor pose everyday tasks for discrete sensors on the factory floor. Noncontact proximity sensors form one branch of discrete sensors, with capacitive, inductive, photoelectric, and ultrasonic devices in common use—each differing in the sensing method.
Profibus-DP programmable multi-turn absolute encoders are now available with M12 eurofast quick disconnects and overmolded mating cordsets. Devices are available in shaft and large-bore-hollowshaft construction with a Class 2 Profibus-DP field communication protocol and 25-bit resolution. Devices use the company's patented Intelligent Sensing Technology and Integrated Technology, noncontact d...
Switch for drive technology
Digital speed switch DS 93 uses a microprocessor to evaluate the pulses from rotary encoders and switches, passing up to three programmable speed thresholds, either in the rising or falling direction.
Low-cost kit encoder
Mercury M1500 low-cost digital output kit encoder contains all signal conditioning and interpolation electronics within the sensor head. System provides quadrature output at the sensor to make it suitable for high-noise environments. Device is just 8.4-mm tall; four interpolation values are available: x4, x8, x20, and x40.
Cognex wins landmark patent ruling against Lemelson
Natick, MA—Cognex Corp. announced Jan. 26 that Chief Judge Philip Pro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas has ruled in favor of Cognex in its lawsuit against the Lemelson Medical, Education & Research Foundation Ltd. Partnership.
Sensor merges spectrophotometer with in-line vision
Legend Spectral Camera ultra-sensitive color SmartImage sensors from DVT Corp. merges the color sensitivity of a spectrophotometer with an in-line vision sensor. This makes it ideal for the most demanding color applications in which small color variations are critical, such as inspecting individual parts in an automobile door, where one model may have several variations of white.
Vision appliance is simple, precise
The iGauge from ipd, a division of Coreco Imaging, is the first product in its line of user-friendly, task-specific vision appliances. Reportedly combining ease of use, accuracy, and a robust feature set in a small package, iGauge is suited for applications requiring precise optical measurements, including point positions, lines, angles, hole diameter, and roundness.
Cognex acquires Gavitec’s machine vision business
Cognex Corp. reports that it recently acquired the machine vision business of Gavitec AG, located in Aachen, Germany. Cognex bought Gavitec's tangible and intangible assets, and assumed certain liabilities associated with Gavitec's machine vision business for an undisclosed amount of cash.
Confined space monitoring for only $595
Anyone who’s made a confined space entry will appreciate the M40 multi-gas detector recently introduced by Industrial Scientific. The M40 is capable of simultaneously measuring carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, oxygen, and combustible gases and is suited for a wide variety of confined space and personal monitoring applications.
Cognex acquires Gavitec’s machine vision business
Natick, MA—Cognex Corp. reports that it recently acquired the machine vision business of Gavitec AG, located in Aachen, Germany.
Cognex launches certified vision integrator program
Cognex Corp. recently launched its Certified Vision Integrator (CVI) program in North America. The program provides training, sales and marketing materials; software updates; and special pricing for CVIs. Customers benefit because the program ensures local, technical expertise from Cognex-certified system integrators.
BCl introduces latest cooking extrusion automation control system
Bachelor Controls Inc. (BCI) reports that it recently introduced the latest evolution in cooking extrusion automation systems. The company adds that BCI Autipilot, version 2.0, offers extrusion operators the power of the original, including tight moisture control, operator consistency, advanced diagnostics, and excellent return on investment (ROI).
The security threat faced by the world's airlines since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, seems only to increase. Reports continue to surface about Al Qaeda's intent to again use commercial airplanes as terrorist weapons. Such threats point to an increased need for ever-tighter airport security, coupled with the ability to better detect potentially dangerous items in checked and car...
Linear motor encoders
Linear Motor Encoder (LME) was developed for use in demanding high-speed applications.
Vision sensor system
F210 high-speed vision sensor combines image acquisition as fast as 1.4 ms with advanced measurement algorithms for faster measurement and inspection operations. The system features Omron's Quest algorithm for OCR/OCV capability and Edge Code technology for defect detection, position, and location capability.
Proximity sensors – 2003-11-10
MyProx sensor is a field programmable, adaptable inductive proximity sensor equipped with special technology to allow for increased range and field programmability.
Smart sensors for machine vision
Legend 550 Series SmartImage sensors for machine vision incorporate a Texas Instruments DSP, increased RAM, and flash memory. The family of products offers gray scale and color models, as well as standard and high-resolution systems, and uses Microsoft Windows-based FrameWork software. The series operates at speeds up to eight times faster than the previous high-speed Legend 540.
Level inventory measurement
SmartBob II level measurement system uses a heavy-duty, direct-drive motor with electronic torque control to provide maximum pull strength throughout the entire measurement cycle. Cable and weight sensor probe descend to the material surface. Amount of cable dispensed is measured, based on a pulse system.
Sensor experts advise technology-reliant companies
Sensing the need for better health of technology-reliant companies (such as sensor manufacturers), those who’ve been around the block a few times provided some advice, in session at this fall’s Sensors Expo & Conference entitled ''The Sensor Industry: State of the Business.''
ERP 880 angle encoder features small reversal error and increased resolution making it especially suitable for such applications as small measuring stages and ultra-precision machine tools.
ipd releases Sherlock 6.3 machine vision software
Billerica, MA—ipd, the intelligent products division of Coreco Imaging Inc., released Sept. 23 its Sherlock 6.3, the newest version of the company’s Windows-based, point-and-click software environment that simplifies machine vision application development and deployment.
Omron launches F210 vision sensor with 1.4-ms acquisition, measurement algorithms
Schaumburg, IL—Omron Electronics LLC reports that the F210 high-speed vision sensor it introduced on Sept. 2 combines image acquisition as fast as 1.4 ms with advanced measurement algorithms for faster measurement and inspection operations.
Exclusive: Full-featured drive, small package
ACS550 DriveIT low-voltage ac drive family combines simplicity, convenience, fieldbus connectivity, harmonic mitigation and programmability. Drives in the 1 to 440 hp range provide high-power density to end-users, OEMs, system integrators, and panel builders in a full-featured yet small package. Available in NEMA 1 or NEMA 12 enclosures with supply voltages from 208 to 480 V, the ACS550 drives ...
”World’s smallest” high-resolution encoder
''World's smallest'' high-resolution encoder: That’s the claim made by Scancon A/S of Allerød, Denmark, for its new 2MC incremental encoder, which offers resolutions up to 5,000 pulses/rev (20,000 counts) in a 16-mm diameter body.
ZiLog extends Flash microcontrollers’ temperature capability
San Jose, CA—ZiLog Inc. announced Aug. 4 that it's shipping extended-temperature versions of its eZ80Acclaim family of Flash microcontrollers.
Wide gap encoders
M56 Thin-Line Series encoders/tachometers incorporate Avtron’s new Wide-Gap sensor technology that reportedly eliminates lengthy alignment steps and simplifies installation.
Clarity, change, the right thing
Set clear goals in applying technologies, do something different to get new results, and make an effort to say and do what is right, all to make a difference in your part of our world. Make clear goals In an "Online Extra" tutorial to the machine vision cover story, Fred Molinari, president, Data Translation, explains how to integrate bar-code technology into machine vision applications.
Don’t Touch That Process!
Early adopters of non-contact level technologies were often disappointed with the installed results. However, significant technology advancements and installation know-how acquired by manufacturers and end-users over the past several years brush away past non-contact level measurement disappointments.
LabView vision development module doubles measurement performance
Austin, TX—National Instruments has unveiled its new Vision 7 Development Module for LabView 7 Express, which helps engineers prototype, benchmark, and create advanced applications by giving them more than 80 different particle measurements that are reportedly two to 10 times faster than previous software versions.
Sensors Expo 2003: DVT exhibits ultra-sensitive color SmartImage sensors
Norcross, GA—The SpectroCam color machine vision sensor, exhibited by DVT at Sensors Expo 2003, combines the color sensitivity of its built-in spectrophotometer for enhanced color recognition and segmentation with the capabilities of an in-line vision sensor.
ABB loses $45 million in 1Q03; selling two divisions
ABB Ltd. recently reported that its net income dropped $45 million in the first quarter of 2003 (1Q03) due mainly to managing its more than $8.1-billion debt and paying related restructuring costs. This result compares to ABB's positive net income of $155 million for 1Q02.
Machine vision system for quality control
Third generation Spectrum vision system includes eleven 1k x 1k frame buffers for more than 92 Mb of pixel resolution in gray scale or full color. The dedicated vision engine inspects full resolution color images at more than 10,000 ppm (160+ pps). New software sets sensitivity levels automatically. System features user-friendly pop-up menus with no Microsoft Windows operating systems, no drive...
GSI Lumonics buys Dynamic Research’s Encoder division for $3.3 million
Billerica, MA—GSI Lumonics Inc. announced May 2 that it has purchased the principal assets of the Encoder division of Dynamics Research Corp. (DRC, Wilmington, MA) for about $3.3 million, subject to adjustment and assumption of some liabilities.
Correction – 2003-05-01
•A sidebar in "Product Focus: Machine Vision Sensors, Systems Penetrate New Realms," Control Engineering, April '03, p. 63, inadvertently left out the name of the author. The sidebar, "Five Myths about Low-cost, Pre-packaged Machine Vision Solutions," was written by Steve Geraghty, director of ipd, a division of Coreco Imaging.
Magnetic linear encoder raises accuracy
Shown at NMW 2003 in Chicago, Ultra Magnescale linear position encoder technology offers increased accuracy and reliability under harsh conditions that targets replacement of optical encoders.
Machine Vision Inspection
Vision Builder for Automated Inspection allows production test engineers to create machine vision applications integrating image acquisition, machine vision inspection, decision making, and I/O control into a manufacturing test application.
Intelligent microstep driver
DR-38M intelligent bipolar microstep driver operates from a single 24-40 V power supply input and delivers 4 A output.
Agilent acquires absolute encoder technology from Optolab
Palo Alto, CA—To complement its motion control portfolio, Agilent Technologies Inc. announced March 12 that it has acquired exclusive rights to absolute encoder technology from Optolab Microsystems AG (Erfurt, Germany), a supplier of optoelectronic solutions.
NMW 2003: Wago launches CC-Link compatible buscoupler
Chicago, IL—Wago Corp. (Germantown, WI) announced March 3 at National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2003 at McCormick Place the latest addition to its Wago I/O System—the CC-Link Buscoupler, part number 750-310.
Fiber-optic links for heavy-duty encoders
Berlin, Germany —Incremental encoders for tough environments include line drivers with power transistors capable of sending square-wave signals through long cables where capacitance is in the nF range. This becomes particularly important for high-voltage transistor logic (HTL) signals with levels up to 30 V.
Cognex sees vision systems in wider applications
Natick, MA—Popularity of low-end vision sensors is one of the reasons for overall growth in application of vision technologies, reported several Cognex representatives in a recent interview with Control Engineering.
Control Engineering announces 2002 Editors’ Choice Awards
Control Engineering has announced 35 winners in its 16th annual Editors' Choice Awards program. Selected products are deemed to have delivered innovative and useful solutions to customers and readers, even while facing 2002's ongoing economic challenges.
Smart camera machine vision software compatible with several platforms
South Beloit, IL - Concepts In Computing Inc. (CIC) has enhanced its EconoCR industrial optical character recognition (OCR) software making it compatible with several new environments and processors.
Proximity sensor with RS-232 likes harsh environments
Dayton, OH —Superprox Model SM900 ultrasonic sensor, with ranges up to 2 m in a 30-mm body, now has RS-232 serial communications capability for numerical readings transfer to computers. Pushbutton setup allows the sensor to find the desired object ignoring background and foreground objects. High-frequency sound technology makes these sensors virtually unaffected by changing light conditi...
Control Engineering Online provides many direct links
Time is money, so here's an index for making the most of each visit to Control Engineering Online, www.controleng.com. In addition to an easy-to-use navigation bar on the left of the page, the site provides a number of direct links to resources within the site, shown below in alphabetical order. About us/media info www.
”Finding Gold” supplement features 2002 Editors’ Choice award winners
The 35 winners of Control Engineering's 16th annual Editors' Choice Awards delivered innovative and useful solutions to customers and readers, even while facing 2002's ongoing economic challenges. These winners and their solutions are featured in half-page articles in an 18-page supplement accompanying this issue.
Interchangeable heads make laser sensor flexible
Omron Electronics' (Schaumburg, IL) ZX Laser Sensor's amplifier interfaces with three visible red through beams and eight visible red displacement sensor heads. This innovative flexibility allows the same sensor amplifier platform to be used for many measurement sensing applications, saving engineering time and money.
Streamlined ASIC sensors
Southington, CT —Baumer Electric has developed preprogrammed ASIC sensor technology to replace IC technology commonly used in inductive sensor products. First products released with this technology are 6.5, 8, and 12 mm inductive proximity sensors available in body lengths as short as 22 mm. Circuit boards incorporating ASICs can be almost half the size of normal sensor boards, enabling ...
There's a good reason you don't find gold nuggets lying around everywhere. There are very few of them. Because it so rarely synthesizes naturally, the legendary precious metal must usually be mechanically and chemically separated from tons of ordinary rock. Similarly, difficult mining efforts are equally familiar to the manufacturers, engineers, end-users, and other technical professionals that...
Integrated measurement system
Spider8 from HBM Inc. (Marlborough, MA) is an integrated digital measurement system that also includes components for signal conditioning, A/D conversion, filtering, and data acquisition in a compact housing. Spider8's plug-in modules, which can be connected to any PC or laptop via a serial, parallel, or USP port, are available for measuring strain, force, torque, weight, displacement, pressure...
Endevco, NI developing open standards with plug-and-play sensors program
San Juan Capistrano, CA; Austin, TX—Endevco announced Dec. 9 that it's working with Na-tional Instruments to promote widespread adoption of IEEE P1451.4.
Cognex adds vision software tools
Cognex Corp. announced Nov. 1 that it has expanded the functionality of its VisionPro PC-based machine-vision systems by adding vision software tools. They consist of geometric measurement tools to gauge parts, including measuring the distance between circles, points, and lines, as well as a data analysis tool, which enables users to perform statistical analysis of vision too...
DVT to brand-label machine vision systems for Siemens
Nuremburg, Germany—DVT Corp. (Norcross, GA) announced Nov. 26 at the annual SPS/IPC/Drives 2002 tradeshow that it will brand-label machine vision systems for Siemens AG's (Erlangen, Germany) Automation & Drives Group.
This family of hollow-shaft, integral bearing, optical encoders has four members.
CE Site Update: Nov.’02 Control Engineering print edition
[This "Site Update" series helps update readers on major monthly additions to Control EngineeringOnline in areas of the site separate from "Daily News."]Oak Brook, IL—Control Engineering Online updated its site Nov. 15 with the November 2002 Control Engineering print edition.
Load cell/electronics combo
An economically priced system combination comprised of a CLC (high capacity compression-only load cell) and a TMO-2 (standalone benchtop amplifier/conditioner) is now available for use in a variety of industrial and OEM force measurement and weighing operations.
Multifunctional process monitor, indicator
The Model 330R is a 1/8-DIN universal process monitor and indicator can be programmed to accept a signal input from a process instrument or temperature sensor and shows real-time process status on its large display.
Pack Expo 2002: Danaher Controls’ absolute encoders stress resolution, reliability, compact package
Gurnee, IL - Absolute encoders provide more accurate feedback and useful information than incremental encoders, but in the past they were complex to install and configure, and cost substantially more.
Pack Expo 2002: Micron PharmaWorks, Coreco’s IPD develop code inspection system
Chicago, IL—Micron PharmaWorks and Coreco Imaging's intelligent products division (IPD) announced Nov. 4 that they've developed an online Reduced Space Symbology (RSS)-14 code inspection system for single-dose packages in the pharmaceutical industry.
Echelon sends power, control data via one pair of wires
Toronto, Ontario, Canada— To reduce automation system costs by eliminating local power supplies, Echelon Corp. (San Jose, CA) introduced on Oct. 31 at its LonWorld 2002 a new transceiver that sends power and control network data via one twisted-pair of wires.
The Sick Group acquires Stegmann
Waldkirch/Donaueschingen, Germany - Sick AG, manufacturer of industrial sensors, safety systems and automatic identification solutions for factory automation and products for process analysis and environmental measurement, is acquiring Max Stegmann GmbH, a manufacturer of shaft encoders and actuators for automation technology, effective October 1, 2002.
Coreco Imaging debuts new input module for vision systems
Montreal, Quebec, Canada— Coreco Imaging has introduced a digital input module for the Bandit-II RGB (AGP) and Bandit-II MV frame grabbers that extend the image acquisition and processing capabilities of both boards. Bandit-II Digital Module acquires images at resolutions up to 2,048 x 1,024 pixels from single- or dual-tap area scan cameras. These are 8-bits/pixel wide at 60 MHz or 10-bit/pixel wide at 30 MHz in dual channel mode. LVDS and RS-422 compatible, the digital module features four 256 x 8-bit and one 1,024 x 8-bit programmable input lookup tables (LUTs). Bandit-II RGB is a color frame grabber that can acquire images from a mix of video, s-video, monochrome multiplexed and RGB cameras, including JAI's new CV-M77 RGB camera.
Adept Technology completes acquisition of MetaControls Technologies
San Jose, CA - Adept Technology Inc. announced September 13 that it has completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in MetaControls Technologies Inc. (Meta, Morrisville, NC) in a common stock transaction.
Self-checking load point assembly
San Diego, CA— HI LPRA Series low profile, high-capacity load points and sensors are part of the developer's Advantage line. HI LPRA comes with built-in lift-off protection and a self-checking support which limits unwanted horizontal movement and doubles as a dummy load cell for easy installation.
Hollow-shaft absolute encoder has parallel output
Beamsville, ON Canada—New 90 Series Absolute Encoder offers 13-bit parallel absolute gray/binary code output, which can count up to 8,192 in selectable clockwise/counter-clockwise direction. The hollow shaft encoder accommodates shafts up to 60-mm diameter, supports its own weight of 4 kg, and operates on 12-24 V dc supply.
Cognex sues Matrox
Natick, Mass . - Cognex Corp . has filed a complaint against Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd .
Xycom announces network I/O products
Xycom Automation, a subsidiary of Pro-face America, recently announced several new I/O products for its Graphic Logic Controller (GLC) and LogiTouch controller families. These modules include a high-speed counter, single-axis positioning, and three 32-point, 24 V dc I/O modules. They connect to the GLC's distributed I/O Flex Network, which allows a GLC or LogiTouch unit to c...
Vision sensors play key role in lock assembly
A manufacturer and supplier of cam, switch and special-purpose locks for move then 50 years, Fort Lock (River Grove, Ill.) recently implemented new machine vision sensor technology to ensure proper lock functionality. The system checks for the presence of springs during the assembly process. Up to six springs per lock are inserted during the automated assembly process, and each one needs to be ...
Sensors Expo 2002: Baumer reveals several products
San Jose, Calif - Baumer Electric showed three new product families at the Sensors Expo, a family of miniature ultrasonic sensors, a family of miniature inductive sensors, and a 36-bit multi-turn optical rotary encoder.
Direct-drive brushless motor has high torque
Rock Hill, S.C .—Direct mounting to a 4.5-in. shaft or the choice of an output shaft is available for a new series of direct-drive brushless motors offering high-torque. Direct mounting (hollow shaft) provides the stiffest possible connection. The first motor in the series has standard enclosed configuration, measuring 17-in.
DVT named a Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner
Norcross, Ga. - DVT Corporation, manufacturer of machine vision sensors for automated inspections, today announced it has been selected for the Rockwell Automation Encompass Program.
Houston, Tex.— Model 630 is a portable shaker, a device used to provide sensor verification in the shop or field. This self-contained device can measure acceleration, velocity, and displacement and provide a bright LED readout of the measured variable in either English or metric units. It is designed to verify performance of industrial accelerometers, velocity pickups, and most vib...
Development tool speeds motion system projects
Austin, Tex.—Motion Assistant is a new point-and-click software tool that speeds programming and prototyping of motion systems using motors and positioning devices. Motion Assistant helps to further reduce development time by deploying prototypes into applications and easily adds special "placeholders" for integrated components, such as machine vision or data acquisition.
Brushless gearmotors include brake and feedback
Ronkonkoma, N.Y. —TitanTrue Brushless Gearmotors, available in three sizes, integrate a planetary gearhead, optional emergency brake, and feedback device into the servo motor structure. The 60-mm size has rated continuous torque up to 7 Nm (62 lb-in.), going to 14 Nm and 28 Nm in the 90-mm and 115-mm sizes, respectively.
National Manufacturing 2002 awash in innovations
The National Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week 2002 on March 18-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place featured numerous innovations, solutions and services. For more coverage, click on "NMW 2002" at www.controleng.com.
Selectable range accelerometer
Model SR-107VFR angular accelerometer allows users to easily change scale factor and range to obtain optimum accuracy and readout match.
NMW 2002: Phoenix Contact unleashes many new products
Chicago, Ill. - Phoenix Contact introduced many new products at the recent National Manufacturing Week Industrial Automation show.
NMW 2002: Cognex reveals new vision products
Chicago, Ill. - Cognex added three models to its In-Sight vision sensor family.
NMW 2002: Baumer Electric deals up a pair
Chicago, Ill. - Baumer Electric introduced MagRes magnetic absolute encoder featuring up to 10-bit resolution in a single-turn configuration. Available in a standard encoder-style housing or a non-contact kit version, these encoders are zero-point programmable, feature SSI and parallel outputs, and operates optimally in temperatures from -20 to 85 deg C.
NMW 2002: Machine vision product combines power and affordability
Chicago, Ill. - DVT has introduced a SmartImage Sensor based CMOS imaging technology. With 640 x 480 pixel resolution, built-in Ethernet, and integrated lighting, the Legend 520 is a total machine vision solution priced at only $3295.
NMW 2002: Microvision introduces wearable headset
Chicago, Ill. - Microvision's (Bothell, Wa. www.mvis.com) Nomad Personal Display System wearable headset superimposes high-contrast images on the user's field of vision with a flip-down, see-through screen for either eye. Information in the field of vision about the user's point of task can help with schematics, maintenance records, manuals, situational awareness information.
NMW 2002: Control Engineering presents Editors’ Choice awards
Chicago, Ill. - Control Engineering's Editors' Choice Award winners gathered to receive their trophies Sunday night at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago. The ceremonies, honoring the 35 best products of 2001 as selected by the editors of Control Engineering magazine, were held in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week, which is underway at Chicago's McCormick Place this week.
3D machine vision
Linkoping, Sweden —IVP Ranger, high-speed 3D machine vision camera, can acquire up to 10,000 3D profiles per second, opening inline inspection applications for solder paste, component, and connector insertion. Images are sent to a PC via twisted pair, 330 Mbit/sec Cypress Semiconductor HOTLink.
Ultra-high res weighing
Canton, Mass.— LCp-104's process weighing system technology is said to provide ultra-high resolution with precise repeatability. Intended for quality critical weighing applications, each system load cell guarantees accuracy, regardless of process-induced vibration, agitation, or thermal expansion.
Networked sensors aid robots building keyless entry units
Fitting keys and other accessories onto key rings has never been easy. Spreading the tight-fitting spring often takes people a couple of attempts, and it's no easier if you happen to be a robot assembling automotive keyless entry units. That's why system integrator GSMA Systems (Palm Bay, Fla.) recently helped one of the nation's largest automotive suppliers to design and build a new auto...
In Business – 2002-02-01
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, Md.) launched on Jan. 23 plans for its new National Combinatorial Methods Center (NCMC), a collaborative research center devoted to advancing high-throughput methods that can rapidly accelerate characterization and development of new materials. For more information, visit www.nist.gov/combi . Invensys plc (London, U.K.) announced Jan.
ABB on team to install largest water utility fixed network RF deployment
Washington, D.C.-To replace its many aging, inaccurate water meters, the District of Columbia's Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) recently awarded what will reportedly be North America's largest fixed radio frequency (RF) network for a water utility to the team of ABB, United Metering and Hexagram.
SICK acquires RVSI’s material handling business
Minneapolis, Minn. and Canton Mass. - SICK Group, a privately held manufacturer of sensor technology, and Robotic Vision Systems Inc. (RVSI), announced December 19 the acquisition, by affiliates of the SICK Group, of RVSI's Material Handling business.
National Instruments releases strain gauge module
Austin, Tex. - FP-SG-140, the latest addition to the National Instruments distributed Field Point I/O system, is designed for accurate strain measurements in a variety of applications, such as machine and structural monitoring and control.
Online – 2001-12-01
Here are highlights from some articles recently posted in the Web Exclusive section of the home page at www.controleng.com. Besides presenting Control Engineering's entire print editions, Control Engineering Online also delivers daily news, Web Exclusives, and Online Extra articles that add value to in-print features.
Tyco’s electronics division to layoff 6,000
Pembroke, Bermuda - Tyco International Ltd. revealed Nov. 15 that it is cutting approximately 6,000 jobs in its electronics division, or about 8% of the division's almost 79,000 employees.
News from Vision Show East
Boston, Mass. - Vision Show East, running October 29-November 1, features international experts presenting practical information on how to successfully apply machine vision and a trade show.
Hitachi unveils small camera with big resolution
Boston, Mass. - At the Vision Show East, the Industrial Video Systems Division of Hitachi Denshi America Ltd. introduced the HV-D30, a compact, high-resolution 3 CCD interlaced-scan camera that is suitable for a wide range of industrial and general-purpose applications.
Electrical connector manufacturer orders DVT machine vision sensors
Norcross, Ga. - DVT Corporation announced October 16 it has received a multi-system order for its machine vision sensors from the largest global manufacturer of wire and cable splice connections for the telephone, CATV, and electrical markets, Uraseal Inc.
Self-Paced eLearning added to ni.com
Austin, Tex. - National Instruments' web site (www.ni.com) recently began hosting a series of eLearning courses available to site visitors around the clock.
Rotary encoder has fieldbus interfaces
Lawrenceville, N.J . - To enable the crucial function of selective, efficient communication among components (bus nodes) of automation facilities, the FRABA Group has designed a new family of encoders with field bus interfaces. This product range-named Posital-offers CANbus interface for CANopen and DeviceNet applications, along with Profibus-DP and Interbus.
Woodlyn, Pa.— Model 8064M20 is a piezoelectric accelerometer designed for measurement of low-level, low-frequency vibrations. It incorporates a hybrid electronic assembly within a rugged, welded stainless steel body to enhance operation in humid and dirty environments. Internal electrical damping limits the resonant Q to less than 20 dB.
Discrete process emulation system finds equipment, cycle constraints
Tracy J. Coates P.E., consulting editor, reviews Version 9.1 of the software operating under Microsoft Windows 98. AutoMod is designed to model, analyze, and develop discrete-event systems, including automated material handling systems (AMHS)
Hollow shaft ‘pancake’ servo motors
Hauppauge, N.Y. - Hollow shaft servo motors using PMI's 'ServoDisc' technology have been added to the company's Platinum Series (brush dc) and PlatinumXT Series (brushless dc) pancake type axial air gap motors. A benefit to designers, the hollow-shaft opens means to pass wiring, tubing, laser beams, or other mechanical parts through the motor's center.
2001-2002 Control & Automation Buyer’s Guide
Some companies were omitted from the Ad Index page in the 2001-2002 Control & Automation Buyer's Guide supplement to the September issue. Here is the Ad Index as it should have appeared, listing the companies and pages on which their ads appeared. The buyer's guide can be accessed at www.
PLS boosts packaging productivity
Terryville, Conn.—The 8213 Programmable Limit Switch (PLS) module for the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix system consumes a single slot and controls up to 16 discrete high-speed outputs for electronic camming using a resolver as the machine sensor. Sixteen inputs are available to condition each output individually or control a group of outputs.
Compact position transducer
Canoga Park, Calif.— PT1 Series compact cable-extension position transducers have a measuring range of 0-2 in. to 0-50 in., and are said to be ideal for high-performance OEM applications where small size and economy are required. The devices are offered in a variety of outputs; precision potentiometric, 0-5 V or 0-10 V dc, incremental encoder, and 4-20 mA or 0-20 mA.
DVT launches faster, color machine vision sensors
DVT Corp. introduced July 31 a new version of its machine vision sensor, Legend 540, which its reports is eight times faster than its existing SmartImage sensors. Legend 540 features built-in Ethernet connectivity and an Hitachi SH4 processor, which achieves an ultra-fast image processing rate.
Adds sizzle to limit switch
Freeport, Ill. - SZL-VL series limit switch family is available with 8 actuator styles in a combination plastic/metal die-casting housing. Gold-plated, silver contacts accommodate logic level and power switching circuits.
Torque sensor handles low torque, high speed
San Jose, Calif.—Model BLRTSX Brushless Torque Sensor is designed to measure torque on pulse tools with strong vibrations. For measuring very low torque ranges (3-4 oz-in.), brushless transducers deliver greater accuracy by eliminating brush drag that degrades low-torque readings. It also excels in high-speed applications where brushes are prone to faulty contact due to centrifugal forces.
Entivity, Cognex integrate vision with automation, control software
Entivity has agreed with Cognex (Natick, Mass.) to cooperatively develop and promote integrated PC-based control software and machine vision solutions. They will specify and develop interfaces that will simplify the integration of Entivity's Studio family of automation and control software with Cognex's In-Sight family of machine vision sensors.
Brushless torque sensor handles low torque, high speed
San Jose, Calif. - Model BLRTSX Brushless Torque Sensor is designed to measure torque on pulse tools with strong vibrations. For measuring very low torque ranges (3-4 oz-in.), brushless transducers deliver greater accuracy by eliminating brush drag that degrades low-torque readings.
Control and Automation Buyer’s Guide
Welcome to your comprehensive resource for thousands of control and automation products and connection to more than 7,000 manufacturers in these areas. Products are grouped according to more than 700 categories and subcategories—including hardware and software—from accelerometers to controllers, networks, and sensors, through workstations, for myriad process control, discrete manuf...
Intrinsically safe encoders
Gurnee, Ill.—A family of Dynapar brand intrinsically safe encoders, when used with approved barriers, will meet the requirements for applications containing flammable gases, vapors, liquids, combustible dust, or ignitable fibers. All Dynapar IS encoders, H20 (2.0-in. diameter), H20 hub shaft, H25 (2.
Order servo system online
Duluth, Ga. - PV-Series ac servo system with SERCOS made by Sanyo Denki is now available for '24-hour shipping' from MotionOnline.com. Said to be the world's smallest SERCOS-compatible servo system (15 A drive plus 100 W servo motor), PV-Series supplies peak torque of 8.7 lb-in.
Measuring the Hot, Difficult, and Inaccessible
KEY WORDS Process control and instrumentation Process sensing Noncontact temperature sensing Thermal imaging Imagine yourself dashing out to your car to run a few errands during lunchtime. As you insert the key in the lock, open the door, and swing into the seat, you hardly feel the blast of warm air that greets you—you're in a hurry.
Ultrasonic prox has 2-in. deadband
Dayton, O .—Superprox 30-mm ultrasonic proximity sensors offer small size, mounting convenience, and configurability for on/off detection. Deadbands of 51 mm (2 in.) and 120 mm (4.7 in.) combine with the size to provide efficient proximity detection within sensing ranges up to 1 m (39 in.) and 2 m (79 in.
Step motor+driver combo
Marlborough, Conn. -Consisting of a NEMA 17 size, 1.8°-step motor with integrated drive electronics in one unit-MDrive 17 offers design simplicity, minus the cost of an indexer on each motion axis. Onboard electronics eliminates the need to run motor cables through the driven machine.
Ball switch for high temperatures
East Hanover, N.J. -J4 Series sealed ball switch is designed for harsh environment applications that require a limit switch to be used in operating temperatures as high as 300 °F. Incorporating a patented ball carrier design, this totally sealed limit switch has application for such things as industrial valves.
Low-cost, accurate capacitive encoders
Misgav, Israel —An innovative, noncontact encoder design based on variable capacitance sensing promises to bring industrial-quality performance (up to 18-bit angular resolution or 10 µm or better linear accuracy) to these devices, using low-cost production. All critical parts are made from reinforced polymers.
Simplifying torque measurements
Livonia, Mich.— Embedded Magnetic Domain (EMD) torque sensors, developed by Fast Technology, promise to ease torque measurement in shafts compared to complex strain-gage methods or those requiring specialized instrumentation. EMD technology is a non-contact method that combines magnetic induction and electronic processing to obtain direct torque readings in real time.
Pixel-counting sensor inspects bottles for labels
A full-service outsourcing company for prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and cosmetics, DPT Laboratories (San Antonio, Tex.) develops and manufactures creams, lotions, gels, ointments, suspensions, powders, and oral liquids. Recently, DPT conducted a quality improvement program to confirm that bottles processed at its plant had the proper labels on front and back.
Proximity sensors extend range, get industry specific
Exton, Pa. -'efector m' sensors, in three families, bring extended-range proximity sensing benefits into new applications, initially machine tools; food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries; and general industrial automation. The sensors have twice the sensing range of same-size conventional devices.
Vision sensor offers dual-camera measurements
Schaumburg, Ill. -Model F150-3 Vision Sensor has two-camera capability, to perform inspections/measurements simultaneously. The vision sensor's Intelligent Light Source enables users to set light intensity and direction during inspection routines for more accuracy.
Product & Literature Showcase – 2001-02-01
Planar beam sensor is accurate Tustin, Calif. -FT802 is a bonded-foil planar beam sensor said to provide high accuracy and robust performance. Available in capacities from 1-40 lb, each unit is thermally matched, fully active, and possesses a full bridge gauge for optimum temperature tracking.
Diagnostic tool maintains encoder quality
Charlotte, N.C. —Position encoders degrade over time with changes in light sources, alignment of emitters/receivers, dirt or scratches in the optical path, etc. Initial output magnitude and the ideal 90°-phase between quadrature signals is altered, resulting in less machine output or bad parts produced.
Proximity sensor implementation
Inductive proximity sensors have a set of standard behaviors. Understanding these behaviors enhances implementation while avoiding pitfalls typically associated with these sensors.Inductive proximity sensors generate a magnetic field from their detection faces. Whenever a detectable object moves into the sensor's field of detection, Eddy currents build up in the target and dampen the sens...
Momentum continues for SPS/IPC/Drives 2000
Notch another successful run and continuing momentum for SPS/IPC/Drives, the Electric Automation Technology Exhibition & Conference, held here Nov. 28-30. Visitors increased 14% to 18,700, while 642 exhibitors (98 more than in 1999) occupied 33,400 m² of floor space—a growth of 11% —at Nürnberg's Exhibition Center.
Two-way diaphragm valves feature a variety of intelligence
Irvine, Calif. -Two-way diaphragm valves from Burkert are available with intelligent On/Off and continuous proportional control, or manual control. Available in either plastic or stainless steel, Types 2030/2031 are designed for automated process control and Types 3232/3233 for manual control applications requiring two-way flow control of ultra-pure, sterile, aggressive, or abrasive gases, slurries, and viscous fluids. Diaphragm valve options include a double acting actuator without spring return, flanged connections, Tri-Clamp connections, electrical position feedback, magnetic-inductive proximity sensors for position indication, adjustable stroke limiter, manual override, and custom pilot valve mounting. A self-draining design with small dead volume makes all models suitable for use in chemical, food, paper, steel, mining, pharmaceutical, and other processes where positive shut-off, non-contamination, and/or ease of maintenance is required. The 2030 diaphragm valve consists of three variable modules: the valve body, the pneumatic actuator, and the TOP Control assembly or pilot valve.
Real-time torque sensing via telemetry
Maple City, Mich .—Reportedly simple and easy to install, TorqueTrak 9000 Digital Radio Telemetry System turns any shaft into a rotating torque sensor. The system consists of a receiver unit and a miniature, battery-powered transmitter that rides on the shaft—allowing digital data to be broadcast from a torque-sensitive strain gage.
Dynamic inspection from PC-based vision
Marlboro, Mass.— DT Vision Foundry 2.5 (DT VF 2.5) integrated, PC-based machine vision solution is designed for visual inspection and automated industrial imaging applications. With its point-and-click programming environment, the enhanced DT Vision Foundry has seven new tools, additional frame grabber support, new measurement and analysis capabilities, and enhanced performance and strea...
Increase machine vision performance
Minneapolis, Minn.— Package Tool machine vision software increases precision, speed, and flexibility of automated package inspection. It runs on PPT Vision's Passport DSL digital vision system and can inspect thousands of parts per minute for integrity, seal, label position, text, colors, graphics, cartons, cellophane, and other parameters.
Pain-free prox mounting
Florence, Ky.— Balluff's weld-field immune Unicompact proximity switches make installation as painless as possible. The 40-mm square by 85-mm long switch features a 305° rotatable head and automotive-style S5 mini-connector. A 15-mm range enhances placement flexibility. The limit switch style sensor fits in the footprint of standard mechanical limit switches.
Low-cost, six-axis motion sensing
San Jose, Calif.—Six degrees of freedom (6 DOF) motion sensing with high-performance is the claim to fame of DMU-H6X inertial measurement unit (IMU) from Crossbow Technology. The digital, six-axis IMU measures X-, Y-, and Z-axis acceleration, plus roll, pitch-, and yaw-axis angular rates—all without the need for calibration.
How to read P&IDs
Instrumentation detail varies with the degree of design complexity. For example, simplified or conceptual designs, often called process flow diagrams, provide less detail than fully developed piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs). Being able to understand instrumentation symbols appearing on diagrams means understanding ANSI/ISA's S5.1-1984 (R 1992) Instrumentation symbols and identification standard.
Vibration monitoring at lower cost
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.—Model 52M1/M2 Isotron piezoelectric accelerometer offers 10-32 threaded or 2-pin header connections and has a temperature range of -55 to 125°C for active vibration control systems, bearing monitoring, and similar applications. Built-in hybrid signal conditioner operates at 18-28 V dc power supply and 2-10 mA constant current source, providing a low impeda...
Increased standardization is in control valves’ future
'Control valves are devices with movable, variable, and controlled internal elements for modulating fluid flow in a conduit." (See CE, March 1997, Back to Basics: "Control Valves—Sizing, Design, Characteristics," p. 116.)Most people may agree with the definition of a control valve, yet there is renewed interest in European Mandatory Directives surrounding control valve terminology.
In-process sanitary load cell
Bothell, Wa. — LD3 is said to be the first load cell designed specifically for in-process sanitary tanks and vessels. The device is retrofitable to obsolete beam and canister-style cells because it meets nearly all other bolt-hole patterns and heights. LD3's capacities range from 150 to 25,000 lb.
Corrections – 2000-07-01
In the "News" section, CE, May'00, p. 39, the type of drives added by WEG Motors&Drives North American product line was incorrectly stated. The company is adding vector drives. Turck Inc.
DIN rail optical isolator for encoders
Goleta, Calif. -Said to be the first of its kind, this DIN rail mountable, optically isolated, electronic module is designed specifically for use with incremental encoders. Isolation circuitry acts as an interface to provide electrically robust encoder output to receiving electronics.
Ultra-miniature prox sensor
Minneapolis, Minn.— Q5.5 is a tiny, rectangular proximity sensor, featuring a LED light bar that indicates "Output Energized," that is visible from three sides to provide mounting versatility. The device will fit near or inside machinery where standard sensors are too large to incorporate. Created with a new injection-molding process said to provide superior sealing, the waterproof housi...
Encoders use capacitance-sensing technology
Smithtown, N.Y.— Netzer Precision's line of rotary and linear encoders is based on capacitance sensing. This technology uses two opposing thin printed circuit elements, one rigidly attached to the motor frame and the other to the shaft. The circuits use dc signals from an external source to transmit electrical energy and sense capacitive changes respectively due to linear or angular rela...
DIN-rail optical isolator for encoders
Goleta, Calif.—Reportedly the first of its kind, this DIN-rail mountable, optically isolated, electronic module is designed for use with incremental encoders. Isolation circuitry acts as an interface to provide electrically robust encoder output to receiving electronics. It can eliminate ground loops, reduce signal degradation from long cable runs, or help distribute an encoder signal to ...
Extended-range proximity sensors get industry specific, extra rugged
Exton, Pa.—One manufacturer has found that a single design for proximity sensors wasn't meeting the varied demands of industry applications. Satisfying all needs would result in an overbuilt, overpriced sensor; not meeting enough criteria wouldn't make it universal enough. On May 22, "ifm efector inc.
Miniature linear encoder
Schaumburg, Ill. -Smaller than an audio cassette, new RGH41 linear encoders are at home in shop-floor applications with tight spaces. These compact encoders (0.63 x 0.63 x 0.39 in.) provide measurement speeds up to 48 ft/sec (15 m/sec), with resolutions up to 0.2 micron for linear motors and motion systems with critical positioning needs.
Multi-turn motor feedback system
Dayton, O.— SR-50 Series, single-turn and multi-turn motor feed back system offers a compact 50 mm housing, and is said to be the smallest, smart-absolute multi-turn encoder available. SR-50 offers increased accuracy down to ±5 arc-sec, and high resolutions to meet the increasing demands of digital drives for reduced update times in the 50-200 µsec range.
Domestic proximity/linear displacement sensor market swells
Suppliers of photoelectric proximity, ultrasonic proximity, laser linear displacement, and ultrasonic linear displacement sensors are all likely to carve more and larger niches in their future U.S. markets. With increased sensing ranges, growing user confidence and friendlier price tags, these sensor types will displace others, as well as help create a multitude of new applications.
Getting down to earth
W hen a personal computer locks up for no apparent reason, or a load cell stops updating for a short period the tendency is to mumble some harsh words and do what's necessary to restore operation of the faulty device. Often the cause of the interruption goes undetected and people begin to accept such occurrences as 'just the way it is;' but more times than anyone knows the root cause of intermittent interruptions is caused by a poor grounding system. Grounding and bonding of electrical systems is mainly used to control dangerous overvoltages and is very important for personnel safety. However, increased use of commercially available microprocessor-based products and the urgency to get them operational as quickly as possible increase opportunities to introduce 'dirty grounds' into the business and manufacturing environment.
Low prices on limit switches
Cumming, Ga. —Micro Switch HDLS series NEMA limit switches with side or top rotary operating heads are available starting at $59. Side rotary units come in standard, low differential travel, and low torque/low differential travel versions. Available actuators include roller and roller levers, adjustable length roller levers, rods, and adjustable loop levers.
Extended range proximity sensor
Minneapolis, Minn.— Extended Range proximity sensors reportedly have up to twice the sensing range of standard barrel sensors. Extended range allows these devices to be mounted further from the sensing target, preventing sensor/target contact to eliminate damage. Increasing the distance between the sensor and target also improves sensing reliability.
Snow slows start of growing automation show
Winter came early to Central Europe and parts of Germany the past two years. In late November 1999, heavy snows added to travel hardships. "Chaos in the streets," in words of the local press, coincided with the start of Nürnberg's major late-fall event, SPS/IPC/Drives—the Electric Automation Technology Exhibition & Conference, held here Nov.
Modular rotary encoder
Portland, Ore.— MG30 is a high-precision, low-price modular rotary encoder. The device is a compact two-part kit with all housing hardware stripped away. MG30 is said to be easily mounted to a motor or other rotating stem device during the assembly process. It is intended for OEM use. MG30 uses a supply voltage of 5 V dc ±10%, a current consumption of m 30 mA, has an incremental squ...
High-performance proximity sensors
Lombard, Ill.— Contrinex Inc. has announced a line of domestically available inductive and photoelectric proximity sensors. Included are the world's smallest self-contained sensors with fully integrated evaluation electronics, sensors with triple the sensing distance, and sensors that can withstand severe operating environments including extreme temperature.
Weighing Technology Can Be Pretty Heavy Stuff
Determining the weight of a quantity of process media is a necessary part of many process applications. Weight can be used to infer the level of both liquids and bulk solids in hoppers and bins. Weighing is a necessary function in batch operations because recipes usually call for ingredients to be combined by weight.
Under-pillow-block load cell for harsh environments
Cleveland, O. -Cleveland-Kidder UPB Washdown-Duty LC from Cleveland Motion Controls measures and monitors precise tension on web process or wire machinery. Its completely sealed design and under-pillow-block style is ideal for harsh industrial environments.
National Instruments provides vision system advice
To help users find the right scientific imaging camera for their applications, National Instruments recently added a Camera Advisor service to its web site at www.ni.com/camera. This section of NI's site allows visitors to compare features and specifications for more than 100 cameras and machine vision systems from Sony, Dalsa, JAI, Kodak, Basler, and Pulnix.
Multiplexed absolute encoders at low cost
East Northport, N.Y .-As many as 16 shaft inputs can be handled by a recently introduced multiplexed absolute encoder system from Computer Conversions Corp. The new encoders convert shaft inputs to binary coded decimal (BCD) or binary information corresponding directly to shaft angle with accuracy of For reliability, the shaft transducer is a resolver-based encoder. It eliminates brushes (for longer life), brush noise, light sources, and limited resolution compared with standard encoders.
SPS/IPC/Drives ’99 shows meaningful growth
SPS/IPC/Drives, the Electric Automation Technology Exhibition & Conference, held here Nov. 23-25, 1999, continues its positive growth in essentially all measurable categories. Visitors at the annual event increased 19% to 16,400, while 540 exhibitors (55 more than in 1998) occupied 30,000 m² of floor space at Nürnberg's Exhibition Center—a ...
Noise-immune torque transducers
Hoffman Estates, Ill .-A series of low-capacity, noncontact torquemeters for measurement of static and dynamic torque includes the ability to obtain reliable readings from electrically noisy inputs. MCRT 29000T torquemeters-available from S. Himmelstein and Company-use new proprietary technology to make them insensitive to severe electromagnetic interference (EMI) produced by the latest IGBT-based adjustable-speed drives, says the company.
Machine Vision Improves Jet Engine Blade Measurement
To comply with internal safety regulations, a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines needed to measure the length of jet engine blades after every 7,000 hours of use. Constant exposure to centrifugal force and extreme heat causes blades to stretch, and if blade length exceeds tolerance, it could cause engine damage.
Capacitive limit switch
Greenwood, Ind. -Even when material builds up on the probe, Minicap FTC 260 can still accurately detect light bulk solids. This capacitive limit switch requires no calibration at start up.
Four-quadrant brushless motor controller
Burlingame, Calif.— 4-Q-EC provides electronic commutation and speed control for three-phase brushless dc motors. Being a four-quadrant controller means speed control is maintained whether accelerating or braking in both CW or CCW directions. Commutation and velocity feedback is achieved via Hall effect sensors and an encoder respectively.
Single and multiturn absolute encoders
Schaumburg, Ill.— ROC 400 (singleturn) and ROQ 400 (multiturn) series of absolute rotary encoders reportedly provide the correct absolute position value on machines with any numerically controlled axes without time consuming individual reference runs. The products in this series are characterized by their high tolerance to shock and vibration, compact dimensions, and permissible operatin...
Linear encoder without optics
Gurnee, Ill. -Dynapar brand LR/LS Inductive Linear Encoder from Danaher Controls uses inductive sensing technology to combine the speed and resolution of optical linear encoders with the ruggedness and low cost of magnetic linear encoders. These encoders use magneto-resistive sensors that detect minute changes in the variable reluctance of an etched metal tape scale.
Load cells with electronic calibration
San Diego, Calif.— Hardy Instruments' new line of load point assemblies are designed to eliminate the effects of unwanted forces and provide exceptional accuracy. Each sensor is constructed of stainless steel and leak-tested to ensure hermetic glass-to-metal sealing. Available in capacities ranging from 44-200,000 lb, each load sensor is calibrated in both mV/V and mV/V/ohm.
Digital brushless servo controller
Lockport, N.Y.— ServoLoc 1 is a fully digital brushless servo motor controller specially designed to allow user-configurable operation. It is said to provide smooth rotation and improved torque repeatability over trapezoidal current-type drives. RS-485 serial communication allows for multiaxis velocity/torque control environment, with on-the-fly mode change.
Silo weighing structure
Montreal, Quebec, Canada— Siloweigh, from Scale-Tron Inc., is a low-cost weighing system for cement silos and similar structures. Silo-weigh uses strain gauges applied directly to the support legs—effectively turning the legs into load cells. The company claims the system is capable of 2% accuracy or better.
User-friendly color vision
Schaumburg, Ill.— F400 color machine vision system offers a choice of detection methods with no programming required for set up. Hue/Saturation/Intensity (HSI), color gray, gray-scale, and red, green, blue (RGB) are all offered on this inexpensive unit. Priced at under $6,800, F400 is said to be the only system in its class to offer HSI inspection.
Control Valves Match Size with Application
Big dividends in reduced maintenance cost can be obtained when control valves are engineered to match requirements of the application, and this is especially true for severe service applications. Though less than 10% of all control valves are installed in severe service applications, applying the information in this article will ensure every control valve is correctly engineered to meet t...
High temperature option encoders
Goleta, Calif.— The Industrial Encoder Div. of BEI's Sensors & Systems Co. now offers a selection of encoders with the ability to operate continuously in environments up to 105 ºC. The high temperature option is available on select standard models with diameters of 2.5 in. and above. According to the company, they are ideal for use in demanding back-of-the motor applications, in...
‘Top down’ control units
Irvine, Calif.— Burkert Contromatic has introduced the Type 8630 fully integrated control head unit for easy on/off or continuous process control. Built with a decentralized intelligence, these compact, standalone control modules function as a position sensor, microprocessor controller, and pilot actuator.
New series of optical encoders
LaGrange, Ill.—Grayhill has added Series 61K (4-pin version) and Series 61R (5-pin version) to its line of high-resolution optical encoders. The switches are available with 25, 32, 50, 64, 100, 128, and 256 cycles per revolution. Custom resolutions also are available. The switches are rated to 10 million life cycles minimum, and 300 rpm shaft speed.
3D and More Machine Vision Technologies
Intelligent Automation Systems (Cambridge, Mass.) demonstrated 4D Imager. This vision system captures three-dimensional information in real time even if the target object is moving. Components of the system include the 4DI sensor head, a personal computer with the 4DI image processing board, and 3D triangulation software.
Encoder for harsh environments
Lebanon, N.H.—Series FM700 flat magnetic encoders are only 27-mm long (31 mm with dust cover), and provide up to 2,048 pulses per revolution with index marker and differential line-driver outputs. This new encoder operates in harsh environments including high shock, vibration, oil, and moisture.
A headline in the News section, CE , April'99, p. 49, and in U.S. News Perspective, CEI , April'99, p.
Fast data acquisition
West Warwick, R.I.— Dash 16u is a 16-channel data acquisition recorder with universal inputs accepting isolated single-ended and differential voltages, thermocouples, pressure transducers, and load cells. Its data sample rate is 0.2 to 200 kHz per channel.The portable recorder has a 10.4-in. active color display, 300 dpi chart recording, 16 MB RAM for data capture, and 100 MB removable z...
Sensors over the Web at low prices
Cumming, Ga.— The Centsable line has over 60 proximity switch models including dc inductive from 8 to 30 mm diameters and ac ones in 12 or 18 mm. All dc sensors are available in either fixed cable or quick disconnect, NPN or PNP outputs, and shielded or unshielded. All proximity sensors carry a lifetime warranty when the purchased product is properly registered with the company.
In Business – 1999-04-01 – 1999-04-01
Recent major mergers, acquisitions, agreements, contracts, and other events in the control and automation fields include the following:
Sensor measures speed and direction
Niagara Falls, N.Y.— The MRS sensors introduced by Rechner Electronics can operate at speeds of 20 kHz and can distinguish the direction of shaft rotation. Multi-directional shaft encoder functions can be performed with a single sensor. A two-color LED changes color according to direction of rotation.
Digital machine vision adds accuracy, repeatability
Able to acquire more than 70 full-resolution, 6403480-pixel images per second, DSL6000 is one of the first digital cameras designed for machine vision applications, according to developer and manufacturer PPT Vision. DSL6000 includes a 10-bit A/D converter for internal image capture and digitization.
Machine vision lenses
Barrington, N.J. —The latest additions to Machine Vision Optic family are MVO Double Gauss Macro Imaging Lenses. Designed for OEM integration, these lenses accomodate short, fixed working distances while supporting large sensor sizes (including CCDs 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3 in. through 12.6 mm).
Space-saving optical encoder
Palo Alto, Calif.— HEDR-5300 optical encoder is a two-channel quadrature incremental optical encoder said to be ideal for motion detection in printers, plotters, tape drives, positioning tables, and other applications where space is a premium. The unit is designed for quick and easy mounting to a motor shaft by using a self-aligning mounting boss.
PC-based machine vision
Canton, Mass.— Visionscape is a complete machine vision system on a single PCI board for a PC running Microsoft Windows on an Intel Pentium-class machine. The product supports symbology reading applications OCV, bar code reading including Data Matrix as well as vision inspection, measurement, and guidance.
High-speed vision sensor
Schaumburg, Ill.—F10 machine vision sensor detects gray-scale patterns rather than spots as photoelectric sensors do. It has the ability to detect whether a label is skewed, upside down, or doubled. The user focuses a visible light from the F10 on the target and presses a "teach" button. Processing speeds are 3.
Economical low-profile load cell
Temecula, Calif. —Measuring only .750 × 1.625 × .625 in., MLP series load cells are designed for tension and compression application where space is limited and economy a driving factor. Load ranges available are 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300, 500, 750, and 1,000 lb full scale. A 10-ft, four-conductor cable is standard, but an optional mini gold pin connector system is offe...
Visual level indicator
Utica, N.Y.— Sight Glass Mount is a level-detection indicator for pipes and capacitive proximity sensors made to sense liquid levels easily and accurately when used with a capacitive proximity sensor. Adjustable mounting brackets position sensors to verify the presence or absence of liquid to activate pumps, drains, and other process controls.
Putting sensors in their place
The conveyor winds through a maze of processing machinery. The challenge is knowing that a pallet is in place before activating machinery. What is the right sensor? What is the appropriate installation?Typical sensors for verifying presence and position of objects include limit switches, proximity switches, and photoelectric switches.
Programmable encoder includes diagnostics
Schaumburg, Ill. —This new line of programmable absolute multiturn encoders can be configured for various measuring tasks and subsequent electronics. Model ROQ 425 with solid shaft and EQN 425 with hollow shaft open at one end are only 10-mm longer than standard encoders. Both have diagnostics and a 17-pin flange socket.
Encoder installation made easier
Gurnee, Ill. —Three dual-color LED's integrated into Dynapar "H" series encoders verify wiring during installation and assist in troubleshooting during operations. Examples include: no LEDs lit indicates no power or reversed wiring; a solid green LED indicates a signal wire to ground problem; a solid red LED indicates a complementary signal wire-to-ground problem; and LEDs aid encoder al...
Compensating hollow shaft encoder
Dayton, O. —HG650 hollow shaft incremental encoder is rated IP65 and features 60 mm external diameter and integral stator coupling with ± 0.5 mm axial and ± 0.5 mm radial play compensation. It has a resolution of 10,000 ppr. Weighing 0.4 kg, HG650 has voltage range of 5-30 V, quatrature output with reference marker, and interchangeable collets for 6-12 mm shaft diameters.
Digitronic expanding to U.S. market
Digitronic GmbH will soon bring its electronic cam controllers, measurement systems, and accessories to U.S. customers. The company has already signed with a marketing/communications consultant, and will establish a U.S. distributor and technical support capability later this year for current clients, such as Procter and Gamble.
Diffracting-based encoder resolves to increase accuracy
Can imperfections bring you closer to perfection? They can by measuring those imperfections accurately.For instance, using the interference between 1st diffraction orders, a patented encoder technology from MicroE (Natick, Mass.) can produce nearly perfect sinusoidal signals from a photodetector array inserted in the fringe pattern.
Vision made easy
Covington, Ky. —EZ Vision family of machine vision products is a general purpose system for inspections involving parts sorting, assembly verification, and on-line gaging and measurement. The complete system includes Microsoft Windows-based software, current PC technology, frame grabber board, I/O board, lights, and camera.
Machine vision board does the work of four
Imaging Technology recently staked a claim as the first producer of a single machine vision board able to do the work of four acquisition boards. Known as IC-ASYNC, the new board puts four independent, asynchronous frame grabbers on one full-size PCI bus card, allowing multiple inspection points for fault detection of large, three-dimensional objects at what the com...
Rugged 1-piece proximity sensor
Twinsburg, O. —Machined from solid stainless steel stock the Pile Driver family of proximity sensors resists abrasion, corrosion, and occasional target impacts. Forty models of 12, 18, and 30-mm (0.47, 0.71, and 1.18 in.) diameter housings are avaiable with ac/dc or three-wire dc outputs. Sensors are available in two series: FE Series for detecting ferrous metals and all grades of stainl...
Panta Electronics takes over Philips Weighing
In a landmark deal, Philips Weighing was recently acquired by Panta Electronics and will now trade under a new name—GWT Global Weighing Technologies GmbH. "Global Weighing is a new name in the industry, but the company behind the brand predates most other companies in the business.
Programmable measuring encoder
Geneva, Ill.— RH-P is an incremental encoder that allows users to select counts per revolution and output circuit type at installation time to suit the application. Using an integrated microcontroller, the device can be programmed to count in hundredths of an inch, up to 12 in. when equipped with the standard 12-in.
Vision board does work of four
Bedford, Mass. —IC-Async puts four independent, asynchronous machine vision boards on one full-sized PCI bus card. It can acquire up to four camera inputs asynchronously. IC-Async can handle high-speed applications like multipoint inspection operations traditionally requiring complicated vision processors.
Cognex will buy Allen-Bradley’s machine vision business
As part of a newly formed global relationship and technology transfer agreement, Cognex Corp. will pay an undisclosed amount to acquire certain Allen-Bradley machine vision hardware and software technologies from Rockwell Automation. The sale is part of Rockwell's recent restructuring effort to use strategic relationships to consolidate resources and create competiti...
Uncooled thermal imaging camera secures data in rigorous applications
If you can't stand the heat, get a real-time thermal imaging camera that can. Heat contains valuable data about production process efficiency and resulting product quality. However, cryogenically cooled thermal imaging cameras often can't handle continuous, unsupervised process monitoring and control, while spot sensors often provide too little information for true thermal profiling and c...
26-mm. dia. motor delivers 18 W
Burlingame, Calif.— Maxon's new motor utilizes rare-earth magnets and graphite brushes to maximize torque in a 1 in. (26 mm) diameter × 2.32 in. (59 mm) long package weighing 5.3 oz (150 g). Patented rhombic moving coil provides long life, low electrical noise, fast acceleration, and high efficiency.
Enhanced incremental encoders
Rockaway, N.J.— Incremental encoders from Euchner provide rotary and linear displacement using a long-life LED light source with Opto-ASIC receiver and operate at a voltage of 5-30 V dc. Standard operating temperatures range from –40 to +80 °C, and these devices have an environmental protection rating of NEMA 4 (IP65).
Encoder-based motors added to indexing systems
Victor, N.Y.— These new motors, part of the company's Delta Motor and Drive products line, are rated at 1,500 rpm, with power ranging from 400 W to 11 kW. They utilize the higher rotor inertia combined with a precision 2,048 line encoder to create an 8,192 pulse per revolution encoder-based motor.
Step motor now has encoder
Hauppauge, N.Y.— Turbo Disc disc magnet step motors are now available with the A22 incremental encoder. This combination provides and alternative to brushless motors by using the A22 to supply commutation as well as position information. Turbo Disc motors provide up to 200,000 rad per sec., and a top speed of 15,000 rpm.
Absolute angular encoder
Schaumburg, Ill.— Providing capabilities previously unavailable to the angular encoder market, RCN 723 has a resolution of 0.15 angular sec in combination with system accuracy of 2 angular sec. Operating on the photoelectric principle of scanning 131,072 grating periods (17 bits in gray-code evaluation), this track is subdivided 64-fold to achieve 23 bits, resulting in 8,388,608 absolute...
High Accuracy with Mini Encoders
Allerod, Denmark— Using the latest SMD and bonding technology, these miniature hollow shaft encoders are made with an outer diameter of only 24 mm, and are especially resistant to shock and vibration. They count 2,000 pulses per revolution and a maximum frequency of 200 kHz. Counting the leading and trailing edges of both channels provides four times the resolution, which means that the ...
Universal Level Switch Mount
Ann Arbor, Mich. —QuickPlace is a universal level switch mount for simplifying installation of commonly used liquid level sensors. The device consists of a weighted, fluid tight module for housing the level sensor, with integral terminal block and cabling for connecting the sensor to external controls.
Multiple Rotation Encoder
Schaumburg, Ill. —E6C-N is a multiple rotation encoder said to offer a number of time-saving, ease-of-use features for a variety of motion applications, including tripping detection of stepper motors, numeric controlled table and stacker crane positioning, and timing control of conveyor lines and packaging machinery.
Rate/RPM/Frequency Input DPM
Tucson, Ariz. —Model 210 digital panel meter accepts input signals from magnetic pick-ups, photocells, encoders, proximity detectors, transmitters, and power lines. Its Frequency-Voltage technique converts these inputs to a 0-2 V dc for the 4.5 digit A/D. The F-V system allows frequency measurement and control without the need for specific gear ratios.
Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors
Newton, Pa. —SonicLaser ultrasonic proximity sensors come in 18 models and feature a narrow, concentrated beam angle 2.5° off-center axis. This narrow beam angle is said to render the sensor insensitive to echo interference from surrounding objects. Measuring ranges vary from 3.28 to 26.25 ft.
Limit Switch Embeds Intelligence
Westerville, O. —E50DNA Series limit switches don't require a separate I/O device to communicate over DeviceNet. Sealed NEMA 6P, the products use the same head and operator inventory as other Cutler-Hammer limit switches. Features include: software selectable functions, diagnostics, fault lists with time stamp, and a solid-state actuator that eliminates contact bounce, RFI, and contacts ...
Corrections – 1998-02-01
In the November 1997 Control Engineering cover article, "Flow Sensing: The Next Generation," Fluid Components International was incorrectly named on page 62.On page 64, in the sidebar "Flow Conditioners Save Piping," Vortab Co. should have been shown as based in San Marcos, Calif. Sam Kresch, Vortab marketing manager, cited a Southwest Research Institute (San Antonio, Tex.
The ‘Other’ Web, It’s Not Just a Spider’s Playground
Web processing encompasses a myriad of products and materials that are manufactured in flat sheets or rolls. Web process industries produce many products including textiles, paper, and plastic film. They can also perform any number of secondary operations on these base materials. Countertops, flooring, sandpaper, and food packaging materials such as potato chip bags, candy bar wrappers, a...
Modular Encoder Provides Position Feedback
Wilmington, Mass.—TK91 modular encoder provides position feedback for motion control applications. Disc line counts are available up to 1,250 lines per rev with optional zero reference. Several English and metric hub sizes up to 3/8-in. are offered. Line driver and amplified analog signals are available .
Programmable Limit Switches
Roscoe, Ill.— PLµS PS-6344 Programmable Limit Switch accepts input from two resolvers to allow independent monitoring and control of different axes of rotary motion, thereby coordinating events between two separate processes. Automatic speed compensation, combined with fast scan times, enable the PS-6344 to quickly respond to changes in line speed and product movement, minimizing ma...
AS-i bus cuts cycle time in half for cleaning equipment manufacturer
BUS OF THE MONTH: AS-i Bus