Monday 13 February 2012

New capabilities for 3D smart camera

The latest version of the Gocator series of 3D smart cameras from LMI Technologies, marketed by Stemmer Imaging, has introduced a host of new features to further enhance its performance in machine vision applications. These include whole part measurement including volumetric measurements, 2D surface inspection, Modbus TCP support and a number of triggering enhancements.

The new whole part feature makes factory automation easier and less expensive by eliminating the multiple components and software engineering required for automated part scanning and detection. By automatically detecting the start and end point of a single or multiple components traveling along a conveyor, the whole part can be scanned and measured. With discrete parts segmented into 3D cloud datasets, Gocator can now perform volumetric measurements such as volume, centroid, orientation, etc to provide information on dimensions, location, and orientation.

Support for record/playback is also provided and it is possible access whole part data using a Software Development Kit. This new mode offers comprehensive 3D displays including pseudo color visualization of each part as well as data export for off-line analysis.

2D Imaging is now possible by extracting laser intensity information to build a 2D image for use with standard 2D processing tools, giving the benefit of 2D visual inspection. Using laser intensity to produce a grey scale image calibrated to actual dimensions, this Intensity Output data can be combined with 2D image processing libraries to easily identify surface defects and patterns including barcodes, enabling Gocator to inspect surface features in the same way as a traditional 2D camera system.

Gocator sensors can now also “plug in” to the factory floor via Ethernet communication over Modbus TCP protocol. PLC connected Gocators integrate more easily and cost effectively into existing factory automation systems. In addition, multi-language communication has been introduced for ease of use. The system can also automatically indicate if there is any data loss due to incorrect set-up of the camera

Gocator now also supports gated triggering and various encoder tracking methods. This provides great flexibility when using Gocator on a robotic arm (to control when 3D scans are acquired) or when using a conveyor with an encoder. Bi-directional encoder triggering allows Gocator to scan an object while it is moving in either direction on a conveyor, thus reducing production time when an item needs to be scanned multiple times or in different directions. Gated Triggering allows Gocator to easily integrate into systems that use a PLC or photocell to trigger a scan sequence.

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