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Old September 1st, 2021, 11:35 AM   #1
DavidRojas
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Most versatile machine vision

Calling all vision experts, I am looking for feedback on the best approach to take for this vision application. This application requires many features that I don't think are available in just one system. I have used Keyence, Omron, Cognex and Banner vision systems/sensors and even NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection and I feel they don't all have the features I need. I am open to test out GigE PC based vision systems like Matrox, Adaptive-Vision or others...just not familiar enough to know if they are on par with the others mentioned.

Here is what the application calls for:
1. Multi-camera support....Banner is out. Ethernet/IP communications for PLC communications. Speed is not an issue...inspection are 1 minute apart and shouldn't take more than 1-2 seconds to respond with results. PLC is Omron NJ based if this is relevant.

2. Presence/Absence of screws/bolts and various nuts in particular configuration...easy...Keyence seems to have better detection algorithms to differentiate between a square nut and hex nut with around 40-45% correlation difference between the two...Omron would show square nut as 15-20% correlation difference to the hex nut...that's not enough to prevent false positives.

3. Visualization...here is where it gets tricky. In addition to the standard HMI for PLC configuration and system status, I would like to provide a large monitor for operator to view status of inspections along with actual images taken. Keyence and Omron have customizable Run Mode GUIs to arrange cameras on screen. Omron provides DVI output and remote viewing via PC software...Keyence only has VGA output. VBAI excels at this because of LabView customization...but I loath programming in LabView. Instead, I am thinking Ignition SCADA as my GUI because I need more than just the inspection results...but also part information and possibly instructions for the operator. And am very proficient with Ignition. But the challenge now seems to get the images from the vision system to the PC. Both Keyence and Omron can export images, but it's the raw image...not with all the green/red inspection results highlighted on the image. So an alternative is to not show live images, but just a fixed drawn graphic with status of inspection points.

4. Glue bead inspection (detect breaks and max/min thickness)...Omron has this feature...Keyence doesn't. Omron even has panoramic feature that stiches together 2 camera images and performs inspection on that entire image...very cool. Regardless, I need to show a live image/video feed of the glue bead to the operator because it is too far away for operator to see themselves. Keyence older CV-5000 has image output capabilities via ethernet directly. Newer versions do not. Omron doesn't have support for this. Neither of them have video streaming support. Do I not use vision system for this and connect a different camera type to the PC and provide live video feed?

5. Minimum of 4x 5MP rolling shutter cameras to cover 4 corners of object, may need 3 more to detect 3 glue beads...Keyence only supports 4 max per controller, Omron can do 8 cameras. A combination of Keyence for inspection and GigE camera for live video could also work.

6. Have not tested Cognex because it has been more than 10 years since I last used one...I can't recall what features it has or doesn't. I prefer to stick with either Keyence or Omron as other applications utilize the same BOM...so keeping spare parts is easier.

7. Is this a situation that requires GigE PC based vision systems instead? If so, what brand? Omron offers GigE PC based system. Keyence just started to offer it I believe. Custom Vision PC? Basler and Allied Vision, Imaging Source, Dalsa cameras come to mind...but don't know what the best software to use for them.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
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Old September 1st, 2021, 12:46 PM   #2
glenncovington
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Vision System

I have many applications using the higher end Cognex systems (Vision-Pro and Vidi) with multiple GigE Allied cameras and vision PC. Custom Vb application but they have Designer software now that would allow you to create GUI for real time display. Work well for my application that requires 750ms maximum time for results.
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