Camera manufacturers push the boundaries at VISION 2006

Nov. 3, 2006
NOVEMBER 3--At the trade fair VISION 2006, from 7 to 9 November in Stuttgart, Germany, a true innovation offensive is imminent.

By Silvia Stoll, Messe Stuttgart,

NOVEMBER 3--At the trade fair VISION 2006, from 7 to 9 November in Stuttgart, Germany, a true innovation offensive is imminent. Basler Vision Technologies will make its European premiere at the trade fair with 38 new Scout and Pioneer camera models. High-grade CCD sensors with a number of standard resolutions from VGA up to megapixels will be available. "In particular, the Basler Scout series will continue to force the trend from analog to digital cameras," says Henning Tiarks, product manager for vision components at Basler Vision Technologies.

Another innovation will be led by Leutron Vision. The frame-grabber manufacturer entered the camera business a few months ago with its camera series PicSight and simultaneously developed 28 different cameras. "We were able to think through the hardware and software architecture significantly better, standardize operating modes, and minimize the components used," explains Mathias Leumann, CEO of Leutron Vision. The Swiss company also immediately joined the Gigabit Ethernet vision trend. At VISION 2006, Leutron Vision will present camera systems that also take into consideration the GenICam standard, in addition to the GigE Vision standard (GigE). "In this way, the OEM user gains flexibility and can rapidly respond to changes and customer requirements without significant software adjustments and without great expenditure in costs and time," says Meinrad Simnacher, managing director of the German subsidiary Leutron Vision GmbH.

With the GigE Vision interface, which has been the standard since May this year, applications with long cable lengths and high data rates can be implemented more easily and economically than was possible with the previous interface technologies. "In comparison with FireWire, GigE has significant advantages with regard to cable length and image rate.

In addition, Mikrotron will present its innovative MC132x generation of intelligent, high-speed cameras with GigE interface. "Range of use and flexibility of the MC132x series have increased considerably in comparison with vision standards previously applicable. The connection via standard networks without the need for special interface cards or frame grabbers, as well as inexpensive cabling--over a distance of 100 m--speaks a clear language," states Roland Hacker, sales manager at Mikrotron.

The market is also demanding from software manufacturers that they adjust to the GigE trend. "As one of the first machine-vision software packages worldwide, Common Vision Blox from Stemmer Imaging now conforms with the specifications of the GigE Vision and GenICam standards," reports Peter Stiefenhöfer, marketing manager at Stemmer. The software package CVB will also have its trade fair premiere at the show, with the new wizards for the MS.Net_development platforms VB.Net, VC.Net, and C#.Net. "It has been possible to increase the speed of the CVB displays by another 50%. The data-transmission rate between memory and display has thus increased from 80 to 120 Mbytes/s," Stiefenhöfer continued.

At VISION 2006 the theme of cameras with image preprocessing intelligence will also be in the limelight. According to a VDMA market survey, this sector has increased by 23% from the previous year and assumed a share of component turnover of 15%.

Vision Components GmbH will be represented at VISION with a series of newly developed intelligent camera systems: for example the VC4472, a smart camera. One feature is a 1 1/8-in. CCD sensor with a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels, at an image rate of 10 frames/s (with binning 20 frames/s). Furthermore, the company will present a new line camera VC4002L, which offers a computing capacity of 3200 MIPS.

To ensure that cameras fit into even the smallest niche, they are becoming increasingly compact. SVS-Vistek will show a new model svs1020 of the SVCam camera family. With a resolution of 1 Mpixel and 71 full images/s, as well as an excellent signal rush ratio, it has a housing of 50 x 55 x 43 mm.

Another trend to be on display at VISION is embedded systems, an alternative to intelligent cameras. With these image-processing systems, an additional PC is not necessary, as the systems are equipped with a complete computing processing capability. "Integration in the existing production environment will thus be considerably simplified," states Michael Beising, CEO at SAC Sirius Advanced Cybernetics. The company will be presenting "three systems in one": Vision Cube, Compact Vision, and Smart Vision.

Kappa opto-electronics GmbH is offering a camera with electronic signature. "We are the first camera manufacturer to offer secure electronic signature. "With the signature function, Kappa is responding to the need for reliable, manipulation-proof image data," says Rainer Vetter, product manager at Kappa. According to the manufacturer, the new 12-bit digital camera series DX4/40 S with megapixel resolution makes it possible to provide individual images and additional data internally with an electronic signature in accordance with the recommendation from the BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security).

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