Rugged housings target auto uses

One of the largest distributors of industrial cameras in Europe, MaxxVision (Stuttgart, Germany; www.maxxvision.com), markets a range of IEEE 1394, progressive-scan and monochrome cameras from Sony Europe’s Image Sensing Division.

Sep 1st, 2004
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One of the largest distributors of industrial cameras in Europe, MaxxVision (Stuttgart, Germany; www.maxxvision.com), markets a range of IEEE 1394, progressive-scan and monochrome cameras from Sony Europe’s Image Sensing Division. To support its customers, the company also offers a range of camera lenses from Tamron and Fujinon and cable, illumination, LCD monitors, and CRT displays from Sony.

“With a customer base of more than 500 companies,” says Sayed Soliman, managing director, “we are often approached by OEMs and large end users for rugged camera housings, stereo and laser-based imaging systems, and integrated illumination systems.” At this year’s Automatica trade show (www.automatica-muenchen.de), held in Munich, Germany, 15-18 June, the company unveiled a range of products, dubbed iVBox, designed to meet these demands.

For machine-vision designers that require cameras to be deployed in harsh environments, the company supplies a range of housings, known as iVBox sensors, that can be used with any Sony XC progressive-scan cameras. “In harsh environments,” says Soliman, “it is necessary to protect the camera during wash-down. In such cases you must protect the camera, lens, and filters.” To accomplish this, MaxxVision has developed a novel camera housing that allows a mechanical shutter to be remotely closed over the camera so that systems developers can securely enclose the camera.

Realizing that many OEMs require more-integrated systems, MaxxVision has also introduced a range of rugged housings that incorporate LED ringlights. For many of the company’s customers in the automotive industry, stereovision is becoming increasingly important. By calculating the depth or distance of features on an object at a known distance from the sensor, it is possible to construct depth information that can be used to determine the three-dimensional position of an object.


To address harsh industrial environments, MaxxVision has developed a series of rugged camera housings based on Sony industrial cameras. The iVBox series consists of rugged camera housings with in-built illumination and stereo and laser sensors.
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Building on its iVBox sensor technology, MaxxVision offers a number of stereosensors designed to house two rugged cameras for stereo inspection tasks. Using these sensors, OEMs can configure stereo systems with rugged cameras that include the options of a number of different filters, built-in LED lighting, and switched mechanical shutters for camera protection. “In addition to requiring stereo image sensors, the automotive industry often requires the depth and surface of parts to be accurately measured,” says Soliman. In these cases, structured light is projected on the surface to be measured and its degree and direction of distortion analyzed to provide orientation information about the product’s surface. With a range of sensors already designed to produce stereo images, MaxxVision has tailored these designs to incorporate a number of lasers from Laser 2000 (Wessling, Germany; www.laser2000.de), replacing the second camera with a laser source.

Recently, MaxxVision has opened an office in Birmingham, UK, and plans to market Sony’s range of industrial cameras and its iVBox sensors in the UK. To date, a US distributor for the iVBox series has not been established, although, according to Soliman, the company is actively seeking sales representatives and distributors for the product line in the USA.

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