Buyers Guide—a valuable resource

For the past five years, the February issue of Vision Systems Design has served a dual purpose. In addition to presenting its monthly business, technology, and feature stories, this issue includes our Annual Buyers Guide, which provides the most comprehensive listing of OEM suppliers of vision and image-processing equipment.

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For the past five years, the February issue of Vision Systems Design has served a dual purpose. In addition to presenting its monthly business, technology, and feature stories, this issue includes our Annual Buyers Guide, which provides the most comprehensive listing of OEM suppliers of vision and image-processing equipment.

The vision and imaging industry is moving at a faster pace then ever, as new ideas, technologies, products, and applications abound. For example, consider automated inspection, biometrics, and Camera Link. To keep informed, engineers and managers must have the latest industry information at their fingertips.

Once again, the Buyers Guide lists more than 500 companies in more than 50 product categories, ranging from lighting, optics, cameras, frame grabbers, add-in boards, displays and monitors, to software, among others. The information is valid because it has all been supplied by manufacturers. The Buyers Guide offers you an easy-to-use reference manual and database that you'll want to refer to month after month. Moreover, you will able to find product and manufacturer information faster than using a computer.

IN THIS ISSUE
The manufacture of semiconductor chips is an expensive and complicated task that uses automated equipment. The physical characteristics of the chip's substrate and thin-film layers are crucial to successful electronic operation. Accordingly, says editor Andy Wilson, a vision/imaging system has been incorporated into a semiconductor production process to capture and analyze wafer images for chip structural integrity, thickness, and rate of layer deposition (see p. 19).

Attaching very small laser diodes on top of semiconductor circuits is key in the creation of fiberoptic and optoelectronic devices. Making these devices involves accuracy and complexities several levels above those of typical assembly processes. A manufacturer of component assembly equipment faced such challenges when crafting its laser-diode assembly system. To solve these challenges, says contributing editor Jeff Child, the manufacturer incorporated a gray-scale pattern-recognition vision system to precisely place randomly oriented laser diodes under a variety of conditions (see p. 15).

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In many applications, the harsh parameters of sunlight, visibility, and factory atmosphere dictate that flat-panel-monitor vendors build displays with a variety of formats and features to meet these drastic conditions. In addition to higher prices, reports Andy Wilson, industrial display products differ considerably from their consumer counterparts in terms of operational temperature, durability, shock, and vibration levels. Moreover, they come with different options to overcome tough operational requirements (see p. 25).

George Kotelly,Editor in Chief
georgek@pennwell.com

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