As new application areas and technologies within machine vision continue to grow, machine vision lighting and illumination companies have had to evolve their technology and products to meet these needs. At VISION 2018 in Stuttgart from November 6-8, leading machine vision lighting and illumination companies will present their latest developments.
These companies include, but are not limited to, Advanced illumination, Büchner, CCS, Effilux, Falcon Illumination, Gardasoft, Laser Components, Metaphase, Phlox, Smart Vision Lights, TPL Vision and Z-Laser, according to Messe Stuttgart. Florian Niethammer, VISION Project Manager at Messe Stuttgart, commented:
"There is a great deal happening in this area at present. In particular, the topic of hyperspectral imaging has boosted innovation tremendously and is opening up entirely new application areas for machine vision."
Hyperspectral imaging applications require suitable illumination, in order to accomplish tasks such as detecting the chemical composition of objects or inspect food. Because of this, lighting and illumination companies have developed products that can be deployed in such applications.
"In particular, users from the area of food inspection are eagerly waiting for special multispectral or hyperspectral illumination based on LEDs," said Sophie Perrot, an illumination expert at Stemmer Imaging. "The existing systems work with halogen lamps which produce a great of heat, which is a hindrance when using multispectral machine vision in the food industry. LED-based illumination will greatly extend the application area of machine vision systems, especially in this segment.”
Growing customer requirements
Another trend that has emerged as of late, according to John Thrailkill, co-founder and CEO of Advanced illumination, is the increasing need for customized lighting products. At VISION 2018, attendees will have the chance to learn more about the offerings and capabilities of various companies, and whether it may suit their need.
"In particular, there is a lack of individual optical and mechanical designs for customer-specific applications. A large number of end customers require illumination with higher intensity and a lower price and want easier integration.”
According to Thrailkill, the expectations of OEMs actually go one step further: "The important factors include customer-specific adaptation possibilities in illumination geometry, various options for operation and fast delivery times with wavelengths.”
Daniell Haug, Product Manager, Falcon Illumination, offers a similar sentiment regarding customer requirements” "In particular, high power density is now required because quicker production processes need shorter exposure times and, thus, more luminous intensity.”
Falcon Illumination, as well as other companies at the show, are catering to this trend by making greater use of high-power LEDs and flash controllers.
LED alternatives and intelligent lighting
Also expected to have a presence at the show are companies that develop LED alternatives, including those in the extended light spectrums in the ultraviolet and infrared range that are used in conjunction with correspondingly sensitive cameras, as well as lasers and laser modules.
Another area in illumination technology, intelligent lighting, will be featured at VISION 2018 in Stuttgart. The idea behind intelligent lighting, according to Messe Stuttgart, is to use lighting in a more efficient and economical manner.
"Intelligent lighting can be used to monitor illumination systems and is therefore a step towards Industry 4.0," said Sophie Perrot. "Since the technical properties and the dynamic application data of illumination are permanently available in the system, the user can be informed in good time about decreasing lighting levels or other important changes."
Companies such as Stemmer Imaging offer intelligent lighting systems featuring Triniti technology which was developed by Gardasoft in collaboration with other lighting manufacturers such as CCS, Metaphase Technologies, and Smart Vision Lights. These concepts, according to Perrot, provide users with an easier opportunity to adapt illumination to their conditions and achieve stable brightness over a longer period of time, resulting in an overall increase in efficiency.
Pictured: Suitable illumination is an important prerequisite for hyperspectral machine vision systems, e.g. to distinguish between plastics (picture source: Perception Park)
View more information on VISION 2018.