Q&A Series: Teledyne DALSA on non-visible imaging technologies and the transition to non-industrial applications

June 1, 2021
As part of Vision Systems Design’s 25th anniversary, Phil Colet, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Teledyne DALSA, looks back at the last 25 years and toward the future.

As part of Vision Systems Design’s 25th anniversary, Phil Colet, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Teledyne DALSA, looks back at the last 25 years and toward the future.

Vision Systems Design celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021. What are some of the most interesting and notable machine vision advancements you’ve seen since you entered the space?

There have certainly been a few: the introduction and adoption of CMOS image sensor technology and all the new capabilities and inspections it enables over time with higher speeds and global shutter, and the proliferation of BSI and 3D stacking. In addition, LED Lighting has enabled new methods of defect detection by combining it with multi-line and multi-field line scan technology as well as high-speed area technology. To explain, our multi-field and multi-line line scan cameras are enabling single-pass detection of multiple images when used in coordination with the newest LED light sources. LEDs offer different wavelengths and angles of light. You can now break up the spectrum and/or perform backlit, brightfield, and darkfield imaging all at once. A single-pass inspection that reveals hard to detect defects saves our customers scarce time and resources.

 Other advancements are on the side of computers. We’ve seen that standard PCs have become the norm, replacing expensive and dedicated workstations, revolutionizing how inspections are done. In addition, machine vision software has become more commoditized. There are so many more vision software options, and the graphical interfaces to develop inspection solutions to suit a customer’s own requirements have become more intuitive. When combined with continuing developments in AI and machine learning, flexible and custom vision inspections become limitless.

What sort of advancements are you most looking forward to, looking toward the future?

I believe artificial intelligence (AI) holds some promise. Already, we’re seeing movement away from the huge datasets we required just a few years ago and holding machine learning up as a way of helping system developers to move more quickly to a vision solution. And while 3D imaging has been in our lexicon for a few years, it is finding its place in more and more machine vision applications like automotive and metrology. Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging are also interesting modalities that are continuing to evolve. With more and more focus on the environment, chemistry and what hyperspectral imaging can show us, say, in the composition of recyclables and solar panel inspection, for instance, is an interesting way forward and will show us what we’re not seeing now in the visible.

What are you most excited about at your company right now?

Teledyne Imaging’s expansion into non-visible wavelengths, embedded vision capabilities, and 3D imaging.

What is your latest product and for what reason was it developed?

I’d have to say our new high-speed Z-Trak2, a new family of 3D profile sensors built for inline height measurement and inspection. Built for speed, the Z-Trak2 uses a 5GigE interface and can deliver up to 45,000 profiles per second. It includes built-in HDR and reflection compensation algorithms to handle surfaces with varying degrees of reflectivity in a single scan. 

In which areas or applications do you see the most growth, in terms of machine vision/imaging?

Non-industrial imaging applications—in other words, taking the systems that are used on the factory floor and finding applications for them in the new markets. A good example is vision-assisted driving. Again, green energy or vision inspection to facilitate more environmentally responsible solutions are driving the requirement for quality inspections. At the moment, manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries are making investments in systems to support electric vehicles, and companies like Tesla and Volkswagen are shifting us away from combustible engines.

Is there a trend or product in the next few years that you see as "the next big thing?"

I expect non-visible imaging will continue to advance for markets looking to exploit this technology in new applications in health care and consumer goods. And while the development of AI has been in play for some time, I expect we will see continued convergence of faster inspections combined with algorithms that will ultimately improve our quality of goods—from handheld devices to live imaging in surgeries.

Are there any recent examples of Teledyne DALSA developing new products for popular specialized imaging technologies?

Our development in SWIR and LWIR (or non-visible imaging) for applications like solar cell inspection, food sorting, and recycling are recent applications. One of our customers has developed a screening device with our Calibir LWIR camera for the detection of elevated body temperature. It is being deployed at long-term care homes now. I think it would be safe to say that we see opportunities for these newer non-visible imaging technologies, and we work closely with our customers to help them optimize their own system development to bring new capabilities to market.

Voice Your Opinion

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vision Systems Design, create an account today!