QMT Features: October 2012
Vision 2012
Highlights of Vision 2012, the international fair for machine vision include a novel insect eye,  next generation CMOS sensors  and fast data highways.

The countdown is on! It's only a few weeks until the world's most important annual trade fair event of the machine vision industry opens its doors. Then VISION 2012, the international trade fair for machine vision, will celebrate its silver anniversary. And for the first time the large exhibition will take place in the most attractive and largest trade fair hall of Messe Stuttgart, Hall 1.

Under the motto "One VISION" all of the roughly 360 expected exhibitors will now be together under one roof and from 6 - 8 November on over 21,000 square metres of exhibition space will present their new products and highlights in the areas of machine vision components such as cameras, image sensors, vision sensors, frame grabbers, illumination, lasers, optics, software, as well as machine vision systems, application solutions and services. And it promises to be really exciting because the machine vision industry is characterised by its strong innovative power. Based on the model of an insect eye, the exhibitor Xapt for example developed its eye-sect X16, an adaptable image sensor cluster with 3D vision and extremely high scene resolution. "This is a completely new type of sensor technology, which enables optical inspection in many areas where otherwise it would be inconceivable due to minimal space or costs", explains managing director Marco Brinker. The "compound eye" will be presented for the first time at VISION 2012.  Some of the other innovative vision technologies on show include: 

Next generation of CMOS image sensors with global shutter function
CMOS technology is coming out on top as the core of many camera systems, primarily where high image capture speeds and high resolutions are required. Sensors with a global shutter function and microlenses are considered to be pioneering technology because they read the sensor image instantly and are not line-based which has been the case up until now. Sharper images of moving objects can thus be captured.

 One exhibitor showcasing this technology at VISION 2012 is ON Semiconductor Belgium with a new CMOS range of sensors which offer up to 25 megapixels resolution. Also at VISION 2012 Viimagic will present its new CMOS image sensor generation with full HDTV resolution and global shutter, as well as simplified activation of the sensor. "These sensors are suitable for the highest requirements in industry automation, safety and traffic surveillance, as well as medical technology and metrology - everywhere where optimal image quality is required under the toughest light conditions", says Dr. Rainer Schweer, CEO from Viimagic.

The team from the Swiss-based company CSEM Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique developed an ultra-quick optical line sensor. It can capture white, red, green and blue lines at up to 200,000 images per second at the same time and in a single light exposure cycle.

Many camera manufacturers have already jumped on the CMOS bandwagon and are constantly further developing their products. Camera systems must be able to reliably detect and analyse faults accurately in every detail for example in manufacturing processes, also at extreme speeds. For instance Teledyne Dalsa presents the high-performance camera range Falcon2 with up to 12 megapixels of CMOS technology of the next generation at VISION 2012 - including global shutter function. OptoMotive introduces onto the market the high-speed smart camera range Velociraptor EVO with CMOSIS sensors with a sensor area of up to one inch. With user programmability of the FPGA they can be  tailored to the user's requirements. FastecImaging has a new hand-held high-speed camera range TS3 100 in its portfolio at VISION 2012, which produces over 500 ultra-sharp images per second with a high resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels.

What happens to the diesel drops during injection? How does a shock wave spread after the explosion? Such questions can be examined using high-speed cameras from VKT. For example the Fastcam SAX from Photron has been optimised. It records approximately 12,500 images per second and at 1,024 x 1,024 pixels. The high image quality is thus guaranteed by the extreme sensitivity to light.
With 100,000 images per second at 3 megapixels resolution the high-speed camera system Q-MIZE from AOS Technologies is setting standards. The trade fair innovation is particularly suited for taking images under difficult conditions such as at high speeds, heavy knocks, as well as vibrations. "It represents what's feasible at the moment in terms of technology", states Stephan Trost, managing director at AOS, "and is also well equipped for future requirements."

Fast data highways
The trend towards ever smaller pixels, larger image sensor areas, as well as rapidly increasing frame rates, inevitably demands higher speeds for the transmission of immense image data volumes from the camera to the computer. The two new high-speed standards CoaXPress and CameraLink HS, as well as 10 GigabitEthernet Vision (GigE-Vision), Dual-GigE Vision and finally USB 3.0, are the focus of VISION 2012. What data interface is best suited is largely dependent on the respective application, however. Photonfocus presents for example the high-speed CMOS camera solutions with double-rate technology at VISION 2012. They are based on GigE-Vision, however have nearly double the range for data transmission. The standard interface GigE also has the advantage that multicamera systems can be built without any problems. The two new high-speed interface standards CoaXPress and CameraLink-HS must establish themselves first. At VISION 2012 exhibitors with the first cameras will be present.l
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Rob Tremain Photographer
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