A new vision system from Omron has been released. The solution features high-speed image bus, four-core processing, a new vision algorithm and fast EtherCAT communications.

The company advises, test have show that the FH vision system can achieve shorter machine cycle times along with precise operation, this includes useage in difficult operating conditions.

The solution is capable of providing fast efficient operation from image capture to data output. As a result the new vision systems are ideal for PLCs, motion controllers and robotic control systems, and are well suited for applications in high-speed manufacturing machines of all types.

Also, as the systems are fully compatible with the company’s Sysmac Studio Automation software, this means that only one software package is needed to set up all of the major components used in an automation system. As a result this can reduce the amount of work involved in machine design. The software environment can be used to set up, debug and simulate all slave devices connected via EtherCAT, including not only vision and other sensing elements, but also motion controllers, logic devices and drives.

The package design incorporates the company’s Shape Search III vision algorithm in the MCU. In effect, this is potentially up to nine times faster when carrying out searches than conventional algorithms. The Shape Search III allows fast, precise measurements to be made even if images are out of focus, or if the targets are randomly positioned, randomly rotated or overlapping. This is achieved without the need for user-dependent calibration, which means that FH vision systems are particularly easy to set up and operate.

The devices can support multiple high-resolution cameras with no degradation of performance or image capture speed. This allows them to handle even the most complex of inspection tasks and, in some applications, it also means that a single vision controller can be used where previously several would have been needed, which makes possible substantial cost savings.

These compact vision controllers incorporate support for the EtherCAT machine control network. This allows communications cycle times as short as 500µS to be achieved as well as allowing the implementation of motion control synchronised with the communication cycle. The controllers also support custom.NET controls, which mean that images and measurement results can be readily displayed on an external PC.