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Viewpoint: Industrial imaging


Taking the pulse of the industry

From the rise of CMOS image sensors, to smart camera features, to 3D imaging and emerging markets, industry experts give their opinions on the trends expected for 2015

Henning Tiarks, head of product management at Basler, believes CMOS combined with USB 3.0 will benefit camera users in 2015


he year 2015 will be an exciting one for modern cameras and camera technology again! Most interesting is the increasing

amount of new CMOS sensors that are available for the camera market. Tose sensors come with impressive specs in terms of image quality and frame rate, defining a new category of value for money. It will be the first time the whole range of standard resolutions, from VGA to five megapixels and above, is expected to be covered by CMOS technology. CMOS will therefore become relevant for all existing and new applications in machine vision, as well as in applications outside the factory floor such as medical or intelligent traffic

systems. Besides that, it is also already pretty obvious that the USB 3.0 interface will grow rapidly because of how well suited it is to the new CMOS sensor technology in terms of performance. For camera manufacturers this brings some

It is already pretty

obvious that the USB 3.0 interface will grow rapidly

very exciting technical challenges. Te biggest challenge is to integrate these sensors into the de-facto standard footprint of 29 x 29mm. In addition, the sensors may require additional electronics and other hardware that has to fit into the housing as well. Once this is achieved though, customers will really be able to benefit from the new sensors, which, in many cases, will replace existing cameras

of the same size. Te second challenge is purely performance driven. If you have those sensors in a small form factor you want to make use of the performance they offer. Tat means that, besides Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 interface is a must. Combining both interfaces with the small camera size is a nice challenge! Last but not least, it’s about optimising the

image quality of those new CMOS sensors to fit the market expectation. Tis requires deep knowledge about CMOS sensor technology and experience. If you have that, the outcome will be small, fast and, in terms of image quality, perfect cameras that offer more value than ever before – which we are always working on at Basler.

Guy Pas, vice-president worldwide for instruments sales at Flir Systems, notes that lower cost and improved video analytics will make thermal imaging more accessible for automation


hermal imaging cameras have found their way in many industries to automatically ensure quality and to prevent and detect

fires. Fixed infrared cameras can monitor processes or assets continuously, detecting minute temperature differences on a 24/7 basis. For many years Flir Systems has made efforts

to make thermal cameras more affordable and accessible. Tis is a trend that will continue in 2015. Because of this increased affordability, it will be possible to deploy multiple cameras for a variety of applications and more customers will be able to benefit from the economies of scale. As an example, earlier in 2014, Flir announced the release of the Lepton thermal imaging camera

core. Lepton utilises innovative technology, high volume manufacturing techniques, and commercial scale to deliver a price point that is an order of magnitude below current thermal camera cores. Te microbolometer-based thermal imaging camera core is similar in size, weight, and power consumption to a conventional CMOS cell phone camera module. Te core will also find its way into the automation market, offering industries an even more cost-effective way to incorporate thermal imaging based machine vision into their systems. Video analytics has entered

12 Imaging and Machine Vision Europe • Yearbook 2014/2015

Video analytics has entered the automation market and this will continue in 2015

the automation market and this will continue in 2015. Video analytics is the capability of automatically analysing a video stream (be it thermal imaging or visual light) and to detect certain events. Video analytics soſtware allows you to draw regions of interests, determine temperature thresholds and activate alarms when a threshold has been exceeded. By adding video analytics to its thermal automation cameras, Flir is able to offer a smart camera solution for all types of process monitoring and fire detection.

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