financially, if it eliminates the need for precise fixturing or some of the mechanical requirements necessary for a 2D inspection, especially where the features of the object make lighting difficult. ‘All things being equal, if a 2D solution is less expensive than a 3D solution, people will probably use 2D,’ Nachtigall said. But by creating a more intuitive user interface to acquire and interact with 3D data, Cognex is creating more favourable conditions for 3D applications. ‘Over time, as we develop the hardware and soſtware to make 3D more accessible to users, it will gain traction in the market,’ he added. ‘You’ll see 3D vision becoming

easier to use and more broadly accessible, allowing new applications to be developed,’ Nachtigall continued. ‘For example, many applications involving robotics are challenging to engineer with 2D, but simpler and more robust with 3D.’ Cognex will be developing

future products based on the area scan techniques from its recent acquisitions. ‘Area scan technology will open up more of the market, because it will allow customers to demonstrate and evaluate a project quickly,’ Nachtigall said. Evaluating a project with a line

scan profiler requires a motion stage and an encoder, which is relatively straightforward but needs some setup. ‘People do that oſten, our sales channels are very used to doing that, and we can help customers to evaluate their projects using line scan 3D,’ said Nachtigall. ‘Tat said, the ability to simply snap an image of an object without having to set up the motion, makes the barrier to doing an initial evaluation a bit lower. ‘In the last two years there

have been many 3D products and solutions demonstrated at trade shows,’ he added. ‘Customers are asking about 3D technology more frequently than just two years ago.’ @imveurope Te Vidi Systems acquisition

adds a technology that Nachtigall thinks will be important to Cognex in the future. Vidi Systems’ soſtware is based on deep learning, a relatively new method for analysing images based on artificial intelligence. Te algorithms can solve complex

machine vision problems by training a machine to inspect parts with variations and defects, even when those variations are too many to predict. ‘Tis technology gives us powerful tools to expand the inspection market,’ Nachtigall said. ‘We will find new applications for the Vidi Systems technology

across the industries we serve. ‘When we look at the factory

automation space, we see a lot of healthy growth,’ he said. ‘Te technology gained through our acquisitions will be integrated into future products to solve a wide range of current and future applications.’ O

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