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`Smallest` vision system can be set up in 20 minutes

19 March, 2008

Cognex has launched a machine vision system which, it claims, is the world’s smallest, smartest and easiest to use. The In-Sight Micro uses newly-developed point-and-click configuration software which eliminates the need for programming and can cut set-up times from a couple of days to just 20 minutes, according to Declan O’Dea, Cognex’s sales manager for Northern Europe.

The company has also developed a matching operator interface that can be used to monitor inputs from up to nine vision systems, without needing a PC.

Cognex InSight Micro

The vision system (shown above) measures 30 x 30 x 60mm and weighs just 145g, making it suitable for mounting on robot arms. It also comes with a calibration tool that allows it to view a scene at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the vertical in awkward locations.

Installation is simplified by using a single M12 connecting cable that combines a power supply with Ethernet communications. Cognex claims that the In-Sight Micro is the first vision system to use Power-over-Ethernet technology.

There are five models in the family with varying levels of performance and resolution (up to 2 megapixels). Prices range from €2,400–8,000, with a typical installed system costing around €3,500.

The new EasyBuilder software guides the user through the set-up procedure, step-by-step. It has been designed to be used by control engineers, rather than vision experts.

O’Dea hopes that the simplified set up, combined with attractive pricing, will help the In-Sight Micro to make inroads into the estimated 80% or more of potential applications that are not yet using vision systems.

Cognex senior vice-president Justin Testa, says that the new system "transforms machine vision into a much more affordable and accessible solution for so many people. Now, even users unfamiliar with machine vision systems will find it easy to set up and deploy machine vision applications," he predicts.

The new Windows CE-based VisionView 700 operator panel will detect any Cognex vision systems on a network automatically, and can show feeds from up to nine systems simultaneously. It has a 7-inch colour touchscreen and five Ethernet ports, and will cost less than €1,000.

The new vision range overlaps with the bottom end of Cognex’s existing In-Sight products, which will continue to be available, with some models offering higher operating speeds and IP ratings than the Micro series.

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