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Dual-code sensor challenges machine vision systems

04 September, 2010

Sensopart has developed a code-reader that reads both standard 1D barcodes and 2D data matrix codes, as well as detecting object characteristics. The company says that, in many cases, the FA 46 vision sensor will avoid the need for costly image processing or multi-sensor installations.

The sensor (shown above) can analyse up to five data matrix and/or bar codes in one search zone, and allows an unlimited number of search zones to be defined. It can also identify other object characteristics, such as date stamps or markings, in the same reading process.

There are three more detectors for pattern recognition, grey-level sensing and contrast measurements. A position-tracking option allows codes and object characteristics to be detected reliably, even when offset from the taught position. Image filters with extended setting options are said to ensure good reading performance, even in difficult conditions.

The sensor can handle complex automation tasks – such as reading several codes or combining code readings and object detection – that previously needed an image-processing system or several separate sensors. Installing and setting up the compact sensor is said to be easy, using PC-based configuration software.

Inspection results can be analysed inside the sensor, avoiding the need for a PLC or PC connection in many cases. Free monitoring software allows results and images to be displayed and monitored while the sensor is operating. The software can also be used to download images from the sensor’s memory for offline simulation of configurations.

The code-reader consists of a compact (45 x 45 x 64mm) camera with an integrated digital signal processor, infrared, red- or white-light LEDs, Ethernet and RS-422 interfaces, and digital I/O. A lower-cost version is available that reads codes but omits the object detection functions.

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