Industrial Vision different interfaces for different needs
Recently, Xilix had the opportunity to quote a retrofit which included two vision cameras from a late 80’s machine. This particular piece of equipment is called a Post Etch Punch and simply aligns a set of fiducials on circuit board and punchs two alignment holes in the panel so multiple layers are perfectly aligned to each other. In analyzing the machine we managed to learn quite a bit about the world of industrial vision as it stands today.
In analyzing what cameras would be the best replacement for the old analog cameras, we came to the conclusion that GigE cameras would suite our needs perfectly. Below you’ll find a rundown for why we chose GigE cameras.
Camera Link is a standardized format between camera manufacturers which allows for extremely fine timing and extremely high bandwidth transmissions.
The advantages are guaranteed bandwidth, very high bandwidth, and high reliability.
Cost, setup time is somewhat longer than the alternatives, frame grabber needed.
High Bandwidth, fine timing, self powered (for most applications), price!
Short cable lengths, can run into issues when running many cameras (not always though)
Bandwidth, cost, standardized (for the most part), quickly becoming the standard in the industry.
Timing isn’t as accurate as the other two, requires external power supply (until PoE cameras become more common). Can technically run out of bandwidth, as it isn’t guaranteed.
Low Bandwidth, No guaranteed bandwidth, short cable lengths.
So in the end we choose to quote GigE cameras due to the cost, standardization, and our timing requirements were fairly lax. Watch out for a new blog post when I talk about manufacturers, and then later about the different types of vision software out there and the advantages of each of them!