National Instruments has expanded its NI Smart Camera family of products by introducing seven new models with various colour and high-resolution options.
Featuring a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor for increased processing power and IP67 rating for dust and water protection, the new NI 177x Smart Cameras are ideal for industrial inspection applications that require high-performance in a rugged form factor. The new cameras are the first NI products to offer an IP67 rating.
A real-time operating system in the inspection cameras delivers the reliability and determinism needed on a production floor.
According to Eric Starkloff, vice president of product marketing at National Instruments, the new, high-performance cameras available in a rugged form factor stand apart for their exceptional hardware performance as well as the vision software that is compatible with all types of hardware on the production floor.
He adds that the single platform approach of the machine vision cameras helps their customers reduce maintenance and development costs.
NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection (AI) 2011 software is a menu-driven, interactive environment for configuring, benchmarking and deploying vision systems. The software can be used to configure the camera, create custom user interfaces, acquire images, set up triggering and lighting, perform image processing steps and communicate results through I/O or industrial communication networks.
The 2011 versions of Vision Builder AI and the NI Vision Development Module include:
- New calibration tools with improved accuracy
- Ability to save single camera calibration parameters for easy reuse
- Stronger data matrix decoding
- Morphological reconstruction
- Structural similarity (SSIM) index for video quality analysis
- New calipher algorithm feature for metrology
New sensor options make the cameras well suited for applications that require higher resolution image acquisition such as metrology and detection of small defects as well as colour imaging such as LED validation for electronics.
The smart cameras support several industrial communication protocols including RS232 (Serial, Modbus serial) and Ethernet (TCP/IP, Ethernet/IP Modbus TCP).
Using the signals generated from these networks, engineers can dynamically control lighting or cameras, synchronise with a conveyor belt, drive mechanisms for sorting parts or integrate the smart cameras with programmable logic controllers.
Key features of the NI 177x Smart Cameras:
- Intel Atom processor enables the camera to deliver four times greater processing speeds than other NI Smart Cameras
- New sensor options including VGA, 1.3 MP and 2 MP are added in colour and monochrome as well as 5 MP in monochrome
- Strong mechanical housing, M12 connectors and lens cover add up to an IP67 rating
- Dust- and water-resistant cameras are suitable for environments with washdowns
- 4 digital input and 4 digital output lines
- Supports several industrial communication protocols including RS232 and Ethernet
- VGA video out connection for monitoring inspection images
- NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection (AI) 2011 software provided with the camera
- Can be programmed using NI LabVIEW graphical programming and NI Vision Development Module for advanced customisation and integration with other NI hardware