3D vision for automated inspection

A new 3D vision system makes inspecting parts in 3D as easy as using a 2D smart camera. While optical inspection in 3D previously required a great deal of programming and offered relatively few benefits, Cognex says that its new technology brings better image quality, simplified application development and a range of true 3D inspection tools – significantly expanding the range of applications in industrial automation.

Cognex states that its In-Sight 3D-L4000 vision system enables engineers to solve a range of inline inspection, guidance and measurement applications on automated production lines quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. The smart camera offers a suite of true 3D vision tools that are as easy to use as Cognex’s 2D vision tools thanks to the familiar and robust In-Sight spreadsheet environment. In addition, the patented speckle-free blue laser optics are an industry-first, enabling the capture of high-quality 3D images.

The type of laser used in the In-Sight 3D-L4000 is a significant technical advance in laser-based imaging: the vision system eliminates speckle by using a special laser in the blue light range. As a result, the imager sees a clear laser line, resulting in higher accuracy 3D images. In addition, the laser provides its own illumination for both 3D and 2D images – the system does not require any external light.

As a further advantage, the In-Sight 3D-L4000 has its processing power built right in, allowing the vision tools to perform true 3D point cloud inspections without the need for an external controller or third-party PC-based software. A nice side benefit is that, with on-board processing, it is possible to complete image analysis in a very short time.

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