Is 2019 the Year Machine Vision Connects with the IIoT?

Machine vision is rapidly being adopted for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) use in such areas as robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D imaging, and deep learning, in addition to its traditional role in identifying defective parts before they enter downstream prices chains. Once connected to a communicating network or the cloud, machine vision cameras become key extraction tools that can draw insight from images and display it throughout a factory and value chains.

The Claxon CXP4 is capable of handling the new CXP 2.0 standard of up to 12.5 Gb/s per link for a total of four links. (Source: BitFlow)

This connectivity, however, comes with a price, explained Donal Waide, director of sales for BitFlow, a manufacturer of frame grabbers that serve as essential components in machine vision infrastructure.

“The IIoT’s lofty goals are confronted with the problems of limited bandwidth and latency found in the majority of the machine vision’s standardized interfaces,” said Waide. “While Camera Link, GigE Vision, or USB3 interfaces may continue to offer an affordable value proposition in low-end applications they have no place in transmitting decision-triggering data in the IIoT age and in breaking machine vision out of its traditional silo.”

Waide believes that the CoaXPress high-speed, high-capacity interface is the only solution for IIoT requirements. CoaXPress (CXP) makes it possible to transmit data-laden live images that can help systems identify patterns and make decisions on the spot – two major goals of the IIoT.

CoaXPress was introduced by the Japan Industrial Imaging Association in 2010 and allows video, camera control for triggering, and power to be delivered via a single coaxial cable at unparalleled speeds. The newest version, CoaXPress V2.0, adds two faster speeds: 10 Gbps (CXP-10) and 12.5 Gbps (CXP-12). Uplink speed will be doubled for CXP-10 and CXP-12, allowing trigger rates over 500 kHz without requiring a dedicated high-speed uplink cable. More capacity, fewer cables, and simpler connectivity tailor makes CXP for the IIoT.

BitFlow has been a pioneer in CXP frame grabbers, having first released its Karbon-CXP in 2011. At the helm of its CXP product line today is the Cyton-CXP4 four-channel frame grabber. Key to its success is the incorporation of the Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface on its back-end, an advancement that doubles the data rate of the Gen 1.0 bus for the ultimate high speed access to host memory in multi-camera systems, while using the same compact footprint and connectors.

The Cyton CXP4 brings powerful development capabilities to machine vision, industrial automation and inspection, or surveillance design projects. By supporting the CoaXPress (CXP) standard on its front end, it facilitates video capture speeds of up to 6.25 Gb/s in applications deploying one to four CXP-6 cameras. It supports not only simple triggering modes but also complicated, application-specific triggering and control interactions within any hardware environment.

At the Vison Show in Stuttgart, Germany in November, BitFlow unveiled their next generation CXP board, the Claxon CXP4. This board is capable of handling the new CXP 2.0 standard of up to 12.5 Gb/s per link for a total of four links. This product is set to be available for sale in the coming months.

Acting as the eyes of the factory, CXP-connected image processing systems can compute real-time information that was previously gathered and analyzed by humans. For example, this type of system could monitor production machinery for needed maintenance, alerting a plant manager of the need to order a replacement part before it breaks and leads to costly downtime. Or the “pass / fail” information captured by machine vision systems on production lines could be analyzed to spot anomalies and quickly trace root causes when quality problems crop up downstream. (Source: Bitflow)

Link: BitFlow, Inc., Woburn, Mass., USA


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