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Alignment independent contour detection

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ONCE learned, recognised in any alignment, the new ICS 110 image-processing sensor from SICK can detect contours precisely and check them for taught-in features.

The compact plug and play sensor, whose camera, optics, illumination and evaluation units are all accommodated in a single housing, allows two-dimensional inspection of parts in transport and insertion plants for checking assembly processes, for determining presence and position, and for checking labelling and printing.

Reference patterns and search windows for up to 16 inspection tasks can be defined in the ICS 110 Intelligent Camera Sensor. The sensor can check parts with positional tolerances, as well as those that must be rotated for inspection.

If a maximum angle of test-piece rotation is important for the inspection, it can also be taken into account as a testing criterion.

The ICS 100 generates a binary image of the contour from the image initially captured, and this is in turn evaluated using the sensor's new evaluation algorithm.

An appropriate switching signal is transferred to the machine control system if the optical examination provides an "in order" or "recognised" result (just like that of a photoelectric switch).

The central components of the ICS 110 are its 2D image capture unit (a CMOS chip) with 320 x 320 active pixels, and the integrated line and high-speed signal processors.

Green LED projection illumination is also integrated within the compact housing. It ensures homogeneous and very intensive illumination within the reading window.

The teach-in of objects takes place at the touch of a button within a simple teach-in operation supported by the VSC 100 control and display module that guides the user through the setting-up process step-by-step.

In the simplest case, the user accepts each of the sensor's pre-optimised settings to parameterise the camera sensor. If this is not sufficient, a variety of adaptations can be carried out.

The observation of live pictures and actually seeing the effects of settings carried out on the VSC100 have proved particularly helpful and labour-saving.

Effects such as reflection, dazzle and unfavourable backgrounds are immediately noticeable and can be suppressed, or even profitably exploited in some cases.

Settings are permanently saved in an EEPROM after successful parameterisation. When the teach-in process has been completed, the VSC 100 can be removed again and used for setting up another ICS.

In addition to checking contours, the ICS 110 offers all the possibilities provided by the ICS 100 for inspecting shape, comparing surfaces, detecting reflections, and identifying objects.

In many cases this 2D sensor represents an economical alternative to PC-based image-processing solutions.

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