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Autumn Machine Vision Conference Season

The autumn machine vision conference season is fast approaching and although Vision 2018 may loom large, there are a number of other shows that require our attention


The tagline for the third European Machine Forum is ‘where research meets industry.’

The show kicks off on Wednesday, September 5 (starting in the evening) and goes through to Friday, September 7, 2018, 2pm.

The venue is the Bologna Business School (BBS) and the focal topic of the third forum is Vision for Industry 4.0 and beyond.

The program has been finalized with a Vision Standards Session on Friday with Jochem Herrmann, Arnaud Darmont, Dr Friedrich Dierks and Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen, and there is a subsequent panel discussion

And Prof Dr Paolo Rocco, Politecnico di Milano, will talk about “Robots, Vision and Industry 4.0”.

Michele Leoni, Global Product Business Developer Manufacturing at Datalogic, will talk about “Traceability for Industry 4.0: Barcode and beyond”

Prof Dr Oscar Déniz Suárez, VISILAB, Ciudad Real, Spain, will also talk about “Experiences into Bringing Artificial Vision Everywhere”


A group of machine vision conferences take place at the NEC Birmingham on the 25 and 26 September.

The PPMA, TCT, What’s New In Electronics and the Sensors & Instrumentation shows all share the NEC venue.

Scorpion Vision, the UK and Ireland Hikvision Machine Vision distribution partner, will be demonstrating the 2018/19 range of Hikvision machine vision cameras, smart cameras, vision processing boxes and lenses, at the Sensors & Instrumentation show.

The company said that Hikvision has been gaining ground with its tier 1 camera and lens solutions. With GigE and USB3.0 cameras with resolutions up to 29 megapixel and small form factor 12MP and 20MP cameras, it added that it can provide a vision solution for all applications.

Compact Smart Camera models are available with either open platform or our own Scorpion Vision 2D/3D vision software. Complimenting the range of cameras is the compact HikVision Vision Box PC, a fanless solid state vision processing platform.


FUJIFILM Optical Devices Europe will show the wide range of Fujinon Zoom Lenses at Security Essen, Messe Essen Germany, September 25 to 28.

This years´ booth of FUJIFLM at Security Essen focuses on the great variety of zoom lenses.

The highlight on the booth is the expanded line-up of the Full HD Fujinon zoom lens series with 32x and 60x optical magnification that will be presented in live demonstrations.

The well-known 60x Tele-zoom lens series D60x16.7 features 2 Megapixel/ Full HD resolution and covers a focal length range of f = 16.7 ~ 1000 mm on 1/1.8” security cameras. These high-end Tele-zoom lenses offer optical image stabilization, autofocus function, a visible light cut filter (“fog-filter), ND filters, a built-in 2x extender and many features more for highest image quality. Analog control is provided as well as a serial interface to control the lens via PC.

As an addition, the new HD60x16.7 lenses are introduced to the market at Security Essen. They offer the same optical and mechanical specification as incorporated in the high-end D60x16.7 series, but with analog control only and reduction of the 2x extender and ND filters for best price-performance ratio – without compromising image quality.

The 32x zoom lenses impress with Full HD image quality across the entire zoom range with maximum focal lengths of up to f = 400 mm (FD32x12.5SR4A) and f = 500mm (FH32x15.6SR4A). To respond to increasing market demands for colour images even in low light, the lenses are designed for large sensor sizes of 1/1.8” and 2/3”.

The built-in visible-light-cut filter enables reliable performance even in fog, rain and snow. Since the lenses have a small size and offer analog control as well as serial control, the lenses are very easy to integrate into housings and into existing surveillance systems


Europe’s biggest machine vision conference is not far now and in the next issue of MVPro Magazine we will be previewing products which are destined to be launched. Here though, we have a sneak preview of some of the products which will be launched at Stuttgart.


First up is Sony Europe’s Image Sensing Solutions division which will unveil a new polarised-light module based on its 5 MP GS CMOS device at the show.

Sony told MVPro Magazine that the polarised camera will be joined by an embedded vision concept camera and two new Sony modules: a 12 MP module based on the Camera Link transmission standard; and a 4K FCB block camera.

Sony’s Arnaud Destruels said: “At the show, we’ll be highlighting several strategic additions to our strong and rapidly growing family of advanced GS CMOS machine vision cameras. In recent months, we expanded the line-up significantly, adding advanced pre-processing features and new capabilities such as IEEE1588- master-device functionality. In addition, we’ve added new transmission standards, launching our first USB 3 module.”


EVT will also be busy at Vision, starting with a new smart line scan camera, the RazerCam Z, which is freely programmable under Linux OS. High data rates are supported by the powerful FPGA and the camera is optimized for high computing power and fast frame rates. The suitable applications are manifold, as the line scan camera is either available with the EyeVision Software as EyeCheck 4700L, or without software as RazerCam Z.

Thanks to the high fps, steel strips, paper webs, or endless material with high-speed production can be inspected for defects. Resolutions of 2048 pixel with a line rate of up to 47 kHz can be reached. The whole application can be executed in the smart line scan camera RazerCam Z. The FPGA helps, in cases where the evaluation is getting complex. Furthermore, the line scan camera has an automatic shading correction, which works additive as well as multiplicative in the FPGA.

The camera is also available with the EyeVision Software as EyeCheck 4700L. Therefore several features are added too. For example, the complete Standard command set of the EyeVision software is included. Or, additionally, there are special commands for the inspection of endless material.

Also on show will be MultiInstance Support for EyeVision software. With the latest EyeVision software it is now possible to run several cameras, each with a different inspection program on different instances at the same time.

With the Multi-Instance support, the user is now able to run as many cameras and inspection programs as the PC hardware can handle. It does not matter if the cameras are from a different maker, have different interfaces or are color or gray sensor or even thermal imaging cameras. Any cameras can be combined.

There are several Remote Server and one Remote Client. The user can connect with and configure each EyeVision instance (= Remote Server) separately. This means that different inspection programs can run on the different instances. In the future where it will also be possible to through a 3D sensor in the mix. Therefore also a 3D inspection can be carried out with the same license.

Another product at the show is the company’s Number Plate Reading with the VECID Deep Learning Tool. With the new VECID (= Vehicle Identification) tool the EyeVision software is able to read the number plates on cars or motorbikes, etc. with the state-of-the-art set of algorithms. The base of the VECID Deep-Learning-Algorithms is the TensorFlow open source framework and library for training our own models. The pretrained networks can be used to classify the image data.

VECID will run on the following platforms:

  • x86
  • embedded ARM systems
  • Windows
  • Linux

In addition, due to the flexible hardware support by the EVOS (EyeVision Operating System) the Deep Learning System is instantly available for the small single core ARM processors up to the latest x86 platforms.

The final product which we know to be a Vision is EyeVision 3D for the recognition of bent pins and lifted leads.

With EyeVision 3D, not only pins of ICs, THTs, SMDs or even BGAs can be inspected, but also the problem of lifted leads or lifted pads. First, the EyeVision 3D can determine the wobble circle. This means if the pin is not exactly centered. Also, the software can recognize if the pins have the same height if there are standing out or are too deep in the body. As well as if the pins are bent. And to top that the EyeVision can also recognize if the pins are resting correctly on the board after the assembly. During the manufacturing of electronic components, the lifted leads are among the most critical errors.

MVTec Software

MVTec Software will officially launch the new version of its standard software HALCON, at VISION.

The new version, 18.11, includes new AI technologies, specifically from the fields of deep learning and convolutional neural networks (CNNs).

What’s more, the latest release offers new and expanded options for embedded vision as well as updated USB3 Vision interfaces.

The company said that in addition, core technologies will be further improved, and for developers, the new version provides helpful innovations and valuable new features in HALCON’s integrated development environment HDevelop.

The new release comes in two editions: Steady and Progress.

Johannes Hiltner, Product Manager HALCON at MVTec, said: “With HALCON 18.11, we are raising the bar when it comes to standard machine vision software. We have steadily advanced important and promising technologies for both deep learning and embedded vision, and have expanded the range of functions available in this new HALCON version accordingly. Developers, in particular, will also benefit from a wide range of new features and further improved usability.”


The organisers of Vision 2018 are busy setting their stall out for the show.

VISION is billed as leading world trade fair for machine vision and will be held this year in Stuttgart from 6 to 8 November 2018.

It’s staged every two years and covers the entire spectrum of machine vision technology. The organisers state that in addition to first-class exhibitors, VISION has always been characterised by its strong international character and a varied accompanying programme.

One permanent fixture at the trade fair will also be held again this year, i.e. the “Industrial VISION Days”, the world’s largest talk forum for machine vision. Additional highlights will include the “Integration Area”, the special show on “International Machine Vision Standards” under the aegis of the EMVA, and the IPC4 Vision stand showcasing industrial PCs (IPCs).

Another highlight will the leading providers of illumination for vision will present their visionary developments during the machine vision conference. In particular, hyperspectral imaging has boosted innovation tremendously and is opening up entirely new application areas for machine vision.

Companies such as Advanced Illumination, Büchner, CCS, Effilux, Falcon Illumination, Gardasoft, Laser Components, Metaphase, Phlox, Smart Vision Lights, TPL Vision and Z-Laser, most of whom have been exhibiting at VISION for many years, use the leading world trade fair to provide information on new methods in illumination technology and machine vision.

Florian Niethammer, VISION Project Manager at Messe Stuttgart, is expecting exciting new developments from exhibitors who have illumination systems in their portfolio: “There is a great deal happening in this area at present. In particular, the topic of hyperspectral imaging has boosted innovation tremendously and is opening up entirely new application areas for machine vision.”

Demand for special LED-based lights

Hyperspectral imaging can be used to detect the chemical composition of objects and therefore distinguish, for example, between plastics which appear very similar on the outside. Suitable illumination is essential for these systems.

“In particular, users from the area of food inspection are eagerly waiting for special multispectral or hyperspectral illumination based on LEDs,” said Sophie Perrot, an illumination expert at Stemmer Imaging. “The existing systems work with halogen lamps which produce a great of heat, which is a hindrance when using multispectral machine vision in the food industry. LED-based illumination will greatly extend the application area of machine vision systems, especially in this segment.“

Trend towards customer-specific adaptations

LED lights have been well established for years in machine vision systems as a technological basis for illumination of test objects.

John Thrailkill: “In order to perform their tasks, a large number of end customers need illumination with higher intensity, a lower price and easier integration.“

However, John Thrailkill, co-founder and CEO of Advanced Illumination, believes that there is a need for optimisation here: “In particular, there is a lack of individual optical and mechanical designs for customer-specific applications. A large number of end customers require illumination with higher intensity and a lower price, and want easier integration.“ According to Thrailkill, the expectations of OEMs actually go one step further: “The important factors include customer-specific adaptation possibilities in illumination geometry, various options for operation and fast delivery times with wavelengths.“

Daniell Haug: “Ever faster running production processes need shorter exposure times and, thus, more luminous intensity.“

The increasing requirements for illumination systems are also confirmed by Daniell Haug, “Prokurist” and Product Manager at Falcon Illumination: “In particular, high power density is now required because quicker production processes need shorter exposure times and, thus, more luminous intensity.“Falcon Illumination and other manufacturers are catering to this trend by making greater use of high-power LEDs and flash controllers. According to Haug, light intense LEDs can be briefly “overdriven” by the controllers, thereby producing a higher light output. The light intensity between one and eight times higher than with standard LEDs is therefore achieved.

Alternatives to LEDs

Alternatives to LED-based illumination are required if no machine vision solution can be attained with visible light. One of these options, which was presented by some companies during the last VISION and is becoming increasingly more important, is the use of extended light spectrums in the ultraviolet and infrared range in conjunction with correspondingly sensitive cameras. However, lasers are also being used to an increasing extent in machine vision as illumination technology.

Jochen Maier: “With line lasers, users expect increasingly higher projection quality.“

“The requirements are also increasing in this case,” said Jochen Maier, Head of the Optosystems Division at Laser Components. “With line lasers, users expect increasingly higher projection quality. The key qualities here are less diffused light and less interference in the line; homogeneous power distribution is now almost always taken for granted.“ “Higher-performance laser modules are needed at times for short exposure times,” added Maier. “There is also growing demand for smart housing solutions for easy integration at the customer.”

Intelligent lighting – a step towards Industry 4.0

Another current trend in the area of illumination technology is called intelligent lighting. The objective here is to ideally exploit the reserves of illumination systems and therefore also use them in a more efficient and economical way.

“Intelligent lighting can be used to monitor illumination systems and is, therefore, a step towards Industry 4.0,” said Sophie Perrot from Stemmer Imaging. “Since the technical properties and the dynamic application data of illumination are permanently available in the system, the user can be informed in good time about decreasing lighting levels or other important changes.”

Companies such as Stemmer Imaging, which have exhibited at VISION since its première in 1988, offer intelligent lighting systems featuring Triniti technology which was developed by Gardasoft in collaboration with other lighting manufacturers such as CCS, Metaphase and Smart Vision Lights. A large number of partners in the area of software support this approach. According to Perrot, these concepts provider users with an easier opportunity to ideally adapt illumination to their utilisation conditions and achieve stable brightness over a longer period of time so that production machines are made more efficient.


No sooner is Vision wrapped up, then our attention turns to SPS IPC Drives which takes place in Nuremberg on 27 to 29.

Around 1,700 exhibitors are expected to turn up and share solutions, trends and the latest information on smart and digital automation.

Many international renowned companies of the automation industry present their products at this machine vision conference and the main topic will be Industrie 4.0. Alongside products and examples of applications, topic-based special display areas and presentations.

Hall 6 will address new challenges in production technologies.

Most of the exhibitors (67%) are from Germany and 556 exhibitors (33%) are from other countries.

In 2017, just over 70,000 visitors attended the show, of which 73% were from Germany and 27% from other countries. The organisers recently put out an update.

“All signs point to growth for the SPS IPC Drives: To date, the booking rate is already higher compared to last year’s result. To accommodate the growing level of interest and continue to develop in line with the industry, the leading exhibition in smart and digital automation needs more space. For this reason, an additional hall will be provided for the Exhibition on 27 – 29 November 2018. For event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the new Hall 3C (due to open in Fall 2018) was the obvious choice. With its unique design, and quality and energy standards to match, the new Hall looks set to be the main attraction in the southwest corner of the exhibition grounds in Nuremberg, winning over exhibitors and visitors alike. “

“Due to the expansion of the Exhibition, some changes have been made to the focus areas of individual halls. In future, Hall 5 and Hall 6 will focus on Software and IT in manufacturing, as well as one new core topic: Industrial Communication. To ensure that the topic of Mechanical Infrastructure also has room to grow, exhibitors from this area will be based in the newly added Hall 3C. This is adjacent to Hall 2, which also focuses on the theme of Mechanical Infrastructure.

“For the first time, a total of 17 halls will be open to provide trade visitors with information on the latest products and solutions for smart and digital automation. The familiar hall layout will not change much. However, the main topics will be presented in a more compact way on the exhibition grounds, making it easy to find products and solutions quickly.”

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