NIR image processing on a small, powerful camera: Cost-efficient package for EL inspection and security

Figure: Vision Components’ new NIR image processing system is a powerful tool, e.g. for quality control in the solar industry. It reliably detects all wafer defects such as damaged edges, micro cracks, and disconnected fingers.

The resolution equals that of similar systems on the market which do not feature integrated intelligence. Unlike those, the cost-efficient and highly flexible VC solutions do not require cooling systems, since they include all image processing electronics and are able to operate without any additional PC systems. The intelligent cameras independently run functions such as motion detection and license plate recognition. Optional robust housings provide protection for outdoor applications. Measuring just 110 x 50 x 35 mm, the units can be integrated even in small spaces. The absence of moving parts makes the systems, which weigh only 400 g, an ideal choice for mobile applications. Just like all intelligent cameras from Vision Components, the VC4467/NIR processes several images in parallel and transmits the data in real-time. Equipped with a 1 GHz processor from Texas Instruments, it has a computing power of 8,000 MIPS. The ⅔“ CCD sensor has a 1,280 x 1,024 pixel resolution and provides a maximum frame rate of 14 fps (28 fps in binning mode). Standard camera models are equipped with 4 MB Flash EPROM and 64 MB SDRAM for program and image storage, which can be optionally extended by a 128 MB SD card. Additionally, the Smart Camera comes with four digital PLC inputs and outputs each, an SVGA video output, an RS232 and an Ethernet interface, a high-speed encoder interface, and an external trigger input that enables jitter-free image recording even at high reading frequencies. Users can easily adapt the cameras to specific requirements by means of the programming languages C and C++. Software libraries for many applications such as motion detection and face recognition are available. Combined with the VC Solar Solution software library, the VC4467/NIR is an autonomous robot guidance solution for solar cell production. The sister model VC4067/NIR has successfully proven itself as an OEM product in various applications, e.g. in solar cell production and in the security industry, for instance in perimeter protection and access control.