Cost Concerns for Vision

Ease-of-use is a big factor for those who are integrating vision equipment, but cost is also a driving factor. Systems today can go for as little as $1귔, representing a substantial decline from the recent past.

Vision is getting cheaper by the day. It’s come down 75 percent in the last four years,” says John Dulchinos, Sales Vice President at Adept Technology Inc., a robot vendor that employs vision. A growing number of robot makers are offering vision as an option, making it even simpler for automated inspection.

While researching vision for his lift automotive inspection job, Steve Smith, manufacturing engineer at Rotary Lift, looked at hardware that ranged from $3ꯠ to $10ꯠ before settling on the low pricing band because that system met the requirements of his application. “Vision is so dynamic, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy too many features,” Smith says.

In the future, operators will be seeing even better images. The growing use of cameras in consumer electronics is helping drive resolution higher. “Cameras are starting to go to higher resolution. Machine vision has been limited to 1꯸ x 1꯸ pixels or less. Now we’re seeing the need to go much higher,” says Steve Cruickshank, principle product marketing manager for PC Vision at Cognex.

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