The first series-built machines featuring B&R's integrated machine vision system have hit the market, and many more are set to follow in the coming months. It's the perfect time to check in with our machine vision expert, Andreas Waldl, to hear about the experiences of those first customers and get a glimpse of what lies ahead.
Andreas Waldl: They're very positive. The unique integration of machine vision into the automation system opens up a lot of possibilities they didn't have before. I know a lot of machine builders who were initially just looking into basic quality inspection. But then they realized they could also use our camera to control production processes in real time and significantly increase productivity.
Waldl: Our system has a wide range of potential applications, and it's being used in nearly every industry you can think of. And not just in machines, by the way: we also have customers using it as a high-speed camera for R&D. Since our high-performance LED lighting is so tightly synchronized with the motion control system, they can capture crisp, clear images of extremely fast movements with exceptional positioning accuracy and repeatability.
Waldl: The most fundamental trend is that vision applications are growing increasingly pervasive. Cameras are no longer being used just for inspection, but also as an integrated sensor that can directly influence the production process. And that's exactly the type of application our system is perfect for.
Waldl: There are definitely a number of exciting things on the horizon. We've been evaluating which developments are relevant for our customers and how we can shape our portfolio accordingly over the next few years. I can't reveal any details at the moment, but I can tell you this much: we've only just begun.
The strength of the B&R's machine vision is its complete integration into the automation ecosystem. The cameras, intelligent image processing algorithms and innovative lighting portfolio are an integral part of the B&R control system. That has many benefits:
- Cameras, lighting, motion axes and all other machine components are synchronized with microsecond precision. Because of that, image processing results can be applied to control commands in real time.
- There's only one engineering system for development, deployment and diagnostics. Controls programmers are able to solve many tasks themselves that would have previously required a specialist.
- Rather than traditional programming, they simply assemble a machine vision application from ready-made mapp Technology software components.