12 January 2024

Machine vision encompasses all industrial and non-industrial applications in which a combination of hardware and software provides operational guidance to devices in the execution of their functions based on the capture and processing of images.

Industrial vision systems demand greater robustness, reliability, and stability.

This robustness, reliability and stability will depend on the quality of all components like Camera, Lens and Optics, Lighting, Computers and more importantly CABLES. Cables depending on the type of interface will have different lengths, different constraints like positioning, tightening, withstanding the vibration, shock, environmental issues, with stand pulling pressure, flexibility etc.
Selection of correct cable, proper length, proper type of components with best quality in making is important for a Machine Vision system to perform with durability and repeatability.

Machine Vision cameras are available as Port based and Frame grabber-based connectivity to the PC/Host systems. USB, GigE, IEEE1394, N BASE T are general Port based interfaces. Camera Link, Coaxpress, Camera link HS, HD SDI are some of the Frame grabber-based interfaces.
Interfaces have its own limitations on lengths like USB up to 3 metres ( safe specs), GigE up to 50 Metres ( Safe Specs), IEEE 1394 only 4.5 Metres, Camera link up to 5 metres etc.

The Camera link or Coaxpress or CLHS will have usage of more than one cable in sync to acquire higher speeds. Connectors on these cameras may also vary or similar to Frame grabber side.

Hence cable selection would involve understanding of Interface technology, bottle necks, area of installation, requirement of ruggedization, positioning of connectors (like Right angle, straight etc.), possible lengths, specialized needs if to increase lengths.
In general cables and connectors in Machine Vision would involve Power Supply to the cameras, I/O Controls, Video out ( analog or digital) – based on interface standards.

Industrial standards would also dictate the connectors to be used for. For example, M12. The M12 connector is a circular connector with a 12-mm locking thread that is used primarily in factory automation applications for actuators, sensors, industrial ethernet, and Fieldbus. M12 connectors are designed for washdown and corrosive environments. They are available with 3, 4, 5, 8, and 12 pins.

Screw type connections and molded connections are some of the common connection types. Standards emerging to satisfy the requirements of automation and machine vision would keep creating new requirements of cables and connectors.

Many or almost all machine vision projects are cost bound. ROI is important in any industrial application. In a few projects, higher length cables and ruggedization may cost more than other machine vision components used. Hence the project costing must be planned accordingly to select proper interfacing with cable availability and cable cost in mind.

Components Express, Inc. (CEI), established in 1992 is a leading manufacturer and total solution provider for demanding connectivity, enclosure and mounting technology in the Vision and Industrial Automation Ecosystem. Mission Critical solutions have been provided for demanding environments in various industries including medical, industrial, robotic, military, aerospace, telecom, and automotive industries.

Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai India is a 28-year-old organization dealing with Machine Vision and Imaging in India for various client base.
Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., India has entered into a distribution agreement with Components Express (CEI) to sell their Cables, connectors, Enclosures and Mounts. This assures the clients of Online Solutions reliable, quality vision accessories.

Blog write up by: S Sukumar, Director Online Solutions (Imaging) Pvt. Ltd., India.

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