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Three vision system accessories you need to know about

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It makes sense to buy from a vision system vendor that offers a complete family of compatible accessories. This gives you the assurance of knowing that each and every accessory has been tested and confirmed to be compatible with the vision system. More importantly, during the application evaluation process, the salesperson should be able to help specify the best lighting and optics solution to give the best chance for a successful vision application.

Accessories to look for include:

Lights – No two production areas have the same ambient light conditions, and parts can exhibit a wide range of surface characteristics. Nearly every machine vision solution requires a unique lighting approach to meet its objectives and optimize performance. Your vision system vendor should offer a variety of lighting options, including: ring lights, which provide soft, even illumination from all directions; back lights, which create maximum contrast between a part and its background; and dark field lights, which provide low-angle illumination for imaging of part surface irregularities.

Communications modules – Make sure your vendor offers communications peripherals such as I/O modules and network gateway modules that support easy, quick connectivity between the vision system and PLCs, robots, and other factory automation devices and networks.

Operator interface panels  – A networked operator interface panel allows easy, plug-and-go set-up and deployment, plus ongoing monitoring and control of vision systems without a PC. When selecting an operator interface panel, look for one with an intuitive, touch-screen interface and support for multiple camera views. Other features to look for include high-speed visualization that allows you to view images and overlay graphics on the line so operators can easily modify inspection parameters and view inspection results on the unit. It should also be tough enough to stand up to the manufacturing environment, with an anti-glare impact shielded LCD display and NEMA-rated mounting bezel that provides a dust- and liquid-tight seal when mounted in a panel or enclosure.

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