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VisionView 900: A Compact Flat-Panel Touchscreen for Managing Machine Vision Operations

This is a picture of a hand interacting with the VisionView operator panel

Miniature touchscreen computers provide an excellent alternative to installing desktop PCs and laptops where they don’t belong.

That’s why Cognex introduced the VisionView 900, an easy-to-use 9-inch touchscreen panel that gives machine vision system operators the tools they need to manage cameras, sensors and imagery close to the production line — minus the risks of using PCs or laptops.

Let’s take a quick look at why the VisionView 900 is a worthwhile option in complex factory and distribution center environments.

PCs are Too Fragile, Costly and Prone to Misuse

Laptops and desktop PCs have their place in machine vision systems because they can offer larger monitors, more computing muscle and ample file storage. A large factory or distribution center with lots of automation will probably always need some PCs and laptops to run their machine vision software — in an office out of harm’s way.

PCs generally aren’t suited to the hazards — solvents, grime, accidents, etc. — of the factory floor. Moreover, a PC with a full operating system connected to the Internet provides an irresistible temptation for misuse. Nobody wants their production people gaming or surfing Instagram on company time.

Thus, the savvier option is a touchscreen panel, which is more compact and less costly than a PC. That means far lower financial risk if it gets damaged or destroyed. Ideally, the only software is the OS and the minimum number of applications required to operate a machine vision system. 

This is why Cognex developed the VisionView 900, which uses Windows CE, Microsoft’s stripped-down operating system for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. (Note: the 900 isn’t intended as a mobile device; it’s designed to be mounted on a fixed surface).

The VisionView 900 also uses an optimized version of Cognex VisionView software, which runs on Windows PCs and laptops. This keeps everything in the Microsoft family for compatibility with other business systems. 

Advantages of the VisionView 900

VisionView 900 is an HMI (human-machine interface) with a 9-inch (229 mm) display panel for monitoring and managing Cognex’s In-Sight and DataMan vision systems. These programs help production managers develop sophisticated machine vision applications that grab image data from Cognex cameras and sensors. VisionView’s apps can be configured to scan for words, letters, images and defects. Once these parameters are defined, machine vision systems can decide what to do with scanned items. Parts or products with no flaws, for instance, can be routed to their proper location. Defective items, by contrast, can be sorted out of the production system.

Having this technology near the production line makes it more efficient to set up machine vision applications and respond rapidly if something goes wrong. Here are more of the key benefits of the VisionView 900:

  • IP65 rating for moisture protection. Also resistant to vibration.
  • Password-protected interface for system security.
  • Green and red LED indicators to display pass/fail results.
  • Options to load jobs, adjust tool settings and identify regions of interest in images.
  • Two USB ports for a mouse, keyboard or extra storage via a removable drive.
  • Monitoring of up to nine In-Sight vision systems or DataMan barcode readers.
  • Access to essential VisionView software capabilities.

All these features allow operators to keep a keen eye on everything flowing through a production line. Workers can change inspection settings, refocus cameras, and load and save jobs already set up on the vision system.

Savvy Use of Standards Increases Flexibility

Standard Ethernet ports in the VisionView 900 make it easy to add the device to existing networks. The VisionView software license supports these panels:

  • Rockwell PanelViewPlus Series 6-700, 1000, 1250 and 1500
  • Siemens MP-277, MP-277 Mobile and MP377

Companies that set up machine vision systems for individual clients may run their own third-party software with the VisionView 900. For instance, a machine vision integrator called Integro Technologies developed an application called VisionVault that they deploy on the VisionView 900. Check out this video to see it in action.

Helpful VisionView 900 Resources

It’s Always Best to Have the Right Tools in the Right Place

At Cognex, we’ve spent decades developing high-powered machine vision systems for industrial automation. One thing we’ve learned is there’s no substitute for having easy-to-use software at the point of production. Sometimes a PC or laptop works best, but some production environments require a more purpose-built computing device.

The VisionView 900 is that kind of tool. It’s tough, compact and economical, and developed with global standards to ensure broad compatibility, making it a strong fit for a broad range of automated production systems.

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