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Introduction to Vision Sensors

Vision Sensors vs. Vision Systems

4 grid example of cognex vision tools location, presence, measurement, counting

Vision sensors are purpose-built for specific vision tasks

Selecting the right machine vision solution generally depends on the application’s requirements, including development environment, capability, architecture, and cost. In some cases, vision sensors and machine vision systems may both be able to satisfy an operation’s needs. Different models are designed to meet varying price and performance requirements.

Comparing Options

Vision sensors and vision systems are both designed to perform highly-detailed tasks on high-speed production lines. Vision sensors are similar to machine vision systems in their:
  • Powerful vision algorithms
  • Self-contained and industrial-grade hardware
  • High-speed image acquisition and processing

Selecting a Vision Sensor

Vision sensors are distinguished by their relative ease-of-use and quick deployment. Vision sensors lack the most sophisticated vision tools available on standalone machine vision systems but can perform a great number of vision tasks in factory automation and logistics environments. Vision sensors are also more affordable than machine vision systems and require less expertise to run. Machine vision systems perform:
  • Guidance and alignment
  • Optical character recognition
  • Code reading
  • Gauging and metrology
By contrast, vision sensors are purpose-built to:
  • Determine the presence/absence of parts
  • Generate simple pass/fail results
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