According to a current industry survey carried out by the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) Machine Vision Group, sales of the vision sensors used in machine vision systems increased by 157% from 2005 to 2006. The escalating popularity of vision sensors as an alternative to smart cameras will be apparent when Vision 2008, promoted by the VDMA as the essential international trade fair for machine vision and identification technologies, convenes in Stuttgart November 4–6.
Exhibitors at Vision such as Baumer, Cognex, Siemens, and Vision & Control, among many others, testify to the size of the boom in inspection sensor sales. Because the sensors are standard components that can be flexibly applied and easily configured by users, they open up the possibility of not only new applications but new markets. The image-based sensors fill a gap between classic optoelectronic sensors and higher-resolution smart camera.
“They combine the features of high-performance sensors with the efficiency of simple machine vision systems,” explains Torsten Zöller, senior marketing manager for Cognex, Europe Central. “They perform many tasks of the classic sensors at a rapid pace, as well as the more simple machine vision solutions can.” This, Zöller says, accounts for their remarkable market growth.
Vision sensors are technologically and economically better than classic sensors, and their application-specific nature, which eliminates the need for the complex and expensive start-up, maintenance, and support smart cameras demand, makes them simpler and cheaper than cameras for monitoring, controlling, and optimizing automation processes.
These points, and other advantages their manufacturers and sellers can name, will become ever more important for future purchase decisions in the process control field. Future-oriented information will be available in abundance at the Vision 2008 world forum. There, at the modern Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre, high-ranking experts in development, project planning, and application will come together with leading manufacturers of innovative industrial machine vision products and systems to explain everything.