The Imaging Source blog

GigE Industrial Cameras & HALCON: A Proven Imaging Solution

Published on August 2, 2021

TIS Cameras: "Easy to Work with in a Complex Automation System"

Industrial automation solutions provider Teomsi Electric Company recently worked with Ecolor and WIP Industries Romania, manufacturers of flat-pack furniture, in the development of inspection systems to detect drill holes on furniture components. For the vision systems, Teomsi selected The Imaging Source's DMK33GX264, GigE industrial cameras, and MVTec's comprehensive machine vision software, HALCON.

Sergiu Vais, project manager at Teomsi, noted that his company selected The Imaging Source's industrial cameras for the projects' vision systems because the cameras are "easy to work within a complex automation system." The new inspection systems have enabled the manufacturers to significantly reduce the error rate, increasing customer satisfaction for the companies' largest customers, including a global furniture retailer.

<strong>Five-camera automated visual inspection system</strong> for a large furniture manufacturer uses <strong>DMK33GX264 GigE industrial cameras</strong> and <strong>HALCON</strong> to inspect for the presence of drill holes on flat-pack furniture pieces.

Reducing Product Error Rate

Furniture manufacturing is a multi-stage process, but perhaps the most crucial step comes during milling and drilling as the correct arrangement of drilled holes means success or failure for the consumer when assembling the final product. Manual inspection of such pieces is often time-intensive and prone to error due to human and environmental factors on the shop floor. An automated visual inspection system, on the other hand, provides a persistent and highly-accurate solution with replicable, and rapid results. The challenge: deliver a proven and reliable, automated visual inspection system to reduce the product error rate.

Four-camera system

It Starts with an Image

A robust inspection process begins with a quality image, and the 5 MP, global-shutter CMOS cameras Teomsi selected are ideal for imaging moving objects while delivering sharp, distortion-free images. The GigE-Vision-compliant industrial cameras also ensure efficient camera upgrades with no additional programming. In the four-camera system developed for WIP Industries Romania (left), specially-positioned monochrome cameras capture the drill holes from different viewing angles. HALCON further processes the images, returning an "OK"/"NOK" value for the part.

HALCON's rich feature set and well-defined architecture allowed for a fast, flexible development process. Fully leveraging The Imaging Source's HALCON support team and 30 years of machine vision experience, Teomsi has delivered automated inspection systems, which now consistently provide higher throughput and improved product quality for Ecolor and WIP Industries Romania.

Updates (July 2021) to the TIS Linux SDK: Linux for Embedded

Published on July 20, 2021

tiscamera SDK, an open-source project, now fully supports camera modules for embedded applications.

For years, The Imaging Source has continuously maintained and developed its Linux library including the tiscamera SDK for Linux, an open-source project published under the Apache 2.0 license. The Imaging Source has just released updates for tiscamera SDK as well as for the MIPI CSI-2 and FPD-Link III module drivers (NVIDIA® Jetson™ platform). These updates will advance and simplify development of applications on embedded platforms. The following points highlight the release's major improvements:

  • Full integration and support of MIPI CSI-2 and FPD-Link III cameras in tiscamera and tcam-capture
  • Dedicated GStreamer source providing raw image data for MIPI CSI-2 and FPD-Link III cameras on NVIDIA Jetson platform
  • Improved and unified access to embedded camera parameters on the NVIDIA Jetson platform
  • Added trigger support for selected sensor modules and embedded platforms

All changes to the tiscamera SDK can be found in the changelog.

This blog post is an update to an April 2021 post listing other additions and changes.

HALCON 21.05 Progress: Quick Guide to Features & Improvements

Published on May 21, 2021

HALCON 18.11 MVTec has just released their latest HALCON Progress Edition: 21.05. Below are the new features and improvements:

  • Optimized Subpixel Bar Code Reader
  • Deep OCR Improvements
  • HDevelop Usability Improvements
  • Generic Shape Matching
  • HALCON Deep Learning Framework
  • Improvements of Basic 2D and 3D Opereators

HALCON's Subpixel bar code readers for low-resolution bar codes: Logistics is experiencing increasing growth in the number of camera-based identification systems. On the warehouse floor, however, there is high-variance in the hardware and other environmental conditions which can lead to less-than-optimal bar code images. HALCON can now read bar codes with even minimal module size. HALCON's improved functionality can increase the decoding rate by up to 50%.

Deep OCR improvements - A holistic deep-learning-based approach: Compared to other algorithms, Deep OCR can localize characters much more robustly - regardless of orientation, font type or polarity. With HALCON 21.05, big images are now handled more robustly, and words of varying lengths - even very long words - can now be detected without parameter tuning. Thanks to the extended set of supported characters in HALCON 21.05, customers also benefit from overall stability improvements and a wider range of possible applications.

HDevelop usability improvements: HDevelop's user interface has also been made more user friendly. The new "Canvas Window" allows users to group and organize graphics windows in a much more convenient manner. Additionally, users now have more options to control and dock the position of floating windows. The new "Auto-hide" feature enables users to quickly shrink unused widgets into the sidebar and easily bring them back when needed.

Generic shape matching: HALCON 21.05 introduces Generic Shape Matching to enhance the usability of MVTec's industry-proven shape matching technologies. By significantly reducing the number of required operators, users can now implement their solution much more quickly and easily. With the new release, it is now possible to strictly delimit the angle and scaling range. Moreover, thanks to the unification of the different shape matching methods into a single set of operators, users can now more efficiently adapt new shape-matching features.

HALCON Deep Learning Framework: With HALCON 21.05, MVTec introduces the first version of the HALCON Deep Learning Framework. This framework allows experienced users to create their own networks within HALCON. With this feature, experts can now realize even the most demanding and highly complex applications in HALCON without having to rely on pretrained models or third-party frameworks.

Improvements of basic 2D and 3D opereators: In HALCON 21.05, 3D-point-cloud sampling supports a new mode called "furthest point" which usually results in a more even sampling of the 3D object. Point cloud smoothing has also been added with the release--a feature which typically significantly improves processing times. Other improvements in HALCON 21.05 include general speedups of basic image operators.

Please Note: The Imaging Source is a certified MVTec distributor for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and number of other countries around the world. Please click here to find the authorized MVTec distributor for your country.

MVTec HALCON 21.05: Live Webinar May 26 & June 2, 2021

Published on May 11, 2021

<b>New Release HALCON 21.05</b>: On two dates, MVTec will host a free webinar covering the latest improvements to its HALCON Progress Edition.

MVTec's newest version of their HALCON Progress Edition, HALCON 21.05, will be released on May 21, 2021. To mark the event, MVTec will host a free webinar (register here) to acquaint users with the latest improvements:

Included in the Upcoming Release:

  • Deep OCR improvements
  • Generic shape matching
  • HDevelop usability improvements
  • HALCON Deep Learning Framework
  • Subpixel bar code reader improvements
  • Improvements to basic operators in 2D and 3D for fast, robust preprocessing

In order to allow maximum participation, the webinar will be held in English and Chinese. In the event you are unable to attend the live webinar, a recording will be available shortly after the live session for those registered.

Video: High-Speed Inspection Sorting (REGG Inspection) with USB 3.0 Industrial Cameras

Published on April 19, 2021

Designed for demanding high-speed inspection tasks, REGG Inspection's i600 series uses up to five USB 3 cameras from The Imaging Source to analyze and sort a variety of fasteners.

REGG Inspection designs and manufactures high quality inspection systems using a modular design concept. Based on customer needs, the system uses up to 5 USB 3.0 industrial cameras. (in this case, 5 DMK 33UX252 monochrome cameras) producing 20 images per second. Processing, analysis, reporting and decision-making commands are executed via an industrial computer and PLC using IC Imaging Control SDK and DELPHI-based software. REGG's high-speed systems are used by companies all over the world to ensure production and quality control for a variety of fastener types.

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About The Imaging Source

Established in 1990, The Imaging Source is one of the leading manufacturers of industrial cameras, video converters and embedded vision components for factory automation, quality assurance, medicine, science, security and a variety of other markets.

Our comprehensive range of cameras with USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, GigE, MIPI interfaces and other innovative machine vision products are renowned for their high quality and ability to meet the performance requirements of demanding applications.

ISO 9001:2015 certified MVTEC | Edge AI + Vision Alliance | EMVA

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