Multinational electronics company Omron earlier this year launched the upgraded Vision FH high-speed camera controller with enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) to allow for high-speed production line inspection without compromising quality.
Omron South Africa Vision field application engineer Josh Hodgkinson explains that the Vision FH series of image-sensing technology comprises sensor controllers, cameras – which differ in size, speed, resolution and colour, depending on customer requirements – a touch panel monitor and various associated cables, including camera and communications cables.
While the FH Series was first released in 2013, the controller was recently upgraded with a high-performance processor that allows for enhanced OCR and optical character verification (OCV), he adds. Additionally, the FH product family has been expanded to include the FH-Lite, launched in June.
The FH product series comprises three tiers – the FH 30XX, FH 10XX and FH-Lite. “What makes the family unique is that it caters for high-end industrial applications with multiple simultaneous inspections, right down to the FH-Lite, which caters for simple label inspection at high speed,” says Hodgkinson.
The FH product series includes software for inspection and measurement, in addition to cameras that can capture highly sensitive, high-resolution images. Once implemented, the system substitutes for the human eye, while providing high-speed and -precision inspection and measurement without using complex programming and multiple devices.
The system is designed for use in all types of object inspection, position, orientation and measurement operations. The FH series’ compact camera and controller system can be easily integrated into almost any process management system, machine or robot. He comments that the series can provide faster, more precise work throughput to provide clients with greater efficiency at a reduced cost.
Hodgkinson notes that a key feature of the series is its Shape Search III advanced vision algorithm. The intuitive program allows for higher-speed and greater precision measurement, even with difficult imaging conditions such as poor lighting, out-of-focus and rotated, randomly positioned and/or overlapping target objects.
Specifically intended for seamless integration with programmable logic controllers, motion controllers and robotics, the FH Vision system meets the diverse needs of almost all high-speed manufacturing machinery. It also offers the flexibility of a computer- based system for easy customisation, which includes human- machine interface integration.
The FH series comes with preinstalled software in the FH controller. The software is completely customisable to suit most applications in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, electronics and fast-moving commercial goods manufacturing sectors.
Hodgkinson says “the beauty of the FH series is its ability to not only inspect at high speed but also calculate”. Further, It can perform verifications based on label position, size, OCR, OCV, barcode reading and defect identification.
The improved controller allows for lower transfer time of high-resolution images from the cameras to the controllers and ultrahigh-speed searching. The search technology with new search algorithms also makes the search function up to nine times faster than before.
Hodgkinson notes that the size of the new FH controller is relatively compact, compared with other camera controllers, with dimensions of 182.5 mm × 190 mm × 115 mm.
The improved controller has been used successfully on a global scale in multiple applications since its inception, from major pharmaceuticals companies performing complex calculations based on inspections of microscale products to the food and beverage industry inspecting closures and labels at high speed, he explains.
“The FH controller is cost effective by design, size and ultimately performance, thereby making it a great choice for high-quality inspection at an affordable price,” Hodgkinson concludes.