Machine vision: 100% assembly line inspection

Machine vision technology—the image-based automatic inspection process—has matured greatly and is now becoming an indispensable tool in manufacturing to increase quality and profitability. USB 3.0, with its 5-Gbps throughput and ability to send power and data over the same line, has greatly contributed to this growth.

What is machine vision?
Machine vision is an image-based, automatic inspection and analysis system for applications, such as process control. It automatically takes pictures to inspect materials as they come down the assembly line.

Other machine vision applications include:

  • PCB inspection.
  • Medical vial inspection.
  • Robot guidance and orientation of components.
  • Engine parts inspection.

Machine vision uses a small industrial camera and lights mounted near an assembly line to take pictures of product as it passes. The images are then analyzed by software to determine if various aspects of the product meet acceptable specifications. For instance, if a label is misplaced, the bottle will be rejected. All of this is done at incredibly high speeds—fractions of a second.

Machine-Vision

Years ago, machine vision systems were very expensive, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in the last 15 years or so, advances in technology have brought the cost of machine vision down, making it a practical solution for 100 percent quality control. And the cost for implementing machine vision keeps decreasing as technological capabilities increase.

Machine vision is now an indispensable tool for quality assurance, sorting, and material handling in every industry, including electronics, food processing, pharmaceuticals, packaging, automotive, etc. It is an economical way to make sure sub-spec product is rejected. Machine vision can be used to inspect for geometry, placement, packaging, labeling, seal integrity, finish, color, pattern, bar code, and almost any other parameter you can think of.

USB 3.0 and machine vision
USB 3.0 brings a number of advantages to machine vision systems. Because of its 5-Gbps throughput, ten times more than USB 2.0, it eliminates problems of stability and low latency for image transmission and camera control. USB 3.0 enables the transmission of higher-resolution, higher-frame rate video with no loss of quality.

USB 3.0 also sends data and power on the same line. This is enough to power a camera without worrying about a separate power supply or power line.

In addition, compared to older systems, USB 3.0 is plug-and-play, making it easy to swap out cameras and other hardware, such as USB 3.0 extenders, hubs, and other devices.

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Break the 5-meter USB barrier!

Extend the benefits of USB by reading these FAQ:

Q. What are the distance limitations of USB?
A. The maximum range of USB is limited by the length of an individual USB cable and the number of cables that can be connected in series through USB hubs. The maximum length of a USB cable in 5 meters (16 ft.). The maximum number of USB hubs that can be daisychained (connected in series) is five. Thus, if a device is connected to a PC through five hubs, then the maximum distance from the device to the PC is 30 meters (98 ft.) (6 cables @ 5 meters [16 ft.] each).

Q. Why is USB cable length limited to 5 meters (16 ft.)?
A. This the maximum capability of the standard drivers that are provided in USB devices and hubs.

Q. Why is the number of hubs limited to five?
A. Each hub delays the USB signal by a certain amount of time. When the host controller issues a request for data from a device, this request must pass through each hub in the chain, incurring incremental delay as it does so. A similar effect is experienced by the reply (data) from the device as it passes back through the chain of hubs to the host controller. The number of hubs is limited to five to place a limit on the round-trip delay of a signal from host controller to device and back to host controller.

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Now here is something every IT professional needs…

If you manage a network, you know that invariably the same person who doesn’t pay attention to instruction about storing vital files on central servers is also going to be the one to infect their computer by bringing a flash drive from home. Then it’s up to you to retrieve their important files safely from the infected PC.

In a situation like this, the Data Rescue Engine can be your knight in shining armor—its mission is to rescue files and vanquish malware.

 

File rescuer.

Just plug the USB flash drive containing Data Rescue Engine into the PC’s USB port, then use the on-screen menus to neatly lift files our of the infected PC and store them in an encrypted, password-protected folder on the Data Rescue Engine flash drive. It even compresses files.

Malware fighter.

Data Rescue Engine doesn’t’ just rescue files—it actively seeks, destroys, and blocks malware, doing battle with viruses, Trojans, keyloggers, spyware, adware, rootkits, zombies, botnets, and blended threats. It spots threats that normal agent-based anti-virus technology may overlook. It can even detect when malware uses an operating system or an application and distinguishes between user action and malware activity.

Always ready for action.

The Data Rescue Engine resides in a flash drive you keep in a PC’s USB port. It updates itself daily over the Internet with malware definitions from the Data Rescue Engine upgrade server.

When the worst happens and malware strikes, take Data Rescue Engine and plug it into the USB port of the infected computer. Follow the easy on-screen menus to start rescuing files. It logs its activities in an exportable file.

Extras.

Ways to reduce your cable clutter

Ever go through the trouble of hooking up a piece of technology only to realize at the end of the process you don’t have the right USB size? With our USB All-in-One Retractable Cable the right one is always available. Along with a useful carrying case, this product comes with nine different USB cables:
  • –RJ-45 Male to USB Type A Female
  • –RJ-45 Male to USB Type A Male
  • –RJ-11 Male to USB Type A Female
  • –RJ-11 Male to USB Type A Male
  • –USB Type A Male to USB Type A Female
  • –USB Type B Male to USB Type A Male
  • –USB Type A Male to USB Mini B Male
  • –USB Type A Male to USB Mini A Male
  • –USB Type A Male to MITSUMI 4P

This retractable cable works great with high-speed USB, including USB On-the-Go (OTG), Ethernet, and telephone equipment.

One other retractable cable, our Stereo Earphones with Retractable Cable, helps avoid iPod and mp3 wires from tangling. Ear buds can knot easily, and sometimes get caught in other objects. Our Stereo Earphones come with a retractable cable that clips onto clothing to prevent any knots or tangles. The cable extends to up to 5 feet, which gives the user plenty of pull, but still offers exceptional sound.

To see all of our retractable solutions like our CAT6 Retractable Cable and Optical Mouse with Retractable Cable visit: http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Results.aspx/search-retractable%60%60si_product.

Buy before March 31, 2010 and get free shipping

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In the meantime, check out our featured products:

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Gigabit PoE Media Converters (LPS1000A series): Link to faraway PoE devices over fiber.

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Coiled USB Cables (USB10): Connect USB flash drives, hard drives, printers, consoles, and other USB peripherals—neatly.