Rockwell Automation is launching the 48MS MultiSight, a fully self-contained, multi-function vision sensor that can handle up to ten different inspections simultaneously and pass a simple OK/Not OK signal to an external PLC or process controller. Incorporating the camera, optics, lighting, communications and pass/fail controller in one package saves a great deal of installation time and hardware cost, and can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership.
The new vision sensor features a high-resolution 640 x 480 pixel CCD element with optics, and employs three different inspection tools: pattern matching, contrast and brightness. Advanced models with contour detection and XY position control will also be available very soon. In combination, these capabilities allow the 48MS to perform up to ten different inspections simultaneously, including logic operations, with ten different regions of interests.
This capability makes it suitable for multiple inspection operations, which can result in great cost savings in both hardware and software. Multiple inspections are often required in packaging and assembly processes, including labelling, coding, print quality, completeness and orientation checks – with all of these evaluated into a single pass/fail signal that can then be passed to the process controller.
Images from 'OK' or 'Not OK' objects can be stored inside the vision sensor and transferred to an operator system via an Ethernet interface. Combining all these capabilities into one unit makes the 48MS extraordinarily versatile in a wide variety of automated inspection operations for assembly and packaging applications in industries such as automotive, food and beverage, and life sciences.
Along with ease of installation, the 'Teach and Inspect' setup ensures a quick start-up time and easy modification of inspection parameters in case of product changeovers. Using a PC and MultiSight's configuration software, the operator simply teaches the reference image, selects the region of interest and the inspection tools to use, together with the inspection parameters.
Once teaching is completed, the PC can be disconnected and the 48MS is then ready for standalone operation. No specialist programming or additional outboard image processing hardware is required. Significantly reduced engineering and programming time helps to minimise the total cost of ownership while at the same time improving flexibility and versatility.
The 48MS MultiSight is packaged in an IP67-rated industrial housing, which makes it suitable for use in a wide variety of industrial environments. The built-in LED lighting can be switched on or off, or can be combined with external lighting if required to achieve even better image recognition. The comprehensive range of accessories, including outboard lighting and mounting hardware, allows straightforward installation or retrofitting of the 48MS MultiSight into most processes or applications.