Machine Vision (MV) can be described as methods for providing automated analysis, inspection and process control using imaging systems as the primary sensing input. Material handling, sorting, guidance of robots and optical measurement are all tasks that fall under machine vision. In the simplest description, an MV system has a camera, central processor and software and one or more actuation devices.
Hundreds of companies manufacture machine vision systems. For some applications, simple, low-resolution cameras may provide enough information to guide actions of the machine. However, most machine vision applications require higher resolution image sensors, often to ensure components are accurately placed during an assembly process or evaluate a component fit.
Other applications, such as high-speed manufacturing, demand image sensors with both high-resolution and very high frame rates. Feedback from the MV system can be used to tune the process, conduct in-process inspection and watch for deviations in machine settings that might lead to potential damage.
Forza Silicon has designed a number of custom high-resolution and high-speed CMOS image sensors for machine vision systems. Forza also developed a high-speed analysis camera for ultra high performance applications. Full HD video at 3000 frames per second (fps) are typical and 5000 fps is available at a slightly lower resolution.