Thursday, August 16, 2018

IVSimaging Blog


Keep up to date on new products, as well as product updates.

Museum Protected by HD Surveillance

The Museum of Funeral History (Houston, TX, USA) has deployed an integrated system comprised of an array of IQinVision (San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA) HD megapixel cameras and Acuity-vct (Cleveland, OH, USA) video analytics software to protect its priceless artifacts.

At present, the museum has a mix of 52 IQinVision cameras and some earlier legacy cameras. Additional IQeye cameras are on order as the museum continues to expand the areas under surveillance.

Most of the museum's exhibits are protected by Acuity-vct's motion detection software. When a protection zone drawn around an item or exhibit is broken, an alarm immediately sounds.

Most cameras are deployed inside the museum, but a small number provide surveillance around the building and for the parking lot, a move that has proved important in thwarting copper theft and helping the police investigate car break-ins.

For more information regarding similar cameras please contact IVS Imaging @ 888-446-1301 or  (Courtesy of Vision Systems Design website).


Vision System Examine cracks in pavement

A technical paper written by Richard Wix and Roland Leschinski from the ARRB Group (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) assesses the pros and cons of four different systems currently used to measure cracking in pavements.

The roughness and texture of the surface of pavements have been successfully measured from moving vehicles for some years, but there has been limited success in measuring cracking accurately.

Existing systems assess the amount of cracking in a pavement by capturing images of their surface -- images that are analyzed using automated crack identification algorithms or by manual visual assessment.

In the ARRB Group study entitled "Cracking – A Tale of Four Systems," Wix and Leschinski compare the effectiveness of four systems, two of which rely on natural light and manual image analysis and two that feature artificial illumination and automatic crack detection and measurement.

The study, which was presented at the 25th ARRB Conference in Perth, Australia last year, can be found here

 For more information on similar components to re-create this application please contact IVS Imaging @ 888-446-1301 or


(Courtesy of Vision Systems Design website)

IVS Imaging Newsletter: Feb. 2013
IVS Imaging @ Automate 2013: Photos!
IVS Imaging Logo Final
February 2013
ivsimaging uc
IVS Imaging @ Automate 2013: Photos!
fanuc robot heavy lifter ivsimaging 2
IVS Imaging enjoyed the Automate 2013 show at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL January 21-25th. This was coupled with the Promat 2013 show right across the hall of the convention center which made for a very informative & exciting show. We saw dancing robots, heavy lifting robots & Steve Forbes speak. 

Click on the photos below to see IVS at the show & visit our new website for product updates. 

Baxter robot ivsimaging   IMG_1951automate promat ivsimaging

IVS Imaging will also be attending the BiOS West & SPIE Photonics West show in San Francisco, CA beginning Feb 2nd through Feb 7th. This entire exhibition is developed & ran by SPIE (the International society for optics & photonics). The shows will show products from companies in the following industries:  Biomedical,  industrial manufacturing, aviation, military, entertainment, metrology, microscopy, and imaging, nano/biophotonics. 

BiOS Expo (2nd-3rd of February) has grown to become the world's largest biomedical optics & biophotonics exhibition. The exhibition sold out in 2012 w/ 215 companies attending.

Photonics West Exhibition (5-7 of February) is the flagship event for companies in the photonics industry. The exhibition sold out with more than 1200 companies.

Contact your account manager if you plan on attending & we hope to see you there! For more information please go to:
Photonics IVS Imaging 2
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Digital Camera Interfaces for Machine Vision Applications

Digital Camera Interfaces for Machine Vision Applications

Digital cameras are now common because they do not have problems like transmission distortion, noise, or other signal degradations experienced when using analog cameras. With a digital output signal, little information is lost during the process of transmission, and the popularity of digital cameras has brought about the advancement in the use of many types of digital interfaces in machine vision applications. The most common interfaces in use today are Firewire, GigE, USB, Camera Link CoaXPress & HD options.

The user needs to select the most appropriate device for the application he is using. Deterministic or asynchronous transmission makes data transfer receipts to be possible, making the signal to be reliable, and as there is a two-way communication, delivery is placed over timing. For every 125μs, scheduled packet transfers is made possible in isochronous transmission, making timing to be guaranteed but making it possible to drop packets at high rates of transfer.

Capture Boards

Computers are needed during image processing. Capture boards are PCI cards which are used in acquiring and interpreting the data from digital camera interfaces, but not based on standard computer connectors. With capture boards, analog or digital camera signals can be sent into a computer for analysis, as a capture board has an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) which digitizes the signal for the image to be processed, and if the user desires, the real-time viewing of the signal can be enabled. The images are then captured and saved for printing or future use. Capture boards have basic capturing software that makes it possible for users to save, open, and view images.



FireWire (IEEE 1394/IIDC DCAM Standard)

IEEE 1394, also known as Firewire, is a popular isochronous, serial camera interface, and though it is one of the slower transfer rate interfaces, multiple cameras can be connected through both Firewire.a and Firewire.b, providing power through the Firewire cable. The use of hot-plugging/hot-swap is not a good idea, as the design of the connector may cause power pin shorting to signal pins, and this is likely to damage the device or the port. 



CameraLink is a high-speed serial interface explicitly developed for machine vision applications, especially the ones involving automated process control and inspection. A capture card is needed for CameraLink to work, and power must be separately supplied to the camera. A special cabling is needed by the user because full bandwidth is retained for data transmission through separate asynchronous serial communication channels. This is in addition to low-voltage differential pair LVDP signal lines.

About 255 MB/s transfer dedicated for video is made possible through the single-cable base configuration, and full configuration (dual outputs) allows for separate camera parameter receive/send lines for more data transfer space (680 MB/s) to be created when using certain high-speed applications.

CameraLink HS (High Speed) is the CameraLink interface extension which makes higher speed (up to 2100MB/s at 15m) to be possible when using more cables. In addition, CameraLink HS supports fiber optic cables which are as long as 300 m.


GigE Vision Standard (GigE)

GigE works with the ethernet internet protocol gigabit, and for a high-speed camera interface, makes use of standard Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables. Standard ethernet hardware like hubs, repeaters and switches can be used for multiple cameras, although it is necessary to consider the overall bandwidth whenever direct camera-to-card (non peer-to-peer) connections are used. In GigE Vision, the EMVA GenICam standard determines camera control registers, and though on some cameras optional, Link Aggregation (LAG, IEEE 802.3ad) needs many ethernet ports in parallel for data transfer rates to be increased, and for processor load to be distributed through multicasting. The network Precision Time Protocol (PTP), which is supported by some cameras, can help in synchronizing the clocks of multiple cameras in the same network connection, making a fixed delay relationship to be possible between their associated exposures.



Universal Serial Bus (USB)

A popular interface is USB 2.0 because it is common with computer users. It is not a high-speed device, but it is easy to use, and the maximum speed that can be achieved depends on the number of peripheral components of the USB, as there is a fixed rate of transfer of the bus at 480Mb/s. The plug-and-play benefits of USB 2.0 can also be enjoyed when using USB 3.0, and makes higher data transmission rates to be achieved.

iCube USB Cameras

High Definition

The need for high resolution, color fidelity, and frame rate is acute for industrial purposes to ensure that the quality of the video output is of an acceptable standard that can be used both for quality assurance, microscopy, medical or security purposes. These needs, however, must be balanced against the additional storage capacity required by HD video, unless it is for live viewing applications like some already mentioned. 

HD Interfaces for machine vision applications are similar to what we see in commercial cameras & some are specific to industrial applications. DVI, HDMI, HD-SDI & 3G-SDI are the most popular interfaces with advantages & disadvantages for each interface.



We will look further into new & upcoming interfaces for 2013 in our next segment. 

Types of Machine Vision Cameras: Analog & Digital

Types of Cameras and Their Benefits

Analog Cameras

Generally, there are two types of cameras: analog and digital. An electronic signal, which is continuously variable, is transmitted by analog cameras, and this is done in real-time, after which an analog output device then interprets the amplitude and frequency of the signal. The resulting video images are then influenced by the quality of the analog video signal and the way through which it is interpreted. In addition, there are advantages and disadvantages of this method of data transmission.

In most cases, analog cameras are cheap and are not as complicated as the digital ones, making it possible for users to save some money when working with common video applications. However, there are upper limits of analog cameras on both frame rate and resolution (number of TV lines). For instance, in the United States, NTSC, which is one of the most common video signal formats, is limited to about 525 TV lines in most cases, and 30 frames per second, while the PAL standard makes use of a frame rate of 25 frames per second for 625 TV lines. Electronic noise is another problem faced when using analog cameras; the noise usually depends on several factors which are commonly overlooked, some of which are connector type and cable length.

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras are the new set of cameras used today because of the features they have over their analog ones. Digital cameras can transmit a stream of ones and zeroes (binary data) in an electronic signal form, and although there is a continuous voltage corresponding to the intensity of light for a given pixel, the analog-to-digital conversion process assigns a grayscale value ranging from 0 (black) to 2N-1, where N is the number of the encoding bits. After that, the binary data can be converted into video information using output device. The basic features & benefits found only in digital cameras are:

  1. Easy integration of certain interfaces to computers, laptops and monitors (USB, GigE, Firewire, HD).
    1. Does not include Camera link which requires more hardware & integration but can give you very high frame rates.
  2. Digital cameras are much cheaper & have higher resolution due to CMOS technology strides in the last couple of years. It’s still more expensive than analog cameras at this time but we are seeing similar costs for 1 to 5 megapixel USB cameras vs. a VGA analog machine vision camera.
  3. There is no difference in the digital video signal when leaving the camera and when reaching an output device.
  4. Only one way can be used in interpreting the video signal.
  5. Thanks to the differences, due to the display of an output device, errors are eliminated in both transmission and interpretation of the signal.
  6. Unlike analog counterparts, digital cameras let you have higher resolution, less noise, higher frame rates, and lots of other features.

However, there is a trade-off that comes with those benefits – digital cameras are more expensive than their analog counterparts, and cameras having a lot of features are usually more difficult to set up (i.e. Camera link). In addition, digital cameras do not have long cable lengths compared to Analog set ups.

We will discuss the type of outputs next time on IVSblogs…

IVS Imaging is a distributor & manufacturer of machine vision cameras, lenses, cabling, monitors, filters, interface boards & more. IVS is your one stop shop for all your vision needs. IVS Imaging is known across the USA for carrying imaging products from leading manufactures, including Sony Cameras and Accessories, Basler Industrial Cameras, Hitachi Surveillance Cameras, Toshiba Network-based IP Cameras, and Sentech Advanced Digital and OEM cameras. Contact IVS Imaging for all your imaging products, parts, and accessories needs.

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