What are the key issues to consider?
When a manufacturer purchases an inspection solution, often they produce a set of samples, provide the vendor with a line speed and some other facts, request a quote and repeat the process with other vendors. There is nothing wrong with this so long as the purchaser clearly understands what they are purchasing and the specifications of what is required to succeed.
Once a vendor receives an order to deliver a piece of equipment to achieve a specification, the goal will be to reduce costs as much as possible so as to maximize profits. This often means that the result will be system equipment that is operating on the borderline of capabilities.
So let's look at how to break that process.
- Understand exactly the science behind the detection or measurement.
- Identify the leading suppliers of cameras and illumination.
- Identify providers with software that supports that technology but meets your requirements.
The question you have to ask is, if you were purchasing a business network, would you allow a vendor to supply network switches that would only communicate using that vendors protocol?
Answer: No you would not.
Camera communication standards such as GigE, CamLink, USB3 and CoaxExpress need to be part of your purchasing requirements. This also follows through to lighting and controllers. Is it Ethernet compatible and is the communication interface clearly documented?
What does Vendor independence achieve?
Vision networks are vendor independent in that industry standards are used to guarantee interoperability and to avoid obsolescence. The use of commercial off the shelf technology (COTS) that adheres to this is a fundamental to deriving value from the investment in a vision network. Access to vision data in open formats is key to the success of added value software operations.
Vendor independence will reduce your upfront CapEx costs considerably and will lower your total cost of ownership as you will be able to purchase spares locally at reasonably competitive prices. Obsolescence is pushed back, this elongating asset lifetimes. And open formats will enhance the use of the data for adding business value.
We have published a white paper that can act as a priming start for achieving these goals. Go ahead and download and start the process now.