Smart vs. Standard Machine Vision Lenses

Smart vs. Standard Machine Vision Lenses

21 Jun 2022

June 2022

Machine vision lenses have exploded in popularity recently with the increasing demand for automation and robotics across various industries. With this explosion comes new imaging technology and a variety of machine vision lenses. Here we explore the differences between smart and standard machine vision lenses.

Smart lenses feature a P-Iris allow remote adjustment to improve contrast, clarity, resolution, and depth of field. With software configured to optimize performance, the P-Iris automatically provides the best iris position for optimal image quality in all lighting conditions. The auto-iris has its limitations. Selecting a precise iris value is not repeatedly attainable with the auto-iris lens. In addition, problems may occur because of the iris straying from its selected aperture value over time. Auto-iris lenses mainly adjust the level of light that would reach the sensor and are only reliable when the iris is fully opened or set to its smallest aperture. Therefore, it is challenging for auto-iris lenses to attain accurate mid-range values, which can result in image diffraction and aberrations.

Lens focusing capabilities vary as well. For example, the floating focus design of an intelligent lens delivers ultra-high resolution from near to far, and stepper motors enable precise focus control and high repeatability. A standard manual or autofocus lens can produce great results, but neither can be adjusted on the fly. They can lose focus with applications requiring the inspection of objects at various heights. Things outside the depth of field become out of focus and limit the vision application.

The convenience and time-saving factors of making remote adjustments can be the deciding factor in the type of lens chosen. Smart plug-and-play machine vision lenses are easy to install, control, and adjust remotely. After being plugged in via USB and installed, smart lenses can be fine-tuned using software installed on a Windows or Linux system.

More and more industries and applications are using machine vision each year. Smart lenses are advantageous for multiple machine vision applications, including automation, robotics, inspection, medical labs, manufacturing, warehouses, and just about any environment where image clarity is required. With this growth in popularity comes the demand for a more precise, efficient, and intelligent lens.

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