Cameras and software that enable 100% quality control

Omron's comprehensive machine vision hardware line includes industrial cameras, vision systems, and smart and PC-based cameras that are scalable across software platforms. Our portfolio offers compact form factors for tight spaces, high-speed imaging for fast-moving production lines, and high resolutions for detailed inspection.

As the market's only total solution provider, we combine our cameras with a powerful software platform that's fully integrated with our controllers and robotic solutions and also works well with third-party devices.

40 Years in Machine Vision

We've invested in machine vision for four decades, in addition to 80 years of innovation in industrial automation.

Top 3 Globally in Industrial Vision

We're among the biggest players in machine vision and industrial barcode scanning.

End-to-End Integrated Solutions

We're the only factory automation vendor that can provide a fully integrated solution, including cameras, input, logic, output, robot and safety devices.

Machine Vision Product Families

MicroHAWK: The incredible platform that does it all

By combining barcode reading and inspection tasks into a single device, the MicroHAWK platform offers manufacturers greater flexibility in production line layouts, cuts hardware-related costs and dramatically reduces wiring and maintenance work.

  • Multiple sensor options including 0.3MP monochrome, 1.2MP monochrome, and 5MP color camera for enhanced precision
  • Long-lasting liquid autofocus lens for greater flexibility
  • Compact size for easy mounting in tight locations
  • Wide variety of I/O interfaces, including EtherNet/IP and PROFINET

Why use multiple devices when a single camera can do it all?

Quick Answers

Learn more about machine vision and smart cameras

Machine vision is the automatic extraction of information from digital images. A typical machine vision environment would be a manufacturing production line where hundreds of products are flowing down the line in front of a smart camera. Manufacturers use machine vision systems instead of human inspectors because it’s faster, more consistent and doesn’t get tired.  The camera captures the digital image and analyzes it against a pre-defined set of criteria. If the criteria are met, the object can proceed. If not, the object will be re-routed off the production line for further inspection.

For example, a beverage manufacturer would typically have human inspectors watching thousands of bottles move down a production line. The workers would need to ensure every bottle cap was secured correctly, every label was on straight and contained the correct information, and every bottle was filled to the appropriate level. With machine vision, this entire repetitive process can be automated.

Machine vision is used heavily in conjunction with robots to increase their effectiveness and overall value for the business. These types of robots resemble a human arm with a camera mounted at the “hand” position. The camera acts as the robot’s “eyes,” guiding it to complete the assigned task.

What are the components of a machine vision system?

A machine vision system has five key components that can be configured either as separate components or integrated into a single smart camera. The correct configuration depends on the application and its complexity. The five key components are:

  • Lighting:This critical aspect of a machine vision system illuminates the part to be inspected, allowing its features to stand out so that the vision system can see them as clearly as possible.
  • Lens: Captures the image and presents it to the sensor in the form of light.
  • Sensor:Converts light into a digital image for the processor to analyze.
  • Vision Processing:Consists of algorithms that review the image and extract required information.
  • Communication: The resulting data is communicated out to the world in a useful manner.

There are four main benefits of using machine vision: reducing errors, increasing yield, track parts and products as well as comply with regulations.

Reduce Errors

Ensure fewer bad parts enter the market which cause costly recalls and tarnish a company’s reputation.

Prevent mislabeled products whose label doesn’t match the content. These defects create unhappy customers, have a negative impact on your brand reputation, and pose a serious safety risk – especially with pharmaceutical products and food items for customers with allergies.

Increase Yield

Turn additional available material into saleable product.

Avoid scrapping expensive materials and rebuilding parts.

Reduce downtime by detecting product routing errors that can cause system disruptions.

Tracking Parts and Products

Uniquely identify products so they can be tracked and traced throughout the manufacturing process.

Identify all pieces in the process, reducing stock and ensuring the product will be more readily available for just-in-time (JIT) processes.

Avoid component shortages, reduce inventory, and shorten delivery time.

Comply with Regulations

To compete in some markets, manufacturers must comply with various regulations.

In pharmaceuticals, a highly regulated industry, machine vision is used to ensure product integrity and safety by complying with government regulations such as 21CFR Part 11 and GS1 data standards.

Machine vision is better-suited to repetitive inspection tasks in industrial processes than human inspectors. Machine vision systems are faster, more consistent, and work for a longer period of time than human inspectors, reducing defects, increasing yield, tracking parts and products, and facilitating compliance with government regulations to help companies save money and increase profitability.

Four common machine vision applications: Measurement, Counting, Location and Decoding

Measurement

A common machine vision application is automated measurement. After an image of a part is captured, the software compares the measurement to a required tolerance. For example, in factory automation, machine vision systems are used to measure the gap in a spark plug, ensuring it meets the tolerance required to function properly. In the packaging and labeling industry, machine vision is used to measure the fill level of a water bottle, ensuring it was filled to the correct height.

Counting

Another common machine vision application is counting – looking for a specific number of parts or features on a part to verify that it was manufactured correctly. In the electronics manufacturing industry, for example, machine vision is used to count various features of printed circuit boards (PCBs) to ensure that no component or step was missed in production.

Location

Machine vision can be used to locate the position and orientation of a part and to verify proper assembly within specific tolerances. Location can identify a part for inspection with other machine vision tools, and it can also be trained to search for a unique pattern to identify a specific part. In the life sciences and medical industries, machine vision can locate test tube caps for further evaluation, such as cap presence, cap color, and measurement to ensure correct cap position.

Decoding

Machine vision can be used to decode linear, stacked, and 2D symbologies. It can also be used for optical character recognition (OCR), which is simultaneously human- and machine-readable. In factory automation, machine vision is used to sort products on a production line by decoding the symbol on the product. The symbols themselves can also be verified by machine vision-based verification systems to ensure that they comply with the requirements of various symbology standards organizations.

The most common reasons to consider when selecting a smart camera include:

  • Ready to deploy solution
  • Options for built-in light, lens (including auto-focus) and accessories
  • No need to build additional panel at the machine
  • Normally, can be installed on existing machines without many modifications
  • Single-camera application or independent multi-point inspections
  • Cost-effective
  • Scalable to Vision Systems
  • Single and dual-core processors
  • Camera resolutions from 0.3MP to 12MP
  • Programming software comes with the camera

The most common reasons to consider when selecting a vision system include:

  • High-speed
  • Single-camera or multi-camera options, including correlated or independent image processing
  • Robust and dedicated processing hardware for machine vision
  • Video output directly from the controller
  • Customizable and advanced programming
  • Camera Link cameras for high-speed transmission, lighting power and control via a single camera cable
  • Flexible and powerful system to address the majority of applications
  • More fieldbus and I/O options
  • Complete camera options (0.3MP to 20MP), including 3D
  • Dual- and quad-core multi-thread processors
  • Programming software comes with the system

The most common reasons to consider when selecting PC-based cameras include:

  • Flexibility to choose your own processing hardware. Install Omron programming software on your PC or IPC
  • GigE cameras
  • Limited I/O and interfaces
  • Speed-dependent on hosting hardware. Normally combining Vision and other tasks in the same hardware, where one can impact the other
  • You purchase a camera and a software license

The most common reasons to consider when selecting PC-based vision cameras/industrial cameras include:

  • Flexibility to choose camera interface (GigE Vision, Camera Link, USB3 Vision, Coax, etc.) and a multitude of sensors from Sony, CMOSIS, e2v, OnSemi, etc
  • Desire to create proprietary application software or use third-party software.
  • Limited I/O and interfaces
  • Flexible processing hardware. Capable of running on high-powered PC systems, single-board computers, Linux OS, etc.
  • Lower hardware cost, but increased engineering hours to develop (or integrate) software/application solution

FHV7 machine vision kits 60% off for a limited time

Are you interested in setting up a machine vision lab at your facility or looking for options to improve your lab equipment for proof of concept on vision applications? For a limited time, you can acquire the new FHV7 smart camera from Omron Automation at a very special price. We've created a kit with a steep pricing discount to make it easy to buy a unit for lab and testing purposes.

Check out our portfolio of barcode scanners and readers

Omron helps manufacturers drive down costs, automate critical manufacturing processes and increase yields through data acquisition and control solutions. We offer versatile decoding power within the world’s smallest industrial barcode readers. With the highest-performance imaging engine in its class, MicroHAWK readers offer modular hardware options to take on any decoding task.

Go to Barcode Scanners & Readers >