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Boosting high-precision inspection performance with innovative 3D features

21 Sep 2022 | Reading time: 3 min

With the GenICam standard 3.0, also known as GenICam 3D, numerous new features and functions related to the standardised connection of 3D cameras have been applied.

Specific features are no longer required for communication between the application and the hardware, enabling an uncomplicated connection between software and 3D camera via Plug&Play.

Implementing GenICam 3D in 3D sensors allow for much easier integration into machine vision applications, even for inexperienced users.

One of the most significant changes that came with the introduction of the GenICam 3.0 standard was the implementation of MultiPart.

What is MultiPart?

MultiPart enables a GenICam device to stream multiple image acquisition parts that logically belong together in one shared buffer.

A MultiPart buffer can for example consist of a range map image and its associated intensity image or even multiple range maps acquired at the same time. This is useful in applications where the usage of multiple ROIs or the extraction of multiple laserlines from the raw image is required.

Buffer with 5 parts transmission from camera to PC using MultiPart with Common Vision Blox (CVB) 5rd Generation Acquisition Interface

Figure shows the structure of an AT C6 camera's MultiPart buffer using 2 ROIs with respective output of range map, reflectance and scatter.

Both the new Automation Technology C6 series and STEMMER IMAGING’s machine vision software platform Common Vision Blox (CVB) support the GenICam 3.0 standard, which allows the transmission of up to 10 MultiPart components from the camera to the host application.

Example of MultiPart

In this example, the flat surfaces of a metal part are to be inspected. The sample part has two flat surfaces on the left and right bottom and one on the center top.

Using a single ROI for the part inspection will result in an extended ROI requiring 500 lines from the sensor pitch. Due to the large ROI the readout time required for 500 lines only allows a framerate of 870 Hz.

With the Multi-ROI feature integrated in the C6 series, it is possible to work with up to four different sensor ROIs. In this case, two narrow ROIs are sufficient to cover the required area.

This has the beneficial effect of a much higher framerate of 5700 Hz enabling a significant speed increase for the production line.

The data acquired from each ROI is transmitted in a range map, which is part of a MultiPart image that combines the data from all ROIs in a shared buffer.

Another important 3D feature is MultiPeak which was developed by Automation Technology.

What is MultiPeak?

The MultiPeak functionality enables the extraction of multiple layers from the raw data. The standard line extraction methods from the raw images allow to extract one position per sensor column. MultiPeak, however, allows to extract up to 4 peaks from each column and each AOI.

When acquiring data from translucent materials it is often the case that the sensor’s laser line is reflected on multiple layers of the material.

Using single peak extraction in these cases could result in the loss of relevant data. With the new MultiPeak feature it is now possible to acquire all information from the target and further process it, using the software to eliminate unwanted reflections and keep the relevant information from possible peaks at lower levels.

MultiPeak for transmissive surfaces

Using MultiPeak allows to extract up to 4 different peaks from the raw image and create an individual range map from the glass plate thickness for example.

Example: Inspection of glass plate thickness

Glass plates reflect the laser light from both sides due to their transparency. The MultiPeak function enables the 3D scan of both glass plate sides simultaneously.

MultiPart and MultiPeak are both supported by CVB using the MultiPart acquisition stack.

MultiPart & MultiPeak

With new 3D sensors being able to report multiple data sets simultaneously Multi Part and Multi Peak simplify the support of these devices in software and provides the ability to achieve a more comprehensive analysis of the inspected surface.

Data such depth and luminance can be simultaneously output with Multipart while Multipeak overcomes the challenges of multiple reflections found in translucent materials such as glass, delivering both cleaner and multiple line profiles from the different layers simultaneously.

Related products

With the AT C6 series, users can choose between 3 different models/series to select the best possible option for their application and system requirements:

Product tip from Danny Hesse,
Portfolio Manager at STEMMER IMAGING