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SWIR imaging technology extends machine vision applications

31 Jul 2015

The latest in Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) imaging technology from STEMMER IMAGING is helping manufacturers to perform advanced inspection, non-destructive testing or sorting tasks. Allied Vision’s Goldeye and Xenics’ Bobcat and Lynx SWIR cameras and a new range of high resolution lenses from Computar extend machine vision capabilities beyond the visible spectrum.

Imaging in the SWIR (900 - 1700 nm) region of the spectrum allows the possibility of ‘seeing’ subsurface information that isn’t possible with light in the visible region. Applications range from identifying water accumulation inside fruit to imaging defects within silicon products or identifying different plastic materials in the recycling industry. A choice of industrial SWIR cameras with InGaAs sensors and high resolution lenses optimised for SWIR wavelengths allow the most suitable combination to be chosen for the particular application.

SWIR imaging is often used for photoluminescence inspection applications in the solar cell industry because the silicon based material appears transparent at wave lengths above 1350 nm. This leads to an easy detection of material defects such as inclusions or fractures so that this contact-free, non-destructive inspection method allows defect parts to be eliminated at an early stage of the production process. Solar cell producers therefore benefit from lower production cost and improved product quality.

The G-008 is a new member of Allied Vision´s Goldeye camera family. This high-speed SWIR camera operates at frame rates up to 344 fps at 320 x 256 pixel resolution and features a GigE vision interface. This is ideally suited to industrial applications where higher resolution is not important. Integrated thermo-electric sensor cooling and on-board image correction features contribute to the Goldeye's outstanding image quality.

The Xenics Bobcat-640 SWIR camera is available in both GigE Vision and CameraLink versions with full VGA 640 x 512 pixel resolution. It offers frame rates up to 100 fps. An optional wavelength enhanced InGaAs sensor (400 - 1700 nm) extends operation into the visible region of the spectrum. On-board image processing capabilities include non-uniformity correction for a wide range of integration times, auto-exposure and contrast enhancement.

The Xenics Lynx range of high sensitivity uncooled InGaAs line scan cameras utilise Xenics' latest technology to offer high performance SWIR imaging in a highly compact package. The products are ideal for a wide range of quality assurance applications where high resolution is required. The Xenics Lynx cameras are perfectly suited to high-speed scanning with line rates up to 40 kHz and resolution up to 2048 pixels. The small form factor and sensor size allow high precision imaging and optimisation of compact systems.

The CBC Group has introduced four new Computar high-resolution lenses specifically designed for applications in the NIR and SWIR. Available with a choice of focal lengths (16 mm, 25 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm) these new lenses benefit from a unique coating technology that delivers a high transmission from 800 – 1700 nm.

Allied Vision Goldeye

The compact cameras with their active thermo electric cooling sensors provide low-noise image quality, even with very long exposure times. Comprehensive I/O control and a particularly robust housing predestine the Goldeye series for use in industrial applications.

Xenics Bobcat

Compact shortwave infrared InGaAs camera, suitable for high operating temperatures to aquire images from hot objects (up to 800°C).

Xenics Lynx

Compact uncooled shortwave infrared (SWIR) line scan camera.