At the 2008 MACH exhibition Balluff was demonstrating the new BVS Vision Sensor. This is extremely compact, easy to use, provides a level of capability that is, in many ways, comparable with smart cameras, yet it is priced considerably lower.
Suitable for applications that would otherwise require multiple sensors, the BVS Vision Sensor is highly adaptable. One of these sensors can be used to replace up to 16 conventional sensors, and and the BVS can perform seven functions:
- Check brightness
- Compare contrast
- Count edges
- Compare width
- Detect patterns
- Check contour
- Verify position
Typical applications for the BVS Vision Sensor include quality inspection of components or assemblies, label inspections, and checking part orientation prior to assembly. Being very compact (58x52x40mm), with integral lighting, the sensor is easy to integrate within a machine or process.
Balluff says that the BVS offers many ways for machine builders and system integrators to save money: reduced hardware costs; simplified engineering and project planning; faster configuration; and quick change-overs between different inspection functions.
Using the Balluff BVS ConVis software, it is said to be very simple to configure the sensor:
- Connect a PC to the sensor via Ethernet
- Determine the image section and brightness, and select the desired functions
- Evaluate the results and configure the output signals
Once the sensor is configured there is no need to keep a PC connected. Note that the sensor stores defect images to aid troubleshooting.