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There is not one perfect, turnkey automation solution to fit every manufacturer. With so many possible operations to automate, the procedure and tools required to implement or upgrade an automation system are almost always entirely unique from every system that has ever been implemented before. Engineering a complete automation system involves the synergy of several different technologies, from robotic equipment to smart cameras to PLCs. Automation engineers are regularly challenged to integrate tools with unique requirements, purchased from several different vendors, into a single, seamless solution. When it comes to machine vision integration, advanced knowledge of communication protocols and PLC brands - not to mention ample programming time - have historically been a necessary hurdle.

But, what if each tool in the automation system were pre-engineered to universally meet the requirements of the other tools in the system - even if the tools weren't developed by the same manufacturer? For example, imagine adding this to your existing automation system: a smart camera fully integrated with software that could be commanded from any PLC and over any communication protocol. This is precisely the idea behind recent advances in Microscan's machine vision technology: to improve the adaptability of machine vision systems to meet the requirements of any industrial automation system.

In Microscan's latest webinar, AutoVISION 2.1: Using Microscan Link for One-Click Industrial Connectivity, we watched the capabilities of the latest release of Microscan's AutoVISION machine vision software in action, including new industrial communication features that make integrating machine vision into existing automation systems faster and easier than ever. Microscan Machine Vision Product Manager and webinar host, Nico Hooiveld, showed us how AutoVISION's built-in connectivity feature, Microscan Link, provides engineers with a protocol- and PLC-independent method for selecting machine vision parameters for system-wide integration, greatly reducing the expertise and time required to implement inspection tools.


At one point in the webinar presentation, Nico gave a live example of an inspection job in AutoVISION's user interface. Above, AutoVISION is decoding a Data Matrix symbol, performing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on human-readable text, and counting " blobs" or letters in the " Vision" text on this card. Using AutoVISION software, Nico demonstrated how to connect the input and output of these inspection tasks to industrial PLCs over two separate protocols. In one demonstration, we see how Microscan Link allows inspection data to be monitored and adjusted over PROFINET ® I/O using a Siemens PLC. In the second demonstration, an Allen-Bradley PLC is used over the EtherNet/IP „¢ communication protocol to illustrate the same Microscan Link capability across another unique system. (FYI, AutoVISION and Microscan Link also enable communication over RS-232 serial and Telnet TCP/IP.)

Do you want to see Microscan Link's simple, one-click connectivity for yourself? Watch our webinar on demand - AutoVISION 2.1: Using Microscan Link for One-Click Industrial Connectivity - to learn more.

How could your project benefit from automation? Contact us and let us find you a solution for your project!

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