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With the introduction of a feature called Microscan Link in AutoVISION 2.0/Visionscape 6.0 machine vision software, we now have additional options for communicating with Microscan smart cameras. The purpose of Microscan Link is to allow input parameters to be set and for output parameters to be monitored remotely. Commands may be sent to a Vision HAWK or Vision MINI smart camera via Microscan Link to communicate parameter values between vision inspection tools, between tools and outside systems (like a PLC or PC), or between inspection jobs within the machine vision software platform.

For example, Microscan Link allows for inspection results (such as pass/fail data) to be updated to an external system such as a PLC where logic can be set to trigger output indicators or reject mechanisms on a manufacturing line, among many other tasks. Another use of Microscan Link is to communicate parameters from one Vision HAWK to another using command syntax - in which case an external control system like a PLC would not be necessary.

Recently a Microscan customer needed to measure a part where the image would not fit into the field of view of one Vision HAWK camera. One solution uses two Vision HAWK cameras and Microscan Link to pass the information from one camera's field of view to the other camera. To get the necessary measurement data, the customer has to measure between two points on the part. However, in this application one point appeared in one camera's field of view, while the other point was visible in the other camera's field of view. In order for the second camera to make the final measurement between the two points, we needed to communicate the point 1 coordinates taken by the first camera to the second camera.

  • Two Vision HAWK smart cameras on the same subnet: one set to 192.168.0.20 as the "sending" camera, and one set to 192.168.0.30 as the "receiving" camera, for example.

  • The sending Vision HAWK uses the Formatted Output step in Visionscape ® FrontRunner to send a command to set a Microscan Link variable on the receiving camera. The Formatted Output step initiates a client connection to the receiving camera acting as a server. The command may send a sequence of data elements of one type. Non-consecutive elements or elements of additional types may be sent using additional Formatted Output steps.

  • The receiving Vision HAWK runs a job file with the variable(s) connected using Microscan Link.

For more information about the features of AutoVISION and Visionscape, check out virtual software demos in our Video Library.

For technical assistance with your vision project, please email us at helpdesk@microscan.com.

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