Everything Manufacturers Need to Know About Embedded Vision

An embedded vision camera lens

What Is Embedded Vision?

Embedded vision is the integration of a camera and a processing board. Instead of the camera requiring a connection back to a computer where the image is analyzed, a camera equipped with machine vision can process its own images. That’s right, many of the electronics and software that can run on the computer have been integrated into a board housed within the camera’s enclosure.

Benefits of Embedded Vision

Embedded vision requires much less equipment than computer vision systems, which can get very expensive, especially when fast, robust image processing is required. Embedded vision helps to reduce costs by eliminating the need for the PC, expensive software licenses, and the cabling runs that are needed to connect cameras in harsh environments. Many image processing tasks are relatively simple and a single board can handle it.

Embedded vision systems also have a smaller footprint. Like many manufacturers, space in your facility is likely a limited resource. One less workstation means more room to increase revenue and boost your margin per square foot. It may not seem like a lot of space at first. But add up the number of cameras in your facility and the workstations that would be required. There’s no doubt you could make better use of that space.

And embedded vision systems use less energy. Power costs continue to rise. By decreasing the amount of equipment and replacing it with energy-efficient smart cameras, you can watch those power bills go down. By reducing power consumption, you can meet those green goals that can help you qualify for tax breaks and boost customer trust for your brand.

Challenges Associated with Embedded Vision

However, embedded vision systems are less flexible. Even though automation manufacturers continue to add more functionality to embedded vision systems, they still can’t quite replace the flexibility of computer vision. Your smart camera will perform many of the functions you’ll need, but don’t plan on scrapping all those PCs until you know embedded vision can duplicate the requirements of your application.

And many embedded vision systems are designed for a specific application, such as self-driving vehicles, component inspection, and part identification. You’ll need the right smart camera and controller for the job. It’s not as simple as adding another software package or add-on module to your computer vision PC. But do your research because often the savings are worth it!

Ready to upgrade to an embedded vision solution? Let Phase 1’s specialists help you find the right smart camera for your application.