Powering Industrial Camera Systems: What Are Your Options?

industrial camera power cablesThere are a lot of component and performance considerations when building an industrial vision system. What type of sensor to use, the best lens and the best camera manufacturer are all important factors to consider. However, these more obvious camera components aren’t the only things you need to think about.

How to power an industrial camera is often an afterthought. But the truth is the various types of power are very different from one another and have a major impact on the resulting performance of the vision system, especially if your application requires special camera considerations.

With this in mind, what are your options for powering industrial camera systems? How do you know what’s best for your application?

Powering Industrial Camera Systems: A Few Different Types of Power Cables

There are a few different types of power cables and systems that have become popular for their flexibility and reliability. Each has pros and cons, depending on your application and the camera you need to use.

Power Over Ethernet (PoE)

Many GigE cameras allow for power to be transmitted over the Ethernet cable. This is particularly useful for applications with limited space, such as factory floor installations and outdoor applications. However, these set ups may create larger amounts of power dissipation and thermal noise, which means lower image quality, if there’s no method to accommodate this.

Power Over Camera Link (PoCL)

PoCL allows for the use of a single cable for Camera Link digital interface and for power to the camera. This feature-rich solution is required to maintain Camera Link standards, and comes with a Safe Power mode to prevent accidental connections with non-compatible products to protect your equipment.

Analog Output

There are several different types of analog output. Analog CCD output is one common type. Analog powered systems are typically capable of producing high quality images, but camera and display format must be compatible in order to get a proper image.

IEE 1394 (FireWire)

FireWire power systems are very popular in industrial vision applications due to their reliable real-time data transfer, minimal CPU loading, and single cable format. FireWire systems are ideal for high-speed applications.

There are plenty of other options available for powering industrial camera systems, such as CoaXpress, Internal Camera Link, Camera Link HS and more. However, the few mentioned above are some of the most common types of power cables.

Choosing the right power for your industrial vision system is an important part of getting the image quality you require. Explore your options when choosing how to power your vision system to get the most performance out of your investment.

You can browse a wide range of power cables from Phase 1 Technology here.