The Benefits of Liquid Lens Technology in Machine Vision

As enterprises worldwide express growing demand for automation technology, machine vision has been characterized by rapid innovation. Still, there’s an unbroken chain of evolution between machine vision systems and the earliest cameras.

Nothing brings this reality “into focus” more than the importance of the machine vision lens.

A high-quality lens can improve all key visual characteristics today’s machine vision systems rely on. However, only liquid lenses – a relatively recent breakthrough – can provide the ability to focus and refocus in a matter of milliseconds.

Liquid Lenses May be the Key to Faster, More Precise Machine Vision

Automation systems rely upon their machine vision components to execute core functions, such as component inspection and manipulation. Fast-moving environments make these fundamental tasks more difficult, and speed is the limiting factor in throughput.

Liquid lenses allow users to change the plane of focus with unprecedented speed. They have the potential to be far faster and more efficient than even the most sophisticated motorized lenses, with a variety of performance benefits only liquid lenses can deliver.

Some advantages include:

  • High versatility and depth of field without the resolution sacrifice of motorized lenses;
  • Potential functional life of many billions of work cycles without any wear and tear;
  • Capacity to be retrofitted onto existing systems at fairly low cost and time investment;
  • Significant reduction in spherical aberrations and field curvature in dedicated systems.

The most compelling and immediate application of liquid lenses? Applications that require focusing at multiple distances, like barcode scanning. When objects to be inspected are irregular in size or distance from the lens, liquid lenses perform faster and with fewer errors. No doubt, they'll be deployed in an increasing number of purpose-built systems as engineers recognize their benefits.