The Benefits of Smart Cameras in Industrial Applications

Benefits of Smart CamerasSmart cameras are typically considered most useful in the healthcare, entertainment and education industries. Demand is expected to grow rapidly in these industries, but there are still many benefits of using smart cameras in industrial applications.

Smart cameras – or cameras that combine image capture and computing capabilities into one enclosed structure – offer significant advantages over traditional PC-based machine vision systems in certain settings.

Smart Cameras for Size and Space Constraints

Real estate on the factory floor is a valuable commodity. In today’s manufacturing environment, there can be wasted space. Often, this creates space constraints that make the use of PC-based machine vision systems, especially when there’s a need for multiple cameras, nearly impossible.

In this setting, smart cameras are an ideal option. Without the need to interface to a PC, smart cameras can provide localized pass/fail decision making, I/O part rejection, and networked management capabilities, all while reducing the footprint of the vision system.

Smart Cameras for Multiple Processing Architectures

Smart cameras come in a wide range of processing architectures with different types of image sensors, CPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, I/O, software and lighting components. This allows for a lot of flexibility in the type of imaging performed in your application.

For example, some basic image processing functions may be best handled by an FPGA, while a general purpose CPU handles more advanced imaging functions. Segmenting the processing responsibilities this way allows for greater efficiency, which reduces latency and decreases overall processing times. Smart cameras can provide high quality imaging, depending on the processing architecture you use.

While smart cameras are typically not viewed as an industrial camera, they offer many benefits when deployed in certain industrial settings. Leveraging multiple processing architectures and a compact size can help tackle applications that PC-based systems simply couldn’t.

To learn more about smart cameras, browse a selection of smart cameras from Phase 1 Technology.