Touch screen vision sensors accommodate rapid product changeover

Banner's iVu Plus stores up to 30 inspections, distinguishes up to 10 patterns with new Sort sensor function.


Banner iVu Vision SensorsBanner Engineering introduces the next generation of the iVu touch screen vision sensor family, the iVu Plus—adding Ethernet connectivity and more advanced inspection capabilities to the iVu's intuitive platform. The new line continues the iVu tradition of delivering complex inspection capabilities and unprecedented flexibility in an affordable, easy-to-apply sensor, the company says. Ethernet connectivity enables iVu Plus sensors to share inspection data directly with PLCs, PCs or other factory devices, making communications and control even easier on the plant floor. The iVu Plus is also capable of storing up to 30 inspections, accommodating rapid product changeover, while a new Sort sensor function facilitates sorting of as many as 10 patterns in a single inspection.

Inspection setup is simple with the iVu Plus: configuration is accomplished through a menu-driven user interface designed for efficiency and ease of use, with no PC required. The iVu Plus family includes integrated touch screen TG and BCR (bar code reader) models, as well as remote versions of both. Integrated iVu Plus sensors allow users to quickly setup and modify an inspection on-site, while remote versions pair a remote touch screen display with one or more separate sensors—facilitating inspection setup and monitoring for difficult-to-access areas. This flexibility, combined with the iVu Plus family’s dynamic new features, results in a sophisticated, yet user-friendly vision sensor capable of solving the widest range of applications.

"We received great feedback from the original iVu because it was really the first sensor of its kind," said Dean Tyo, chief engineer for vision, measurement, and instrumentation at Banner. "By combining touch screen technology with machine vision, we essentially fused consumer with industrial technology to create a high performance, intuitive vision sensor." Tyo adds, "We've continued to innovate our product line, and the enhancements now offered by the new iVu Plus family are in direct response to the needs and preferences of our customers."

Equipped with three discrete communication channels over Ethernet or serial interfaces and a faster processor, both the iVu Plus TG and iVu Plus BCR models can export data, such as inspection and image results, to HMIs and PCs at a much greater speed. Sensors feature a Command channel and Data Export channels to support remote control and results, as well as an Image Export channel to export image data. A 2.7-in. (68.5 mm) LCD color built-in display comes standard on integrated models, while the remote versions feature a 3.5-in. (88.9 mm) display.

The iVu Plus TG can be configured to operate as one of four different sensor types to tackle diverse inspections. These types include Area, which verifies the presence of a feature or features of interest; Blemish, which identifies flaws on a part, such as scratches on a disc; Match, which verifies that a pattern, shape or part in any orientation matches a reference pattern; and Sort, the newest sensor type, which recognizes and sorts different patterns of parts, such as nuts, bolts, and washers. The Sort function allows users to train the sensor to distinguish among as many as 10 patterns. Combined with Ethernet connectivity, the new iVu Plus TG vision sensor allows for the quick introduction of new patterns and rapid product changeover. The iVu Plus BCR reads and optionally validates data within DataMatrix (ECC200 barcodes) and several linear barcodes, such as Code 128, CODABAR, and Pharmacode. With the support of Ethernet connectivity, the iVu Plus BCR sensor also has the ability to remotely update the data used for validation from anywhere on the Ethernet network.

Each iVu Plus model is housed in an IEC IP67-rated housing, purportedly making the sensors rugged and versatile to suit a broad range of application environments. Camera acquire up to 100 frames per second, and each sensor includes an integrated ring light available in red, green, blue, white, or infrared. With USB 2.0 output, users can allegedly simply save and load configuration data to expedite inspection setup. Additionally, the sensor emulator allows users to modify an inspection offline, reducing costly downtime.

Banner Engineering

- Edited by Gust Gianos, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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