Objectives and content
The world market for industrial vision applications reached eight thousand million ECU in 1996, and there is still a large potential for further growth, provided availability of innovative technology. The four applications in this project show, that there is a demand for machine vision assisted automation, but these applications require a beyond-CCD-reach performance. Each of this application is typical for its industrial sector.
The proposed project addresses:
- the main problem of the European machine vision industry: the machine vision market is a dominated by Far East supplier of the CCD cameras and by American suppliers of the processing hardware;
- the main technical problem of the machine vision: the limitations of the CCD camera, as poor intensity dynamic and complicated data output, that requires expensive hardware and leads to slow data access.
A new image sensor is emerging for the last few years, the CMOS image sensor. The CMOS image sensor offers technical advantages as large intensity dynamic, direct access to the image information and possibility for integration of processing power directly onto the chip. The same CMOS technology is used for manufacturing of 95% of all semiconductors world-wide and is therefore widely available and less expensive than the special CCD technology.
The proposed project is focused on:
- development of a new machine vision architecture, that will fully utilise the advantages of the CMOS image sensor technology, such as the random pixel access and on-the-sensor-chip processing (both unthinkable with CCD), this innovative architecture is not feasible with the CCD technology;
- development of all modules for this architecture: a CMOS image sensor, a pre-processing ASIC and an intelligent post-processing & user interface software;
- development of four industrial applications for this novel machine vision system;
- involving from the very beginning several industries (transport, automotive, wood, electronics). These applications could not be solved with the current machine vision architectures, which "amplify" the CCD limitations. Technically speaking the new system will work properly under extreme illumination conditions (up to 140dB intensity dynamic vs CCD's 45dB), will be by a factor of five faster than current systems (exposure time far below the CCD's 20 msec) and less expensive than the current systems (due to its compactness). From the industrial point of view this development will allow the European industry to take a strong position on the growing world market for machine vision systems and applications.
Two per cent growth of the world market for machine vision applications, generated by the European industry, means a turnover of annually 160 million ECU. The consortium considers this target as reachable in four years after finishing the project. The Consortium, led by a multinational electronic company, has both, R&D resources and capability to carry out the proposed development and the Marketing & Sales muscles plus the financial power to convert the technical results into a business success for the benefit of the European industry BE97-5084.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
TN32 5LA Robertsbridge