By John Dunlop, Technical Director, Bytronic Automation
As with many of the best innovations, the development of CamView started quite naturally with a client’s request. Listening to customer needs always brings the best solutions and in this case, my listening and discussion was accompanied by an enjoyable beer and a napkin sketch at a hotel in Belgium.
That initial napkin sketch, ahem – concept, for CamView was a ruggedized camera system that could be integrated with machine faults, recording high-speed lines in such a way that issues can be clearly visualized and called upon for review at a later time.
How is CamView different than existing imaging technology on the shop floor?
At Bytronic, we specialise in custom machine vision solutions built to exact requirements to inspect, gauge, identify, verify and troubleshoot. We also offer CCTV systems that produce low-cost footage of production lines.
Where does CamView fit?
I offer this analogy of CamView and how it fits into Bytronic’s lineup of imaging technology:
Think of your shop floor as a street corner or highway. In much the same way that web cameras are mounted on traffic lights, CCTV offers a general view of production and high-quality footage for its given application, though it is not particularly smart nor ruggedized for an industrial environment.
Conversely, cars with traffic assist and self-driving functionality are enabled with video and sensors that enable the vehicle to make a range of calculations, even at extremely high speeds. This is the functionality of vision systems built to exact requirements for functions such as inspection and verification.
CamView is a dynamic, smart web-camera for your line – equivalent to a dash camera that can sync with your phone to recall footage of a traffic incident. On your line, it is plug-and-play tool that is continually recording and automatically saving footage to call upon when needed.
CamView as a Tool for High-Speed Production Monitoring
Typical high-speed production operations are run by a relatively small team who cannot be at all places at all times. When a machine fault occurs, from necessity the team must focus on fixing the problem. The CamView system automates the collection and trimming of footage before and after the fault, storing the video until teams can examine to better understand the true cause.
To enable greater resolution of the fault and slow motion playback, the system records at fifty frames per second instead of the standard twenty-four. Additionally, CamView was designed to be placed anywhere on a line by an operator, without the aid of special lighting, lens or a visual technician. It can be positioned on various machines to troubleshoot areas of concern or improvement as identified by line monitoring software.
From concept to prototype to Microsoft-backed IoT tool
After the development of our initial prototype which recorded onto a disc, we teamed up with LineView and through a successful application, the LineView team worked in the Microsoft Insider Lab in Munich to develop the IoT-enabling components of the software.
(You can read more about the development of CamView and the team’s Microsoft Insider Lab experience on LineView’s blog.)
CamView will be featured at the following upcoming events:
UKIVA Machine Vision Conference, May 16 in Milton Keynes, UK
PPMA Show, September 25 – 27 in Birmingham, UK