A Beltech machine vision system is based upon the following pillars.
Software at heart. The core of Beltech is formed by our software. Our software has been developed and expanded over decades. These efforts have resulted in a versatile, reliable and extensive software framework. The software provides us with a large collection of machine vision tools. In addition, our framework allows for interfacing with external hardware (i.e. cameras, robotic arms, 3D sensors, databases, etc.)
Besides cameras and sensors the actual optical design of a system is crucial within a machine vision design. With a specific manner of lighting handling and cycle times can be optimized and simplified. An example is creating a vision image via mirrors instead of having to move around a product. In addition specific type of lighting, coherent, diffused, led or laser and with a specific color or spectrum can generate a completely different result at the same product. Selecting the right optical set-up is therefor crucial. Theoretical knowledge, experience and tests often make the difference. When the optical design is done properly the exact components such as camera, sensors, lenses and filters can be selected and the lighting unit can be built or sourced.
Closely connected to the optics of a system is the mechatronics design. This design determines the accuracy of the optical set-up, the robustness of the system and the way the products that need to be inspected or measured are handled. Many alternatives often exist varying from moving products to moving cameras or lasers, all with its specific advantages and limitations. The mechatronics design is a communicating vessel with the optical design and the technical specification of the customer, together with cost, practical feasibility and maintainability determine the design. At Beltech mechanical and electronic designs are built with the industry leading (3D) software packages.
When a vision application controls an external system such as a robot, the mechatronics part of a system can be even larger and more complex. Beltech has knowledge of and experience with integrating with the most common robot platforms (see application area). In addition if in depth robot programming or precision mechanics are required we have a strong network of partners that we work with regularly.
The vision system or module is often not a stand-alone system. When it is an in-line inspection system it needs to be integrated into (existing) production lines. This aspect is another key part of a succesful system design and project. Besides mechanical integration and designing systems that fit well in the physical space decision have to be taken about stabilization to prevent vibrations, possible shielding of the optical systems to guarantee imaging quality and so on. In addition the system needs to be integrated from an I/O perspective ensuring the function works fully in synch with line control and surrounding systems such as PLC systems, ERP systems or IT networks. Beltech has implemented most type of I/O integration busses in its systems and has a vast experience of integrating with surrounding systems via Ethernet protocols, Profibus, Profinet etc.
We are technology and brand independent at Beltech. We do not resell a specific brand of hardware or software with each its specific limitations. For each new request we assess what vision technology is best suited. This gives us the flexibility to select the best optics and cameras for the specific technical challenge and to make a broad comparison on your behalf and in your interest. To realize this, we conduct multiple tests in our vision lab. Based upon the outcome we select the best components such as camera’s and lenses that are available in the market taking into account price-quality, availability and always industrial proven technology. In the 29 years of experience we have, we deployed all leading industrial camera brands in our solutions and software library. This also gives you the flexibility of a system with long term lifecycle as we can replace components and brands that might become obsolete in the future.