Connectivity For Vision & ID Applications
17 January 2013
When it comes to vision and ID applications connectivity and networking are key. Here Cognex runs through what to look for in a system to link vision and ID systems to PLCs at enterprise level
Connectivity is essential to vision and ID applications as a means to share data, support decision-making and enable highly-efficient integrated processes. Networking enables vision systems to transmit pass/fail results to PCs for analysis, or communicate directly with PLCs, robots and other factory automation devices in an integrated process control system.
To link vision and ID systems to PLCs at the enterprise level, it is important to find a system that supports the complete set of standard networking protocols:
TCP/IP client/server enables vision and ID systems to easily share results data with other systems and control devices over Ethernet without any code development.
DNS (Domain Name Service) allows you to assign each vision or ID system a meaningful name, such as "Bottling Line System 1,” instead of having to use a numeric IP address.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows inspection images to be stored on the network for later analysis.
Telnet is an Internet standard protocol that enables remote login and connection from host devices.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) allows a vision or ID system to automatically receive its network IP address from a server, enabling true plug-and-play performance.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) enables you to immediately receive an e-mail on your PC or cell phone when a problem occurs on the production line.
To integrate a vision or ID system with the PLCs, robots and other automation devices in the plant, it is important to find a system that also supports the following:
Industrial Ethernet protocols enable vision and ID systems to be linked to the most popular PLCs and other devices over a single Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for complex wiring schemes and costly network gateways.
Industrial protocols such as:
Fieldbus networks. A protocol gateway accessory is usually needed to add a vision or ID system to a Fieldbus network.
RS-232 and RS-485 serial protocols. Needed to communicate with most robot controllers.
Finally, as more and more vision and ID systems are used throughout the manufacturing process, the need for a centralised way of managing them becomes increasingly important. A vision or ID system that comes with software that allows easy control and monitoring of the operation of all the vision and ID systems remotely over the network from any location - on or off the plant floor – is desirable.
Cognex products link to a wide range of factory automation equipment, including directly connecting to a PLC or robot controller. They can manage multiple systems remotely from a networked PC or HMI (Human Machine Interface), Cognex Connect assures a seamless reliable communications link between Cognex products and all equipment on the factory floor.
- EtherNet/IP with Rockwell Add On Profile (AOP)
- ProfiNet with Siemens GSD
- MC Protocol
To integrate inspection images, quality data, and interactive controls into a proprietary operator interface Cognex Connect provides an array of visualization options:
In-Sight Display Control embeds an In-Sight image and CustomView display in .NET or ActiveX compatible custom applications, or a PC-based HMI/SCADA system from Rockwell, WonderWare, Citect and others.
In-Sight and Checker will upload data to HMI displays, SPC (Statistical Process Control) systems, plant supervisory systems, and even Microsoft Excel to monitor operations and record statistical data.
Checker, DataMan and In-Sight offer SDKs (Software Development Kit) to allow systems integrators to create a custom user interface for managing systems.
- Connectivity is essential to vision and ID applications as a means to share data, support decision-making and enable highly-efficient integrated processes
- Networking enables vision systems to transmit pass/fail results to PCs for analysis, or communicate directly with PLCs, robots and other factory automation devices