Articles

Image Sensors Decades Old But Not Yet Mature

There’s no rule that says when a technology becomes mature, but one might think that image sensors would be by now, 40 years after their conception. Nothing could be further from the truth. After decades of use in fax machines, scanners, and camcorders, image sensors are now in the largest growth period in their history, and much of the innovation is still happening.

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Industry Update: Analysis & Simulation Software

Multiphysics, simulation lifecycle management, unified simulation, and other terms are becoming the new trends in analysis and simulation software. There are new capabilities, new options for analysis and simulation management, and even room for growth in the market. We polled executives from leading software companies that provide analysis and simulation tools to find out what major changes have taken place in the products and how users will benefit.

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Using Ethernet for Process Automation

The use of Ethernet communications in industrial applications is growing because it enables the real-time exchange of information between processing equipment and companies' Ethernet-based management systems. Some of the factors encouraging the use of Ethernet technology include: the speed advantages over lower baud rate protocols the number of tools available for troubleshooting and optimizing a network, the broad base of competitive vendor support and solution options and the large pool of trained personnel who are familiar with the technology. In addition, the ability to bridge existing proprietary communications schemes makes it possible to phase in the use of Ethernet rather than having to replace everything at once.

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How PCI Express Is Changing Machine Vision

PCI Express is the peripheral bus now being adopted by next-generation PCs, servers, and industrial computers. It provides a scaleable, high-bandwidth, point-to-point pathway between peripheral cards and the computing core while retaining application software compatibility with previous generations. For machine-vision systems, the architecture and higher bandwidth of PCI Express yield major increases in achievable frame rate and image size as well as simplifying the implementation of multi-channel capability.

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LED-Equipped Spectrophotometers Find Their Way to the Factory Floor

Companies that manufacture products ultimately used by consumers — interior trim for cars, vinyl siding for homes, decorative stone for landscaping, interior wall paints, etc. — are often discovering that they need to use precise spectrophotometers to ensure first-time color quality and lotto-lot consistency.

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Using Motion Control to Guide Augmented Reality Manufacturing Systems

Assembly is a complicated, sometimes tedious process that often unfolds sequentially along a series of stations. In the manufacture of complex equipment such as jet engines and automobiles, technicians are guided through their work by referring to printed manuals, which document the various steps required. These processes usually demand the use of hand tools with little in the way of automation available either at the tool or verification level — in fact, all actions typically are performed manually. As a result, quality and performance times are dependent upon each technician’s technique and preferences, leaving room for individual differences and, at times, errors.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Eye On Innovation

Creating a Culture of Innovation By Mike Santori National Instruments Business & Technology Fellow National Instruments Austin, TX High-tech companies live and die by their ability to innovate. Creating new products and technologies is essential to gaining new customers as well as keeping current customers. We often associate innovation with visionary individuals who have a great idea and make it successful. But is innovation to be done only by a few visionary figures? National Instruments has certainly benefited from the visionary leadership of our company founders. Under the tutelage of those leaders, we strive to create a culture of innovation, encouraging all employees to think creatively.

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