White Paper: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Lasers for Machine Vision: Selection Criteria


Machine vision can utilize a variety of schemes for image detection and analysis. Lighting can influence that analysis, and lasers are often used to illuminate objects with structured illumination. This can be useful in providing additional information about the objects through image processing. Examples of information that can be obtained include defects, location, dimensions, dents, punctures, and alignment.

Both 2D and 3D imaging have a strong presence in industrial processing applications and have become cost-effective for consumer applications such as gaming or autonomous vehicle guidance. Using multiple lasers with different wavelengths helps to provide enhanced contrast or color data along with the image.

While your system specifications are a good starting point, the system designer must know a little about lasers and how their manufacturers specify them in order to ensure they are making the correct purchase. Some specs obviously will be important to you but others may not be obvious until you get the laser in your system and wonder why it doesn’t work as intended.

Many laser manufacturers are not machine vision experts, so it helps to know exactly which specifications you require before you buy. Working with a laser specialist partner is beneficial, and they can help you sort out the best laser for your system needs.

This white paper will help bridge that knowledge gap by presenting some of the more important laser specifications and discussing the various options available to the system designer.

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