Cognex: The Vision Sensor Leaders

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Robert Willett, President and CEO, CognexRobert Willett, President and CEO
Of the billions of products manufactured and inspected each day, few are made without industrial automation. Modern manufacturing demands high quality control standards. Manual inspection is slow, prone to error, and impeded by product size, space constraints, lighting conditions, and fast production line speeds. In contrast, automated inspection maximizes throughput, increases quality, and lowers manufacturing costs. Most manufacturers use automated machinery like sensors because they are well-suited for repetitive inspection tasks. Sensors are faster, more objective, and work continuously. They can inspect hundreds, or even thousands, of parts per minute, providing more consistent and reliable inspection results. But all sensors are not created equal. Low-cost photoelectric sensors can perform only a limited number of simple tasks, such as position verification and basic counting. They cannot distinguish between patterns or colors. And with their rigid mounting setup, they cannot handle misalignment or variability common in most work cells.

Vision sensors offer greater flexibility, perform multiple inspection types within a single image, and generate additional rich data for quality and process improvement. All factory automation sensors are fast, with multiple readings per second required for most applications. Data output is typically binary, delivered as a “yes/no,” “present/absent,” or “pass/fail” result. In some cases, sensors provide simple measurement outputs, though they are not designed for precision and accuracy. Most sensors typically support several communications protocols in order to communicate with upstream and downstream equipment and notify systems whether a part is present or passes inspection. That’s where Cognex comes in.

Cognex is the world’s leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 2 million image-based products, representing over $7 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company’s founding in 1981. Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, USA, Cognex has offices and distributors located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

With over 2.3 million systems installed in facilities around the world and over 39 years of experience, Cognex is focused on industrial machine vision and image-based barcode reading technology. Deployed by the world’s top manufacturers, suppliers and machine builders, Cognex products ensure that manufactured items meet the stringent quality requirements of each industry. “Our close relationship with suppliers and our practice of holding substantial component inventory have helped us over the years,” says Robert Willett, President and CEO, Cognex.

Cognex solutions help customers improve manufacturing quality and performance by eliminating defects, verifying assembly and tracking information at every stage of the production process.
Smarter automation using Cognex vision and barcode reading systems means fewer production errors, which equates to lower manufacturing costs and higher customer satisfaction. With the widest range of solutions and largest network of global vision experts, Cognex is the best choice to help you build your vision.

THE NEED FOR AUTOMATED INSPECTION
Increased throughput, higher quality, and lower costs are key drivers for automated inspection in manufacturing. Manual inspection can be slow, prone to errors, and often impossible considering the product size, lighting conditions, or line speed. Given these factors, companies in a wide range of industries rely on vision sensors to perform simple pass/fail inspections that help ensure products and packaging are error-free and meet strict quality standards. Cognex vision sensors provide easy and reliable inspections thanks to powerful vision tools, integrated lighting, modularity, and an easy-to-use setup environment.

IN-SIGHT 2000 SERIES VISION SENSORS
Cognex In-Sight® 2000 series vision sensors combine the power of In-Sight vision systems with the simplicity and affordability of an industrial sensor. Ideal for error-proofing applications, these vision sensors set new standards for value, ease of use, and flexibility thanks to a powerful combination of proven In-Sight vision tools, simple setup, and a modular design featuring field-changeable lighting and optics.

Our close relationship with suppliers and our practice of holding substantial component inventory have helped us over the years


IN-SIGHT 2D VISION SOFTWARE
All In-Sight 2D products, from vision sensors to vision systems, are configured with the powerful, yet intuitive In-Sight Explorer software. The easy-to-use interface walks you step by step through the setup process and provides the power and flexibility of the vision spreadsheet for more difficult applications. In-Sight Explorer also offers the widest range of built-in communication protocols that interface directly to any PLC, robot, or HMI on the factory network.

The EasyBuilder configuration environment guides users through a step-by-step setup process allowing both novice and experienced operators to configure vision applications quickly and easily on vision sensors and vision systems. Also access to the spreadsheet provides ultimate application development flexibility without programming.

Cognex In-Sight sensors and systems offer multiple runtime visualization options, including VisionView — available as a ready-to-deploy LCD touch panel and as a PC application — and a platform independent Web HMI that runs in any internet browser. Both VisionView and the Web HMI allow users to view inspection images and results and to modify setup parameters.
In-Sight 2000 series models include an integrated lens and LED illumination that eliminate the need for costly external lighting. Lenses and lighting are field-interchangeable to adjust to different application requirements. The In-Sight 2000 Mini has a smaller form factor making it ideal for mounting in tight spaces.

These sensors can be configured for in-line and right-angle mounting installation. This modular body design provides maximum flexibility to mount in tight spaces, simplifies wiring and optical paths, and minimizes the need to design new mechanical fixtures. And support a wide variety of modular lens options, making it easy to choose the correct configuration for work cell. Simply choose the desired working distance and the minimum field of view to determine the appropriate lens. This will minimize the amount of time spent choosing and troubleshooting accessories for the application.

THE COGNEX DIFFERENCE— WORLD’S MOST WIDELY USED ENVIRONMENT
Compared to the other types of sensors on the market, vision sensors greatly expand the types of simple inspections a manufacturer can perform and provide information beyond whether a part is simply present or absent. Vision sensors can inspect multiple elements per target, differentiate between colors, and respond well to misalignment and planned variability. By reducing defects and increasing yield, machine vision sensors can help manufacturers streamline their operations and increase profitability. “We are now delivering large deployments of Cognex products that we expect will be recognized as revenue in Q3,” says Willett.
  • We are now delivering large deployments of Cognex products that we expect will be recognized as revenue in Q3


With an array of vision tools and the possibility to perform multiple inspections per target, vision sensors can cut down on cycle time and improve product quality downstream. Whatever the client’s environment, resource constraints, and specific tool needs, Cognex sensors can help. At speeds up to 6,000 parts per minute, Cognex vision sensors set new standards for value, ease of use, and flexibility thanks to a powerful combination of proven Cognex In-Sight® vision tools, simple set-up, and a flexible, modular design. In-Sight 2000 series vision sensors are compact, configured for inline and right-angle mounting installation in tight spaces. Field-changeable, integrated optics and lighting adjust to changing application requirements and eliminate the cost of external lighting. The In-Sight Explorer EasyBuilder interface provides a fast, step-by-step application setup which allows even novice users to achieve extremely reliable inspection performance in nearly any production environment. In- Sight 2000 vision sensors are configured with In-Sight Explorer software—the world’s most widely used environment for configuring and maintaining machine vision applications.
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Company
Cognex

Headquarters
Natick, MA

Management
Robert Willett, President and CEO

Description
Cognex solutions help customers improve manufacturing quality and performance by eliminating defects, verifying assembly and tracking information at every stage of the production process. Smarter automation using Cognex vision and barcode reading systems means fewer production errors, which equates to lower manufacturing costs and higher customer satisfaction. With the widest range of solutions and largest network of global vision experts, Cognex is the best choice to help you build your vision

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