Selecting an industrial camera is a strenuous process for people that are new to the field as well as professionals. This is because there is a long list of attributes to consider for any given application. Industrial cameras are useful for a wide range of tasks. However, these tasks generally put the cameras in two categories or types; The area scan and the line scan cameras.
The design of the line scan camera allows it to scan objects in one dimension to produce two-dimensional images. The images constructed using these cameras are usually in very high resolution as a result of the cameras using a single row of pixels for their tasks. The application areas suitable for line scan cameras are those where cylindrical objects, objects in motion, long or continuous materials such as paper and plastic need to be inspected for defects. While it can be argued that most of these tasks can be accomplished using the area scan cameras, the line scan camera has an edge when the object moves at high speed and high resolution is required. On the other hand, area scan cameras are designed to capture images in two-dimensions using an array of pixels. These cameras are more flexible, they offer an easier setup and alignment process than the line scan camera and can be used for a range of tasks where the object is stationary (even if it is for a moment) and in a specified field of view. With the area scan camera, an image can be segmented into various regions-of-interest to investigate specific areas rather than processing the entire image. An example where the area scan camera would be more beneficial is when inspecting an object such as a bottle for defects like scratches. Such defects are usually only visible when viewed from certain angles which can be effectively produced with the area scan camera.
Understand all the attributes that are taken into consideration when selecting an industrial camera would require its own article to fully bring it to life and taking a look at 6 attributes (the Sensor type, Sensor size/format, Resolution, Pixel size/Pixel Pitch, Frame Rate/Line Rate, and the Shutter type) we are able to recognize the role each sensor attribute plays and visualize what makes them so important.
The differences between the camera types and deciding which solution would fit best for a given task can be a bit overwhelming to grasp at first. However, once the requirements for a specific problem is understood, it becomes easier to recognize the importance of the various attributes. While the attributes are being examined, there are a few that should be carefully considered as they give an overview of the quality of the camera. These attributes are the Sensor type, Sensor size/format, Resolution, Pixel size/Pixel Pitch, Frame Rate/Line Rate, and the Shutter type.