Traditionally, inspection stations looking at visible light and SWIR or NIR light have been integrated as separate inspection steps along the manufacturing line, with separate cameras, lighting, lensing, and mounting making the set-up task more complex and expensive. To address this issue, JAI has launched new multi-sensor camera technology making it possible to simultaneously take images of visible plus SWIR light with just a single camera.
JAI’s latest product addition is the color line scan camera SW-4010Q-MCL in the Sweep+ Series that integrates three CMOS line sensors with a resolution of 4,096 pixels each, plus an additional InGaAs sensor having a resolution of 1,024 pixels in a line. Via advanced in-camera prism technology and dichroic filters, the camera splits the incoming light into the four different channels for simultaneous capturing of red, green, and blue visible light on the three CMOS sensors, while the InGaAs sensor catches SWIR light waves. The result is lower setup complexity and lower hardware costs in machine vision systems where inspection is needed in both the visible and SWIR light range. With just a single inspection station it is then possible to provide image data for checking very subtle color nuances, while simultaneously providing a better method to locate hidden defects or unwanted objects via the SWIR imaging data.
The new line scan camera includes a range of advanced functions such as a built-in color space conversion that can convert the RGB output to specific color spaces like HSI, CIE XYZ, sRGB and Adobe RGB. To improve image brightness and color balance, it is possible to set the exposure time individually for R-G-B and SWIR channels thereby increasing light accumulation time for the different wavebands. Also, analogue, and digital gain can be set individually for the four channels. The maximum line rate for the R-G-B channels when set to 4096-pixel resolution is 20kHz and for the SWIR channel it´s 39kHz in 1024-pixel resolution. Base pixel size is 7.5×7.5µm for the R-G-B channels, 25×25µm for the SWIR channel.
To synchronize the Field-of-View (FOV) and the line rate of the R-G-B and SWIR sensors, the camera features a special pixel rescaling function called Xscale. By using the Xscale function to adjust the pixel size of the RGB sensors (in combination with Region-of-Interest settings), the sensor width of the RGB sensors goes from 30.72 to 25.6 mm which is the same width as the SWIR sensor. At the same time the R-G-B scan rates increase from 20 to 39 kHz which is equivalent to the SWIR scan rate. JAI also provides a special lens (sold separately) that is optimized to handle both visible and SWIR light. The camera is equipped with a dual Mini Camera Link interface and an M52 lens mount.