SICK EventCam's detailed error analysis in industrial processes

Oct. 22, 2019
Can spontaneous errors in manufacturing be a thing of the past?

Spontaneous errors in the manufacturing process can be a thing of the past, boasts SICK with the unveiling of their EventCam, an industrial-grade 2D camera that brings clarity when unexplained gripping, handling, and positioning problems arise or when unreproducible installation errors or machine downtimes occur. 

SICK's EventCam

The EventCam is specifically designed for the detection and analysis of sporadic errors in industrial processes, according to SICK. It can be integrated with flexibility into stationary and mobile applications, is network capable, and delivers single frames and video sequences in ultra-high image quality for detailed error analyses.

The optics, illumination, electronics, and ring memory of the new EventCam are enclosed in a compact and rugged IP65 housing made from cast aluminum. The housing provides numerous mounting options that allow the camera to be installed in different positions, and these positions can be changed very quickly and flexibly, according to its maker. The resolution, output format, and trigger signal can be set with just a few clicks in SICK’s browser-based SOPAS Air software.

The EventCam has been specifically designed for fast and targeted error analysis. A connected automation system or sensor reports that an error has occurred in the process via the trigger input in the camera itself. The camera then begins storing single frames or video sequences.

In contrast to the time-consuming process of searching for an event in continuous video material, as provided for example by a GoPro or other streaming camera, the EventCam enables a targeted root-cause analysis to be performed in just a few seconds or minutes, according to SICK. It is not necessary, either, to first upload images and film sequences from the memory card; they can be accessed over the network in real-time at 100 Mbit/s via FTP and the Ethernet interface on the EventCam.

The EventCam not only enables a fast and detailed retracing of events in running machines and plants, but is also very useful when commissioning or optimizing them, according to its maker. The ability to quickly analyze errors in an unsupervised test run or a multi-hour/multi-day continuous test reduces the effort required to locate errors and therefore the time and costs associated with machine setup. The high mounting flexibility and simple configuration of the EventCam enables it to be used in a wide variety of machines, setup processes and tasks.

The EventCam is currently available in two identically designed variants. Version with a 0.4-0.6 m working distance is primarily intended for stationary applications in machines, compact assembly, or pick-and-place robots. The camera with a 0.8-6 m working distance, is designed for use in larger robots, handling gantries or machines. It also works well, according to SICK, in safety applications in conjunction with safety laser scanners to take images of areas surrounding machines, which enables users to see why downtime may have occurred and if, and why, someone tripped the safety scanner.

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