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Gearing up for Photonics West

Industrial Photonics
Jan 2018
MARCIA STAMELL, ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR, marcia.stamell @photonics.com

I hope to meet many of you at Photonics West 2018, which will run January 27 through February 1 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Like the rest of you, I’ll be going to presentations and walking the exhibition floor. I’ll also be at the Photonics Media booth on two occasions for Meet the Editors events. On Saturday, January 27, during the BiOS portion of PW, I’ll be at booth 8735 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Three days later, from 3 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, I will be joined at booth 846-847 by Michael Wheeler, editor of Photonics Spectra; Autum Pylant, news editor/producer of Light Matters; Justine Murphy, editor of EuroPhotonics; and Karen Newman, publisher of our book division, Photonics Media Press. Please stop by to say hello, talk about your work or suggest what you’d like to read in our magazines.

Here at Photonics Media, we’ve been hard at work developing materials to take to San Francisco, which include copies of this issue of Industrial Photonics. Our cover story, “Thermal Imaging Spurs New Applications,” talks about advances that have made LWIR imaging more accessible for consumer and industrial markets. Teledyne Dalsa’s Jean Brunelle says that improved detector fabrication and cost control mean that the number of pure imaging applications of thermal imaging is expected to grow. In addition, radiometric applications hold great promise for process control and yield loss reductions (read article).

Components for vision systems have advanced and come down in price to the point where it’s easy to use machine inspection in places where it previously could not be justified, writes Tom Brennan of Artemis Vision. For all the improvements, there remains significant cost-saving steps that even smaller businesses can take to make machine vision an asset to a company. You can read about them in “Mastering Machine Vision,” (read article).

Elsewhere in this issue:

• Image-based barcode readers offer high read rates and are able to handle a variety of materials and printing methods. Bill Silver of Cognex Corp. writes about advances that have overcome challenges to capturing and analyzing quality images. The breakthrough involves modeling the behavior of fine features on a pixel grid and using algorithms matched to contemporary processor architecture. “Image-Based Barcode Reading Fulfills Its Promise” (read article).

• Contributing Editor Hank Hogan reports on the efforts to make additive manufacturing part of the standard manufacturing tool kit. Additive manufacturing already is used in automotive prototyping and other areas where it offers a cost advantage. It also could make high-volume manufacturing more efficient by enabling lightweighting and eliminating the need for retooling. But to take advantage of the technology in mass production will require advances that boost throughput and cut costs. “Additive Manufacturing Ups Its Game” (read article).

• Our PICKS column covers one critical decision for the design of a robotic machine vision system: whether to mount the camera on the robot tooling or fix it to a permanent structure. Most users choose fix-mounted cameras, writes Josh Person of Fanuc America. But fixed mounting is not best for all applications. “With robotic machine vision, mount cameras to fix application” (read article).

Enjoy the issue.

EditorialMarcia Stamell

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