First commercialized by Perceptron in 1983, line sensors were used to verify critical dimensions on automotive bodies to determine part-to-part variation. At that time, they were referred to as 2.5D (two and a half D) sensors. Recently many companies have announced line sensors and call them 3D sensors. Are they really 3D? If a line sensor, or the object it is viewing, is moved precisely, then a 3D image can be created. But does that make a line sensor a 3D sensor? If so, that would be a real stretch!
Today a few companies such as Coherix have introduced true 3D sensors. In fact Coherix calls its new 3D sensors “Tru3D™“. This point-and-shoot sensor requires the object to remain relatively motionless for just one second while a 3D image is captured to generate a 3D math model, and another second to analyze the 3D model to detect any known failure modes. The Tru3D sensors empower Coherix’ in-line Robust3D™ solution products to provide 100% error proofing for in-line assembly verification.
Manufacturers don’t want to purchase sensors and software. Instead, they prefer a complete solution to their manufacturing challenge. Coherix incorporates its highly modular Tru3D sensors and highly modular i-Cite™ software to rapidly create and market specific Robust3D solution products. The power of 3D in manufacturing for “error proofing” is proving to be very reliable, especially compared to previous generation “temperamental 2D” technologies, which are heavily affected by changes in ambient light and part color. Although 2D vision cameras in manufacturing have given Machine Vision a bad name, and many manufacturing managers have a knee jerk reaction when they hear machine vision, Robust3D solutions are winning over these skeptics.