Epson develops spectroscopic camera for automated colour inspections

Epson has developed a compact, lightweight spectroscopic camera for integration into manufacturing lines.

The spectroscopic camera is a first developed by Epson and is one that captures light across the visible spectrum.

According to Epson, differences in colour can occur between products in different production lots in ordinary manufacturing processes.

As such, a spectroscopic camera can be used by manufacturers to perform colour variation inspections and surface coating inspections to control these differences to a certain extent and ensure product quality.

“The RGB cameras currently used in these inspections are unable to capture detailed colour information and are not always able to distinguish between subtle differences in colour,” Epson said, in a statement.

“Consequently, most visual inspections relied on human colour perception. However, colour perception varies among individuals, and human error puts manufacturers at risk of shipping defective goods.

“Time and cost constraints make colour management an issue in many industries. Spectroscopic cameras have traditionally been large and expensive, and those equipped with line sensors may have to composite images after scanning, adding to the time and expense.”

The compact and lightweight spectroscopic camera can be integrated into manufacturing lines, automating and quantifying inspections and output images without the need for compositing.

“This spectroscopic camera will enable manufacturers to manage colour in their manufacturing processes more easily than ever before,” Epson added.

Some of its other features include: the same compactness and weight as an RGB camera; integral field spectroscopy, allowing focus on an area, colour measurement and colour distinguishing of an object within the visible light range; and image processing functions used along with spectral imaging functions.

Epson aims to launch the product in the 2020 fiscal year ending March 2021.

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