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Machine vision camera makes the right connections

The Iris GT from Matrox Imaging is a powerful smart camera family featuring Matrox Design Assistant, an intuitive, versatile and extendable integrated development environment (IDE). 


Manufacturing engineers and technicians can easily and quickly configure and deploy machine vision applications on a highly integrated platform without the need for conventional programming. 

Caption: The Iris GT from Matrox Imaging smart camera family. Phoenix Contact M12 connectors, available in several designs up to 17 positions (inset top right), were designed into the camera.

Video capture, analysis, location, measurement, reading, verification, communication and I/O operations as well as a web-based operator interface are all set up within the single IDE. 

Matrox has always considered cost and price to be a primary customer concern. During the early stages of development of the new generation Iris GT camera, the customers were polled to determine what features they considered critical. The results led to a philosophical shift within Matrox that quality and robustness needed to be their primary focus with developing the new camera.

For the connections of the serial, USB, I/O, Ethernet data and power, Fabio Perelli, product manager of Matrox Imaging, was faced with the challenge of sourcing a connector that provided a small footprint and allowed the product to be certified to FCC class A, CE class A, RoHS, IP67 (IEC 60529-dust tight and protected against temporary immersion), and EN 60721-3-3 Category 3M8 (operating vibration up to 5 g and shock up to 25 g).The cables for the new camera would also need to be available and accepted by the customers around the world. 

Matrox approached Phoenix Contact and soon discovered that a new high density M12 connector was being developed and the partnership thus begun. Phoenix Contact was able to meet Matrox’s stringent design expectations with three M12, IP67-rated round connectors. 

One 12-pin connector for VGA video and USB data, another for 1Gb Ethernet capabilities and the third,  high-density, 17-pin connector for I/O and power were required.

The connectors and cable solution also offered Phoenix Contact’s patented Speedcon fast locking system. This allows the customer to be able to connect the cable with only a 1/2 twist when used with cables from Phoenix Contact, but able to also be used with standard M12 cable connectors as well. 

According to Perelli, “dealing with Phoenix Contact was simple. You asked for specifications, you received specifications. You ask for a price, you received a price. So many suppliers forget it’s the simple things that make a difference.” 

Of course, power, data and I/O would need to be fed into the camera through cables. Here Phoenix Contact was able to offer several options to Matrox to package its cameras.

Although a package solution and some cables were being offered by Matrox, it was not interested in becoming a distributor of cables. It was important that any customer from around the world be able to source cables locally. Alone in North America, Phoenix Contact offers over 920 distribution outlets where the cables can be purchased. Add this to Phoenix Contact’s global footprint in over 70 countries, this criteria was met.

Matrox has offices in the U.K., Ireland and Germany, and sales representatives in more than 20 countries.

A developer of component-level imaging products, the company is recognized for providing OEMs and integrators in the manufacturing, medical diagnostic and security industries with innovative yet cost-effective solutions. Besides cameras, products include interface boards and processing platforms, all designed to provide optimum price-performance within a common software environment. 

Specifically designed to decrease development time and costs, Matrox Imaging technology is used in factory automation, process control, electronics and pharmaceutical packaging, semiconductor inspection, robotics, radiology, microscopy, and video surveillance. Matrox ensures that customers stay with the company over multiple product generations by consistently meeting their demands for cutting-edge technology, technical consulting services, integration assistance and the highest manufacturing standards.

This article was contributed by Phoenix Contact Canada.
www.phoenixcontact.ca