- ViewIT is a hardware independent software framework for all IMAGO products that allows a faster development of customer-specific image processing applications
- Focus on the image processing task
- Save development time and costs
- Industry 4.0 capable
- Easy implementation of individual vision applications
Visual inspection and machine vision are increasingly used in various automation segments as they are the basis for efficient quality assurance processes. The prices for the hardware required to set up machine vision systems have been falling for years. Thus, the share of development cost is becoming increasingly important in order to implement cost-effective overall solutions. This is particularly true in very dynamic and competitive markets with high cost pressure, such as in the automotive industry or in food production. In such cases, image processing systems only offer cost-effective solutions if the total cost is amortized within a short period of time.
Nowadays, the development of visual inspection or automation systems often starts with a long learning process. Software engineers have to learn how to use libraries, SDKs and APIs provided by hardware manufacturers and therefore spend a lot of time solving problems that are not directly related to their main task, instead of focusing on the actual image processing part of the application they want to develop.
With the software framework ViewIT, IMAGO Technologies takes development efficiency for vision applications to the next level. Developers can use their preferred programming languages such as any kind of C++, Halcon or Python. The implementation takes considerably less time. Installation of any kind of C++ or Python libraries is allowed. This way a developer is completely free of using preferred tools not only for image processing, but also for handling communication and other tasks. In addition, the freedom of using any libraries opens up unique possibilities to migrate any vision application on IMAGO hardware. Developers can concentrate on the machine vision application, as image acquisition, data input and output, parametrization, the graphical user interface and machine integration is taken care of by ViewIT. In addition to these benefits, developed software parts and plugins for image processing can be transferred to other IMAGO Technology devices. The latter allows choosing the optimal hardware depending on the needs of a vision task.
The image processing framework ViewIT is designed to make the development of industrial image processing applications more efficient. The core idea is that the software engineer can concentrate purely on the task of industrial image processing, whereas the implementation of all other tasks involved during the realization of a machine vision project is taken over by ViewIT.
Image acquisition simplified
The focus on the actual task starts with the image acquisition, where the automation tool ViewIT takes over all the necessary settings with regard to the images and the image acquisition. Entire buffer management, triggering and other subtleties of the frame grabber drivers are handled by ViewIT.
Faster I/O handling
In every image processing application, digital inputs and outputs are used, for example to trigger the image acquisition, to communicate the results and to report detected error information on the checked objects to the system. The accessing the digital I/Os from software a software developer must be familiar with the SDKs and APIs provided by hardware manufacturers. If it is not the case, the developer must learn the corresponding API first. The latter can be extremely time-consuming, depending on the task and the complexity of the overall system.
The use of ViewIT, the powerful tool box for machine vision, significantly reduces the effort for this part of the development, since developers can achieve the desired result simply by setting and evaluating variables. The task can be accomplished in their preferred programming language, thus helping to save valuable development time.
ViewIT takes care of the GUI
A graphical user interface (GUI) is required for communication between man and machine in many image processing applications. Among other things, users should be able to change settings on the smart cameras, adjust examination algorithm parameters, change programs when switching to other test objects or call up statistical evaluations. The display of recorded images or the administration of the existing image processing scripts is usually implemented via graphical user interfaces. Development of such an interface and the actual image processing are completely different tasks, involves different techniques and tools, which can mean completely new territory for image processing developers and thus an extremely high training effort. The feature provided by the GUI of ViewIT fit 90% of the image processing application needs.
The ViewIT image processing framework was developed by the experienced specialists at IMAGO Technologies from a practical point of view in order to simplify the implementation of high-performance image processing systems for users and also to completely cover complex requirements. Thus, ViewIT contains practical profile management opportunities for users to choose from that can be used separately or combined, covering details like the camera configuration, the image processing, or the communication. ViewIT also takes care for the management of processing procedures and acquired images. In addition, the software framework supplies statistics that are useful to organize and optimize the whole image processing task.
Debugging made easy
ViewIT’s helpful features make debugging of created programs easier for users. The customer has the possibilities to upload images onto the IMAGO device or download the images directly from the GUI. All acquired images are available via REST API interface. The use of previously recorded images enables easy test runs of the system. The use of sequences of images or video capture as well as a ring buffer for storing Good/NotGood images also lead to effective debugging processes.
Debugging of Halcon scripts can easily be performed directly from HDevelop. ViewIT features Halcon debugging server running of the device, enabling debugging directly on the device. Developers can step through written Halcon procedures and visually check intermediate results etc.
These extensive functions of the development tool for machine vision, ViewIT, ensure that highly skilled engineers invest their valuable time in nothing else but their essential tasks and can develop the planned image processing application in an efficient and competitive manner.
Freedom to install any library
Sometimes there is a need to install custom libraries on IMAGO Technologies devices, e.g. because of an existing company code-base and knowhow, or because current hardware has been discontinued and the software must therefore be ported. In these cases, IMAGO Technologies devices and ViewIT provide an outstanding solution because clients have full control of the device and can install and use libraries of their choice to develop the image processing part effectively.
Ready for Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 has been one of the major trends in automation for a number of years. The aim of the associated activities is to optimize the interoperability of machines and systems in production across manufacturers, thus creating the basis for more flexible manufacturing processes and the so-called smart factory. The OPC-UA protocol plays a central role here: It defines the transport of data, all necessary interfaces, security mechanisms and the semantic structure of, among other things, sensor data, measured values or control instructions that occur within a production plant and need to be exchanged between the individual machines as well as with higher-level systems.
ViewIT fully supports the goals of Industry 4.0 by providing the functionalities of both OPC UA servers and OPC UA clients. The industry 4.0 software ViewIT also provides the RESTfull API programming interface, which complies with the established industry requirements and allows to integrate IMAGO devices with ViewIT into a GUI of a machine, production line or factory. For image processing systems based on ViewIT, this also means a simplified communication between the cameras used, the image processing systems and the entire system. With these prerequisites, ViewIT enables standardized and faster integration of image processing in higher-level systems, which again saves developers time in realizing their solutions.
One software for diverse hardware
The image processing framework ViewIT serves as a software platform for all programmable hardware products from IMAGO Technologies and covers every performance level from the vision sensor PV3 to the intelligent cameras VisionCam XM and VisionCam LM up to the powerful image processing computers of the Vision Box series. If an application requires an upgrade of the hardware used, the effort for this step is considerably lower for the user due to the problem-free porting of the software.
This possibility can save a lot of development time, e.g. when using ViewIT for high speed applications that run at higher framerates and thus need more computational power. In such cases a more powerful device from IMAGO Technologies´ product line should be used. Migration to new hardware of the vision application is reduced to a simple copy of the plugin or image processing part and everything is ready go. There´s no need to develop the application from scratch as ViewIT takes care of all the aspects like the image acquisition, data input and output, parametrization, the graphical user interface and the machine integration.
This is also true for applications that have low-cost requirements: developers can opt for an inexpensive hardware device, use existing image processing parts and finalize their machine vision system without having to implement anything from scratch. These ViewIT advantages also apply to the use of smart line-scan cameras. Switching from area-scan to line-scan or back has never been so easy.
As much ViewIT as you need
The image processing framework ViewIT is available in several versions, depending on whether you want more degrees of freedom or more support:
ViewIT Light is included in the scope of delivery of IMAGO devices and is free of charge. This version contains, among other things, intuitive functionalities for creating a WebGUI, options for synchronous and asynchronous image acquisition, a ring buffer management for acquired images, device configuration profiles and scripts management capabilities, image processing with Python scripts (e.g. OpenCV) as well as parameterization and result output in production mode over RESTful API and digital I/Os. ViewIT light requires no programming outside of Python.
ViewIT Halcon Basic
ViewIT Halcon Basic is the entry level into Halcon-based scripts with the functional range foundation, bar code reading and data code reading. This version includes a WebGUI with intuitive functionality, options for synchronous and asynchronous image acquisition, a ring buffer management for acquired images, device configuration profiles and HDevelop scripts management, basic image processing functionality with HDevelop scripts, parameterization and result output in production mode by using OPC UA server & client architectures, the RESTful API, full support of debugging via HDevelop and requires no programming outside HDevelop.
ViewIT Halcon integrates Halcon-based image processing scripts, including a full Halcon license for IMAGO Technology hardware. Apart from that, this version includes a WebGUI with intuitive functionality, options for synchronous and asynchronous image acquisition, a ring buffer management for acquired images, device configuration profiles and HDevelop scripts management, image processing functionality with HDevelop scripts, parameterization and result output in production mode by using OPC UA server & client architectures, the RESTful API, full support of debugging via HDevelop and requires no programming outside HDevelop.
In the rare cases where the three ViewIT versions mentioned above don´t cover all requirements, ViewIT Custom will offer a solution: This framework version will be adapted according to your individual requirements by our experts.