Canon Launches Camera for Solar Panel Inspection

2014/03/24 15:35
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Canon Inc released the "M15P-CL" camera for product inspection March 19, 2014.

A high quality is required for cameras used for equipment that takes still images for product inspection in manufacturing processes. And an increasing number of such cameras are being adopted for quality inspection of the optical components of solar panels, LCD panels, digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras, etc. By using inspection cameras in inspection processes that have been handled with human eyes, it becomes possible to realize high-resolution detection, Canon said.

The M15P-CL comes with a monochrome CMOS sensor (pixel count: about 15 million) that Canon newly developed based on its high-sensitivity CMOS sensor used in the "EOS" series of lens-interchangeable cameras. The company realized low noise with a wide dynamic range, enabling inspection with a high contrast.

As a result, it became possible to accurately detect flaws such as minute scratches and foreign objects that are difficult to be detected with human eyes by displaying several levels of grayscale with a high resolution even in low-contrast inspection environments, the company said.

With its low-noise performance, the camera allows various settings. For example, the brightness gain (sensitivity) of a captured image at the time of shooting can be improved by up to 256 times with low-noise analog gain (1 to 16 times) and digital gain (1 to 16 times). For image output, it supports the "Camera Link," an interface standard that realizes high-speed transmission and is widely used in the market for industrial cameras.