Sensor technology and machine vision from one source

14th November 2022
Beth Floyd

SICK and MVTec Software are deepening their strategic cooperation. Algorithms of MVTec's HALCON machine vision software will be integrated into SICK's sensors. The corresponding agreement was signed by Dr. Martin Schenk, Senior Vice President Product Management SICK, and Dr. Olaf Munkelt, Managing Director MVTec Software, at the SPS trade fair in Nuremberg on the 9th November. 

From now on, algorithms of the standard machine vision software MVTec HALCON will also be available on both embedded and PC-based systems in SICK's automation solutions. SICK is a solution provider for sensor-based applications for industrial applications. MVTec, in turn, is a creator of software for machine vision with its software products HALCON, MERLIC and the Deep Learning Tool. "With the now concluded, closer strategic cooperation, we are bringing the strengths of the two worlds of sensor technology and machine vision even closer together. The beneficiaries of the solution from a single source are clearly the users," explained Dr. Munkelt.  

Leveraging joint strengths through collaboration

The company states that the integration of the machine vision standard software HALCON into SICK's programming ECO system provides the answer to the automation industry's increased requirements in terms of flexibility and scope of services. "By working together across companies, we can leverage strengths and present our customers with solutions that generate more transparency and quality even faster. The strategic development of our Inspector P Series and Sensor Integration Machine family as well as our extensive camera portfolio allows us to respond even more flexibly to customer needs. Furthermore, our OEMs and integrators can profit from HALCON's extensive developments. In particular, our quality control systems benefit from the possibilities HALCON offers, for example with OCR and other image processing algorithms," said Dr. Martin Schenk, Senior Vice President Product Management.

Machine vision opens up new industries and applications

SICK and MVTec have already been working together since 2015. It is the declared ambition of both companies to jointly advance technological developments in the automation industry by contributing their individual strengths. "By combining classic methods of image processing and new deep learning technologies, industrial image processing is giving the entire automation sector a technological boost. Increasingly powerful embedded systems are also contributing to this. Machine vision is thus increasingly becoming the eye of production. And we at MVTec supply the appropriate software for this,” said Dr. Munkelt.  

With HALCON, MVTec offers software that is specially tailored to the needs of industrial PCs and embedded devices such as sensors. This ensures that the software achieves optimal performance on all platforms. At the same time, MVTec's software supports all relevant interfaces and thus enables fast implementation and maximum compatibility within the embedded devices. Users thereby have more options when it comes to choosing appropriate operating systems, architectures, and camera models for their solutions.

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