Key features for Industrial applications
Unlike in the consumer world, where the Auto Focus actuator would be used a few thousands of times per year, industrial applications often mean “heavy duty” requirements. Typical usage of an industrial camera would be a conveyor belt, or on an automated manufacturing equipment.
The table below gives an idea of the number of cycles required in such applications:
| 1 shift
| 2 shifts
| 3 shifts
7 days /week
|1 actuator movement /s||7 M||14 M||31 M|
|3 actuator movement /s||21 M||42 M||93 M|
Number of Actuator cycles per year
Conventional ways of focusing a lens, such as miniature motors, have been largely implemented in consumer cameras. However, the typical lifetime of mechanical actuators is in the range of 100k cycles to 2 million cycles, depending on the technology and the supplier. These solutions would typically fail after a few weeks or months in industrial applications. Liquid Lens has been tested over 100 million cycles with no change in performances, and counting!
Liquid Lens: the only solution for Heavy Duty Applications!
Industrial applications require high speed of focus, in order to be compatible with high throughput applications.
Mechanical solutions usually have hysteresis, meaning that the “position versus voltage” curve is not predictable. Therefore, the only possible way of focusing the lens is to analyze the contrast of the image and loop until the focus is set (also called closed loop mode). This typically leads to Time to Focus of >1 second with mechanical solutions.
Liquid Lens has no hysteresis, and therefore the lens performance can be easily calibrated, enabling both fast closed loop mode and ultra-fast open loop mode. Time to Focus can reach typically 20ms or less in open loop mode!
Liquid Lens: enables high throughput applications!
Example of Industrial Camera with Liquid Lens