In June this year, STEMMER IMAGING and Zivid signed a distribution agreement for the Zivid One+ 3D color cameras. We took a moment to speak to Tim Huylebrouck, Product Manager at STEMMER's HQ in Pucheim, Germany.
So, Tim, how did you enter the world of machine vision?
I was studying Image Engineering Science at the Cologne University Of Applied Sciences, and noticed STEMMER’s ‘Imaging & Vision Handbook’ on some of my professors’ desks. I completed my degree and applied for a job with the company. Happily, I’ve been employed here now for four years, working in product management and exploring the latest trends in machine vision.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for people starting to use 3D vision today?
I’d say that inexperienced users can be overwhelmed by the options available. Simply selecting which technology is best-suited for a specific application can be a bit of a minefield. Whether it’s laser triangulation, active or passive stereoscopy, time of flight or pattern or fringe projection technologies, there really are are a lot of options to consider.
And then once the right technology has been selected, the next challenge is what software to use with it. Again, there are numerous options available from many different vendors, each with their unique attributes. That’s why we work through the whole decision-making process with our customers to ensure they have the combination of 3D products and software that’s just right for them.
Our company has a very broad portfolio of 3D imaging technologies, and our customers value us for the independent advice we can provide. Whether its for bin-picking, precision measurement or comparing a golden sample with a real-world object, we offer a machine vision solution that handles the task in the best way possible.
STEMMER IMAGING has decided to bring Zivid One+ 3D color cameras into its portfolio. What was the rationale behind the decision?
At STEMMER IMAGING we see ourselves as technology providers rather than distributors, since box-shifting is only a small part of our daily business. We always want to make sure that our customers have a significant technology advantage over their competitors and we found that the Zivid One+ filled a gap in our portfolio. Thanks to its point cloud quality, field of view flexibility and data acquisition speed, we’re now able to overcome challenges that previously couldn’t be solved.
From a pure technology perspective it was also very clear to us that we wanted to work with Zivid.
In a highly competitive landscape it’s very important to us that our partners also have the right mindset, and a strong customer orientation. And Zivid brings us this, making for a great partnership and an outstanding customer experience.
We hear that you took a Zivid 3D camera home with you. How did that go?
It’s true. The engineer in me came out, I grabbed a Zivid One+ from the demo pool and took it home to play with. To familiarise myself with a new product I’d normally pick it out of the warehouse and inspect it at my desk or in our tech support department. This time though it just felt different.
To the amusement of my surprised, yet supportive team manager, I think I wanted to prove to myself that I was still an engineer at heart, and this exciting new Zivid One+ was going to help me do it. And it did, and I’m still an engineer after all!
With Zivid’s online knowledge base it was very easy to get my laptop going with the latest Zivid software.
I updated my video card driver, installed Zivid Studio, connected the One+ camera to the USB port and I was away. The software automatically detected the camera and the default values worked well at grabbing me my first 3D color image. I could even see which tomatoes were ripe on my balcony!
Using Zivid One+ to extract high-definition point cloud and color data makes it possible to reliable detect objects, like Tim's tomatoes..
After a bit more work with the sensor, I got a good feel for which buttons to use to achieve the best results.
All in all, it only took me about 10 minutes to get from a packaged sensor to 3D color images on my laptop.
Another 10-20 minutes later and I knew how to use the HDR functionality. It wasn’t even a problem distinguishing between the almost black parts and shiny white parts on a rubber duck!
If people are interested in starting with 3D and using Zivid, what is your best advice?
Just give us a call. We have Zivid One+ sensors in-house and are ready to teach you how to use them.
I’d also recommend visiting our Machine Vision Technology Forum on its tour of Europe. It’s visiting five countries during October and November this year and experts from both STEMEMER IMAGING and Zivid will be there to discuss your projects.
And just like me, you can even get hands-on with all the technology!