OMNIQ: Capturing Machine Vision Images with Zebra Machine Vision Cameras

OmniQ has partnered with Zebra Technologies for their revolutionary new fixed industrial scanning (FIS) and machine vision (MV) solutions. Both help many companies around the world to automate their traceability, processes and visual inspections. In particular, we will be looking at Zebra Machine Vision solutions. We will go through:

  • The easy steps to connect Zebra devices to other networks, systems or hardware

  • How you can capture images, and

  • How to Configure Your Cameras and MV Jobs with Efficient and Simple Zebra Software

So, let’s go ahead and see how it all works.

What Zebra Machine Vision can do

Zebra MV cameras are part of a whole new platform for stationary industrial scanning and machine vision. Do you want both abilities from the same hardware? With a simple software license upgrade, you will be able to unlock machine vision imaging with your stationary scanning device.

Plus, with Zebra MV devices, you can automatically capture and analyze images. The devices are sophisticated yet easy to configure tools for visual inspections. You can automate the quality controls of labels, packaging and seals or bottle caps. You can also automatically detect foreign material, contamination or cosmetic defects. Zebra MV cameras can also perform assembly and kiting checks to ensure the correct parts or components are included. You will also be able to check the completion of the process steps.

It all happens with Zebra’s out-of-the-box hardware and easy-to-use Aurora software. They both provide a full set of powerful image configuration and analysis tools. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included.


In addition to the above, Zebra’s ImagePerfect can capture up to 16 different images of a single target. Each of them has its own image settings and there are several exposure settings for targets that require different lighting. There are also several focus plane settings for objects at different distances.

2. AutoTune

Zebra’s Autotune feature allows your machine vision cameras to automatically and precisely adjust focus, exposure, and lighting.

3. Locate the object

With optimized settings, regardless of orientation, position or other deviations, you’ll be able to quickly locate objects right out of the box.

4. QuickDraw

Zebra’s QuickDraw feature allows you to draw a frame around the area you want to inspect, directly on the image. Thus, you will be able to choose and configure your image capture tool.

5. Lighting

Zebra’s built-in internal lighting options include blue, white, red, infrared (IR), and multi-color. Additionally, external lighting options include front, rear and low angle lighting.

6. Lenses and optics

Much like contact lenses, lens options include flexible liquid lenses that sit in a liquid. This allows you to change focus quickly with low current. C-mount lenses are also available for mechanical adjustments, with a wide range of options for virtually any use case.

7. Filters

Bandpass / block filters allow you to control the wavelengths of light that reach your camera’s sensor. As a result, you can allow narrow bands of wavelengths to pass through or block large sections of the light spectrum.

8. Polarizers

Polarizers allow you to capture important details on objects. This includes surface roughness, scratches, dents, stress, and other potential issues. They can also be used to achieve ideal lighting conditions for the inspection of shiny, curved objects or having reflective surfaces. Polarizers do this by controlling the orientation of light, so that they only allow light oscillating in a particular direction to pass through.

9. Resolution

Zebra MV cameras offer a wide range of resolutions with sensors ranging from 1 to 5 megapixels.

Connecting to a Zebra Machine Vision System

Deploying ZEBRA MV solutions is simple with plug-and-play hardware that connects and works right out of the box. As a result, you can be up and running from day one with features covering all aspects of connecting, powering and integrating your system.

1. Double Ethernet

First of all, ZEBRA provides dual Ethernet connectivity. For this reason, it allows you to separate your machine vision connections from your factory infrastructure.

2. Connectivity protocols

Second, you can connect to any network, system, or hardware with standard protocols:

  • TCP / IP

  • Serial

  • Profinet / Modbus

  • CC link

3. Wired inputs and outputs

Third, you can trigger events with wired General Purpose Inputs / Outputs (GPIOs) for signaling, each with its own binary state.

For example, your input might be a trigger to trick a camera into capturing an image. And your exit, could be pass / fail status.

4. Power

Zebra machine vision devices can be powered by USB-C or 24V Power over Ethernet (POE).

5. Cloud connectivity

Finally, cloud-based connectivity means you can save images and analysis to the cloud for sharing, analysis, and post-processing.

No need for an additional PC

Zebra Machine Vision cameras can output their results via USB-C to any display monitor. This is so you don’t have to buy an additional desktop or laptop with a monitor connected to view your results.

Lighting connections

There is also direct connectivity to external lighting. This is for triggering and feeding.

Configuring a Camera and a Job

Zebra Machine Vision cameras are intuitive and easy to configure with Zebra’s Aurora software. The software also provides a full set of tools for beginners and experts. In addition, there is a simple and modern user interface, with sliders and radio buttons to control each parameter.

Aurora software includes automated configurations and the best settings for when tools are selected. You will have access to all the tools you need to set up even the most complex and difficult tasks.

1. Recognition of grounds

Above all, Zebra’s machine vision technology includes simple pattern recognition to find high contrast features. The technology also includes advanced pattern matching. This allows you to find difficult features with variations of lighting, scaling, occlusions, etc.

2. Edge detection

With the Edge Detection tool, you can also easily find edges for fixation and presence / absence checks.

3. Number of pixels

With the Pixel Count tool, you can count the number of pixels in a designated range.

4. Image analysis

Zebra’s smart camera technology provides built-in processing for faster, more reliable image capture and analysis. Cloud-based tools and resources allow images to be transmitted and post-processed in the cloud for future analysis.

Each device also includes Zebra’s PRZM Intelligent Imaging. This is ideal for stationary industrial scanning applications. The device also has advanced algorithms for beginners, precise capture of 1D / 2D barcodes and much more.

5. Exit from work

Zebra ImagePerfect + can produce a single job result from multiple image captures. For this reason, each image has its own settings to ensure the correct final image for inspection and analysis. The results of the image analysis are output via wired general purpose inputs / outputs (GPIO). In addition, the results of the character string analysis are transmitted via your preferred industrial protocol, with options such as TCP / IP, serial, Profinet / Modbus and CC Link.

6. Position diagnosis and performance analysis

Finally, Zebra’s Aurora software is browser-based. It provides easy access to real-time statistics, image results and analysis. So if a job fails, Zebra Golden Image lets you compare the failed image to a golden image you created during setup. You can view your images side by side to quickly diagnose and reveal the source of problems. From a dirty lens to a lighting problem and camera misalignment, the problem can be detected with just two clicks!

In addition, you can quickly connect to your cameras and diagnose any issues via USB and a web browser connection. A single cable can connect and power most Zebra Machine Vision cameras. And if they are on a network, they can also be connected through a web browser by simply typing in the IP address.

Learn more about Zebra’s cameras and machine vision capabilities

Want to learn more about Zebra Machine Vision and stationary industrial scanning? Visit our Zebra MV and FIS solutions page for a quick overview and download a complete brochure. Plus, you can contact our OmniQ team now to schedule a discovery call and get your questions answered.

Call us at 1-800-242-7272 or email us through our website.

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