Helping machines to better see their world

ams OSRAM optical solutions for machine vision enable machines to see their world precisely. Machine vision encompasses a wide range of applications. One example is automatic optical inspection for quality control: The matching combination of imager resolution, frames per second image sampling speed, line or 2D scene scanning, global or rolling shutter technology as along with matching - scene illumination are essential for achieving the desired image quality. If the scene illumination is complementary to normal daylight, then spectrally adaptive illumination controlled by a sensor might be required. ams OSRAM offers a broad selection of leading edge product solutions addressing today's need for the different machine-vision applications and use cases. Near infrared illumination, both with flood-illuminators and high-contrast dot illuminators, combined with sensitive NIR image sensors enables compact, cost effective, and high-performance vision systems immune to ambient illumination conditions outside our control.  

ams OSRAM is a leader for LED- and laser-based illuminators, (both VCSEL and EEL technologies), at different power classes, spectrum and package options. Furthermore, our portfolio offers image sensors with high quantum-efficiency and resolutions ranging from low up to high double-digit mega pixels with product families in the visible spectrum and daylight-immune near-infrared. Our imager and illuminator offering is available at different integration levels and form factors, covering fully integrated miniature cameras with a footprint below 1mm² or pre-packaged imagers with optical filters and lenses with a imager sensor modules.

As a one-stop shop offering all component expertise for camera sensing system in house, we can provide a single point of contact with full expert-level competence on all optical aspects of machine vision systems. Our partner eco-system and easy-to-deploy design kits accelerate our customers’ designs to market. It allows them to tailer their machine vision solution exactly to the requirements of the underlying application and the imaging constraints of advanced machine learning algorithms operating on top of those hardware systems.

Factory Automation Machine Vision Camera Inspection Barcode Readers Automated Identification  Data Acquisition Backlight  Condition Monitoring  Predictive Maintenance

3D sensing for presence detection and object location

Precise and reliable 3D sensing is essential for many production tasks in factory automation, especially for self-adjusting pick-and-place tasks: 3D sensing enables the machine to accurately identify the objects it needs to work on within its specific environment. Vision-based 3D sensing solutions are typically realized using dual camera setups for stereovision or single camera combined with defined pattern projections setups for structured light vision setups. If structured light projection is combined with stereovision for even higher 3D scanning performance, it is called “active” stereovision. In addition, time-of-flight (ToF) based 3D scanning concepts are being deployed where either the single pulsed (direct ToF) or continuously modulated (iToF) runtime between emitted and object reflected photons is being measured. 

Besides the vision-based 3D- sensing solutions, which can be realized with the ams OSRAM imager and illuminator or dot-projection portfolio in order to master the manifold application challenges, non-vision-based 3D sensing can also be realized with sensors by ams OSRAM. Fully integrated multi-zone dToF sensors detect and measure the distance to objects as well as enabling simple motion path prediction algorithms. Due to the fact, that the all product within ams OSRAM’s multi-zone 3D dToF sensor family process the relevant distance and zoning information on chip and provides it histogram-based to an outside controller, sensor integration is very simple and the supervising microcontroller is offloaded from many basic algorithmic calculation tasks.  

For iToF cameras and LiDAR scanners our integrated VCSEL and edge-emitting (EEL) laser products are first choice, across different spectrum, power, package or integration options.  

Factory Automation Machine Vision Camera Inspection Barcode Readers Automated Identification  Data Acquisition Backlight  Condition Monitoring  Predictive Maintenance

Barcode readers

Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) refers to the ability to precisely identify objects and obtain key metrics such as IDs, target / destination address data etc. AIDC scanners are used in retail, point-of-sale terminals, courier pick-up, and warehousing for reading bar-codes or QR-codes. They are typically based on linear image sensors or 2D array imagers. AIDC scanners can also be found around high-speed conveyer belts in a distribution center where both the QR code and the volume of the package are monitored. 

additional parameter sets some key metrics. For example, handheld AIDC scanners used in retail, point-of-sale terminals, courier pick-up, and warehousing are based on linear image sensors or 2D array imagers. Another example would be an advanced fixed camera in a high-speed conveyer belt in a distribution center where both the QR code and the volume of the package are monitored. In those installations they are typically realized by fixed installations of advanced high speed line scan or global shutter cameras. 

AIDC systems consist of three parts: the illumination system, the optical sensor and the decoder. The illumination system lights the black and white elements of the barcode- or QR-code with Laser or LED light, typically in the red spectrum. In more advanced systems, the sensor consists of an image sensor which detects the reflected light from the illumination system and generates a digital signal stream which is sent to the decoder. Simpler systems realize the sensor function with an array of discrete photodiodes, which provide an analog signal of the obtained reflection signal. Finally the decoder, which is usually a small microcontroller, interprets the captured barcode- or QR-code signal response, validates it and converts it into numerical code which can be further processed within the controlling host system. 

ams OSRAM provides the complete product portfolio for realizing the illumination and sensing part of an AIDC system: Right fit CMOS image sensors can be easily integrated into these scanners. High-speed line scanners enable 1D readout or easy integration in fast conveyer belts. Global shutter image sensors with high quantum efficiency enable power-efficient readout with no distortion of the scanned image data. These global shutter image sensors also enable 3D volume measurements if integrated in a 3D vision system using stereovision or structured-light.  

Our laser diodes are the ideal light source for barcode- or QR-code scanning. New green laser diodes enable users to benefit from the four-times brighter appearance of a green laser compared to red without sacrificing the valuable features of red lasers. The better visibility is ideal for longer distance scanners. In terms of distance control, the optical solution could even be complemented with precise proximity or presence sensing solutions helping with autofocus and controlled system wake-up to save energy.

Factory Automation Machine Vision Camera Inspection Barcode Readers Automated Identification  Data Acquisition Backlight  Condition Monitoring  Predictive Maintenance


Traditional production environments consist of a mixture of numerous mechanical protection devices, such as safety fences which prevent humans or equipment from getting to close to hazardous or sensitive machines or production steps. In more open and flexible production environments, the required safety function is realized by 2D- or 3D-LiDAR laser scanners or 1D-/2D-LED light curtains. These consist of a separated emitter and receiver unit with an embedded photodetector. Hundreds of LiDAR scanners, light-beam/-curtains and controlled mechanical safety fences can be found in each production environment. Driven by the principles of Industry 4.0, production environments are becoming more open and flexible. LEDs, lasers and matching photodiodes from ams OSRAM can be found in many of the installed devices due to their proven quality and reliability.  

In order to reduce the overall scanning complexity, the new trend is towards more advanced 3D-scanning in more open environments, which combine the relevant presence detection measurements within a single sensor., This simplifies scanning architectures and opens new algorithmic opportunities for e.g. motion part prediction. ams OSRAM provides a broad offering of vision based sensing products especially suited for 3D-based sensing. These include high quantum efficiency near-infrared global shutter imagers and pattern projectors. Additionally, ready integrated multi-zone time-of-flight sensors provide high design flexibility at very low-computational overhead for obtaining the required 3D position information. 

Functional safety in production environments have aspects beyond just localization and presence detection. Often, hazardous machines operated by humans require dedicated hands-off/on detection. Advanced multi-channel capacitive sensing controllers by ams OSRAM paired with smart proximity sensors can be the basis for a comprehensive safety monitoring system, which allows operation of machines only if the overall status is functionally safe. Safe state can be visually indicated by selecting from a rich set of multi-color LEDs at different form factors, package options and power classes. Innovative status indications could also be realized by projecting a user defined pattern or symbol onto the floor or walls around the monitored production equipment. 


Condition monitoring / predictive maintenance

Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance algorithms in combination with machine learning and artificial intelligence give data-driven insights for optimum machine operation and right-time maintenance. Factory automation distinguishes five levels of maintenance. The lowest level is reactive and preventive maintenance, which triggers repair when broken or at fixed intervals, or in the best case, before broken. Condition-based maintenance relies on continuous machine monitoring in order to detect and signal the machine’s deviation from a known-good state as early as possible and trigger the necessary maintenance action. Predictive maintenance adds a look ahead layer on top of the condition monitoring for assessing, how long a machine could be operated before a maintenance action might be needed. It relies on broad sets of statistical data from the past to project the remaining run-time. Machine learning further improves the maintenance prediction and the machine operation by assessing usage patterns in a much wider context. Common to all the different monitoring and prediction algorithms is the necessity of precise machine data provided by smart and accurate sensors. 

Existing ams OSRAM sensor portfolio covers broad range of parameters and effectively feeds predictive maintenance algorithms with the data they need. Examples are position sensing for worn-out gear-boxes, optical emitter-detector pairs for detection of dust, dirt, smoke or even mechanical misalignments, highest precision temperature sensors, color sensing for detecting variations in coatings and paints, spectral sensing of detection of moisture or deviations from required material states, capacitive sensing for measurement of film thickness or application of adhesives at the right quantities. Innovative UV-spectral sensing for detection of critical partial discharges inside motors or high-voltage supplies is possible with ams OSRAM sensors. We provide the right sensor function for bringing clarity into the operational status and actual health state of critical machines.