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Hyperspectral machine vision cameras

From visible to SWIR, and beyond

How do you automatically inspect unpredictable processes? Let imec’s real-time hyperspectral cameras keep an eye on your production line.

Food, pharma, plastics, ... Every industry you can think of now uses machine vision cameras. They fulfill a crucial role in the automation of processes like identification, sorting and fault detection.

Of course, not every industrial inspection camera has – nor needs ­– an equally sharp eye. Hyperspectral cameras have a crucial advantage: even when items are indistinguishable in color or shape, their spectral signature reveals their true identity.

imec snapscan SWIR nuts

The distinction between walnut and seemingly identical shell is easy thanks to their different fat content and corresponding reflectance in the SWIR wavelength bands.

Machine vision and predictability

Machine vision systems for automatic inspection often use push-broom cameras. These consequently scan lines of pixels – and then construct the full image.

That works fine for predictable processes like printing or the production of textiles on rolls. But not for moving, rotating objects such as avocados rolling of a conveyor belt. Nor for more advanced machine vision applications such as robots picking randomly positioned objects out of a bin.

In these cases, snapshot cameras are better up to the task. Because they take real-time images that cover a larger surface, nothing escapes their notice – even in unpredictable settings.

Explore our snapshot cameras

Machine vision cameras for all materials

Imec’s snapshot cameras are easy to use and deploy. They cover a wide range of wavelengths that allow you to correctly classify virtually all materials: from food and minerals to textiles and plastics.

imec snapscan SWIR textiles classified annotated

Hyperspectral imaging in the SWIR range enables robust classification of various black color textile types including Viscose, Wool, Acrylic, Cotton, PET, ...

Plastic recycling

Hyperspectral imaging in the SWIR range enables robust classification of various white plastics types including PET, PVC, PE, PMMA, PS, PP, ...

Want to use imec’s hyperspectral cameras for your machine vision projects?

Imec offers a full range of snapshot hyperspectral cameras that are easy to deploy. They always come with imec’s HSI MOSAIC software to acquire and analyze data cubes, and its API for automation in a larger system.

Read this 2023 press release about our combined VIS & NIR spectral camera system, complemented with hi-res RGB imaging, for data acquisition at video rate.

These complete systems are ideal for the rapid exploration and integration of hyperspectral machine vision for automatic inspection of your production process.

Want to build your dedicated machine vision camera system? As we control the complete manufacturing process from image sensors to systems, we’re happy to assist you with every step of your development.

Get in touch

Contact our business development team.