A Schongau State of Mind. Innovation, Advancement and Industry Standards.

Editor’s note: This article published later than expected with thanks to Mike for his patience. For further reading on the standards meetings in Schongau – see the December print edition of inspect magazine.

When do engineers get to:

  • Meet old friends
  • Make new friends
  • Taste delicious foods
  • Enjoy local beverages – in beautiful places – while creating solutions…
  • … and work with competitors?

It’s more often than you might think – and recently – it happened again – and roughly every six months to a year during the machine vision standards committee meetings.

Certainly engineers participating in the meetings come back energized and eager to implement ideas and concepts agreed to during the meetings. So, do companies that contribute the time and expense for engineers to participate get value for their dollar? Read on… I’ll weigh in at the end.

I classify myself as a “hardware” guy and I had doubts about the 2 days of GenICam meetings I signed on for. As Chair of the Camera Link HS (CLHS) Committee, I hope to introduce some of the techniques used to coordinate the efforts of such a large team.

There was a big “Aha Moment”  for me during the 3D presentation which changed the requirements for CLHS revision 2. 3D cameras require that multiple types of data from one “frame” are stored together in one buffer or need to be associated with each other. Each data field or “zone” (as GigE likes to call them) can have different pixel types and bit depths. Revision 2 of CLHS includes multiple ROI from a single frame and as a result of attending the GenICam meetings,  I am happy to report that CLHS will be able to support multiple ROI, each with a different pixel type and bit depth as required by 3D cameras. Methods will be used to enable the camera to change the number and size of the Regions of Interest (ROIs) on every frame and inform the frame grabber and application software about the data that follows. Additionally, a new virtual channel will be added to communicate ROI definitions from the frame grabber to the camera, enabling the frame grabber hardware to command changes, or an application program, with frame by frame capability. Achieving all this functionality exceeded my expectations going into Schongau. I would like to thank the CLHS team for bringing their ideas to the table and for working together to achieve such a fantastic result.

Standards Committee Members

Standards Committee Members.
Copyright: inspect – Wiley-VCH Verlag

Thank you to Werner Feith of Sensor to Image for organizing such a large gathering and for making sure all 70 participants arrived safe, were well fed, and had places to sleep in the beautiful town of Schongau.  On behalf of the CLHS committee I would like to thank Werner and the employees at “Sensor to Image” for inviting the CLHS committee to use their conference room.  The beautiful offices and comfortable conference room helped CLHS achieve more than the goals set for the meeting.

And to answer my own question – “Is there return on investment?”  Innovation starts with understanding problems that require a solution. Standards committees share problems that enable innovation and allow for better products to be developed. Return on investment? I’d say yes – absolutely.


About Mike

Mike joined DALSA in 1989 and developed the company’s first generation cameras using only 32 flip flops for line scan or 64 flip flops for area array. Some of Mike’s designs are out of this world, including cameras on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2. Closer to home, Mike contributed to the initial development of Camera Link and now chairs the Camera Link HS committee. Seems Mike has a passion for camera to frame grabber communications and pioneering new ideas.
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