Nikon releases LuFact ultra-compact machine vision camera

July 5, 2022

[photo]
Camera head LuFact AH020-MR
[photo]
I/F conversion unit LuFact A1000-G

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of a new ultra-compact machine vision camera*1, LuFact to help accelerate the digital transformation (DX) at manufacturing sites.

LuFact is Nikon's first machine vision camera leveraging their specialized image processing technology that has been developed across many years of digital camera innovation. The ultra-compact LuFact design was achieved by separating the camera head that captures images from the interface conversion unit (I/F conversion unit) that performs image processing. This efficient design enables easy installation onto existing equipment, production lines, robot hands and many other varied applications. This release includes LuFact products having two different types of camera heads, a high-sensitivity model and a high-resolution model, as well as two types of I/F conversion units featuring different transmission standards.

The product name LuFact evolved from the phrase “Luminous Factory Camera” and describes a camera that dramatically improves manufacturing capabilities by bringing to light things that were previously not visible.

Product Overview

Product Name Camera head*2 LuFact AH020-MR
LuFact AH080-MR
I/F conversion unit*2 LuFact A1000-G (GigE Vision model)
LuFact A1000-U (USB3 Vision model)
Availability Japan: August 2022

Development Background

There is an ever-increasing need for digital transformation at manufacturing sites to improve productivity, reduce costs, and create new products and services. Machine vision cameras able to quickly capture images with ultra-fine sensitivity and resolution are necessary to automate the monitoring and visual inspection of manufacturing processes that were historically performed by humans. When considering installation on existing equipment, within production lines, to robot hands, etc., it is imperative that the cameras are also compact and lightweight with a high degree of freedom in installation.

LuFact leverages decades of Nikon digital camera technology and innovation. In addition to capturing images with superior sensitivity and resolution, its ultra-compact design and high-speed processing markedly improves operations and efficiency to support the digital transformation at manufacturing sites.

The LuFact camera head AH020-MR and I/F conversion unit A1000-G were developed by Nikon as part of the “CR2project”*3, which is being coordinated by Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation in their support for the conversion to smart factories. Nikon participated in the project in cooperation with SCK, and after undergoing successful performance evaluation at the SCK manufacturing site, LuFact was officially adopted by SCK.

Key Features

1. Ultra-compact form factor

By separating the camera head from the I/F conversion unit, the ultra-compact form factor was achieved. LuFact offers a high degree of freedom and ease of installation onto existing equipment and within production lines. Its small and lightweight design enables attachment to a robot hand to increase the accuracy of robot arm movements.

2. Reduced heat emission in the production line

The ability to install the camera head and I/F conversion unit separately can reduce heating in the existing machinery as well as production line. Placing the I/F conversion unit away from the camera head prevents the thermal shutdowns*4 of the unit caused by high ambient temperature around the camera head.

3. Selectable camera heads according to user needs

There are high-sensitivity model (AH020-MR) and high-resolution model (AH080-MR) available. It is possible to choose the camera heads according to the user's requirements like with an interchangeable lens camera.

4. Easy to develop camera control applications using software development kit

Applications to control the LuFact camera series can easily be developed using the software development kit, which includes an application programming interface (API), developer reference manual, and sample codes. This will support and streamline development for various applications.

Main Specifications

1) Camera head

Product name AH020-MR AH080-MR
Image sensor 1/2.8” CMOS Image sensor 1/1.8” CMOS Image sensor
Active pixels 1945 (H) x 1097 (V)  2.13 MP 3864 (H) x 2180 (V)  8.42 MP
Effective pixels 1920 (H) x 1080 (V) 3840 (H) x 2160 (V)
Effective image size
(Effective imaging area)
Horizontal: 5.568 mm
(1920 x 2.9 µm)
Vertical: 3.132 mm
(1080 x 2.9 µm)
Diagonal: 6.388 mm
Horizontal: 7.680 mm
(3840 x 2.0 µm)
Vertical: 4.352 mm
(2160 x 2.0 µm)
Diagonal: 8.812 mm
Scanning mode Progressive scan
Color filter array Monochrome
Shutter type Rolling shutter
Sensitivity F2.0
[Conditions]
Subject brightness: 500 lx
Gain: 0 dB
Exposure time: 39.7528 ms
F8.0
[Conditions]
Subject brightness: 3100 lx
Gain: 0 dB
Exposure time: 21.267 ms
Output frame rate 12 bit
120 fps: Approx.119.8 fps
60 fps: Approx.60.06 fps
30 fps: Approx.30.03 fps
10 bit, 8 bit
120 fps: Approx.120.12 fps
60 fps: Approx.60.06 fps
30 fps: Approx.30.03 fps
120 fps: Approx.114.8 fps
60 fps: Approx. 59.8 fps
30 fps: Approx. 30.0 fps
Lens mount S mount
Dimensions (W x H x D) 20 mm x 20 mm x 43.2 mm
Weight 25.5 g

2) I/F conversion unit

Product name A1000-G A1000-U
Dimensions (W x H x D) 54 mm x 35 mm x 96 mm
Weight 203.5 g
Power supply PoE (IEEE802.3af compliant)
USB
Interface GigE Vision USB3 Vision
Output (pixel format) GVSP Mono8/Mono10Packed/
Mono12Packed
Mono8/Mono10p/Mono12p

3) Software development kit

Supported OS Microsoft Windows 10 64 bit
Development language C/C++
Development environment Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.