Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hyperspectral imaging heads commercial

Multispectral imaging enables several discrete images in the visible and IR bands of the spectrum to be captured and processed. To capture continuous spectral bands from the ultraviolet to the far infrared, hyperspectral imaging is a powerful if often expensive imaging tool.

Hyperspectral remote-sensing applications have flourished for several decades. Now, low-cost imaging spectrometers are being introduced that allow innovative approaches to applications such as medical diagnostics, metallurgy, sorting materials, food processing, and microscopy.

We recently published an article by Rand Swanson at Resonon describing a compact hyperspectral imaging system that can be flown in a Cessna aircraft to monitor the spread of leafy spurge, an invasive weed that reduces grazing forage for livestock.

We’ve also reported on the use of hyperspectral imaging to detect the food pathogen Campylobacter and to sort walnuts.

A hyperspectral imaging microscopy system also allows detailed examination of LED structures in the visible and near-IR.

You can find more examples by searching our website. I expect to see numerous such articles in the future. For example, we’ll be describing a hyperspectral blueberry sorting system from EVK in Austria in our September issue.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Pharma needs machine vision

Discussions on the Vision System Design Group on LinkedIn have recently reflected the growing interest in using machine vision to inspect pharmaceutical products. We have published a series of technical article that might be of interest.

One article about a pharmaceutical packing system that uses IR and visible sensors describes how American SensoRx developed a system that inspects tablets, capsules, caplets, and gels at very high speeds before they are packed up and shipped to distributors.

Another describes how the German company Boehringer uses FireWire cameras to inspect capsules used in inhaled medications for respiratory disease.

And yet another describes how Pfizer added an x-ray system to its visible light inspection system to check tablets in blister packs.