Sensor Cover Glass Removal: Machine vision camera customization for enhanced accuracy

Posted by Gretchen Alper on Tue, Nov 1, 2011

Standard image sensors found in industrial cameras come ‘of the shelf’ and can have limitations that can stand in the way of optimal performance, accuracy, and application-usefulness. As a result, it is often necessary to customize the sensors to meet specific system requirements.  Addressing certain aspects of sensors is a way how experienced camera manufacturers can customize cameras to meet the different needs of measurement methods.  In a previous blog we talked about our willingness to modify the anti-reflection coatings on sensors to improve performance at a desired wavelength.  Today we announce our full support of another modification option (cover glass removal) to eliminate limitations of the sensor design.

The manufImage sensoracturer-installed cover glass that is used to protect the sensor from damage, mechanical issues, and environmental conditions such as dust can also cause issues for certain measurement techniques. The cover glass is typically taped or glued to the sensor by the manufacturer and often times it is integrated within the vision system or camera directly as-is. This is an important protective element, but can also be limiting in terms of the accuracy and usability of the sensor for certain applications.


Removing the cover glass

For applications requiring the highest degree of accuracy, system developers will often want to remove the cover glass. The primary reason for this is to remove every possible 'noise' source in the optical path. The conversion from air-to-cover glass-to-air is a potentially damaging noise source, and can cause unwanted interference in very accurate vision applications. This is relatively commonplace in high-end measurement systems.

In other cases, the cover glass restricts the range of angles needed by the vision system for its field of view.  Some applications, particularly in the medical field, require a wider field of view and more oblique angles to accurately obtain the desired image.  

It is not recommended that system developers undertake cover glass removal without proper training, unless they risk damaging the sensor.  Adimec has developed a removal tool and proven process to safely remove the sensor cover glass of sensors– please contact us for more information.

Some suppliers do not want to support cover glass removal as it is a risky procedure and opens the sensor up to more damage.  We offer our support on this because we know it can offer an advantage to our customers. 

Topics: Image Quality Improvements, Optical Enhancements

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