Robert Willett , President & CEO, COGNEXRobert Willett , President & CEO
Nestled in Natick, Massachusetts—Cognex [NASDAQ:CGNX] is a leading name in vision software and sensors, ID readers, vision systems. The company originally began developing standard machine vision hardware, and software products for OEMs. This process, over time, has evolved into an integral aspect of the manufacturing, semiconductor, and electronics capital equipment industry. With its 30 years of experience, the team at Cognex uses its state-of-the-art technology to decode many of the most challenging machine vision applications.

With President and CEO Robert Willett at the helm, the company has shipped more than one million vision-based products, the result of which is over $4 billion in cumulative revenue. Since its founding, Cognex has constantly maintained its drive to improve the performance of its industrial machine vision tools and has been committed to exploring new markets where machine vision can be incorporated.

Sight through Machine Vision

From capturing images of moving commodities to analyzing them in a real-time fashion and helping shop floor managers reach conclusions for boosting brand quality, efficiency, productivity, and regulatory compliance, Cognex’s portfolio addresses it all. These products assist machines such as factory automation equipment, vehicles, and robots in sharing information instantly, transmitting the outcomes to other equipment and systems; alleviating the hassles of decision-making in production processes. Cognex vision sensors, vision systems, 3D laser profilers, OEM vision and ID systems, image engines, and Cognex Vision Library work in tandem to minimize defects, speed-up production and reduce costs across automotive, mobile devices, medical devices, consumer products, pharmaceutical, electronics, food and beverage, and semiconductor manufacturing. Vision-based idea meters from Cognex can read just about everything on almost any surface: barcodes, 2D codes, and printed text.

From product inspection standpoint, the firm’s machine vision provisions multifaceted ‘eyes’ for guiding automation and identifying different manufactured parts and equipment.

While considering a machine-vision system, the chief predicaments are around capital costs, technical know-how in machine-vision systems, and the need for lighting expertise



From quality checking to assembly inspection to robot guidance, Cognex ensures that the products are assembled correctly, defect-free, and meet the exact specifications—right down to the smallest detail. These capabilities help in reducing waste by detecting process errors early in the manufacturing procedures in factories, warehouses, and distribution centers. Cognex vision is capable of curbing down end-product rejects and returns, and thus conserves resources and saves energy.

Enhanced Accuracy

Augmenting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its workflows, Cognex has incorporated the “deep learning” algorithmic approach from ViDi—an AI-based software. This acquisition promises to enhance image analysis in applications for easier prediction of acceptable image variations and defects. Cognex’s ViDi team is at the forefront of employing deep learning techniques with the real-world challenges of industrial machine vision. This gives the company a broader scope of applications that address situations at its peak.

The firm’s solutions cover four major categories of machine vision applications—guidance, identification, gauging and inspection, and components like lighting, lenses, image processing, vision processing, and communications, among others. Cognex In-Sight 2D machine vision systems have unprecedented capability to inspect, identify and guide parts. With a wide range of models, including line scan and color systems, Cognex In-Sight 2D machine vision systems have been designed to meet diverse performance and budget specifications.
Moreover, Cognex’s robust 3D machine vision tools, capable of measuring single profiles or scanning entire surfaces in 3D, have set a bar for manufacturers across varied industries excelling beyond the capabilities of 2D machine vision technology.

In addition to this, Cognex provisions PC-based software development environments: Cognex Vision Library and VisionPro. These PC-based software offer diverse functionalities for geometric object location, inspection, identification and measurement for low-level filters, sophisticated wafer and die alignment and more.

While considering a machine-vision system, the chief predicaments are around capital costs, technical know-how in machine-vision systems, and the need for lighting expertise. The good news is that Cognex meets all these challenges head-on through its cost-effective range of resources for machine-vision and lighting setups; eliminating the deep-pocket pinch. Whether reading oil-tainted DPM codes on automotive equipment, checking the fill-levels of soda bottles placed on a conveyor, or smartphone touchscreen placement to micron-level accuracy, Cognex’s machine vision technology is poised to execute diverse production processes keeping in mind every minute detail. Needless to say, Cognex vision’s speed, accuracy, and repeatability are second to none.

The Vision for the Future

If there ever comes a day where machines will match up to human capabilities; machine vision will have exulted for being the prelude. From a purely practical standpoint, the hunks of metal and wire can perform way better than humans in a typical manufacturing setting. These machines can trot out their power of vision with a single camera capable of separating out 256 different shades of gray.

Today, machine vision is widely accepted on the factory floor and is flourishing in new markets such as transportation, building automation, and security. For Cognex, this is an exciting time simply because of the new opportunities that are opening up in different industry verticals.