MVTec Software and Hilscher Gesellschaft für System automation initiated a technical partnership to enable easier integration of machine vision and process automation. The cooperative effort will combine MVTec software with Hilscher PC cards to enable machine vision applications to be integrated into any process control system. MVTec’s machine vision software MERLIC can communicate universally with all commercial programmable logic controllers.
The optimized process integration is largely based on the application programming interface of the cifX PC card family from Hilscher. Users of MVTec MERLIC and MVTec HALCON can choose from among all popular Fieldbus and Real-Time Ethernet industrial protocols, including PROFINET, EtherCAT, and others.
All cifX PC cards use the standardized API as well as the same drivers and tools, regardless of the protocol or card format, enabling Real-Time Ethernet protocols to be realized with just one hardware platform. To switch from one protocol to another only the firmware has to be reloaded.