Standardization is the key to the success of machine vision technology. Machine vision standards are commonly developed in the standard working groups and here by dedicated individuals. The EMVA interview series ‘Faces of Machine Vision Standards‘ introduces engineers having joined a standard working group and talk about their motivation to contribute and which experience they take out for their daily work.
EMVA recently spoke with GenICam working group member Mr. Andreas Rittinger, Team Manager Software Development at Stemmer Imaging AG:
Why do you participate in the GenICam WG?
When I started as a Field Application Engineer in 2010, GenICam already existed, but it was not as widely used as it is today. As a result, I had to deal with various vendor specific SDKs, which I mainly used for image capture and device configuration. Not only did this feel like repetitive work, but it was also quite error prone as I couldn’t always remember all the little differences. On the other hand, using GenICam felt more complicated at first because it was more generic , but it simplified my daily wo rk. Therefore, I focused on it whenever possible.
Fortunately, I had colleagues around me who were GenICam veterans and had been with me from day one. They supported me and gave me the opportunity not only to use the standard, but also to implement part of it for our own SDK. When I first attended IVSM in 2014, I got to know the other people and companies behind GenICam. Surprisingly, the mood in the working group was exactly the opposite of what I was used to in projects no focus on a quick pragmatic solution, but a careful discussion of a large number of current and future use cases to be as comprehensive as possible. This was exhausting at times but
worth the effort in my opinion.
Which GenICam parts do you intend to shape with your input?
As we develop our own software Common Vision Blox we naturally have a high interest in shaping all software related parts , which are essential the different standards referred to by GenICam. However at Stemmer Imaging we have a large portfolio of v ision related products including many hardware components. Therefore, we are also interested in more hardware related aspects of related standard s like GigE or USB 3 Vison This is especially important as GenICam must work with different technologies. In the end it all comes down to making hardware and software work together seamlessly.
How does your company benefit from your WG participation?
I see two main aspects of the benefit . On the one hand w e want to offer our customers the best solution for their applications . So, it is obviously beneficial to have different components to choose from. However, a variety of products alone will not be enough as the design in must be as cheap as possible. Tha t is where a standard is required. By participating we can help our customers to base their application standard technology and e.g., achieve a dual sourcing policy. On the other hand, we may see a market demand for technology that is not part of any standard. Bringing something new into a standard can significantly improve its acceptance in the vision market and will also increase our business.
What was your biggest light bulb moment in the GenICam collaboration?
Light bulb moments would naturally occur during a plug fest. Because even after carefully implementing a specification and running through test and validation things just don’t work as expected when bringing together a new software release with a new device. Discussing this may then reveal some details that are not done as robust as possible of even something that a re unclear in the specification. Having around a lot of experts it is usually easy to get things fixed quickly.