Nikon releases LuFact ultra-compact machine vision camera
July 5, 2022
Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of a new ultra-compact machine vision camera*1, LuFact to help accelerate the digital transformation (DX) at manufacturing sites.
LuFact is Nikon's first machine vision camera leveraging their specialized image processing technology that has been developed across many years of digital camera innovation. The ultra-compact LuFact design was achieved by separating the camera head that captures images from the interface conversion unit (I/F conversion unit) that performs image processing. This efficient design enables easy installation onto existing equipment, production lines, robot hands and many other varied applications. This release includes LuFact products having two different types of camera heads, a high-sensitivity model and a high-resolution model, as well as two types of I/F conversion units featuring different transmission standards.
The product name LuFact evolved from the phrase “Luminous Factory Camera” and describes a camera that dramatically improves manufacturing capabilities by bringing to light things that were previously not visible.
- *1Refers to an image input camera for inspecting various products in combination with a computer or digital input / output device instead of visual inspection performed by humans at the production site.
|Product Name||Camera head*2||LuFact AH020-MR
|I/F conversion unit*2||LuFact A1000-G (GigE Vision model)
LuFact A1000-U (USB3 Vision model)
|Availability||Japan: August 2022|
- *2Both the camera head and the I/F conversion unit are used in combination for the LuFact series. They are not compatible with other companies' products.
There is an ever-increasing need for digital transformation at manufacturing sites to improve productivity, reduce costs, and create new products and services. Machine vision cameras able to quickly capture images with ultra-fine sensitivity and resolution are necessary to automate the monitoring and visual inspection of manufacturing processes that were historically performed by humans. When considering installation on existing equipment, within production lines, to robot hands, etc., it is imperative that the cameras are also compact and lightweight with a high degree of freedom in installation.
LuFact leverages decades of Nikon digital camera technology and innovation. In addition to capturing images with superior sensitivity and resolution, its ultra-compact design and high-speed processing markedly improves operations and efficiency to support the digital transformation at manufacturing sites.
The LuFact camera head AH020-MR and I/F conversion unit A1000-G were developed by Nikon as part of the “CR2project”*3, which is being coordinated by Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation in their support for the conversion to smart factories. Nikon participated in the project in cooperation with SCK, and after undergoing successful performance evaluation at the SCK manufacturing site, LuFact was officially adopted by SCK.
- *3CR2project is a collaborative project launched by SCK in 2003 to realize “world's first” and “industry top level” improvements through a win-win cooperation between SCK and partner companies.
1. Ultra-compact form factor
By separating the camera head from the I/F conversion unit, the ultra-compact form factor was achieved. LuFact offers a high degree of freedom and ease of installation onto existing equipment and within production lines. Its small and lightweight design enables attachment to a robot hand to increase the accuracy of robot arm movements.
2. Reduced heat emission in the production line
The ability to install the camera head and I/F conversion unit separately can reduce heating in the existing machinery as well as production line. Placing the I/F conversion unit away from the camera head prevents the thermal shutdowns*4 of the unit caused by high ambient temperature around the camera head.
- *4When the temperature around the device or internal parts rises to abnormal level, the equipment is stopped to protect the device.
3. Selectable camera heads according to user needs
There are high-sensitivity model (AH020-MR) and high-resolution model (AH080-MR) available. It is possible to choose the camera heads according to the user's requirements like with an interchangeable lens camera.
4. Easy to develop camera control applications using software development kit
Applications to control the LuFact camera series can easily be developed using the software development kit, which includes an application programming interface (API), developer reference manual, and sample codes. This will support and streamline development for various applications.
1) Camera head
|Image sensor||1/2.8” CMOS Image sensor||1/1.8” CMOS Image sensor|
|Active pixels||1945 (H) x 1097 (V) 2.13 MP||3864 (H) x 2180 (V) 8.42 MP|
|Effective pixels||1920 (H) x 1080 (V)||3840 (H) x 2160 (V)|
|Effective image size
(Effective imaging area)
|Horizontal: 5.568 mm
(1920 x 2.9 µm)
Vertical: 3.132 mm
(1080 x 2.9 µm)
Diagonal: 6.388 mm
|Horizontal: 7.680 mm
(3840 x 2.0 µm)
Vertical: 4.352 mm
(2160 x 2.0 µm)
Diagonal: 8.812 mm
|Scanning mode||Progressive scan|
|Color filter array||Monochrome|
|Shutter type||Rolling shutter|
Subject brightness: 500 lx
Gain: 0 dB
Exposure time: 39.7528 ms
Subject brightness: 3100 lx
Gain: 0 dB
Exposure time: 21.267 ms
|Output frame rate||12 bit
120 fps: Approx.119.8 fps
60 fps: Approx.60.06 fps
30 fps: Approx.30.03 fps
10 bit, 8 bit
120 fps: Approx.120.12 fps
60 fps: Approx.60.06 fps
30 fps: Approx.30.03 fps
|120 fps: Approx.114.8 fps
60 fps: Approx. 59.8 fps
30 fps: Approx. 30.0 fps
|Lens mount||S mount|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||20 mm x 20 mm x 43.2 mm|
2) I/F conversion unit
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||54 mm x 35 mm x 96 mm|
|Power supply||PoE (IEEE802.3af compliant)|
|Interface||GigE Vision||USB3 Vision|
|Output (pixel format)||GVSP Mono8/Mono10Packed/
- *Lenses and cables are sold separately.
3) Software development kit
|Supported OS||Microsoft Windows 10 64 bit|
|Development environment||Microsoft Visual Studio 2019|
The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.