Utilizing a video camera system for process monitoring has become a norm in running efficient industrial operations. They help in process monitoring, remote access, downtime analysis, and storage of historical data, in addition to providing site security. It makes the workplace safe while improving overall efficiency and productivity.

With perpetually advancing technology, video surveillance has become more effective than ever. Industrial cameras now offer more functions and features, like motion sensors and analytics. However, not all industrial cameras are created equal, as there are different types for specific monitoring functions.

This article will discuss the various types of industrial video surveillance cameras, their unique features, and the pros and cons of using them.

7 Types of Industrial Cameras with Video Solutions

Ideal security cameras give you a balance between functionality, durability, video quality, and value. While these elements can guide you in your search for the cameras that will make up your industrial video surveillance system, the best are those that suit your business needs.

Whether your business runs in a small area or operates in a huge facility, there is a security system built for you. Here are some of the most popular types of industrial camera systems you can consider:

1. Visual Camera

The camera has come a long way and it has evolved to a truly remarkable piece of equipment. And with tech making huge strides in making the necessary upgrades, the camera has become a visual device that has stepped up to meet the demands for better performance in industrial settings.

A higher resolution, faster speed, and a wider dynamic range are becoming more important in an industrial setting. To keep up with the times, the solution was to develop cameras that fit the need.

Durability also plays an important factor since visual cameras could be used in both indoor and outdoor settings. They should be protected from the elements to function properly. There are various housings installed to prevent dust and even protect the camera from explosions.

Technology has been a massive influence in the evolution of visual cameras. Upgrades have made sure they perform at an optimum level as they address a need. Footage has improved even when capturing fast-moving objects. Images are much clearer in low light settings.

When it comes to recording, a reliable management system has also come into play. Footage can be recorded using a memory card, a digital video recorder (DVR), or network video recorder (NVR). The larger the memory storage capacity, the better.

Accessibility has become a big factor, too. Users can be notified for unusual motion detected by these cameras and recording can be viewed through remote access using a smartphone.

Modern visual cameras are now being used for a variety of purposes, from surveillance to process monitoring. Choosing the right camera should meet specific functional needs to make sure operations run smoothly regardless of industry.

2. Thermal Camera

Thermal cameras like our T-Series thermal cameras may be known to be an effective tool for surveillance and detection, but they have been proven to be invaluable in equipment monitoring, preventive maintenance, and process temperature analysis, among other industrial applications.

Thermal cameras work by detecting temperature using infrared radiation emitted from the object—a process called thermal imaging. Under specific camera settings, A warm item could be reflected as a bright yellow-orange hue, while colder ones could be displayed with a blue or purple color.

While thermal cameras can see through obstructions like curtains and leaves, they cannot detect heat images through solid materials like concrete, metal, wood, or even glass. In high heat environments or in applications where equipment normally operates at high temperatures, it can be challenging to differentiate what items are being imaged.

3. 360० camera

A 360º field-of-view or panoramic camera can surveil an entire complex or building and provide a general view of its surroundings, which can be divided into smaller sections without loss of image quality. It promises near-complete situational coverage with its digital pan-tilt-zoom functionality.

This camera can be built with specialized wide-angle, fisheye-type lenses or with multiple camera modules, and is supported by remapping software that stitches images together. It is also designed with megapixel chips that render sharp and defined images.

Since a 360° camera performs best in indoor applications, this can limit its deployment. And because of the transmitted video packet’s size, a dedicated network or additional storage may be required, adding to the overall cost.

4. 3D camera

Three-dimensional (3D) cameras are being used today for scanning faces and measuring both volume dimensions and distance. They are utilized in general quality inspection, validation, sorting, and quality control to enhance productivity and efficiency at a lower cost.

These cameras enable depth perception in images by replicating the three dimensions as seen with the human eye.

Laser triangulation, a popular 3D vision systems technology, usually records from an angle, often resulting in occlusions. These are shadows created by the positioning of the profiler caused by the geometric triangulation. One solution to this is to use one or two lasers and two cameras, which can mean additional expenses.

5. High-Speed Camera

High-speed cameras are equipped with cutting-edge technology to record fast-moving objects. After filming, the stored images can be played in slow motion for accurate motion analysis. They are best used in particle image velocimetry, digital image correlation, fluid dynamics, ballistics, and a wide range of scientific research like 3D-digital image correlation analysis.

Most high-speed cameras can operate at higher frame rates as the pixel resolution is decreased. However, the increased frame rate is not always proportional to the reduction in resolution. This usually comes with restrictions regarding the specific number of horizontal and vertical pixels selected with the reduced resolution.

Opting for units with a more precise frame rate performance can address this concern, which is also an added expense.

6. Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) Camera

Many applications that are difficult to perform using visible light are possible using a short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera. SWIR enhances current machine vision systems by imaging beyond the visible spectrum. With SWIR, water vapor, fog, and certain materials such as silicon become transparent.

A SWIR camera is ideal for inspection and process monitoring in the food and beverage, woodworking, textile, and automotive industries. It can be used to verify coatings or dryness uniformity in bulk materials, identify damaged or bruised fruits, or gauge relative water content in plants.

For these applications, SWIR cameras must produce high-quality images so that people or machines can analyze them accurately. This is a challenge because of the nature of InGaAs sensors built into SWIR cameras. Combining the InGaAs array with the readout circuit is a complex and time-consuming process, making these sensors more expensive than other types.

7. Drone or UAV Camera

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer aerial views that can be valuable for industrial facilities and defense activities. They are equipped with various cameras that enable them to capture different kinds of imagery, such as thermal images, infrared for heat signature detection, and multispectral images for precision agriculture.

In addition to drone aerial photography, optical imaging can be used to create detailed and accurate maps. When using a drone, safety is a primary concern. UAVs must be able to maneuver to safety in case of a potential collision. Another danger is falling drones, which must be considered in setting up video monitoring systems, especially when used near large crowds.

Due to these concerns, there are regulatory, site, and communications restrictions when using UAVs.

The Role of Video Analytics

Surveillance and monitoring systems can be equipped with video analytics, a content analysis software that processes a digital video input using an algorithm to perform a specific function. While monitoring the videos, the software identifies attributes, events, or patterns of specific behavior. It can pull even the tiniest details using pixel-by-pixel analysis.

Video analytics can be configured in two ways: real-time, when it can provide alerts and track specific activities as they happen, or post-event, when it retrospectively searches for incidents that have already occurred.

With the increasing need for workplace safety and industrial process monitoring, video analytics has never been more vital. It has been touted as a solution in improving industrial analytics applications such as material tracking, personnel movement and safety, and process analysis.

Secure your Business Premises while Increasing Productivity

Cameras are now an integral part of industrial video solutions They can boost operational efficiency through video analysis and process monitoring, which in turn would result in increased profit.

In choosing which surveillance video to use, note that different industrial camera systems address various monitoring requirements. Your option will depend on what features best suit your business needs.

For your industrial video solutions needs, send us an inquiry.