Expanding Our Vision: The Crowley MACHCAM 71MP Hits the Road

What am I doing at the AIA Vision Show in Boston in a booth without a scanner? Short answer: I’m helping to launch Crowley’s brand new imaging and machine vision camera, the MACHCAM 71MP. Longer answer? I’m learning. A lot. This is a vertical with which we’ve had much in common, but always from the client side. Today, we’re vendors of – from what I have seen – one of the most exciting new products on the floor (well, in truth, the robots may be more eye-catching, but their vision isn’t as good as ours). How did we get here?

Developing a 71MP Camera

The MACHCAM 71MP machine vision camera is available as both an RGB color model and a monochrome model.
The MACHCAM 71MP machine vision camera is available as both an RGB color model and a monochrome model.

Under our Mekel Technology and Wicks and Wilson divisions, The Crowley Company has been manufacturing high-quality production (and most recently, patron) scanners for all micro-media – microfilm, microfiche, aperture cards, photo negatives and more – for more than thirty years. Combined, these products have more than 80% market placement worldwide.

Crowley’s R&D department is continuously working on the next product line for our archival and records management clients. To that end, they’ve been developing a 71MP camera for the ultimate in front-end capture for our own industries. “As the camera has moved along the development cycle,” notes Christopher Crowley, The Crowley Company president, “it became apparent that there were multiple uses beyond our corner of the world. We realized that there were other industries – automation, automotive, medical, law enforcement, military and more – that could utilize this camera into their own applications.” And now we’re in Boston.

The End Users

Engineer Ivan Romero, center right, demonstrates the MACHCAM 71MP to a small crowd at the AIA Vision Show.
Engineer Ivan Romero, center right, demonstrates the MACHCAM 71MP to a small crowd at the AIA Vision Show. Xander Shelley, another Crowley R&D specialist, observes from the right.

Our goal in Boston – and anywhere that we take the MACHCAM – is to learn more about those who would integrate and/or distribute a camera of this performance. So far, we’ve spoken with interested parties from South Africa, Canada, the United States, Germany, Korea, Bulgaria and elsewhere. The idea of  a 71MP image is intriguing for those who have one chance to get the image right (one contact spoke of capturing natural explosions in the sky; another of inspecting automotive glass; another of panel inspections).The applications are endless and the concept is that the camera would be sold to OEM – that is, to be integrated into someone else’s product. Included are the camera, a software toolkit and a standard lens (imaging or machine vision). From there, the owner will customize our technology for their own specific use.

Benefits of the MACHCAM include:

  • Option of RGB color or monochrome models
  • A larger field of view than the traditional machine vision cameras
  • As a result of the larger field of view, improved image quality as end-users receive a single image versus several images stitched together
  • Fast processing time, especially considering the high resolution (currently, the MACHCAM captures three frames per second (3 fps) at FULL resolution; this can be easily adapted for higher capture speed by manually reducing the image resolution
  • A very small housing (case) as compared to the high performance of the camera
  • USB3 Vision (an AIA standard) for easy integration into any application

Continuing Education and Beyond

In addition to introducing the MACHCAM and making strong connections, the AIA Vision Show is also providing two of our engineers, Ivan Romero and Xander Shelley, with the chance to become AIA certified. The three day course is intensive, but both are excited about the information they’ve gleaned and are anxious to put it into action. Perhaps of even more value is that these two epitomize the future growth of The Crowley Company:  it’s East (Xander is from Crowley’s UK office) meeting West (Ivan hails from Crowley’s San Dimas location) – and providing the opportunity to get to know each other so that the joint pursuit of excellence becomes personal as well as professional.

The advent of the MACHCAM has also been intriguing enough to pull long time business development representative, Richard Jackson, out of retirement. “It’s exciting to have a new product that reaches beyond our traditional audience,” says Jackson. “I’m looking forward to learning the nuances of the camera and can’t wait to see how it will be used throughout the world.”

“The MACHCAM 71MP is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing for decades,” reflects Crowley. “To be able to move our technology forward into a new venue is both exciting and satisfying.”

Interested in the MACHCAM?

If you’d like more information about the MACHCAM 71MP, please call (240) 215-0224 or respond with a comment below.

About The Crowley Company

The Crowley Company is a world leader in analog and digital imaging systems and services. The company has locations in Frederick, Maryland, San Dimas, California and Basingstoke, UK.

Cheri BakerCheri Baker, Crowley’s former Director of Communications, has retired but retains her love for writing and all things Crowley. With a career that spans newspaper, agency and corporate communications, her goal remains to dig behind the scenes and tell the story - whatever it may be. Find Cheri Baker on LinkedIn+





2 Responses

    • Hi Mike – Yes; the MACHCAM 71 can capture in TIFF, JPEG and other standard image formats. As it is a camera and not a complete capture system, the meta data, file naming, etc. would most efficiently take place in post-processing, using the program of your choice. Thank you for the questions; one of our MACHCAM specialists will also contact you to see if he can provide additional information.

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