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Creation of image-processing applications and data signals using graphical data flow models

SICK AG and Silicon Software GmbH extend the SICK AppSpace ecosystem

SICK AG and Silicon Software GmbH are combining their expertise and working together to expand the SICK AppSpace ecosystem with FPGA programming for embedded sensor and integration hardware. This collaboration is diversifying the range of application solutions available with sensors from SICK – even to areas such as industrial image processing. In addition to its own FPGA algorithms, in future SICK will also use VisualApplets from Silicon Software for the graphical programming of tailored sensor and integration technologies. To ensure compatibility between VisualApplets and sensors from SICK, the VisualApplets Embedder was implemented as a one-stop-shop solution. Both companies are market leaders in their respective fields and see their combined knowledge resulting in a strong share of the sensor and image processing market.

This collaboration is allowing SICK to offer its customers tailored sensor solutions with an even more focused approach. The wide range of functions offered by VisualApplets with over 200 operators and using data flow models with to FPGA programming on a graphical user interface, is opening up new markets and applications. “VisualApplets represents the logical next step for our SICK AppSpace software ecosystem,” explains Detlef Deuil, Head of Product Management Vertical Integration Products. “For our in-house application software developers, and potentially for selected OEMs and system integrators as well, it is very easy to use real-time data processing in our sensor and integration hardware and implement powerful application solutions. All application developers from the various industrial sectors can benefit from the easy use and integration of VisualApplets in SICK products.”

Shared synergy effects benefiting customers

SICK offers a comprehensive sensor and integration portfolio, ranging from compact sensors that are easy to operate with configurable stand-alone solutions to flexibly programmable sensor systems for the most demanding requirements. Access to SICK’s own sophisticated FPGA functions and, in the future, to extensive operator libraries from Silicon Software is being provided to minimise the complexity, costs, and risks associated with implementing programmable sensor solutions. From established modules, this creates new, perfectly tailored solutions suitable for any customer requirement in any industry.

“We are delighted that SICK was won over by our embedded concept and that the powerful functions of VisualApplets are being used in a wide range of sensor and integration technologies, enabling SICK AppSpace to be developed further,” adds Dr. Klaus-Henning Noffz, Chief Executive Officer at Silicon Software. “The reliable VisualApplets algorithms, which are used all over the world, will enable SICK to expand into new markets and industries. This will allow both companies to grow together and pass the beneficial effects of this synergy onto their customers.”

The collaboration between SICK and Silicon Software represents a union of two strong brands. The perfect coordination between the two companies extends beyond just their products: SICK has an international reach as a leading manufacturer in the sensor sector and has extensive expertise in the field of hardware. As a technology leader for customizable FPGA programming and frame grabbers, Silicon Software GmbH represents the perfect partner. This cooperation benefits customers in a range of industries, making it easier for them to access high-performance sensor solutions.

About VisualApplets

VisualApplets is an integrated development environment for real-time applications on FPGA processors in image processing. The solution is used for numerous industrial applications in a multitude of sectors. VisualApplets enables access to the FPGA processors of image processing hardware such as frame grabbers, industrial cameras, vision sensors, and image processing devices to implement custom image processing applications. The approach of mapping out FPGA programming using data flow models on a graphical user interface, makes it easy for hardware and software developers as well as application engineers, to create applet designs for complex image-processing procedures intuitively, and in a short amount of time – even without hardware programming expertise. All programmed applications are executed on the FPGA hardware in real time.

About Silicon Software GmbH

Silicon Software GmbH produces and sells both standard products and custom OEM solutions with their hardware and software developments for vision and quality control in the field of automation. Its focus is on the intelligent image processing frame grabbers of the microEnable product series and the VisualApplets software for the graphical programming of FPGA vision processors.