Matrox Imaging - Design Assistant X, Integrated Development Environment Software

Application design

Flowchart and operator interface design are done within the Matrox Design Assistant X IDE hosted on a computer running 64-bit Windows. A flowchart is put together using a step-by-step approach, where each step is taken from an existing toolbox and is configured interactively. Inputs for a subsequent step—which can be images, 3D data, or alphanumeric results—are easily linked to the outputs of a previous step. Decision-making is performed using a flow-control step, where the logical expression is described interactively. Results from analysis and processing steps are immediately displayed to permit the quick tuning of parameters. A contextual guide provides assistance for every step in the flowchart. Flowchart legibility is maintained by grouping steps into sub-flowcharts. A recipes facility enables a group of analysis and processing steps to have different configurations for neatly handling variations of objects or features of interest within the same flowchart.

In addition to flowchart design, Matrox Design Assistant X enables the creation of a custom, web-based operator interface to the application through an integrated HTML visual editor. Users alter an existing template using a choice of annotations (graphics and text), inputs (edit boxes, control buttons, and image markers), and outputs (original or derived results, status indicators, and charts). A filmstrip view is also available to keep track of and navigate to previously analyzed images. The operator interface can be further customized using a third-party HTML editor.

Design Assistant application design


Why a flowchart?

The flowchart is a universally accessible, recognized, and understood method of describing the sequence of operations in a process. Manufacturing engineers and technicians in particular have all been exposed to the intuitive, logical, and visual nature of the flowchart.


Custom flowchart steps

Users have the ability to extend the capabilities of Matrox Design Assistant X by way of the included Custom Step software development kit (SDK). The SDK, in combination with Microsoft Visual Studio® 2019, enables the creation of custom flowchart steps using the C# programming language. These steps can implement proprietary analysis and processing, as well as proprietary communication protocols. The SDK comes with numerous project samples to accelerate development.

Matrox Custom Step SDK

Custom Step SDK


Latest key additions and enhancements

  • OPC UA communication for interaction with manufacturing systems as per Industry 4.0
  • 3D display and meshing to suitably visualize 3D scan data
  • New steps to crop 3D data and calculate volume
  • High dynamic range (HDR) step to generate an image with enhanced contrast
  • Charts for operator interface to graphically show results, including trends
  • Runtime execution monitoring and reporting to simplify project troubleshooting and optimization
  • Support for Matrox Iris GTX smart cameras

Application deployment

Once development is complete, the project—with flowchart(s) and operator interface(s)—is deployed either locally or remotely. Local deployment is to the same computer or Matrox Imaging vision controller as was used for development. Remote deployment is to a different computer, including Matrox Imaging vision controllers, or a Matrox Imaging smart camera.

Matrox Deployment options

Deployment options


Project templates for quicker start-up

Matrox Design Assistant X includes a series of project templates and video tutorials to help new developers get up and running quickly.
 
These templates serve as either functional applications or application frameworks intended as a foundation for a target application. Templates also permit dynamic modifications, allowing users to tweak functionality at runtime and immediately see the outcome of any adjustments. The project templates address typical application areas, with examples for:
 
  • Barcode and 2D code reading
  • Measurement
  • Presence/absence
  • Recipes
  • Robot guidance (pick-and-place)
  • Dot-matrix text reading (SureDotOCR®)
  • Color checking
More information on templates can be found on the Quick Start page of Matrox Design Assistant X software.

Project templates


Integrated Development Environment

Customizable developer interface: The Matrox Design Assistant X user interface can be tailored by each developer. The workspace can be rearranged, even across multiple monitors, to suit individual preferences and further enhance productivity.

Matrox customizable developer interface


Operator View

Operator interface viewable anywhere: The web-based operator interface, or Operator View, can be accessed locally or remotely through a HTML-5-capable web browser such as Google Chrome™ and Chromium, Mozilla Firefox®, and Microsoft Internet Explorer® and new Edge. Local viewing is done on the same computer or Matrox Imaging vision controller as was used for development. Local viewing is also available with a Matrox Imaging smart camera through a simple touch screen connected to its video output and USB interface, which eliminates the need for an additional computer. Remote viewing is done from any computer, including dedicated Human Machine Interface (HMI) or touch-panel PCs.

A stand-alone HMI application can be created using Microsoft Visual Studio to run on the local or a remote computer as an alternative to the web-based operator interface.

Design a customized Operator View

Security features: Access to specific Operator Views can be made to require user authentication (i.e., username and password) so only authorized personnel can modify key parameters of a running project. A project can be locked to a specific Matrox Imaging smart camera or vision controller when deployed, preventing it from running on an unauthorized platform. A project can also be encrypted during deployment to a platform, ensuring that the project cannot be read or changed by unauthorized users. Projects locked to a platform are automatically encrypted.

Resulting Operator View as seen in a web browser

Field-proven vision tools

Image analysis and processing

Central to Matrox Design Assistant X are flowchart steps for calibrating, enhancing, and transforming images; locating objects; extracting and measuring features; classifying and segmenting images; reading character strings; and decoding and verifying identification marks. These steps are designed to provide optimum performance and reliability.


Utilities

Runtime monitor: Matrox Design Assistant X’s management portal includes a facility to monitor a deployed and running project and collect performance statistics to aid with troubleshooting and optimization. One of the facility’s pages provides a breakdown of flowchart execution by operation for a given loop. Another page gives the minimum, mean, and maximum execution times overall and by operation as well as a distribution of the total execution times. Matrox Design Assistant X also includes Matrox Profiler, a separate utility to post-analyze the execution of a vision project for performance bottlenecks and timing issues.

Runtime monitor


Matrox Capture Works

Matrox Design Assistant X comes with Matrox Capture Works, a utility for verifying the connection to one or more GenICam™-based cameras or 3D sensors and testing acquisition from these. Matrox Capture Works can obtain CoaXPress, GenTL, GigE Vision, and USB3 Vision device information, collect and present acquisition statistics, and provide access to acquisition properties. The built-in Feature Browser allows the user to configure and control devices with ease. Device settings can be saved for future reuse. Captured data from multiple devices can be displayed efficiently in 2D and 3D where applicable, with the option to view histograms, 3D and profile data, real-time pixel profiles, memory values, and much more. Matrox Capture Works can also be used to apply firmware updates to devices provided these follow the GenICam FWUpdate standard.

Matrox Capture works configuration and test tool

Matrox Capture works configuration and test tool for GenICam-based interface standards


Project Change Validator

Project Change Validator is a utility employing a client-server architecture for ensuring that changes made to a deployed project are not detrimental to the functioning of that project. It provides the ability to record reference images—along with the associated inspection settings and results, for a given project.

This archived reference data is then used to validate changes made to the project. Changes are validated by running the modified project with the reference data and comparing the projects’ operation against this data. Validation is performed by the server—typically running on a separate computer—which is reachable over a network.

The Matrox Design Assistant X management portal provides access to the validation data and results. Validation requests are made on demand from the management portal, an automation controller, or an HMI panel.

Project Change Validator (view from management portal)

Matrox Project Change Validator Diagram


PLC interface emulation

While developing a project in Matrox Design Assistant X, the PLC interface emulator is used to test communication in instances when a physical one is not connected. Values can be changed and viewed dynamically to test the communication between the project and the PLC. The PLC interface emulator supports CC-Link IE Field Basic, EtherNet/IP2, MODBUS over TCP/IP, and PROFINET protocols for communication; these can be activated and controlled from the management portal.

PLC interface emulation


Connectivity

Connect to devices and networks: Matrox Design Assistant X can capture images from any CoaXPress, GigE Vision, or USB3 Vision compliant camera. Image capture from CoaXPress cameras happens with the use of a Matrox Rapixo CXP frame grabber. The software can communicate over Ethernet networks using the TCP/IP as well as the CC-Link IE Field Basic, EtherNet/IP2, Modbus over TCP/IP, and PROFINET protocols, enabling interaction with programmable logic/automation controllers. Its QuickComm facility provides ready-to-go communication with these controllers. Matrox Design Assistant X supports OPC UA communication for interaction with manufacturing systems and direct communication with select robot controllers for 2D vision-guided robotic applications. Supported robot-controller makes and models currently include the ABB IRC5; DENSO RC8; Epson RC420+ and RC520+; Fanuc LRMate200iC and LRMate200iD; KUKA KR C2; and Stäubli CS8, CS8C HP, and CS9 controllers.

Matrox Design Assistant X can be configured to interact with automation devices through a computer’s COM ports. Matrox Design Assistant X can also directly interact with the I/Os built into a Matrox Imaging vision controller, smart camera, and I/O card as well as the I/O available on a GigE Vision or USB3 Vision camera.


Supported environments

For Windows

  • 64-bit Windows 7 with SP1 and Windows 10 (versions 1607 to 21H1)

Training and support

Matrox Vision Academy

Matrox Vision Academy provides all the expertise of live classroom training, with the convenience of on-demand instructional videos outlining how to get the most out of Matrox Design Assistant X vision software. Available to customers with valid Matrox Design Assistant X maintenance subscriptions, as well as those evaluating the software, users can seek out training on specific topics of interest, where and when needed. Regularly scheduled live classroom training is also offered at Matrox Imaging Headquarters.

Matrox Vision Academy aims to help users increase productivity, reduce development costs, and bring applications to market sooner. For more information, see Matrox Vision Academy.

Matrox Vision Academy

Matrox Professional Services

Matrox Professional Services delivers deep technical assistance and customized trainings to help customers develop their particular applications. These professional services comprise personalized training; assessing application or project feasibility (e.g., illumination, image acquisition, and vision algorithms); demo and prototype applications and/or projects; troubleshooting, including remote debugging; and video and camera interfacing.

Backed by the Matrox Vision Squad—a team of high-level vision professionals—Matrox Professional Services offer more in-depth support, recommending best methods with the aim of helping customers save valuable development time and deploy solutions more quickly. For more information on pricing and scheduling, contact Matrox Imaging sales.

Matrox Professional Services

Matrox Design Assistant X maintenance program

Matrox Design Assistant X users have access to a Maintenance Program, renewable on a yearly basis. This maintenance program entitles registered users to free software updates and entry-level technical support from Matrox Imaging, as well as access to Matrox Vision Academy. For more information, please refer to the Matrox Imaging Software Maintenance Programs.

Matrox Vision Squad

More Product Information

Matrox Imaging - Library X, Development Kit Software
  • Solve applications rather than develop underlying tools by leveraging a toolkit with a more than 25-year history of reliable performance
  • Tackle applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, classifying, locating, measuring, reading, and verifying
  • Base analysis on monochrome and color 2D images as well as 3D profiles, depth maps, and point clouds
  • Harness the full power of today’s hardware through optimizations exploiting SIMD, multi-core CPU, and multi-CPU technologies
  • Support platforms ranging from smart cameras to high-performance computing (HPC) clusters via a single consistent and intuitive application programming interface (API)
  • Obtain live data in different ways, with support for analog, Camera Link®, CoaXPress®, DisplayPort™, GenTL, GigE Vision®, HDMI™, SDI, and USB3 Vision®2 interfaces
  • Maintain flexibility and choice by way of support 64-bit Windows® and Linux® along with Intel® and Arm® processor architectures
  • Leverage available programming know-how with support for C, C++, C#, CPython, and Visual Basic® languages
  • Experiment, prototype, and generate program code using MIL CoPilot interactive environment
  • Increase productivity and reduce development costs with Matrox Vision Academy online and on-premises training.

Matrox Imaging - Supersight Imaging Computer, High-density computing platform for demanding industrial imaging
  • Scale system performance from one to four computing clusters for demanding image acquisition and processing needs
  • Support any camera interface type with the addition of appropriate Matrox Imaging frame grabber board(s)
  • Exchange data between compute clusters internally at high speed through a PCIe Gen3 switched fabric backplane
  • Maximize density in a 4U chassis with up to 10 full-length and one half-length, full-height PCIe Gen3 slots
  • Tailor host data transfer bandwidth needs through PCIe x16, x8, and x4 interfaces
  • Minimize the need for revalidation by utilizing a lifecycle-managed platform with consistent long-term availability
  • Simplify system integration by using an integrated platform from a single vendor
  • Solve applications rather than develop underlying tools by leveraging standard Microsoft® development tools and MIL X software

Matrox Imaging - 4Sight EV6 Fanless Industrial Imaging Computer
  • Reduce service stoppages with a fanless design
  • Inspect multiple sites through the support for four GigE Vision and four USB3 Vision cameras
  • Simplify cabling for GigE Vision installations using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)-enabled ports
  • Tackle typical vision workloads with a mobile-class embedded seventh-generation Intel Core processor
  • Connect separately to the factory floor and enterprise networks via two more Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Synchronize with other equipment using the integrated real-time digital I/Os with rotary encoder support and RS-232/RS-485 ports
  • Streamline application development using the Matrox Design Assistant X flowchart-based IDE or the MIL X SDK
  • Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, classifying, measuring, reading, and verifying
  • Leverage machine learning including deep learning to categorize image content

Abaco - AXIS Pro Advanced Multiprocessor Application Development Environment
AXIS View GUI - multiprocessor management tools
  • Multi-board system visualization
  • Rapid application development
  • Runtime performance analysis
Inter-processor communication - AXIS Takyon or AXIS Flow high performance middleware
  • Open standard middleware with GPUDirect™ support
  • AXIS Flow IPC with 42 APIs
  • Runs on Linux, Windows and VxWorks
  • OFED RDMA for 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet and InfiniBand (Linux and Windows)
  • Hardware multicast support.
Event analysis –EventView
  • Instrumentation API
  • Simple to use GUI
GUI builder toolkit –DataView
  • Rapid GUI development
  • Simple integration with application
Abaco quick start application examples
  • Signal processing demo (included)
  • AXIS image processing demo (contact Abaco)
Related software sold separately: AXISLib – optimized signal processing and vector math libraries.

Matrox Imaging - Iris GTX Smart Cameras
  • Boost performance by up to 3x over its precursor thanks to an Intel x6000 series embedded processor
  • Capture high-resolution images at high speed through a choice of CMOS sensors from two to 16 Megapixels
  • Deploy in dirty, humid, or harsh industrial environments by way of a compact IP67-rated design
  • Communicate actions and results to other automation and enterprise equipment via real-time digital I/Os, and Ethernet (TCP/IP, CC-Link IE Field Basic, EtherNet/IP™2, Modbus®, PROFINET®, and native robot interfaces)
  • Handle Human-Machine Interface (HMI) function by way of VGA and USB connectivity
  • Simplify vision setup and upkeep via integrated lens focusing and illumination intensity control
  • Synchronize to the manufacturing line through the support for incremental rotary encoders
  • Solve machine vision applications efficiently with Matrox Design Assistant X software by constructing flowcharts instead of writing program code
  • Maintain control and independence through the ability to code custom flowchart steps
  • Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, classifying, measuring, reading, and verifying
  • Leverage deep learning for visual inspection through image classification and segmentation tools

Abaco - VPX370 3U VPX Development System, 7-slot system with integrated Single Board Computer
  • 3U OpenVPX™ Modular System
  • Adjacent inter-slot communication bandwidth: up to 2 GB/s with optional PCIe Gen3
  • 0.8”, 0.85” or 1.0” module pitch compatible
  • Five OpenVPX™ expansion slots
  • Rear Transition Module (RTM) support
  • Air-cooled bottom-top airflow
  • Dual 300W power supplies (600W aggregate per system), 3U plug-in modules.
  • 3U VPX 24-lanes PCIe Gen2 switch (PCIe Gen3 optional).
  • Supports Abaco 3U VPX FPGA and SoC boards.
  • Supports multi-channel A/D and D/A using FMCs
  • Rackmount version available (VPX371)

Matrox Imaging - Indio Industrial I/O and communication card
  • Facilitate computer integration with a PCIe® x1 interface
  • Benefit from real-time synchronization with 16 discrete digital I/Os
  • Get straightforward access to I/Os via standard D-Sub connector
  • Support factory-floor and lab use with 24 V and TTL-compatible signaling
  • Protect against unintended use with optical isolation and resettable fuses
  • Track moving production lines with support for two rotary incremental encoders
  • Use status indicator LED for each I/O to assist with integration troubleshooting
  • Leverage Gigabit Ethernet port for industrial communication or video capture using GigE Vision

Matrox Imaging - AltiZ High-fidelity 3D profile sensors
  • Leverage dual-camera single-laser design to deliver exceptionally high 3D reproduction fidelity
  • Scan scenes quickly with profiling rates of up to 11,000 per second
  • Gain from unique embedded algorithms to generate consistent profiles, depth maps, or point clouds
  • Benefit from truly standard GigE Vision® interface to work directly with Matrox Imaging and third-party vision software
  • Simplify cabling with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support
  • Deploy confidently in tough industrial settings thanks to an IP67-rated solid-aluminum housing and M12 connectors
  • Benefit from several fastening points to facilitate fixing one or more sensors to gantries and robots
  • Streamline sensor setup and verification via the Matrox Capture Works utility for Windows® and Linux®

Matrox Imaging - 4Sight XV6 Expandable entry-level vision controller
  • Tackle demanding imaging applications using an eighth-generation Intel Core processor
  • Capture directly from GigE Vision® and USB3 Vision® cameras
  • Broaden support for Camera Link®, CoaXPress®, DisplayPort, HDMI, and SDI video interfaces using Matrox Imaging frame grabbers
  • Customize I/O capabilities through four PCIe slots accepting full-height, half-length cards
  • Install in space-limited industrial environments given its small footprint and rugged design
  • Streamline application development using the Matrox Design Assistant X flowchart-based IDE or the MIL X SDK
  • Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, classifying, measuring, reading, and verifying
  • Leverage machine learning including deep learning to categorize image content
  • Ready for deep learning training with suitably equipped and configured model

Matrox Imaging

Matrox® Imaging is an industry-leading developer and trusted supplier to top OEMs and integrators, providing innovative yet cost-effective hardware and software products used in machine vision applications. The components consist of 3D sensors, smart cameras, vision controllers, I/O cards, and frame grabbers, all designed to provide optimum price-performance within a common software environment.

Our software, systems, components, and services are tailored for industries including automotive manufacturing, packaging, food and beverage production, semiconductor manufacturing, medical imaging, electronics and flat panel display manufacturing, transportation, pharmaceutical production, medical device manufacturing, surveillance, and logistics. Customers stay with Matrox Imaging over multiple product generations because of our commitment to developing cutting-edge technology, providing comprehensive technical consulting and integration services, and offering only the highest manufacturing standards.

Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company based in Montreal, Canada. A global player in the imaging market, Matrox Imaging has branches in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United States, along with sales representatives in more than 25 countries worldwide. Our proven track-record assures customers that we will meet their needs for performance, value, and service—now and in the future.

Contact Details

Headquarters

Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd.

1055 St-Regis Blvd.

Dorval, Quebec, Canada H9P 2T4 

Phone: (514) 822-6000

Fax: (514) 822-6363

Contact form or Email: imaging.info@matrox.com

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