TPL Vision are a leading LED illumination product designer and manufacturer for machine vision, with a long-established history of award-winning illumination solutions. Their range is specialized to help users expertly illuminate their applications to achieve the highest contrast for the best imaging results. 

TPL’s goal is to simplify the product selection process for customers and provide them with illumination solutions that are flexible and easy to integrate. TPL Vision joined the wenglor sensoric family in 2021, but they are still operating as an independent business unit.

Interview with Jack McKinley, Product Manager at TPL Vision.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Jack McKinley: Our lighting solutions are designed to simplify the lives of machine builders, integrators and end users. We offer free evaluation loans, dedicated technical support and individualised advice to help our partners make informed decisions. We carry out feasibility studies and offer trainings from highly technical topics to the more commercial subjects around the use of industrial vision and imaging technology.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

J.MK: Our newest product on the market is the Modular M-TBAR, a tiny bar light offering unparalleled flexibility. The M-TBAR with Angle Changers was designed to help users achieve the best imaging results in the most confined spaces. 

With the Angle Changers, users can easily adjust the beam angle, customise their illumination output, explore different options or fine-tune their lighting. The 64 mm long bar light comes in a robust IP67-rated housing containing four LEDs with built-in auto-strobe OverDrive illumination. It is suitable for applications from code reading, quality control, component verification, to label- and packaging inspection, robotics, and more.

Other new innovations we’re excited about include our multi-UV wavelength dome light (FIS) and our collimated backlight (CSBACK).

The FIS’s unique design allows users to test and select multiple UV wavelengths to find the brightest fluorescence and best contrast on any surface. It’s suited to the inspection of bank notes, tax stamps, UV codes and security features used in pharmaceuticals, electronics and luxury goods. The FIS has been recognised as one of the most innovative products on the market by the Vision Systems Design Innovators Award in May 2023. 

The CSBACK is the perfect illumination solution for the inspection or measurement of clear plastics and rounded parts, helping users achieve better contrast and clearly defined edges with collimation.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

J.MK: We use the latest technologies to develop lighting solutions that meet the current standards and trends within the machine vision market. Our product range contains bar lights, backlights, ring lights, spot lights, dome lights, low angle lights and accessories. We have a wide range of sizes, including some of the largest lighting on the market, and offer products with different IP protection ratings.

It’s important for us to have a two-way conversation with our partners, which is why we’re always keen to hear their feedback and requests for custom solutions. This allows us to take our market-leading products to the next level by allowing users to customise electronical, optical and mechanical settings, as we come up with a solution that’s tailored to their exact requirements.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

J.MK: The machine vision market is now a well-established market on a global scale. It has become the standard in the automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceutical markets and more. The largest growth markets for the machine vision and identification industry come from the logistics market due to the massive boost spearheaded by big e-commerce companies. Many other companies are following suit to ensure their goods can be with customers on a very short delay; this drives the need for automated image processing in fulfilment centers. TPL Vision is active in all market areas; we have both products that are general machine vision lighting products and also some products which are driven by customer demand in the key markets mentioned.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

J.MK: Generally, there will be a big push by camera manufacturers towards cutting-edge image processing utilizing AI and deep learning. Lighting will remain a key component of supporting these growing trends to ensure robust image processing.

The drive for simpler integration and more built-in capabilities will lead to users wanting an easy solution for lighting. The key to this is having flexible products that can be adapted to various situations whilst providing the right balance of brightness and uniformity. This means the market will expect many more embedded features within the lights, such as various wavelengths, viewing angle variability and many electronics options (OverDrive, strobe, continuous working, dimming).

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

J.MK: Innovation is behind every product that leaves the TPL factory floor. We are constantly working on making our products more powerful and flexible through unique product design that allows users to overcome their illumination challenges.

Our customers have welcomed the extension of our Modular Range this year as we introduced the smaller counterpart (M-TBAR) of our popular Modular Bar light (M-EBAR). These bar lights come with Angle Changers, which are micro-optic diffusers that clip onto the lights to change the beam angle. We are excited to very extend this benefit to the new M-TBAR, which (as the name suggests) brings our innovative approach to confined spaces, and in front of a wider range of vision users.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

J.MK: 2023 comes with huge anticipation around AI and the market for machine vision is no different. TPL Vision is bringing new lighting devices with many features to suit the fast nature of projects, allowing easy set-up of lighting, short lead times and leading-edge performance. The market will continue to grow; LEDs will become more efficient and feature rich. As AI will continue to advance image processing, new machine vision applications will become possible, which we are excited to explore.