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Review SpectroNet Collaboration Conference in Italy, 2024

One of our annual highlights and services offered to our SpectroNet members are the SpectroNet Collaboration Conferences. In April 2024, we met at Iseo Lago, Brescia, Italy, to exchange new information on the latest research results and product innovations in the world of optics, sensor technology and spectroscopy. In addition to the companies and manufacturers that are already regular members of the network, we manage to integrate new companies, start-ups and research institutions into our network every year.

Fig. 1: One of our 4 group pictures at Iseo Lago Hotel

In the spring edition of our conference, we were able to see and touch the latest products and applications at 16 exhibitor stands between the presentations in 6 different sessions. We filled the fantastic conference hall with more than 60 participants from countries all over the world. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Antares Vision Group, who kicked off our conference with a company tour and made a huge contribution to the success of the event as a sponsor.

Fig. 2: Members of Antares Vision Group & SpectroNet (left to right: Francesco Brazzarola, Sascha Lummitsch, Marta Azzura Brognoli, Paul-Gerald Dittrich, Carsten Strampe, Alberto Albertini)

The Agenda of day 1 & 2:

  • Session 1

In Session 1 of the SpectroNet Collaboration Conference, experts discussed utilizing reflection and transmission spectrophotometers for ensuring superior color quality in digital printing, integrating robotics, computer vision, and AI technologies for enhanced automation. Additionally, powerful SWIR & UV industrial cameras were presented for inspecting imperceptible elements, while deep learning algorithms were highlighted for global context anomaly detection in practical applications. Finally, the significance of considering wavelength in optimizing machine vision systems was emphasized, alongside a discussion on redefining industrial inspection using AI and machine vision technologies, exemplified by a case study on molded bowl inspection.

  • Session 2

Session 2 of our SCC covered a range of topics in photonic sensing solutions. Dr. Torsten Ledig introduced fiber-based sensors and systems tailored for temperature and strain measurements, followed by Dr. Nicolai Granzow's presentation on the utility of supercontinuum white light lasers for imaging and optical characterization. Dick Goudriaan then addressed strategies for enhancing data collection in agriculture inspection, while Ian Reilly provided insights into cost-saving measures when acquiring optical filters and coatings. Finally, Sebastian Seuferling discussed the challenges inherent in optical measurements.

  • Session 3

Session 3 of the SCC focused on high-speed imaging solutions. Torsten Wiesinger discussed the advantages of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) for 10GigE cameras, followed by Carsten Strampe's presentation on high-speed vision solutions aimed at improving efficiency and quality. Caroline Engels introduced GoPxL, a powerful measurement and inspection software deployed on Gocator® 3D smart sensors, while Manuel Cerny showcased robust applications of 3D vision and AI in binpicking, cable handling, assembly, and kitting. Finally, a colleague of Raphael Gerlach & Steffen Lübbecke presented advancements in multispectral illumination technology for dual applications in deposit return systems and construction waste recycling.

  • Session 4

Session 4 delved into photonic sensing applications in agriculture and wood industries. Andrea Ballabio introduced a new approach for combined VIS-SWIR imaging and sensing solutions, while Dr. Stefan Paulus showcased a handheld spectrometer designed for virus identification in sugar beet, developed through Spectronet collaboration. Additionally, Sascha Lummitsch discussed the future demand for sensor technology in forestry, followed by Dr. Norbert Danz's presentation on miniaturized fiber-coupled array spectrometers for distributed sensing applications. Finally, Dr. Maik Rosenberger presented a 3D inspection method for forest roads using NIR stereo imaging.

  • Session 5

In Session 5, photonic sensing applications in life science and environmental sectors were explored. Maximilian Grau discussed virtual machine vision, followed by Raik Illmann's presentation on a multimodal sensor system for forest road detection. Francesco Brazzarola highlighted visual inspection techniques across various technologies and industries, while Claudio Borsani addressed fire safety through predictive detection and maintenance strategies. Lastly, Dr. Glen Guhr presented the development of a large area blackbody for calibrating infrared systems.

  • Session 6

Session 6 of the SpectroNet Collaboration Conference focused on SWIR and hyperspectral imaging technologies. Dr. Matthias Kerschhaggl discussed hyperspectral data processing, covering edge computing and offline algorithm feedback loops. Stefano Guerrieri provided an overview of NIR image sensors and developments in SWIR photodiodes, while Johanna Rühl presented applications of hyperspectral imaging for quality and process control. Additionally, Bruce Barnett discussed advancements in Quantum Dot based SWIR technology, and Jussi Soukkamaki provided an update on active pushbroom hyperspectral imagers. The session concluded with a summary of the conference and closing remarks by our host Paul-Gerald Dittrich.

All in all, the feedback for this year's conference was overwhelmingly positive, not only because of the good weather and the delicious Italian wine :) The conversations between the presentations simply wouldn't stop, and the evenings spent together at the castle and in the restaurants contributed significantly to getting to know each other personally in addition to the professional exchange.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being part of the event, helping with the preparations and bringing our network to life. Be sure, we are already planning our next conference and will see you again next year in a great location somewhere in Europe.

Sincerely yours - the SpectroNet Team.

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