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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Inspection/ Measurement/ Quality Control

Top Features

There are smaller microscopes—if you include the endoscopic variety—but a miniature fluorescence microscope recently developed at Stanford University is a standout at just under an inch tall and weighing less than 2g. Though it can easily rest on your fingertip, the device grabs more attention for its technological prowess and, possibly, for looking as though actor Rick Moranis created the device by shrinking its larger cousin.

While not everyone agrees that digital technology is better than analog, digital is the way most technology is trending—and optical comparators are no exception.

Though they may not be throwing away their conventional probing tools in droves, micromanufacturers are showing increased interest in an inspection alternative that yields large amounts of data and goes easy on small, fragile parts.

Inspecting parts is an important element of the manufacturing process, but equally important is calibrating the metrology equipment performing that work. Parts makers and metrology labs need to ensure the devices they’re using to measure parts are as accurate as possible.

Inspecting microparts is an important part of the manufacturing process, but not all shops can handle this role themselves. So they send their parts to a parts-inspection service provider. But, would they be better off doing it themselves?

Being able to measure what you make is critical to successful manufacturing. And as manufacturing evolves, so too must the science of measurement.

Top Videos

Cyborg CockroachIf only exterminators could control cockroaches with the same precision demonstrated by North Carolina State University researchers who steer a Madagascar Hissing cockroach along an S-shaped line in the video below.

mouse hat thumbA miniature fluorescence microscope originally developed at Stanford University and used for neuroscienctific research on mice in 2011, was able to record neurons firing simultaneously in bands of up to 30 neurons while the mice were moving. The neuron pattern—something never before observed because it only appears when mice are actively moving—is shown in the video below.

Yesenia Salcedo, senior editor with Cutting Tool Engineering and MICROmanufacturing magazines, interviews Blum LMT Inc. President Jon C. Kulikowski about the company's origins and its new radio spindle probing technology.

Drew Griffin, sales applications scientist at Bruker AXS Inc., Madison, Wis., demonstrates how the company's ContourGT-K1 3-D Optical Microscope is used to measure surface roughness at the micro scale. The video was shot at the Bruker AXS booth during IMTS 2012 in Chicago.

The Ultraclean Technology and Micromanufacturing department with the Fraunhofer Institute of Production and Automation (Fraunhofer IPA), Stuttgart, Germany, develops integrated, innovative and results-oriented solutions for micromanufacturing tasks involving processes, equipment and production technology, according to the Fraunhofer IPA Web site.

Top Products

Carl Zeiss IMT Corp.

Carl Zeiss IMT O-InspectThe O-Inspect 322 from Carl Zeiss IMT Corp. functions as a coordinate measuring machine, microscope, profile projector and contour measuring instrument. According to the company, the standard CAD-based, 3-D measurements, using contact and optical sensors, allow for a complete and accurate part picture, saving time with the need for only one part alignment. It is suitable for operating on the shop floor.

Hexagon Metrology

Hexagon Metrology systemsHexagon Metrology Inc. says its factory-trained engineers perform onsite calibrations and certifications using the proper equipment, knowledge and technical support to keep equipment performing accurately and productively. The company is ISO 17025-certified to calibrate coordinate measuring machines, machining centers, boring mills, turning centers, rotary tables and surface plates.

Qioptiq Inc.

Qioptiq optemQioptiq Inc. says its new Optem Fusion lens system delivers enhanced versatility and streamlined integration for OEMs that require precision micro-imaging. A unique modular design offers easy modification of performance, form and function to meet specific parameters, according to the company. Change-out modules incorporate zoom optics, fine focus, objectives, right angles, filters, camera mounts, LED illumination and motorized functions.

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

Titan printed circuitTitan Tool Supply’s printed circuit drill analyzing microscope (PCBM) was designed so that two different views, in two different planes of the drill to be inspected, are possible without changing the setup.

Zygo Corporation

Zygo MiniThe Zygo Mini from Zygo Corp. is a compact self-contained interferometer system used for production metrology.