Application Briefs

High-Speed Vision Inspection for Sheet-Based Electronics Materials

Process Photonics (Ottawa, ON, Canada) builds processing systems for the PCB, electronics assembly, and medical device markets. Their ProVisionTM series is a solution that uses vision to inspect panel and sheet-based circuit features. The system concept was devised after a customer expressed interest in replacing multiple existing inspection machines. The customer wanted a unit that was capable of significantly higher resolution and throughput, but also wanted to plan for a system that could perform defect recognition tasks beyond the original system’s capabilities.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Electronics, Materials, Electronic equipment, Imaging and visualization, Optics, Automation, Quality control, Inspections
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Matrox Vision Software Aids Robotic Inspection of Turbines

Turbines housed in aircraft engines are subject to pretty tough conditions. They must perform at speeds of 30,000rpm in temperatures greater than 800 °C for hours at a time.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, Computer software and hardware, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Gas turbines, Turbojet engines, Inspections
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Siemens Processor Helps KUKA Boost Robot Productivity

KUKA Flexible Production Systems is a leading producer of production systems for car bodies and chassis. When KUKA decided to become a Tier I supplier of automobile bodies to Chrysler, they needed to use their extensive knowledge of body shops and find a partner willing to work with them to change the landscape of the North American market.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics, Collaboration and partnering, Production engineering, Productivity, Robotics
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Composites Software Helps in Design and Fabrication of Crew Module

FiberSIM® composites engineering software Vistagy Waltham, MA 781-250-6800 www.vistagy.com

When NASA originally considered employing composites in manned spacecraft, it had to consider concerns that composites might have an unacceptable leak rate and insufficient damage tolerance. On the other hand, composites potentially offered reduced weight and lower lifecycle costs. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) put together a team of government and industry structures experts to gain experience in making use of new composite construction and inspection technologies specifically for manned spaceflight structures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Design processes, Fabrication, Composite materials, Materials properties, Spacecraft
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Vision System Provides Real-Time Guidance for Unmanned Docking Operations

TriDAR vision system Neptec Design Group Ottawa, ON, Canada 613-599-7602 www.neptec.com

NASA is conducting a Detailed Test Objective (DTO) with Neptec’s TriDAR vision system for use in unmanned docking operations. The vision system provides real-time visual guidance for navigation, rendezvous, and docking procedures, and is expected to play a critical role in future space exploration missions.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Cameras, Imaging, Lasers & Laser Systems, Artificial intelligence, Imaging and visualization, Automation, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft
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Designing 3D Capabilities Into Handheld Displays

For 3D viewing to be convenient on small, portable devices, it must be autostereoscopic, thus eliminating the requirement for 3D “glasses.” The display devices must also provide 2D and 3D capability simultaneously, without sacrificing resolution or color vibrancy.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics, Architecture, Optics, Displays
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Tool Coil Springs Aid in Hubble Repairs

Canted-Coil™ springs Bal Seal Engineering Foothill Ranch, CA 949-460-2100 www.balseal.com

When astronauts embarked on the latest mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, Bal Seal Engineering’s Canted-Coil™ springs went along for the ride in a set of special tools. The springs were incorporated in several major repair operations.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Optics, Photonics, Springs, Optics, Tools and equipment, Fasteners, Spacecraft
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Fire Suppression System Protects Giant Crawler Transporters

Stat-X fire suppression system Fireaway LLC Minnetonka, MN 952-935-9745 http://statx.com

When NASA Kennedy Space Center’s fire safety experts decided to replace the fire suppression system in the giant twin crawler transporters that bring the space shuttle from the assembly building to the launch pad, they selected the Stat-X firefighting system for enclosed spaces, a clean, compact system that suppresses fire with condensed aerosol technology. The system kills fires quickly without harming the environment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Detectors, Fire suppression, Ground support, Air transportation facilities, Safety testing and procedures, Spacecraft
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Fanuc Painting Robot Boosts Production for Metal Finisher

Classic Metal Finishing, based in Jackson, Mich., supplies components for the aerospace, motorcycle, racing, and medical industries. The plant was purchased in February, 2008 by Classic Metal Finishing and Classic Turning. Classic Turning performs high-end CNC machining of components and Classic Metal Finishing performs anodizing and dry film lubricant applications. Classic Metal Finishing’s anodizing line can anodize with two different types for corrosion inhibitor resistance, and can die aluminum in eight different colors. Dry film lubricant is applied to parts to help with high friction tolerance fits and moving assemblies.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Robotics, Metal finishing, Production, Robotics, Spraying, Coatings, colorants, and finishes
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HEIDENHAIN Gauge Facilitates Precision Stereology Research

Stereology, a tool that became popular in the late ‘90s, is used to quantify properties of 3D objects from 2D sections through an object (such as microscope slides of brain tissue). This method is accepted by neuroscientists as the preferred way to estimate numbers of cell populations in brain structures. The MBF Bioscience’s Stereo Investigator system from MBF Bioscience, Williston, VT, is the market’s leading product and utilizes procedures that use small sample sizes that can be collected rapidly and assure findings that will be accurate, unbiased and statistically efficient.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Data Acquisition, Imaging and visualization, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Nervous system
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