Features

Laser Scanners

Leica Geosystems (Unterentfelden, Switzerland) has released several laser trackers, ranging from portable units to large-scale units designed for the automotive and aerospace industries. The LT640 Leica Laser Tracker is optimized for corner cube reflector inspection within a measurement volume of up to 40 m. The LTD706 short-range laser tracker is intended for portable CMM jobs within a measurement radius of 6 m. The LTD709 was designed for the automotive industry, offering a measurement radius of up to 9 m for PCMM applications, an increase of 25 percent over the model it replaces. At the same time, LTD709 has a measurement volume of 25 m when used with a corner cube reflector. Designed for aerospace applications, the LTD840 has a probing measurement range of up to 15 m, which translates into a measurement volume of up to 30 m when used with a T-Probe; LTD840’s measurement range reaches a full 40 m when used with a corner cube reflector. The T-Probe II “Walk-Around” solution offers improved accuracy, a ten-fold increase in the point rate output, and user-assignable multi-function buttons.

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Machine-Shop Guide Laser

Pinpoint Laser Systems (Newburyport, MA) has developed the PLS-SAK003 spindle alignment kit for use in factories and machine shops. The laser is designed to check for parallelism, concentricity, and wear on spindles, lathes, and boring equipment, improving manufacturing efficiency by reducing downtime and reducing production costs associated with rework caused by worn spindles. The PLS-SAK003 has a round laser transmitter that fits into the spindle or chuck on the machine. A digital receiver attaches to the opposing spindle, tool holder, or tail-stock, and provides precise alignment readings through a handheld display. In four steps, the alignment accuracy offset and parallelism of the machine can be checked to better than 0.0001 in. (0.003 mm). This new alignment kit is designed for lathes and turning equipment, spindle drilling systems, and other production equipment that requires tight alignment.

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Mini Photon Counter

SensL (Blackrock, Ireland) has developed the PCDMini, a miniature photon counting system for applications in biosciences, astronomy, and remote sensing. The PCDMini is a printed circuit board with hermetically sealed detector. The basic unit features quenching architecture and is available with a number of optional snap-on modules for enhanced functionality including a Peltier cooler driver to enable operation down to -20 °C, and a PC control interface with integrated counter featuring 1,000 updates a second counting. SensL’s silicon photon counting sensors are based on a shallow junction Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode. This offers increased sensitivity to blue-red wavelengths, increased response time to fast optical signals, and low internal operating voltages. These performance characteristics make the mini photon counter useful for biomedical applications such as the capture of fast fluorescence decay signals.

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High-Contrast Stereo Microscope

Carl Zeiss MicroImaging (Thornwood, NY) has introduced the SteREO Discovery.V12 stereomicroscope with improved stability and image quality. The new microscope obtains more image information through an optical design that offers high-contrast images with attention to color reproduction, depth of field, high resolution, and 3D brilliance. The system comes with a SyCoP (System Control Panel) that combines all of the major control functions of the stereomicroscope such as zoom, focus, contrast, and illumination. It also supplies current data on object field, resolution, and depth of focus. A new stand design allows the instrument to focus in steps of up to 350 nm across a range of 340 nm. The SteREO Discovery.V12 also includes a new LED illumination and contrasting system, Ergo-phototube, specimen protection, 3-position nosepiece, and a light and focus speed manager. By adding AxioVision 4.3 software, the SteREO Discovery.V12 can also record, process, analyze, and archive images.

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Multilayer Coating Capability

Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has increased the company’s capacity to make complex coatings with more than 100 layers by adding a new 45-in. diameter Vacuum Process Technology coating chamber. The coatings can be applied to many categories of catalog parts, including polarizers, laser mirrors, short wave pass and long wave pass filters, beamsplitters, and dichroic color filters, as well as custom optics that require specialized multilayer coatings. The VPT coating chamber is equipped with two electron guns (E-guns) and planetary rotation. It also has a high-output ion gun, which produces shift-free coatings with tolerances of less than ±1 percent. The chamber can predict and execute layer termination using either quartz-crystal numbers or transmission values calculated from curve-fitting algorithms matched to the measured optical monitor values.

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Low-Light CCD

e2v Technology’s (Chelmsford, England) CCD201 is a large-format 1-k × 1-k, 13-μm pixel image sensor designed for low-light, high-resolution scientific applications. The sensor claims a quantum efficiency of 95 percent with minimal induced noise. Designed for bio-science applications such as drug discovery, bio-luminescence, and fluorescence microscopy, as well as astronomy, the CCD201 is available in front- and back-illuminated formats, both of which offer sub-electron noise and a choice of electron-multiplying or traditional output. Each is capable of operating at an equivalent output noise of less than one electron at pixel rates of over 15 MHz.

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X-ray Inspection

Designed as a yield enhancement system for electronics manufacture, YESTech (San Clemente, CA) has released the YTX-3000 HXR x-ray inspection system for extremely high-resolution applications. Featuring an open-tube transmission target x-ray source with an integral high-voltage power supply and computer-controlled operation, the HXR system resolves sub-micron features with zoom magnifications up to 2400×. The x-ray source is designed for minimum maintenance with an easily replaceable filament and target assembly. The 3000 HXR is available with a 4- or 5-axis sample manipulator and a 15 × 20-in. (380 x 500 mm) X-Y travel stage for samples up to 5 lbs. in weight. Full 360° rotation and 30° of tilt are available. A computer-controlled motor drive provides a wide rage of motion from ultra-slow use at high magnifications, to high speed for travel over large distances. All systems come with a control module and programmable motion for automated inspection.

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