Direct Imaging System Platform

Limata (Munich/Ismaning, Germany), a provider of Direct Imaging (DI) systems for PCB manufacturing, introduced the X1000, a flexible system platform for dry-film patterning and solder mask imaging. The X1000 can be configured as an entry-level solution that provides PCB manufacturers with a modular, scalable system platform that can be upgraded in-place within just a few hours. Manufacturers can start with a low-cost single-head machine and, as their volumes increase, seamlessly ramp up capacity to up to 3 heads with 18 simultaneously working laser diode sources. The high-end model (X1000HR) achieves a resolution of 8 μm line and 12 μm space that meets the stringent demands of IC substrate and MSAP process production.

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Conductive Coating for LiDAR Windows

MAC Thin Films (MTF) (Santa Rosa, CA) recently introduced FrostFree™, a highly-durable, conductive coating with extended operational wavelengths into the near-infrared (NIR). Suitable for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) applications, the new window heater coating, based on MTF’s proprietary technology, has defrosting capability and ultra-broadband transmittance while operating from the visible into the NIR spectrum. MAC Thin Films can customize the sheet resistance over a wide range of values, from 10 to 250 ohm/sq (typical) to meet the demands of various LiDAR window designs and available power supplies.

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Machine Vision Technology

Comau (Grugliasco, Italy) has created an in-line testing and quality control paradigm called MI.RA/Thermography that optimizes the construction and assembly of batteries. MI.RA is short for Machine Inspection Recognition Archetypes. Designed for industrial-scale battery manufacturing, MI.RA/Thermography uses thermal imaging and artificial intelligence to perform non-invasive automated assessment and control of welded joints, to ensure battery integrity and prevent waste. Its non-destructive testing methodology protects cycle times without changing the existing manufacturing layout. Furthermore, the system doesn’t require an additional power source, as it is based on the in-line acquisition of thermal images that are immediately pre-processed, cropped and analyzed via a previously acquired knowledge-base.

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60 GHz Optical-to-Electrical Converter

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) recently announced the new N7005A optical-to-electrical converter designed for use with Keysight’s Infiniium UXR-series of high-performance realtime oscilloscopes. This solution provides real-time analysis and debug capabilities on up to 4 channels simultaneously. Keysight's N7005A, which offers up to 60 GHz of optical measurement performance (O/E), used in conjunction with the company's 70 GHz Infiniium UXR oscilloscope, offers designers end-to-end debugging capabilities. It also enables engineers to take advantage of the PAM4 optical measurement and deep analysis capabilities such as TDECQ (transmitter and dispersion eye closure quaternary) measurement provided by the new FlexDCA sampling oscilloscope software feature called FlexRT.

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Blackbody System

Santa Barbara Infrared, Inc. (SBIR) (Santa Barbara, CA) introduced the Nightingale Body Temperature Reference (BTR) Blackbody System for human body temperature detection.

Nightingale features include a “set and forget” temperature-programming function that is configurable to Celsius or Fahrenheit, with settable temperature ranges, above ambient, from 30°C to 45°C (86°F to 113°F). SBIR’s thermal source/blackbody system has a 3" × 3" emitting aperture, a USB communication interface, and average emissivity of >0.950 mid-wave infrared (MWIR) through long-wave infrared (LWIR).

Other features include temperature accuracy of ±0.15°C (±0.3°F), temperature stability of ±0.05°C (±0.1°F), and uniformity of ±0.15°C (±0.3°F) over central 1.5" × 1.5" region of interest.

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Multi-Sensor Vision System

The L.S. Starrett Company (Athol, MA) has introduced the new AVX550 Multi-Sensor Vision System equipped with dual optical systems and touch-probe capability to measure parts with a diverse range of feature sizes and geometries. The Large Format AVX550 System can be equipped with two cameras and lenses to be used sequentially in the same program along with touch probe options. Equipped with the M3 software package from MetLogix, a traditional mouse as well as a touchscreen monitor makes user interaction easy and intuitive. For accuracy, durability and stability, the AVX550 system features a granite base and bridge design.

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Noncontact Differential Measuring System

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products, Inc. (Middletown, CT) offers the DIT-5200L non-contact displacement measuring system for fast-steering mirrors, servo control position feedback, stage positioning, and angular displacement indication, as well as X-Y orbit position feedback and stylus position. Offering differential for common mode rejection, the DIT-5200L is available in both single and dual channel configurations. Capable of sub-nanometer resolution, the DIT-5200L provides thermal stability of ±.03 percent and high sensitivity – up to 10 volts per mil (V/mil), or 39 millivolt/per micron (mV/ m). With a small package size of only 7.7 cubic inches, the DIT-5200L is extremely linear, to 0.1 percent of the full range.

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Eyesafe Laser Rangefinder Receiver

Analog Modules, Inc. (Longwood, FL) released its High-Performance Hybrid Eyesafe Laser Rangefinder Receiver, Model 758B.1. Based on the performance of AMI’s 758 Series Laser Rangefinder Receivers, the Model 758B.1 extends the capabilities further with double-pulse discrimination, allowing a weak target to be seen through a close, partly obscuring strong target. Multiple Target Resolution is 12 meters typical over 6 orders of magnitude with the second pulse 10dB down. A thermo-electric cooler is used to cool the detector and critical preamplifier components resulting in a stable sensitivity at high temperatures. The Model 758B.1 allows for compensation of variations in background light-induced noise. Pulse widths from 1 to 40 ns are processed over seven orders of magnitude dynamic range, and operation is possible from 1.0 to 1.6 μm.

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3D Machine Vision Algorithm

Chromasens (Konstanz, Germany) introduced an advanced 3D reconstruction method to its CS-3D-API (Application Programming Interface) library that allows integrators to build, deploy, and scale higher-value 3D imaging systems capable of improved detection of extremely small defects. Based on the semi-global matching algorithm (SGM), it combines global and local stereo methods for more accurate, pixel-wise matching at low runtime. The new SGM algorithm represents an alternative to the traditional Block Matching (BM) method used previously with Chromasens 3D stereo cameras to match corresponding pixels between two images. The primary difference between the two methods is how a matching cost (energy) is computed. For BM, the cost is computed with normalized cross-correlation, while SGM utilizes a specialized Census transformation.

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Low Light Sensor Modules

The new FRAMOS (Taufkirchen, Germany) sensor modules FSM-IMX462C and FSM-IMX485C each have a Sony high-resolution color sensor with 2.9 μm pixels and a resolution of 2 MP and 8 MP respectively. High sensitivity and further dark current reductions are achieved using Sony’s own super high conversion gain (SHCG) technology. SHCG pixels produce a far higher voltage than conventional image sensors even from the tiniest charge (in low incident light). The IMX462LQR-C on the FSM-IMX462C sensor module is a Full HD sensor with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels (2.13 MP) and a diagonal of 6.46 mm (1/2.8"). At full resolution, it achieves a frame rate of 120 fps (at 10 bits). In contrast, the IMX485LQJ-C on the FSM-IMX485C sensor module is a 4K image sensor with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels (8.3 MP) and a diagonal of 12.86 mm (1/1.2"). It delivers frame rates of 60 fps (at 12 bits) or 90 fps (at 10 bits).

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GigE Vision Line Scan Cameras

Omron Automation Americas (Hoffman Estates, IL) released an update to its FS Series GigE Vision® line scan cameras. Available in 2K, 4K and 8K resolutions and with single-line monochrome and upcoming dual-line monochrome and color formats, these cameras are available in F-Mount, C-Mount and M42-Mount lens configurations. GigE Vision is a global camera interface standard that uses the Gigabit Ethernet communication protocol to provide fast image transfer with cost-effective standard cables over long distances. Another important feature of the new cameras is the Precision Time Protocol (PTP), which enables more precise multi-camera triggering over an entire system by lowering the latency when multiple cameras on the same system are triggered simultaneously.

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Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2020 issue of Photonics & Imaging Technology Magazine.

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