Quality Magazine

Quality Innovations: Industrial Inspection Made Easy

October 23, 2008
Dentistry and metrology have more in common than one might think. In the case of Linos Photonics, a dental application led to many more uses for its handheld video inspection device (HVID).

The portable device can be used in numerous industrial applications for inspection inside small spaces and crevices where normal cameras cannot fit. Source: Linos Photonics Inc.


Dentistry and metrology have more in common than one might think. In the case of Linos Photonics (Milford, MA), a dental application led to many more uses for its handheld video inspection device (HVID).

The company had developed cameras for dental applications, enabling dentists to get detailed photos of teeth, but then realized that this type of product was a good candidate for the inspection industry, says Mark Chernosky, business division manager at Linos Photonics, and began marketing it to the machine vision industry.

The HVID and inspec.x cameras were developed because dentists wanted to get close-ups of a tooth, but also be able to do a scan to see the entire face. Likewise, micro and macro views can be applied to other industries.

The HVID is a rigid unit containing a ⅓-inch CMOS camera, 10 embedded white LEDs for illumination, and one simple control lever for controlling aperture, illumination and focus. The 90-degree video inspection camera has a range of focus from 5.4 millimeters to infinity. The patented coupling of focus, iris adjustment and LED lighting provides bright images and high depth of field for viewing. The HVID connects directly to any standard monitor via serial cables provided with the product.

When the company introduced the analog version, people said it would be great if it had its own software and could connect to a laptop computer, Chernosky says. The company responded by rolling out a secondary model, inspec.x cam, which is powered via a USB connection and offers image capture software. The inspec.x cam also is a rigid unit containing a ⅓-inch CMOS camera, but only four embedded white LEDs for illumination, and the same type of simple control lever for controlling aperture, illumination and focus. The minimum focus was improved from 5.4 millimeters to 3 millimeters for even closer inspection of objects. Neither version is intended for medical or dental usage, however.

“In order to try to inspect something, illumination is always a factor,” says Chernosky. “Here there is a simple control factor, with control touch and illumination.”

Four bright-white LEDs evenly illuminate the objects to inspect. Source: Linos Photonics Inc.

In addition, he has handed it to potential customers who were able to use it without instructions.

The portable device is housed in durable plastic and weighs 200 grams so it can be used in numerous industrial applications for inspection inside small spaces and crevices where normal cameras cannot go. Typical applications include the inspection of the inside of tubing and exhaust pipes, engine crevices and various automotive parts, circuit boards and small storage tanks. The distal tip of the camera head is submersible as the first 50 millimeters is watertight. Because it employs a high-resolution sensor and low-distortion vario focal length optics, it has high image quality and includes true color reproduction.

In the inspect.x cam, images can be saved directly to the PC as the camera is equipped with a direct storage button on the top of the housing.

The product is similar to industrial borescopes, but provides more features, Chernosky says, as the USB product is a response to customer needs.

“I believe that there are applications where a highly detailed photograph of a small area is starting to become more needed,” he says. This product is able to produce a high quality detailed image that can be saved for future use.

The analog version of the HVID runs for about $1,800 and around $2,800 for the inspec.x cam with software.

Specifications

  • Camera weight: 200 grams
  • Camera length: 252 millimeters without cable
  • Cable length: 1.5 meters
  • Sensor resolution: 795 by 596 pixels


  • Technology Contact

    For more information on the inspec.x, contact:
      Linos Photonics Inc.
      459 Fortune Blvd.
      Milford, MA 01757
      (800) 334-5678, x13
      www.linos.com