The FreedomView LED fiberscope
accommodates customers’ needs for greater mobility and more light. Source: Optim Inc.
borescopes generally fall into two categories: rigid borescopes and flexible
borescopes, also known as fiberscopes. The type of borescope employed is
contingent on the application. These devices are used in a number of industries
to attain quality assurance, enabling inspection for manufacturing defects without
necessitating part destruction. They also are used in equipment maintenance
programs, eliminating the need for teardowns when checking for defects.
Rigid borescopes are selected for applications in
which a straight path exists between the viewer and the object being viewed. A
rigid borescope is made up of a tubular shell, eyepiece, optical lens, viewing
head and light source. Typical borescopes are made in lengths from 4 inches to
150 feet and diameters generally range from 0.067 to 2.75 inches. Object
magnification is usually from 3X to 4X, but powers up to 50X are available. The
viewing head determines the direction of view and field of view. Viewing heads
are commonly manufactured with right angle, circumference, bottoming, forward
oblique and retrospective designs.
Flexible borescopes are used in applications in which there is not a straight
path between the viewer and the object being viewed. A fiberscope is comprised
of an image guide fiber bundle, an objective lens, protective sheath, eyepiece
lens, focus and diopter rings, and remote controls for the top articulation;
these components are connected to a light source via a fiber-optic cable.
Fiberscopes are available in diameters from 0.071 to 0.512 inch and in lengths
up to 30 feet, though quartz fiberscopes can reach as long as 300 feet.
Generally a sealed housing of flexible stainless steel conduit, allowing the
fibers to bend around corners, protects the fiber-optic bundles. A controllable
bending section is usually found at the tip of the fiberscope, to direct the
scope during insertion and then scan an area after the device is in position.
The objective lens can be focused to accommodate different viewing distances,
and as with the rigid borescope, different viewing heads are available.
Two considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting the
appropriate borescope are the object being inspected and the environment in
which the device will be used. The inspected object decides the specifications
of the borescope and the illumination requirements. Factors to be considered
are object distance, size of defect, entry port size, size of object,
reflectivity, depth of object and location of area to be examined. Most
borescopes can operate in temperatures from -30 to 150 F, but specially
designed devices can be made to withstand temperatures reaching 3,500 F.
Borescopes can also be manufactured for use in pressures above ambient as well
as in atmospheres exposed to radiation.
The following presents an offering of industrial borescopes available to
quality professionals today.
The FreedomView LED fiberscope by Optim Inc.
(www.optimnet.com) offers a design that
represents the latest advances in light emitting diode (LED) technology. It
delivers LED light output, mobility, flexibility and resolution.
In creating the fiberscope, the
company’s goal was to design an instrument that addressed customers’ needs for
greater mobility and more light. Both were achieved by integrating an LED
lighting platform into the scope handle.
The distal tip articulation and light intensity controls are integrated into
the handle. The shaft is constructed of rugged Tungsten braid and is fully
immersible in gasoline, diesel fuel, water, jet fuels and other liquids. The
unit is video and digital camera compatible and has a full line of accessories,
including a digital camera/coupler kit that attaches to the eyepiece. Other
accessories include an AC wall plug, DC car plug, guide tube and a right-angle
side-viewing attachment. The scope is available in two diameters-6 and 4
millimeter-and four lengths-20, 40, 60 and 80 inches.
A new line of rigid borescopes and microborescopes provides clear,
bright images. Source:
Flexbar Machine Corp.
(www.flexbar.com) announces a new rigid
borescope and microborescope product line. These scopes have clear, bright
images for any standard industrial application. Ideal for use with Flexbar
video borescope systems, standard scopes are available in diameters from 0.047
inch to 0.16 inch, and up to 12 inches in length.
The scopes feature probe tubing constructed in stainless steel for extra
durability. They are available with a standard 32-millimeter eyepiece, and
accept the Flexbar c-mount coupler for video system usage. Fiberoptic lighting
provides bright and even light, and the scopes have a wide-angle field of view
for direct and lateral viewing. Extended lengths and custom models are
The Hawkeye Pro flexible borescope provides detailed images of defects
and irregularities. Source:
Gradient Lens Corp.
The Hawkeye Pro flexible borescope from Gradient Lens Corp.
(www.gradientlens.com) provides highly detailed images of defects and
irregularities that can affect the quality of products. The 5-millimeter
diameter Hawkeye Pro Flexible scope offers several key features. It contains
high-resolution optical-glass imaging fibers that produce high-quality images
and give the scope flexibility to reach into twisting, narrow paths. The fiber
bundles are engineered to reduce crosstalk between the fibers and increase
image contrast. It incorporates two-way articulation, which allows the operator
to control the direction of view of the viewing tip over a 240-degree range. It
is covered with a braided stainless-steel sheath to add durability without
The Everest XLG3 VideoProbe offers a host of advanced features that
reduce inspection time. Source:
GE Inspection Technologies
The Everest XLG3 VideoProbe from GE Inspection Technologies
offers the capability and versatility to allow fast internal visual inspection
to boost productivity throughout the industrial and process spectra. With a
variety of advanced features such as QuickChange probes that quickly
reconfigure probe length and diameter, the RVI system reduces inspection and
post-inspection times. It also allows inspection information to be stored in
real time on an on-board DVD/CD drive, to be downloaded by means of flash
drives or to be transferred to remote sites by means of the Internet for
collaboration and confirmation during live inspections.
The portable VideoProbe can be used for applications such as on-wing turbine
engine inspection in the aerospace sector and cylinder-head checking in
automotive manufacture. It uses a handheld controller with an integrated joystick
and high-resolution display, or a wireless remote control. Intuitive software
control buttons and drop-down menus guide operators through the control
functions and give step-by-step instruction for each component until the
inspection is complete. Images can be tagged for future identification and to
incorporate inspection comments, and the instrument’s software allows text and
arrow overlays and custom logos.
The base unit has an aluminum chassis with impact-absorbing rubber bumpers and
the handset is contained within a tough, polycarbonate housing. An attachable,
integrated battery can run the unit for one or two hours. The Everest XLG3
provides twice the light output of earlier generation VideoProbe systems and
the 360-degree all-way articulation ensures that this light reaches even the
darkest of turbine recesses. When combined with the VideoProbe’s lenses,
advanced digital signal processing and a 1:1 pixel ratio between camera and
monitor, the result is sharp,
high-quality images delivered directly
to the extra-bright, high-resolution LCD screen.
The V5 Videoscope System for total
remote viewing combines high performance with affordability. Source: Instrument Technology Inc.
(ITI, www.scopes.com) recently introduced its
new V5 videoscope system for total remote viewing (RVI).
The system is easy to operate; the operator points the insertion probe, clicks
the power button and views the results. The V5
is self-contained, and lets recorded data be transferred directly to a
computer to save or send as e-mail files. It features ITI’s patented Protecht
over-torque protection system, which significantly cuts accidental breakage,
repair costs and downtime. Its rugged tungsten probe jackets withstand harsh
environments, and the durable case makes the V5 practically indestructible. The
outer case has wheels and a retractable pull handle for easy transport from one
site to another. The V5 uses either an external power source or its own
integrated, rechargeable battery system. Custom computer designed optics,
all-digital S-video signals and a high-resolution (10.4 inches) LCD monitor
provide exceptional image quality and brightness. The V5 is a true, value-added
system designed for remote viewing performance at most inspection sites without
costly, unnecessary bells and whistles.
The VideoFlex Series features a videoscope with a tight bending radius
and a four-way, 150-degree articulated tip that allows manipulation around
corners, through pipe bends and past blockages. Source:
Lenox Instrument Company Inc.
The VideoFlex Series from Lenox Instrument Co. Inc.
(www.lenoxinst.com) is a high-resolution remote imaging system featuring
four-way tip articulation and an integrated control hand piece with a 6.4-inch
LCD. The videoscope is suited for inspection of aircraft engines and turbines,
airframes, manufacturing, process tanks and vessels, tubing and pipes, and heat
For viewing inside complex assemblies, the videoscope has a tight bending
radius and a four-way, 150-degree articulated tip that allows manipulation
around corners, through pipe bends and past blockages. The working portion of
the scope is protected with polyurethane-impregnated tungsten braiding and is
available in diameters of 6 or 8.4 millimeters, with lengths to 7.5 meters.
The VideoFlex hand-piece is made of all-metal constructions and has a 2-meter
length umbilical cable. The operator can articulate the tip using ergonomically
designed single-hand controls. The connections on the handheld unit include interchangeable
light source connectors enabling compatibility with most brands of light
sources, along with interfaces for auxiliary monitor connection, video output
and 12 volt DC powering.
Advanced functions include video processor initialization, according to color
temperature of light source used, and auto shutter activation. Accessories
include a mini digital recorder with a 4-inch LCD monitor, interchangeable
right-angle mirror heads and connectors for compatibility with other brands of
light sources. Each scope comes with a 12 volt DC power supply and a rugged
case, and a variety of light sources are available.
The IPLEX MX-R videoscope system uses high intensity LEDs for target
illumination, affording a lightweight instrument with increased maneuverability. Source: Olympus Industrial America
The IPLEX MX-R videoscope system from Olympus Industrial America
(www.olympusindustrial.com) is a portable and compact flexible borescope system
with image recording capabilities. With the introduction of the 4.4-millimeter
diameter scope, the 10-pound unit helps operators complete inspections in
hard-to-reach areas. Because the unit uses high intensity LEDs at the insertion
tube tip for target illumination, the operator is not burdened with the weight
and bulk of extra peripherals-allowing for increased
The system has a built-in recording unit for saving inspection images to
removable compact flash card recording media. Inspection images can be saved in
a JPEG format and transferred to a computer for use in reports, detailed target
evaluation or shared through e-mail to off-site QA or engineering resources.