For years, the machine-vision market has been dominated by analog cameras that require interfaces to convert signals from analog to digital and back again, and the frame grabbers that capture the frame and store it as a digital file. But, the market is changing.
The term smart camera has been somewhat of a misnomer. It is true that it is a camera, but it has not necessarily been smart. But that is changing as the cameras of the past, which could only work at less than optimal feed speeds and do less than complete image analysis, have evolved into a powerful quality assurance tool.
Part inspection on a machine tool is difficult because of environmental and climatic issues, but a new plug-and-inspect video measurement system can be used on a machine tool to magnify a part’s geometry for visual inspection.
The sun rises in the East and sets in the West and as it travels, its light waves strike the earth at different points, lighting and warming what it touches. While not as celestial, a new three-dimensional scanning system brings that idea to the world of test, measurement and inspection.
The ComScan CSA 1000 is an automated 3-D scanning system that integrates an independent scanner, a multiaxis component handling system and sophisticated software to capture line of sight data. The tool from Gaspardo & Associates (Aurora, IL) features a telescoping arm that moves in a semi-spherical arc from 0 to 90 degrees, and a component table that rotates, moves back and forth, and up and down-each movement presenting the scanner an area in which to capture data. This eliminates much of the material handling and setup time that often occurs using tripod-mounted 3-D scanning systems.
Tin whiskers are small and hard to detect and inspect. Typically no bigger than 1 to 5 microns in diameter and as much as several millimeters in length, they are small, but powerful; capable of turning a $250 million communication satellite into an orbiting paperweight and short circuiting pacemakers, radar systems, fuses, relays, GPS receivers and even disabling a nuclear power plant.
Detecting flaws is a challenge even in the best of times. Interpreting complex patterns on NDT instrument displays can be difficult, and a part’s size, geometry and material makeup can add to the problem. Often, it takes a certified inspector to weed out the good from the bad.
The demands placed on electronic leak testers can be summed up in four words: high, low, little and large. These systems need to have high sensitivity and low incidents of false positives or worse, missed leaks. They need to find little leaks, and must find these small leaks in large-as well as small-parts.