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Mantis stereo microscope now with extended warranty

Mantis manufacturer’s warranty now extended to 24 months

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We are pleased to announce that the manufacturer’s warranty on all new Mantis eyepiece-less stereo microscopes has been extended from 12 months to 24 months.

All systems bought from 1 December 2018 are covered by the new 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.  The new warranty applies globally.

The Mantis range includes Mantis Compact, Mantis Elite and Mantis Elite-Cam.

Mantis stereo microscope now with extended warrantyThe original eyepiece-less stereo microscope, Mantis revolutionised quality inspection when it launched in 1994.  It was an ergonomic revolution that went on to win numerous design and innovation awards. In the intervening quarter of a century, Mantis has undergone numerous innovations, in appearance, capability and applicability, maintaining its status as market leader.

Mantis serves the needs of customers globally and has applications in electronics, medical device manufacture, plastics, dental equipment, automotive, aeronautics and life sciences markets.

Commenting on the warranty extension, Mark Curtis, Managing Director of Vision Engineering said:

We are delighted to announce the extension of our manufacturer’s warranty on Mantis systems. It is a significant declaration of our confidence in the quality of our product and our commitment to remaining at the forefront of inspection technology quality.”

Vision Engineering Ltd is a global leading-edge manufacturer of patented ergonomic stereo microscopes, digital microscopes and non-contact measuring systems.

Vision Engineering Apprentices

Vision Engineering’s apprentices make the grade

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At Vision Engineering Ltd, we pride ourselves on training staff and developing their skills. We are therefore delighted to announce that Mark Thornton has recently completed his three year EAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering – CNC Machining.

Mark Thornton Vision Engineering apprentice

For Mark, this involved two years of day release to Kingston College where he gained an Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering (covering subjects such as Health and Safety in the Engineering Workplace, Mathematics for Engineering Technicians, Mechanical Principles and Applications, Mechanical Measurement and Inspection Techniques, Engineering Secondary and Finishing Techniques, Fabrication Processes and Technology and Setting and Proving Secondary Processing and Machines) and the completion of Level 3 NVQ CNC Machining modules through in-house training. The third year of Mark’s training has seen him become a competent CNC Machinist Operator who has now secured a permanent contract with us here at our UK headquarters, where he will continue to develop his skills and experience within a very busy Machine Shop.

Mark is the third Vision Engineering apprentice to complete a CNC Machining apprenticeship with us – previously Adam White and Adam Hitchcock finished their apprenticeships in 2016. Both are still working at Vision Engineering – Adam White is now trained to operate manual machines, CNC lathes, our Mazak Machining Centre and is now developing his programming skills on this, having successfully completed a programming course at Yamazaki Mazak UK in Worcester earlier this year.

Adam Hitchcock, after four years Machine shop experience, chose to follow a career path that has taken him into technical sales and is now working on business development with the UK Sales team.

Offering apprenticeships in Vision Engineering’s Machine Shop is part of the ongoing strategy to train and develop skilled staff to fill key areas within the company with the next generation of high class engineers, and we have recently been joined by Jacob Thomas, the newest machinist trainee.

Vision Engineering Apprentices

Left to right: Jacob Thomas, Adam White, Mark Thornton and Adam Hitchcock

Commenting on the achievement of the apprentices, Mark Curtis, Managing Director of Vision Engineering Ltd said:

Building on Vision Engineering’s sixty years of optical inspection and metrology expertise, the apprenticeship programme is a key component in developing the next generation of high quality engineers to take the company forwards.”

Vision Engineering Ltd is a global leading-edge manufacturer of patented ergonomic stereo microscopes, digital microscopes and non-contact measuring systems.

Vision Engineering Ltd 60 year anniversary logo

Vision Engineering Celebrates 60 years with Clear Focus on the Future

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Vision Engineering reaches a milestone this month, celebrating 60 years of manufacturing inspection and non-contact measurement systems. The privately held company was founded in the UK in 1958 by Rob Freeman, a tool-maker with the Jaguar racing team. While at Jaguar, Rob developed a borescope for inspecting internal race engine parts without the need for disassembly. Rob’s engineering background and drive to design solutions, set the foundation for Vision Engineering’s success.

Renown for inventing Mantis, the world’s first eyepiece-less stereo microscope, Vision Engineering holds several world patents for the optical technology used in their inspection and metrology systems. Mantis was launched nearly 25 years ago as a solution to address the issues microscope operators face. The Mantis design allows users to retain a natural viewing posture when using a microscope so they are more comfortable and able to work for longer periods of time without neck strain or eye fatigue. Mantis is used across the world in electronics, medical device, packaging, automotive and aerospace industries and for any application requiring inspection and rework.

The importance of ergonomics in microscopy was pioneered by Vision Engineering and Mantis. Mantis has evolved significantly since its original design and Vision Engineering is currently manufacturing the 4th generation Mantis. In 1994 Mantis manufacturing moved to Connecticut, USA, where it is still manufactured today.

The company attributes their success to innovation and developing new technology to improve quality in manufacturing, by inspection and measurement. Mark Curtis, Managing Director, Vision Engineering explains,

Significant R&D investment in optical and digital technology continues with recent patented technological breakthroughs heralding the next step in innovation and market penetration for Vision Engineering”

Vision Engineering has come a long way since 1958, from its humble beginnings in a workshop with a dozen employees. In June 2017 an 84,000ft2 Global Headquarters opened in Send, Woking, United Kingdom. Vision Engineering now employs more than 220 people worldwide.

TVM field of view measurement system

New TVM instant FOV measurement system launched at Control, Stuttgart

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A new fast and flexible field of view measurement for quality assurance

Vision Engineering will showcase its new TVM Field of View (FOV) video measurement systems at Control, Stuttgart Exhibition Centre [Hall 7 Booth 7400]. The system combines time-saving instant field of view measurements with versatile measurement tools that cater to the needs of operators on the shop floor.

The system’s small footprint saves space in the workshop or laboratory, while TVM’s exceptional ease of use eliminates operator errors and significantly reduces time, providing a valuable asset for a wide range of quality assurance applications, such as instant go/no go assessments.

TVM20 and TVM35 video measurement systems

As with other measurement and inspection systems from Vision Engineering, the TVM systems can be configured to suit specific applications. The fixed stage FOV system enables instant, accurate measurements of small components, while the addition of a manually-controlled stage extends measurement for larger components up to 200mm x 100mm.

The combination of a flat field telecentric lens and collimated sub-stage lighting facilitates TVM’s measurement of components of any shape or form, including turned parts, pressed metal components, injection moulded plastics, tubes and cables.

TVM series comprises of two systems, TVM20 and TVM35, with field of view (FOV) sizes of 20mm and 35mm respectively. Both systems are designed to meet rigorous quality assurance applications in electronics, automotive, aerospace, medical and plastics manufacturing: offering rapid, accurate non-contact measurement. Components can be instantly measured within the field of view, with no need to adjust the focus or change the position of the subject under inspection.

TVM’s comprehensive, user-friendly software supports a broad range of applications delivering the precision and clarity that would be expected from expensive high end video measurement systems. The rich suite of features includes simple data import/export, image stitching and reporting facilities.

Built on Vision Engineering’s sixty years of optical inspection and metrology expertise, the TVM 20 and TVM 35 are precision-manufactured in the UK at Vision Engineering’s new global headquarters.

Commenting on the launch of the TVM series, Mark Curtis, Managing Director of Vision Engineering said:

We’ve listened to our customers and combined the best parts of our existing metrology range into a compact system that really offers fast and flexible measurement to meet the needs of QC/QA requirements. This marks a new era of high accuracy field of view measuring.”

EVO Cam II digital microscope in the workshop

EVO Cam II, next generation of high definition digital microscope

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The next generation of the extremely popular EVO Cam digital microscope has been launched. Excellent image quality, intuitive operation and a host of new features are available at your fingertips with Vision Engineering’s new EVO Cam II.

Ideally suited for close inspection and recording of high resolution images the next-generation EVO Cam II benefits from the addition of user customisable overlays, on-board measurement and Wi-Fi image transfer. All supported by a 30:1 optical zoom and a maximum magnification of up to 3,600x.

EVO Cam II replaces the original EVO Cam which is already used for inspection of electronics, medical devices, precision engineering, life sciences and much more.

EVO Cam II digital microscope inspecting metal tools

High definition images can be captured and stored directly to a USB memory stick. When connected to a PC, images and video can be easily captured, stored and shared. A Wi-Fi dongle even allows direct sharing with PCs, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.

Simple on-screen measurement can be performed with the aid of virtual callipers and scalable grids. Live images can also be compared to user customisable overlays, increasing efficiency of use.

A completely new graphical user interface and intuitive controls with 10 presets, allow for rapid swapping out of subjects under inspection, making EVO Cam II ideal for multiple users in high speed production environments. A remote control option is available to maximise the ergonomic operation of the microscope when used over prolonged periods.

EVO Cam II features a powerful LED ring light and sub-stage lighting for viewing translucent samples. A UV ring light accessory is also available for electronic and other specific applications. High contrast subjects, such as reflective metals used in electronics and automotive manufacturing can be viewed in more detail using EVO Cam II’s Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) mode.

For additional clarity, EVO Cam II is launched along with a new range of objective lenses to deliver pin sharp images, high in detail and contrast. Vision Engineering’s unique 360° rotating viewer is ideal for hard to handle subjects, delivering direct and 34° angled views, which can be rotated 360° around the point of interest, allowing inspection of the sides and base of samples.

Mark Curtis, Managing Director, Vision Engineering said:

We are excited to complement our Mantis and Lynx EVO eyepiece-less stereo microscope range with the EVO Cam II. This new digital microscope offers exceptional image quality for inspection, research and manipulation, and can be utilised for thousands of inspection tasks.”

CamBeta handheld digital magnifier

Inspect where you want with new Camβ digital magnifier

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Introducing Camβ (CamBeta) – a new digital inspection magnifier for portable inspection and documentation. The new magnifier is a handheld inspection device, suitable for a wide range of applications. Camβ provides magnification up to 20x, stores up to 20,000 images and uses grids and cursors for X & Y dimensioning, simply where you want, when you want.

CamBeta handheld digital magnifier for machine inspection

With a high resolution colour display, easy button operation and image capture/download capability, Camβ is ideal for roaming inspection tasks, documenting faults and inspecting large or immobile subjects. Camβ has been equipped with a dual LED illumination, with 4 settings; high contrast imaging and 30 frames video capture capabilities. A live-view video output via micro HDMI allows for the display of images on a larger screen suitable for training purposes.

Camβ offers a convenient way of meeting critical inspection and documentation requirements. The simple design of the Camβ helps to optimise the inspection process, as it requires minimal training to ensure all users can adequately perform their job. When time is of the essence the portable design of the Camβ also helps to speed up the process of inspection and decision making for operators.

The Camβ is well suited in production environments where company policy disallows the use of mobile phones. Its lightweight and ergonomic design is superior to that of a smartphone, with one-handed operation making the Camβ easy to manage and manipulate. The handle of the Camβ also provides a secure grip allowing it to be used with either a left or right hand, to suit.

Camβ is ideal for a number of applications such as electronics, mechanical, automotive, watchmaking, plastics engineering, medical and ultimately wherever fast digital documentation is needed – in one step, using one tool!

Productronica logo

Unveiling new EVOTIS system at Productronica 2017

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We will be attending this year’s Productronica between 14th to 17th November in Munich, Germany. You can find us in Hall A2, Booth 181.

At the show we will be unveiling a brand new advanced inspection workstation – the EVOTIS. The new system for large area subjects such as PCB’s and multi-layer components is invaluable for anyone who requires a quick, efficient and methodical process. It will cater for a wide range of tasks such as inspection, manipulation, reworking and training and can be easily used as a part of Quality Assurance (QA) standards.
The technical inspection system can be configured with either the Lynx EVO stereo microscope or EVO Cam digital microscopes and has access to an array of inspection tools linked to these including a wide range of objectives, high resolution camera modules and reticles, and can provide magnification up to 300x.

The system has a choice of 2 high capacity stages with an independently lockable X-Y axis. Both stages allow for free floating movement and fast inspection of components. The EVOTIS bases have electrostatic discharge protection (ESD) for a safe inspection or reworking as standard.

Common to both the Lynx EVO and EVO Cam systems is Vision Engineering’s unique 360° rotating viewer (oblique and direct viewer), available upon request. This exceptional piece of equipment provides a full 360° view of mounted components making it easy to see side details around features as well as the usual top surface of a component. This smart accessory is especially useful for joints, holes, pillars and threaded forms and could be extremely beneficial to use with the EVOTIS workstation.

About Lynx EVO stereo microscopes

The award winning Lynx EVO is a truly ergonomic stereo microscope with magnification up to 240x. The patented optical viewer replaces conventional eyepieces designed to help operators to overcome the ergonomic challenges such as eye fatigues and neck and back pains that are normally associated with traditional binocular microscopes. Find out more

About EVO Cam digital microscopes

The EVO Cam standalone digital microscope provides magnification up to 300x has been designed for quality control, testing, inspection and documentation. Its unique 360° rotating viewer provides an angled all-round view of the subject ideal for electronics and other industrial applications. Find out more

Photonex logo

Custom Optics Division at this year’s Photonex Europe Live!

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On the 11-12th of October 2017, we attend the Photonex Europe Live, Ricoh Arena, Coventry – an international trade fair show for optical and visual technologies, components and systems. You can find us at the stand C14.

At the show our optical division and part of manufacturing and optical services (VEMOS) will be displaying a wide range of products and solutions aimed for industrial applications. VEMOS will also demonstrate manufacturing capabilities and extensive knowledge in visual and optical components. Our strengths are in sourcing and delivering high quality optical components including a wide selection of Optical Lenses, Optical Filters, Optical Mirrors, Windows, Prisms or Beamsplitters.

Vision Engineering Manufacturing and Optical Services offer the entire process chain from design, prototyping, replacements, upgrades, cost-saving and capability-enhancing modifications, system development, production and coating to the qualification of entire systems, including quality assurance.

On demonstration will be our award winning and patented eyepiece-less technology used in Mantis range, EVO Cam and Lynx EVO high productivity stereo microscopes.

EMO Hannover 2017 logo

Vision’s new non-contact (visual) measuring systems at EMO

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New non-contact (visual) measuring systems at EMO trade show in Hannover

We will be attending this year’s EMO Show between 18th to 23rd September in Hannover, Germany. You can find us in Hall 6, Stand B85. We will be displaying our new Swift PRO, a powerful yet easy and simple to operate range of non-contact (visual) measuring systems. Combining the latest optical and video measurement technologies, the Swift PRO is the right tool for a broad range of applications from electronics and aerospace to plastic and medical parts manufacturing where reporting and quality control is in demand.

Swift PRO range of optical and video measuring systems

Swift PRO provides a fast and accurate 3-axis measurement. Its user-friendly interface gives shop floor workers an easy product setup and operation, making measuring components and reporting very easy.

Thanks to its design, fast and accurate 3-axis measurement, the Swift PRO provides shop floor operators with quick & easy way of measuring components and reporting. With simplicity at its core the system can be used by shift workers or advanced users requiring only a minimal training. This decrease significantly staff costs and reduces operator errors. Previously difficult to view samples can be measured more accurately with a new HD video camera with Video Edge Detection (VED), and fully dimmable stage illumination.

Swift PRO feature-rich software is easy to operate. The one click measurement setup allows for an instant profile and surface measurement.

Rob Freeman

Vision Engineering saddened by loss of founder Rob Freeman, MBE

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Vision Engineering Ltd is saddened by the loss of founder Rob Freeman, MBE, who passed away on 19th August, aged 84.

Rob Freeman, born in 1933 in Singapore, grew up in Woking, Surrey and was a toolmaker who worked as a race mechanic with the Jaguar Racing team in the 1950s. He developed a borescope that enabled internal race engine components to be inspected, without taking the engine apart. This innovation led to the foundation of Vision Engineering in 1958.

In 1996, Rob was awarded the MBE, in recognition of his services to the British optical industry.


On 13th June 2017, Rob Freeman presided over the opening of the Freeman Building, Vision Engineering’s purpose-built global headquarters, manufacturing and R&D facility, in Send, Woking, UK. The new building, close to the site of the original 1950s factory, is named after Rob Freeman and was officially opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and the Mayor of Guildford.

Mark Curtis, managing director, on behalf of the staff of Vision Engineering, commented:

“We are extremely saddened by the death of our company founder, Rob Freeman. He was a true pioneer of engineering who learnt his trade during the glory days of British car racing and aerospace and whose dynamism, grit and ingenuity created a thriving business, which continues to grow and innovate today.

Rob enjoyed a challenge and was an early leader in the development of overseas technical markets, to the point where 92% of the company’s turnover comes from export. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are glad that he was able to see the completion of the building dedicated to his legacy. We extend our deepest sympathies to Rob’s family, colleagues and many friends, who remember him with great fondness.”

The company is now an award-winning manufacturer holding several patents for its ergonomic microscopes and measurement systems, which are used extensively by manufacturers in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries.