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Vision Engineering's Freeman Building grand opening

Grand opening of Vision Engineering headquarters for pioneering stereo microscope manufacturer

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Rob Freeman MBE, the Mayor of Guildford and the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey opened the Freeman Building, the new Vision Engineering’s HQ, design & innovation hub.

Send, Woking, June 2017: Vision Engineering Ltd, an award-winning manufacturer of ergonomic inspection and measurement microscopes, hosted a grand opening of its new global headquarters in Send on Tuesday 13th June. The new building was opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor of Guildford.

Vision Engineering’s new building is named in honour of Rob Freeman, MBE, a toolmaker who worked as a race mechanic with the Jaguar Racing Team and developed a borescope for inspecting internal race engine parts without the need for disassembly. Now aged 87, Rob Freeman is still Chairman of the growing company.

Vision Engineering was founded in 1958 and holds several patents on its high-tech optical systems, which it supplies to organisations all over the world that require high specification, ergonomic inspection and measurement systems in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and mobile manufacturing sectors.

Employing 120 people at its headquarters in Send and more than 200 staff worldwide, with offices across Europe, North America and Asia, as well as a fully trained global distribution network, Vision Engineering is the only manufacturer of stereo microscopes left in the UK and will export 90 per cent of the products developed and manufactured at its new, purpose-built facility in Send.

The Freeman Building was built by Beard Construction of Brookwood, with BBF Fielding of Woking as the lead consultants and architects. The new global HQ and factory replaced the old 33,000 ft2 Send Road factory in Send and the 28,000 ft2 assembly, warehousing and commercial offices on the Monument Way West industrial estate, in Woking, UK.

Vision Luxo industrial bench magnifier

Vision Engineering and Luxo partnership brings magnified collaboration

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The comprehensive range of co-branded professional bench magnifiers expands Vision Engineering’s current product portfolio and gives customers a greater choice of quality inspection solutions.

Vision Engineering, the leading-edge manufacturer of unique patented ergonomic inspection systems and Luxo Corporation, part of the Glamox Group and a widely recognized manufacturer of innovative arm-based illuminated bench magnifiers and lighting solutions, have announced a new strategic business partnership. From 1st of July 2017 Vision Engineering will offer a full range of co-branded magnifiers to the North American and Central Europe industrial markets directly and through their authorized distribution channel.

Mark Curtis, Vision Engineering’s Managing Director, commented:

We are very excited to work with Luxo Corporation. This business partnership reflects our commitment to provide our customers with a high quality product portfolio and outstanding customer service”.

The comprehensive range of co-branded professional bench magnifiers expands Vision Engineering’s current product portfolio and gives customers a greater choice of quality inspection solutions.

Knut Rusten, Glamox Senior VP Professional Building Solutions, said:

The collaboration with Vision Engineering allows us to jointly develop a range of products which can be applied to a broader range of technical markets that can be accessed through Vision Engineering’s global direct and indirect sales channels”.

With over 140 years of combined optical experience, both Vision Engineering and Luxo Corporation are global manufacturers known for their superior quality and reliability of products, often serving in harsh industrial conditions.

Vision Engineering and Luxo Corporation are working together to facilitate a seamless transition of the business, without interruption of customer service.

Swift PRO Duo metrology system

Control fair to showcase new Vision Engineering metrology systems

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Enabling new capabilities

At this years Control show in Stuttgart, Germany, Vision Engineering will be showcasing their latest range of metrology systems – Swift PRO (Duo, Cam and Elite).

Swift PRO is a powerful yet easy & simple to operate range of non-contact 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.

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Thanks to its design, fast & accurate 3-axis measurement, and user friendly interface the Swift PRO provides shop floor operators with quick and 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.

Swift PRO feature-rich software is easy to learn and operate, providing instant profile and surface measurement, advanced reporting and basic system control. 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. Measuring stages, 200mm x 100mm and 150mm x 100mm, provide up to 5μm accuracy and come with a choice of either robust QC3000 controller/microprocessor or easy to use PC software offering flexibility and small footprints.

Swift PRO Duo

Swift PRO Duo is the only video measuring system to incorporate an ergonomic measuring microscope. Combined video & microscope technologies allows for seamless switching between video and microscope measurement. The patented optical viewer offers high resolution surface inspection.

Swift PRO Cam

Swift PRO Cam is the perfect entry-level video measuring and inspection system. With its HD video camera and large measuring stage the Swift PRO Cam the system operator can simply “place & measure” a wide range of precision parts.

Swift PRO Elite

Swift PRO Elite is a simple optical measuring microscope providing accurate measurement even for notorious difficult subjects such as black or transparent plastics. Patented optical viewer (head) clearly defines edges and offers superb resolution and true-colour images. Swift PRO Elite employs a high stability stand with a precision engineered bearing assembly to optimise X, Y measurements at different plane heights.

Outstanding ergonomics with eyepiece-less technology

The new Swift PRO Duo and Elite incorporates patented Dynascope® technology. This technology removes the need for conventional microscope eyepieces, offering the user a superior image of the subject and allows operators to take accurate measurements whilst wearing prescriptive glasses, safety goggles and contact lenses. Other technology benefits include a large field of view and peripheral vision.

Southern Manufacturing 2017 logo

Cutting edge visual inspection & new non-contact measuring systems and contract manufacturing services at Southern Manufacturing 2017

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Vision Engineering, a global supplier of ergonomically designed visual inspection & non-contact measuring systems and contract manufacturing service, are attending this year’s Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show. The show is being held between 21st to 23th March at FIVE in Farnborough, UK. Vision Engineering Ltd can be found at stand N31.

Vision Engineering will be displaying their award winning visual inspection systems and next gen non-contact measuring systems. Since 1958, Vision Engineering has got a worldwide recognition for its pioneering and forward thinking technologies.

Vision Engineering products represent cutting edge technologies and ergonomics, giving customers the ability to achieve a high level of quality inspection. This also leads to improved productivity and overall staff wellbeing. Their innovative, reliable and technology advanced products such as Mantis, Lynx EVO and Swift shape the future of the workplace where microscopes and non-contact measuring are used.

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The current generation of Mantis, low magnification stereo microscopes, provides superior comfort to the user over traditional microscopes, with the ‘eyepiece-less’ technology, providing freedom of head movement and the ability to wear glasses, contact lenses or safety goggles.

The Lynx EVO, high magnification stereo microscope, is an award winning stereo microscope that is truly ergonomic. The patented high quality optical viewer replaces conventional eyepieces and provides a choice of multi stand design helping operators to overcome the ergonomic challenges faced with traditional binocular design, such as eye fatigues, neck and back pains.

The next gen of the Swift family video measuring systems has been equipped with a new high resolution HD camera improving edge detection capabilities and large measuring stage. The new Swift is simple to operate and provide quick, accurate yet simple optical and on screen inspection of complex precision parts.

Vision Engineering’s division of contract manufacturing engineers will be offering advice and interpreting optical and opto-mechanical demands to ‘production ready’ drawings. They will guide you on how to optimise your current manufacturing or production processes.

The Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show is expected to draw more than 5,000 attendees to see advanced technologies from top-tier exhibitors who supply solutions for a wide variety of vertical markets, including electronics, aerospace, automotive and more…

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Recent surveys revealed that finish solderability, shorts and opens are the most common PCB issues

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Our recent surveys have shown that 55% of all respondents are still having some sort of PCB solderability issues.

The “What is the most common PCB problem?” survey showed that 29% of all respondents had problems with solderability finishes and 26% were having shorts and opens related issues. The above findings could be possibly linked to the Class 1 PCBs – the most common type on the market where the quality of solder joints or component positions is not a top priority and expected not to last very long, but this would need further research.

Only a small part of the survey participants (5%) indicated delamination as a common issue. This could mean that the structure of the PCB and the quality of adhesion on multilayer PCBs have vastly improved for the past few years. Cosmetic faults scored a substantial 25% of all issues, but this type of defect has only visual impact on the PCB and doesn’t affect its functionality or connectivity.

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The “What PCB surface finish do you most commonly use?” poll revealed that almost half (43%) of the Printed Circuit Board had gold (hard, soft and flash type) finish now, one quarter (24%) had tin finish followed closely by solder levelled types (22%). Silver and copper finishes corresponded to only 11% of all manufactured PCBs.

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The “When specifying PCBs to IPC what Class do you require?” survey showed that the most common type of PCB is Class 2 (66%), typically requested for non-critical electronic assemblies where longer term reliability is desirable, rather than essential. According to the same survey, one quarter (25%) of attendees had manufacturing requirements for Class 3 PCB types – the highest IPC standard, and aim at more critical PCB assemblies, and Class 1 only related to 14% of all PCBs.

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Photonex logo

Showcasing Custom Optics capabilities at Photonex Show 2016

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Vision Engineering, a global supplier of ergonomically designed optical inspection systems and provider of tailor-made optical solutions and manufacturing services, will be exhibiting at the Photonex Show in Coventry being held between 12th and 13th October 2016.

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Vision Engineering optical engineers can ensure you get the best specifications offering advice and interpreting optical demands to ‘production ready’ drawings. Our strength is streamlining optical integration into assembly and manufacturing processes, as we’ve been doing this for over 50 years with our own stereo microscopes and non-contact measurement systems.

Vision Engineering’s optical team can simplify your procurement of spherical lenses, prisms, mirrors, beam splitters, optical filters optical windows and stage glass.

Visit us at the Coventry Ricoh Arena, UK at Photonex stand #B05.

Lynx EVO wins microscopy today 2016 award

Lynx EVO Stereo Microscope Wins the 2016 Innovation Award

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Vision Engineering’s Lynx EVO eyepiece‐less stereo microscope has won the 2016 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for its advanced, patented and ergonomically designed viewer and unrivalled 3D imaging.

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The new Lynx EVO represents the pinnacle of a long-running investment by Vision Engineering to create the ultimate high productivity eyepiece-less stereo microscope.

Lynx EVO shows what can be achieved when the focus is creating a stereo microscope that is truly ergonomic – and easy to use. The patented eyepiece-less design removes the need for conventional microscope eyepieces, helping operators overcome the ergonomic challenges faced with traditional binocular microscope design, including neck and back strain, and eye fatigue.

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The ergonomic advantage

Lynx EVO is a true optical stereo microscope. High resolution, true-colour optical images are viewed through an ergonomic eyepiece-less viewing head, permitting unrivalled freedom of head movement. Lynx EVO even allows users to wear prescription glasses at the time of (specimen) inspection or where safety goggles are required. With stunning 3D viewing and a high technical specification (10:1 zoom, 240x max. magnification), the new Lynx EVO suits all applications where speed, accuracy and efficiency are demanded – over extended periods of use.

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Power your productivity

Stephen Sanderson, International Product Manager at Vision Engineering, explains:

by improving user ergonomics, Lynx EVO allows operators to work more efficiently and effectively, maintaining high levels of accuracy for prolonged periods. The user benefits from significantly improved comfort and the company benefits from improved quality and productivity.”

Read more about Lynx EVO »

Free Electronics webinars

Learn from the experts with our FREE Electronics Academy Webinar Series

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Vision Engineering has teamed up with industry-expert Bob Willis to bring you a FREE Electronics Academy Webinar Series, taking an in-depth look at the issues affecting PCB/SMT assembly and the challenges of achieving Zero Defect Manufacture.

Covering a range of topics from Solder Joint Inspection to Counterfeit Component Detection, the free webinar series is a great way to gain valuable insight and learn expert tips to identify quality issues and understand the common causes of solder joint failure.

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Thursday 16th June
Solder Joint Inspection & Process Defects

Wednesday 29th June 2016
Counterfeit Component Inspection & Detection

Thursday 21st July 2016
Conformal Coating Inspection & Coating Faults

Thursday 15th September 2016
Crimp Connector Inspection & Quality Control

Wednesday 12th October 2016
Printed Circuit Board Inspection & Quality Control

Thursday 10th November 2016
Inspection of Conductive Adhesive Joints

In the first webinar, Bob will explain the best ways to inspect solder joints on conventional and surface mount assemblies with reference to international standards (e.g. IPC 610 and IPC J-STD-001). In addition, the webinar will illustrate some of the most common joint failures, why they occur and the corrective action required.

Places are limited, so sign-up now »

About Bob Willis

Bob Willis is a globally-recognised expert in surface mount and area array technology, providing training and consultancy to electronics manufacturers worldwide for the past 30 years.

He is a Fellow of the Institute Circuit Technology, an NVQ Assessor, Member of the SMART Group Technical Committee, Member of the Institute of Quality Assurance and Society of Environmental Test Engineers.

Bob regularly speaks at international events, providing expert knowledge to improve skills and knowledge for electronics production staff and engineers.

Lynx EVO eyepiece-less stereo microscope

New Lynx EVO pushes the boundaries of stereo inspection

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Lynx EVO is a new high productivity stereo microscope without eyepieces, powering your productivity through stunning 3D (stereo) imaging and unrivalled ergonomics.

Building on the strengths of its market-leading predecessor, Lynx EVO eliminates the difficulty and strains of using ‘eyepiece’ stereo microscopes, significantly improving ease of use and operator comfort, driving quality improvements and reduced costs.

The patented eyepiece-less design of Lynx EVO promotes simple hand-eye co-ordination, critical for precision inspection tasks, re-work, repair and other manipulation activities.

Operators can maintain the highest levels of performance, even across an entire shift.

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Benefiting from a high optical specification, the 10:1 zoom ratio with long working distances provides users the ability to inspect up to 120x magnification (6x – 60x standard), ideal for a wide range of applications.

The modularity of Lynx EVO system provides unlimited versatility, and making use of the integrated HD camera with software makes training and reporting quick and easy.

Mark Curtis, Managing Director said:

 “The new Lynx EVO is the most advanced eyepiece-less stereo microscope we’ve ever produced, helping businesses overcome the daily challenges of increasing quality demands, smaller components, greater efficiencies and accuracies.“

Why not experience the eyepiece-less Lynx EVO stereo microscope for yourself? From May 5th 2015, Lynx EVO will be appearing at numerous tradeshows worldwide, including Control (Stuttgart), SMT (Nuremberg) and Plast (Milan).

TIM5 metallurgical microscope

Versatile materials inspection microscope for both beginners and experienced engineers

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Whether it’s inspection of alloys, plastics, ceramics or other materials, the TIM5 routine inspection microscope allows both beginners and advanced users to achieve detailed analysis of a wide range of material subjects.

Vision Engineering has introduced TIM5 to provide an uncomplicated high quality solution for inspecting surface details of materials.  Whether you need to view surface structures, ceramic porosity, or material cross-section, TIM5 comes equipped with all the ‘features’ necessary for ’routine requirements’.

TIM5 is a materials and metallurgical inspection microscope with a range of illumination options including bright-field, dark-field and polarised light – designed to be modular so it can be optimized for its user’s application requirements.

Incident and transmitted illumination options with aperture diaphragm provide greater versatility, allowing a greater range of components to be inspected (e.g. translucent or more opaque characteristics).

EPI infinity plan achromat objective lenses up to 1,000x, along with digital image capture through a C-mount adapter, means you can see an excellent image and capture a great digital image for detailed reporting and profiling samples. Versatile – user friendly – with great optics.