Measurement and inspection have become increasingly critical in the manufacturing process with pressure on increasing throughput and turnaround times. Smaller components with tighter tolerances means greater size to performance ratios, but the adverse effect of all these demands requires meticulous inspection and accurate measurement, often sub 10 microns.
Even with new solutions being introduced to the market to meet with current manufacturing / quality requirements, departments often lose valuable time training staff on new systems, with initial setup and appliance frequently slow and laborious.
With accuracy sub 10 microns and ease of use minimising training necessities, Vision Engineering introduced the new Falcon,
3-axis video measurement system, to complement their wide range of optical measurement solutions and award winning stereo inspection range of microscopes.
Designed with video essentials and additional valuable features, the Falcon has already been a success in a wide range of markets because of its accuracy and outstanding image quality.
Falcon vision system addresses the demands of manufacturing today with features and capabilities allowing high throughput to be maintained without compromising on accuracy and therefore quality.
Falcon is available as a manual option and a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) option depending on measurement requirements.
As a key feature, Vision Engineering has produced the capable Falcon to be easy to use, designed to allow a wide range of components to be measured accurately, while maintaining consistent measurement which are both repeatable by the same individuals, measuring the same components and reproducible by others measuring the same components.
Ease of use means minimum time is required for both training and set-up and even initial application.
Non-contact – no deformation of component parts or probe damage
Compact enough to squeeze into the corner of a quality control department, the Falcon’ compact size is deceptive, it boasts a zoom magnification range up to 100x and its high precision stages (calibrated with Non-Linear Error Correction or NLEC) provide accurate and repeatable measurement with one micron encoder resolution.
The system is a non-contact measuring solution which means there are no probes which can be damaged, or more importantly, critical components such as medical devices can be measured and inspected without deformation occurring.
Manual or automated, the Falcon addresses the throughput by offering an automated measuring solution for measuring components, and with high precision stages, the smaller components with tighter tolerances can be measured to ± 4µm in both x and y axes.
Additionally, the Falcon video system measures in z-axis which is motorised for fine and rapid movement with a repeatable 5-position indexed zoom.
Fig. 1.0. Shows the cutting edge of a tool tip, zoomed in using a 10x objective. The cutting edge can be inspected and measured simultaneously.
Quadrant Illumination – no angle is too difficult
Designed to give engineers increased flexibility for the range of component parts on their books, the Falcon is designed with quadrant illumination to enhance the visibility for both the inspection and measurement of component parts.
Depending on their features, some components such as tool tips can be difficult to measure and inspect due to the angle of the cutting edge. However, quadrant illumination means there is additional control over the direction of the surface illumination. For example: Figure 2.1., below shows the surface of the tool tip with one quadrant illuminated. Each quadrant benefits from a set of four bright, white LEDs. In contrast Figure 2.1., below shows all of the quadrants illuminated, where inspection requires larger surface areas to be illuminated for quicker processing.
Fig. 2.1. Shows the cutting edge of a tool tip illuminated by a single quadrant at 6 o’clock.
Fig. 2.2. Shows the tool tip illuminated by all of the quadrants – 16 LEDs.
Equally, the versatility of the quadrant illumination assists is the documentation process through digital image capture, where it can be utilised to enhance specific areas and features.
Unique Camera Iris Feature – the advantage of changing the depth of field.
Digital image capture is often a prerequisite for today’s quality systems, and so Falcon has been designed with an innovative camera iris. The camera iris can be opened up or closed down depending on your intention, for example, closing the iris one will obtain a greater depth of field, ideal for digital image capture and therefore reporting purposes; however, opening the iris will obtain a sharp edge but decreased depth of field for accurate feature measurement – see below.
Fig. 3.1. Shows the cutting edge of a tool tip with the iris fully open allowing for a reduced depth of field for accurate measurement.
Fig. 3.2. Shows the cutting edge of a tool tip with the iris closed allowing for an increased depth of field for digital image capture.
Digital image capture and a wide range of features are designed to be easy to use and include a programming measurement sequence to measure the same points per feature, part after part; easy-to-view graphical representation instantly views pass / fail performance details for critical part dimensions.
The advanced Falcon option with QC5000 software allows for CAD import and export as well as data integration with PC software such as Excel.
With a wide range of capabilities, the Falcon is an intelligent system, yet has been designed to be easy to use and to fit into a wide range of manufacturing processes, either just for measurement of key features and digital image capture, or more advanced programming and geometric tolerancing and analysis.
CNC Automated Capability
Falcon also incorporates an automated measurement option, making the measurement process effortless. The Falcon’s automated CNC (computer numerical control) option allows measurements to be made automatically, saving significant amounts of time.
Once the component’s programme has been implemented, the same component can be measured over and over again, with impressive repeatability and reproducibility.
Even with the current demands on manufacturing such as tighter tolerances and faster turnaround times, simultaneously there is an evolution of inspection and measurement systems continuing to support changing requirements.
The Falcon from Vision Engineering has already proven to be a success within manufacturing companies around the world requiring such advanced capabilities, and with ease of use requiring minimum training, bundled together at a competitive price, the Falcon is often a highly considered solution.