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VHX-1000 Digital Microscope:
High-performance with precision measurement

The new VHX-1000 Digital Microscope from KEYENCE represents the fusion of high-performance digital microscopy with precision measurement.

The VHX-1000 Digital Microscope from KEYENCE represents the fusion of high-performance digital microscopy with precision measurement. Quick, accurate measurement and observation for the most challenging applications are rapidly becoming standard requirements for an observation system. The integration of advanced technology into a powerful, all-in-one unit launches microscopy into the next generation. The VHX-1000 Series features the world's first 16-bit imaging resolution that makes subtle colour differences visible, and optimises areas that are too dark or too bright to see. The brightness range has been increased from the previous 256 levels to 65,536 levels. Likewise, the 3CCD colour clarity has increased from 16 million to over 2.8 trillion colours.

Advanced sensor technology and microscopy/optical design and application expertise, has resulted in a revolutionary technology known as the DOUBLE'R automatic lens/zoom recognition system. The VHX recognizes, in real time, which lens is mounted to the camera, as well as the current magnification. Calibration adjustment is automatic with magnification changes.

The VHX-1000´s extraordinarily large depth-of-field is at least 20 times greater than conventional microscopes. Combined with an Accurate DFD (Depth from Defocus) function, the new VHX generates fully-focused images of virtually any sample. The compact 3CCD Camera includes a pixel-shift actuator, achieving sharp, ultra-high resolution images of up to 54 million pixels. A flicker-free progressive scan method and new graphics engine allows texture expression and colour reproduction similar to observation with the naked eye. A wide selection of high-resolution, leading-edge RZ zoom lenses, with up to 5000x magnification, provides superior image quality with excellent chromatic aberration correction.

The new VHX-1000 Digital Microscope from KEYENCE represents the fusion of high-performance digital microscopy with precision measurement.

Targets can be freely observed with the camera/lens unit used either handheld or mounted in a multi-angle viewing stand that enables angular observation without changing the target position. Through simple mouse operations, the VHX-1000 performs real-time, on-screen measurement of the distance, radius, angle and area of the target. For larger targets that need to be observed or measured, the unit has the added capability of real-time stitching of 2D and 3D images up to 10,000 X 10,000 pixels thereby increasing the field of view up to 50 times.

VHX-1000 Digital Microscope Overview
54 Megapixel 3CCD and Actuator; World's First Real-Time 2D/3D Image Stitching; World's First High Dynamic Range (HDR) Function; Industry's First Automatic Lens/Zoom Recognition Function DOUBLE'R; Industry's Fastest 3-D Display Function; First in industry: Contrast Optimization; High-Resolution RZ Lens; Built-in 160 GB Hard Drive; Built-in 24X CD-R/RW Drive; Supporting LAN Connection/FTP Server.

For further product information, view website:

Keyence makes vision sensors accessible to everyone

With the new IV Series sensor, Keyence makes vision sensors accessible to everyone. Affordable, quick start-up and easy to use: no need to be an expert.

With the IV Series sensor, Keyence makes vision sensors accessible to everyone. Affordable, quick start-up and easy to use: no need to be an expert. This solution is highly reliable and covers 80% of vision systems requirements, making it a beneficial alternative to one or more sensors when detection needs to follow a moving target.

The IV Series stands out as the easiest-to-start vision sensor on the market. The set-up is done via a 4 step graphic interface procedure. Typically, it takes less than a minute. Exposure time and illumination are adjusted automatically (IBA feature - Intelligent Brightness Adjust). Focusing, with the automatic focus mechanism, can now be done automatically. It is done by a unique automatic focus motor developed exclusively for the IV Series.

In addition, the IV Series is the very first vision sensor in its price range offering colour detection and the autofocus function at the same time. A flexible solution allowing many different applications: part or label presence/absence, detection of part orientation, misalignment, cable recognition according to their colour, proper assembly... Therefore one IV sensor is able to perform multiple detections on a single target, where competitors would often require multiple sensors. The technology of shape recognition makes it possible to perform reliable detections on moving targets.

Compensation of the position is automatically done. The IV Series is thus more stable than laser or optical sensor, while remaining in the price range.

The Series IV vision system offers a resolution of 752x480 pixels and IP67 protection, making it perfectly suitable to industrial requirements. It is connected via Ethernet or an M12 connector. Eight sensor heads are available to match the various specifications of the application: detection range (up to 2000 mm), distance view and finally exposure time (down to 1/25000 for fast cadence).

This vision sensor offers excellent detection stability thanks to a set of new features: 4 lenses HP-Quad focus with low aberration with high light gathering power. HS-HDR feature widens the light-receiving sensitivity range when dispersion occurs in the reflection. As production runs brightness is automatically adjusted and glare from glossy surfaces is reduced by a polarising filter. The main applications are in packaging, metal working, automotive, electronics or food and pharmaceutical industries.

For further product information, view website: 

GlaxoSmithKline banks on the Flexibility of Keyence's vision systems

The multinational wants to continue inspecting its products itself. Now it can fully automate its production lines and in the process, reduce the risk of human error to a minimum.

GlaxoSmithKline's site in Evreux, France, covers 18 hectares and has 100,000 m2 of buildings. It employs 2,000 people and produces 130 million boxes of inhaled forms (aerosols, inhaled products) each year. Eighty-five percent of its production is exported to 130 countries with AFSSAPS, MCA and FDA approval. Every minute, 15,000 patients around the world take a dose of medication produced at GSK Evreux. This high production volume entails a highly complex traceability system. One of the inhaled forms produced by GSK is the Diskus, a multidose powder inhaler that delivers a metered dose of medication. The marking of each Diskus is checked using a three-camera XG vision system. The first camera uses OCR to check an in-house code that is engraved with a YAG laser. The second checks the placement and diameter of the label; this inspects it for tears and makes sure that the legal notices printed on it are legible. The label is printed on a white background at a rate of 110 to 150 strokes per minute. The last camera is used to check a special label with a black background used for the Japanese market.

"We were looking for a vision system that did not require any direct operator intervention and thus would eliminate the risk of incorrect adjustments," explains Christophe Fourcin of GlaxoSmithKline. "Operators simply enter the code of the product to be inspected into the PLC controlling the vision system. That way they don't have to deal with the complex matter of programming the thirty or so sizes used.

"The very nature of the detection performed means that we have to routinely make changes to the vision system. That's one of the reasons why we chose Keyence's XG vision system. We wanted to have a tool that was ours and that we could modify as needed. With competing brands, reprogramming takes time and money. We have to wait for the estimate and then wait again for the new programming to be done. It makes us feel somewhat hog-tied. With the XG, we're in control and can even contact Keyence for assistance," says Mr Fourcin.

"It was easy to set up. Keyence's engineer provided us with the programming template so that we could go on from there. I make the necessary changes myself, which I learned how to do during a one-day training session provided by Keyence. The language is intuitive and the programming tools aren't that complicated. As a result, we were self-sufficient in no time. Lastly, it has a decent GUI," adds Mr Fourcin.

"The vision system integrated very easily with the PLC. We also noticed that detection is stable over time and does not cause any false rejects. Determining the right inspection settings is very easy with the XG Series," says Mr Fourcin. "The XG VisionEditor software toolset is intuitive, fast, flexible and allows fully customisable programming. Its flowchart functionality allows users to create programs simply by dragging and dropping processing ́blocks. " It also features a range of algorithms and filters. The system's flexibility also stems from the fact that users can add C-language source to create custom algorithms and filters. "The flowcharts enable us to quickly see which functions should be used," explains Mr Fourcin.

Debugging tools and a trace log (a log that traces the program's I/Os and sequencing and the commands and I/Os in the PLC) allow the vision program and the interface with the PLC to be tested to reduce integration time.

The XG vision system is part of GlaxoSmithKline's full process control system. "Our aim is to reduce human intervention to a minimum in order to increase the reliability of our processes. The next step is to control the PLC remotely with a takt time solution. Once that is done, detection with the Keyence system will be fully automated and centralised," concludes Mr Fourcin.

For further product information, view website:  Refer to page 590

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