Measuring technology Quick and simple measurement of complex features with new in-line systems

Editor: Alexander Stark

Belgium — Two new models have been added to Nikon Metrology's latest Nexiv S-range of CNC video measuring systems, which are suitable for in-line, automated dimensional measurement tasks.

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Nikon Metrology has completed its series of Nexiv VMZ-S video measuring machines with the introduction of two larger models. Pictured is the largest capacity machine, the VMZ-S6555, with a 650 x 550 x 200 mm measuring volume.
Nikon Metrology has completed its series of Nexiv VMZ-S video measuring machines with the introduction of two larger models. Pictured is the largest capacity machine, the VMZ-S6555, with a 650 x 550 x 200 mm measuring volume.
(Source: Nikon Metrology)

With the addition of two new models to the Nexiv S series, Nikon Metrology offers solutions that can automatically measure the dimensions of component features using their optical and image processing technology. By analysing the captured image of a component, detecting feature edges at high speed accurately and repeatably, it is possible to quickly measure components with simple or complex features.

With the growth in demand for measuring smaller components with higher efficiency and the huge increase in the number of electronic components installed in automobiles, there is a greater need for video measuring systems to inspect more components at higher speeds in automated production lines.

The Nexiv VMZ-S series is able to cope with this increased throughput by maintaining and enhancing the performance of the previous models, the Nexiv VMZ-R series. In November 2020, Nikon released the first in the line-up of new VMZ-S systems, the VMZ-S3020, which is part of the fourth generation of the series. The VMZ-S4540 and VMZ-S6555 join and expand this line-up and are designed for inspecting medium and large components or multiple smaller components. Now that the full line-up is available, it is possible to select the most suitable machine according to a customer’s applications and installation environment.

Illustrative example of Nexiv operation using Remote Control SDK
Illustrative example of Nexiv operation using Remote Control SDK
(Source: Nikon Metrology)

According to the company, the systems achieve high measurement accuracy using an exceptional stage featuring high precision linear encoders. The Nexiv VMZ-S series is capable of capturing and processing images at higher speeds than the predecessor series. This has made it possible to reduce component measurement cycle times without compromising accuracy or reproducibility.

Nikon has designed an optimised optical system to deliver high quality images and acquire accurate measurement data from within the field of view. With a movable LED ring light and 8-segment LED illumination, it is possible to resolve and capture the edges of complex shapes. In addition, a high-speed laser scanning at 1000 points/sec can acquire the cross-sectional profile over a surface and evaluate the relative heights. This meets the surface quality and feature measurement needs across a wide variety of samples.

The measurement software environment Auto Measure achieves high accuracy and speed and delivers simple measurement functions. A large library of valuable tools is available in a user-friendly GUI. For simple components, a support function automates part of the measurement programming process. The joystick unit that moves the stage and measurement head has also been redesigned for even greater ease of use by the operator.

Up to ten Nexiv systems can be integrated into a production line and controlled remotely using Remote Control SDK (optional), enabling centralised management and distribution of measurement programs and results from one place. By accessing and operating Nexiv and measurement programs from a remote location away from the production line, such as a control room or office, manpower can be streamlined and productivity improved.

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