VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.38 is available for download.

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.38, dated April 25th, 2019, is available for download.

 


 

This update adds greater functionality to working with an overlay position during an automated program:

 

The Image Overlay Settings window has renamed the option to “Set Offset” of the overlay to “Move Overlay Position”.

We have also added the options to “Set Overlay Current Position” and “Output Overlay Current Position”. The Output option requires that you choose which dimension you want to output, the nominal and tolerances on the value, and the Output options (to which Data Group the data will be sent, any label information, etc.). This new Output option could be useful to determine by how much an overlay has shifted, for example, after a Auto-Align procedure.

Program Toolbox - Image Overlay Settings

 


 

This update also contains a significant performance improvement that will reduce latency and “waits” at many points during the system’s operation. Specifically, we have enhanced the software to optimize runtime performance, so that when the software is started up it pre-calculates a number of (long-to-compute) coefficients and then re-uses them (instead of re-computing them) when they are required.

The performance improvements that a user will obtain vary depending on the specific system configuration (typically multi-mag systems will benefit most) and also depending on how the system is used (typically, users that frequently switch back-and-forth between manual operation and automated programs should see the greatest benefit from these performance optimizations).

However, it’s worth noting that these are quite “core” performance enhancements and the system should feel “snappier” for almost all users.

 


 

Also in this update, we have restructured and greatly improved how ProLink software is used with VisionGauge® OnLine.

This update introduces the “Output on Command” mode, which is now an option to the default “Real-Time” mode. Real-Time mode sends all data sent to a Data Group to ProLink immediately. Output on Command mode allows a user to accumulate data to a file before sending a command to output all that data to ProLink at once. This helps ProLink group the data for a part and avoids ‘deleted points’ from being inserted in places where ProLink would expect data to exist that did not come in with a file.

Customize Data Transfer to ProLink

Also, “Source” and “Extra” data that are sent with a measurement have been relocated to the measurement specific options. Previously these were defined for the entire ‘machine’, but they are now able to be defined for each measurement. In addition, “Note” data can now be sent with each measurement to better relay information about a measurement in ProLink. As before with Source and Extra data, Notes can be defined as user-selected text, or String/Numeric variables.

In addition, we made outputting results to ProLink using manual measurements easier by adding the possibility to output results directly from Data Groups. Data for a part can be accumulated in Data Groups and output all at once to ProLink when it is ready. This allows the possibility to change labels and ensure all manual measurements are correct before output.

Data Groups - Direct Output to ProLink database

The complete documentation for setting up and using ProLink software with VisionGauge® OnLine may be found here.

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.26 is available for download.

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.26, dated February 23rd, 2019, is available for download.

 

The following enhancements have been made over the last few update versions:

 


We’ve included support to define many manual measurements using datums. This means the results of other manual measurements or specifically saved datums can be used during definition of other manual measurements.

 

Measurements in the General tab that support being defined by datums are:

  • Point-to-Point Distance
  • Horizontal Distance
  • Vertical Distance
  • Distance between Arbitrary Parallel Lines
  • Point-based Radius
  • Point-based Diameter
  • 3-Point Angle
  • 4-Point Angle

 

Measurements in the Marker to Marker tab that support being defined by datums are:

  • Center of Circle
  • Line Midpoint
  • Point of Intersection Of Two Lines
  • Orthogonal to Line
  • Closest Point on a Midline

 


The Program Toolbox Statistics & Data Groups step has been modified to allow the user to define a directory path when saving the contents of a Data Group to file and using a String Variable as the file name. Select the “Browse” button to choose any file in the target directory, and the directory path will be used when saving the Data Group with the selected String Variable as the file name.

Program Toolbox - Statistics & Data Groups - Save a Data Group to file dialog
Program Toolbox – Statistics & Data Groups – Save a Data Group to file

 


We’ve added a Roll Pin Distance measurement tool which is useful for many different types of inspections, including:

  • root forms of blades
  • root forms of disk slots
  • gear teeth
  • thread teeth
  • etc.

This new tool is very easy to setup and use and is extremely accurate & repeatable. Roll Pin distance measurements can be found in the Miscellaneous tab of both the manual measurement mode and the Program Toolbox Measurement step for fully-automated measurements.

 

Roll Pin Distance measurement in VisionGauge® Online
Roll Pin Distance measurement

 

Roll pin distance measurement from a datum line
Roll pin distance measurement from a datum line

 

More information about the Roll Pin Distance measurement will be posted soon.

 


We have included some DXF format radius charts in VisionGauge® OnLine’s \LiveImageOverlays\DXF sub-directory. Operators of traditional optical comparators will already be very familiar these charts, and they could be very useful in certain instances with the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator (for example: when inspecting short-arc radii).

DXF format Radius Chart
DXF format Radius Chart in VisionGauge® OnLine

 


This update also adds password protection for several options from the Motion Control window, including the Set Zero, Set, Output, Home All buttons, the Coordinate System, Zero on Center Point, Skew menu items, and the individual axis zero buttons.

The Security Manager can allow operator access to these items in the Motion Control window if the option is checked. Otherwise the user will be prompted to enter the password when trying to access these items.

VisionGauge® OnLine's Security Manager dialog
VisionGauge® OnLine’s Security Manager

 


We have added an option to apply 5-axis transforms and corrections to manual move operations (“Go All” moves from the Motion Control Toolbox). Previously, 5-axis transforms and corrections were only able to be applied during a program.

This update applies exclusively to our 700-series 5-axis Inspection and Measurement Systems. These new options can be found in the “Motion Control – Settings – Transforms – 5-Axis Transform Settings” menu. 5-Axis Corrections, 5-Axis Transforms, and the Fixture Center of Rotation Offset Corrections may be applied to manual “Go All” operations by selecting the appropriate checkbox.

When this option is selected, any coordinates that are entered directly into the “Go To” section of the Motion Control Toolbox will be transformed with the current corrections and transforms, and the stage will move to that transformed position. The “Current Position” / DRO in the Motion Control Toolbox will show the actual position of the encoders following the stage move (the transformed position).

Please note that while the 5-Axis Tranforms “Fixture Height” and polarity settings are saved with a program and may be changed by loading different motion programs into the Program Toolbox, the option to apply these transforms and corrections to manual operations is machine dependent and saves with other VisionGauge® OnLine setting files.

Applying VisionGauge® Online 5-Axis Transforms and Correction to manual operations dialog
Applying VisionGauge® Online 5-Axis Transforms and Correction to manual operations

 


During the setup of Control Sections for overlays, users can now use the Select mode to choose a Control Section they would like to edit, remove, etc. Simply click Select, the using the mouse, choose the control section from the overlay.

Selecting specific Control Sections to modify during overlay setup
Selecting specific Control Sections to modify during overlay setup

 


The procedure for writing ‘carryover’ settings has been modified to permit automatic correction in the case of incomplete shutdown procedures. If an incomplete shutdown procedure is detected, VisionGauge® Online will advise you and automatically try to repair the startup settings.

 


 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.01 is available for download.

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 13.01, dated August 16th, 2018, is available for download.


VisionGauge® OnLine has been updated with new measurement tools.

 

We’ve added a new marker-to-marker measurement tool in both manual measurement  mode and the Program Toolbox. The marker is “Orthogonal to a Line Bisecting an Angle”. Users will need to select if the angle type they want to bisect is Actue or Obtuse.

manual measurement mode dialog box
Manual Measurement Mode
Orthogonal to a bisecting angle measurement marker
Orthogonal to a bisecting angle measurement

 

 


We’ve also added four new manual measurement tools in a “Miscellaneous” tab of the Manual Measurement Mode. These tools are “Parallelism”, “Perpendicularity”, “Parallelism of a Midline”, and “Perpendicularity of a Midline”. Each of these measurements are also able to be defined using previously saved datums.

parallelism measurement
Parallelism
Perpendicularity measurement
Perpendicularity
Parallelism of a midline measurement
Parallelism of a midline
Perpendicularity of a midline measurement
Perpendicularity of a midline

And we’ve made a few changes to the Program Toolbox – Measurement user interface with regards to datums. When selecting datums, the edit boxes are now editable. This will be particularly useful for setting up measurements with large numbers of datums.

 

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 12.80 and VisionGauge® version 10.79 are available for download.

 

VisionGauge® OnLine version 12.80, dated January 18th, 2018, is available for download.

VisionGauge® version 10.79, dated January 18th, 2018, is available for download.


Both VisionGauage and VisionGauge OnLine have been updated with the ability to save and recall the last-set camera format settings (e.g. resolution) for DirectX compliant video capture devices. This update also applies to those systems that control multiple DirectX video acquisition devices at once. To change the resolution during a session of either VisionGauge or VisionGauge OnLine, access the “Settings – Image capture device format” menu and set the target resolution. The software will save this resolution and automatically restore it the next time you start the software.

This enhancement for DirectX video capture devices is included starting in VisionGauge OnLine’s current version 12.80 and in VisionGauge’s current version 12.79.


Also included in this update for VisionGauge OnLine is the ability to output a string variable directly to a data group through the Program Toolbox – Text String settings:

Output string variables directly to Data Groups in VisionGauge OnLine.

 

New Min/Max Tool for Automatic Part Alignment – Application Note

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s new “Min/Max” software tool is the perfect solution for automatically aligning a part using a rotary stage. The tool can be setup to rotate the part and find the position that either minimizes or maximizes a dimension.

Common examples include the following:

Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application.
Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application.
In this case, the Min/Max tool is used to align the flats on the part perfectly horizontally, completely automatically

 

Automatic alignment of a turbine blade fir tree
Automatic alignment of a turbine blade fir tree

 

With this new Min/Max tool, it’s extremely easy to setup an automated routine for the alignment of any kind of part. Also, results are extremely repeatable. This advanced tool uses high-order interpolation for very accurate subsampling. This means that the position of best alignment can be found very accurately, at any orientation (not just at the sampled orientations).

This new tool is completely integrated with all of the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s other tools so that all of its results can easily be recoded, transmitted, databased, sent to Excel™ or any other data capture application, put in a report, etc…

This new Min/Max tool further increases the wide range of applications that can easily and reliably be solved using the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator.

Click to view this application note as a downloadable .pdf.

6-Point Iterative Alignment – Application Note

6-Point Iterative Alignment on the VisionGauge® 700 Series 5-Axis Inspection & Measurement System

 

To be able to report the absolute location of a feature (such as cooling holes) on a part, a measurement system needs to know the location of the datums relative to which these locations are expressed. Five-axis parts use a six-point datum structure to set the position along the three Cartesian axes as well as the rotation about each of these three axes.

There are two different approaches to establish these datums. The first approach consists in using a fixture that physically comes into contact with the six datum points. And because the fixture is generally designed to easily line up with the un-rotated Cartesian axes (along the fixture’s straight edges, for example or using locator holes, tooling balls or other appropriately-designed simple features), it is quite simple to “zero out” the system’s 5 axes of motion (i.e. X, Y, Z, A and B). So with this first approach, the fixture physically sets the location of the datums in space.

With the second approach, a generally simpler fixture is used to only roughly position the part. So with this approach, features on the fixture are still used to “zero out” the system’s 5 axes of motion, but the resulting coordinate system is only approximate. For every part, the system still needs to accurately locate the datums and mathematically re-orient the part (in a way analogous to how a physical 6-point fixture physically reorients the part in space).

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s “Part Reorientation” tool is a powerful and intuitive tool to carry out 6-point iterative alignment. It uses the 700 Series’ LASER module to accurately locate the part’s surface at the datums, even on parts with complex geometries. The tool converges quickly to a stable and accurate solution. And it is extremely simple to then apply the corrections to part inspection programs. The tool also allows you to set limits on the corrections (to ensure collision-avoidance, for example).

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's 6-point iterative alignment tool accurately locates the 6 datum points on the part and mathematically "reorients" the part accordingly, along all of the part's 6 degrees of freedom
The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s 6-point iterative alignment tool
accurately locates the 6 datum points on the part and mathematically “reorients”
the part accordingly, along all of the part’s 6 degrees of freedom
The 700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator 5-axis inspection and measurement system is the ideal solution for the automatic inspection of parts with complex geometries.
The 700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator 5-axis inspection and measurement system is the ideal solution for the automatic inspection of parts with complex geometries. The Extended 24″ x 24″ x 24″ travel machine with trunnion configuration for big and heavy parts is shown above.

CAD Auto-Align™ – Automatic CAD Overlay Alignment

Automatic CAD Overlay Alignment with CAD Auto-Align™

 

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s ground-breaking CAD Auto-Align™ tool automatically aligns the CAD data to the part.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's CAD Auto-Align™ tool automatically aligns the CAD data to the part.

The CAD Auto-Align™ tool is very fast (it typically takes a second or two at most) and it produces repeatable and accurate results that are completely operator-independent!

The operation of the CAD Auto-Align™ tool is extremely straightforward. To run it, simply press the “Auto-Align” button:

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's CAD Auto-Align tool makes aligning a CAD file as simple as clicking a button.

Checking the “XY” checkbox next to the Auto-Align button tells the Auto-Align tool to only carry out X,Y alignment, and to leave the CAD overlay’s orientation unchanged. This is especially useful when adapted fixturing already ensures that the part is properly oriented relative to the CAD overlay.

Checking the “R” checkbox indicates that a rotation-only alignment should be carried out. This is especially useful in the case of parts that are much larger than the system’s optical field-of-view. In this case, the following procedure is a common practice:

    • go to one extremity of the part and carry out a full X,Y,Rotation alignment,
    • set the CAD’s center of rotation at that position (with the “User” button),
    • and then to go to the other extremity of the part and carry out a rotation-only alignment (and thus not translating anything in the previous field-of-view).

 

This is a very efficient and accurate way to align a CAD file to a very large part.

When the “XY” and “R” checkboxes are both unchecked then the Auto-Align tool carries out full X, Y and rotation alignment of the CAD overlay to the part.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s powerful Auto-Align tool allows you to drastically reduce inspection times and obtain increased accuracy. It can line the CAD drawing up to the part along one or multiple datums, or it can do a “best fit” alignment. You can easily apply it to meet the requirements of your specific application!

Many VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator users combine the Auto-Align and Auto Pass/Fail tools to fully automate their inspections:

  • The operator loads the part in the fixture and scans the barcode on the traveller.
  • This causes the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator to load and run a part-specific program that automatically:
    • Reads-in the correct CAD file
    • Auto-Aligns the CAD file to the part
    • Produces an Auto Pass/Fail result that is collected in a Data Group and sent to Excel or an other external application…
    • In the case of parts that are larger than the system’s optical field-of-view, the stage moves the part and carries out the Auto Pass/Fail inspection at however many different locations are required. This way, the whole part gets inspected without having to “shift the overlay”. The CAD data tracks the part’s movement!

 

With the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools, the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is truly revolutioninzing how parts are inspected, quickly and accurately, directly on the shop floor!

Please contact us for more information including a detailed spec sheet, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, pricing, etc…

CAD Auto-Align™ – Automatic Overlay Alignment

CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ – Automatic Pass/Fail Results

Automatic Pass/Fail Results with CAD Auto Pass/Fail™

 

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s patented CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool allows you to automatically determine, very accurately and in real-time, if a part is within tolerance.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's patented CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool allows you to automatically determine, very accurately and in real-time, if a part is within tolerance.

The CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool can be either point-based or it can consider complete geometric entities. In point-based mode, the part’s deviation from nominal is evaluated at precise user-specified cross-sections to verify that the part is within tolerance at all of these locations. And the geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool verifies that the part is within tolerance over complete geometric entities. Note that the control-section-based and geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools can be used simultaneously on the same part!

The CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool can be either point-based or it can consider complete geometric entities on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
With the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator you can specify bi-directional tolerances at various control sections. The system then automatically computes and displays, in real time, the part's deviation from nominal at every control section and automatically displays a pass / fail result at every control section as well as for the overall part.
With the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator you can specify bi-directional tolerances at various control sections. The system then automatically computes and displays, in real time, the part's deviation from nominal at every control section and automatically displays a pass / fail result at every control section as well as for the overall part.

The geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool is especially well suited to parts with “peaks and valleys” where we don’t know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located…

The geometry-based Auto Pass/Fail tool is especially well suited to parts with "peaks and valleys" where we don't know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
The geometry-based Auto Pass/Fail tool is especially well suited to parts with "peaks and valleys" where we don't know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located... on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator

Also, note that there are no restrictions on the tolerance values. So tolerances can be either the standard “plus/minus” tolerances, as well as “minus/minus” or “plus/plus” tolerances.

Many VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator users combine the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools to fully automate their inspections:

  • The operator loads the part in the fixture and scans the barcode on the traveller.
  • This causes the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator to load and run a part-specific program that automatically:
    • Reads-in the correct CAD file
    • Auto-Aligns the CAD file to the part
    • Produces an Auto Pass/Fail result that is collected in a Data Group and sent to Excel or an other external application…
    • In the case of parts that are larger than the system’s optical field-of-view, the stage moves the part and carries out the Auto Pass/Fail inspection at however many different locations are required. This way, the whole part gets inspected without having to “shift the overlay”. The CAD data tracks the part’s movement!

 

With the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools, the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is truly revolutioninzing how parts are inspected, quickly and accurately, directly on the shop floor!

Please contact us for more information including a detailed spec sheet, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, pricing, etc…

CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ – Automatic Pass Fail Results