VisionGauge software and systems for visual inspectionVISIONx machine vision software and visual inspection systemsVisionGauge OnLine machine vision software
ADVANCED VISUAL INSPECTION AND HIGH ACCURACY MEASUREMENT SOLUTIONS

VisionGauge®
Latest Enhancements

We are continuously working to improve VisionGauge®. Here is an overview of the main improvements and new features that have been added to VisionGauge® recently:

Added in version 8.65 (dated October 1st 2007) :
  • In VisionGauge(r)'s "Settings" sub-menu, we have added a new “Image Display Settings” option that allow you to reduce the displayed image size (even though the entire image is still kept in memory). This can be extremely useful when working with very large images. This new functionality is available with PIXCI D/CL framegrabbers, DirectX-compliant video acquisition devices, as well as with the FlashBus Spectrim and PIXCI SV5 framegrabbers (as well as when using no framegrabber).
  • In the "Settings | General Preferences" window, we have added a “Measurement Line Thickness” parameter. This new parameter can be very useful when used in conjunction with the previous enhancements (i.e. when viewing images at a reduced resolution).
  • In VisionGauge®'s Live Image Overlay Builder, we have added the ability to superimpose an overlay file on top the existing overlay. This can be very useful to allow users to superimpose multiple overlays of different colors, for example.
  • We have improved VisionGauge®'s support for the LUDL motion controllers, especially for matters having to do with the Z-axis and also the application of the convergence criteria.
  • We have added support for the latest PIXCI framegrabber drivers.
  • We've updated VisionGauge®'s support for the latest SPOT camera drivers
  • We have updated the F1 Help so that it reflects all of the new features and enhancements in the software.
  • We have also updated the printed User's Guide as well as the "pdf" version of the User's Guide so that they reflect all of the new features and enhancements in VisionGauge®.

Added in version 8.18 (dated August 29th 2006) :
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge®'s support for DirectX-compliant cameras. Specifically, we have resolved a problem where image "freezing" could be very slow on certain computers with DirectX-compliant cameras.
  • When carrying out diameter & radius measurements, a marker is now displayed in the center of the circle .
  • We've also added the ability to save the measurement mode's "angle quadrant" information to the Measurement toolbox. Previously, this information was not being saved.
  • We've also carried out a number of other small miscellaneous enhancements...

Added in version 8.07 (dated April 10th 2006) :
  • We've updated the "pdf" format documentation that can be found in VisionGauge®'s  \doc\ sub-directory.
  • We've updated VisionGauge®'s "F1 Help".

Added in version 8.05 (dated March 13th 2006) :
  • We have added support in VisionGauge(r) for the QImaging Retiga 4000R FAST camera. .
  • We have enhanced support for QImaging Retiga anmd QICam cameras to increase the framerate of monochrome cameras and those color cameras that support post-processing. 

Added in version 8.03 (dated March 3rd 2006) :
  • We've enhanced our support for emailing the image directly from within VisionGauge®.
  •  We've added support for the latest Sentinel Hardware security key drivers. This will resolve conflicts on certain newer computers.
  • We've added support for the EPIX PIXCI® E1 PCI Express x1 framegrabber for CameraLink™ cameras.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers.

Added in version 7.98 (dated December 14th 2005) :
  • We've added support for the QImaging QICam Digital Cameras.
  • We've carried out some improvements having to do with the tracking of DXF-format CAD file live image overlays in the stage-based configurations of VisionGauge®.
  • In the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, we've added a "Scan" tool that you can use to scan a user-defined area. Note that it is possible to Pause & Resume scans and that it is also possible to modify the Z position following a Pause/Resume operation.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge®'s support for DirectX-compliant devices.
  • VisionGauge® now displays a "Range" value (range = max - min) in the "Statistics" section of the Numerical Data Groups.
  • We've added support for the latest PIXCI framegrabber drivers.
  • In the stage-based configurations of VisionGauge®, we've carried out enhancement having to do with setting an arbitrary position in the presence of stage XY squareness correction.

Added in version 7.94 (dated August 19th 2005) :

  • We've added support for the SPOT Flex(tm), Pursuit(tm) and Xplorer(tm) digital cameras.
  • We've enhanced our support of the SPOT Insight(tm) and Insight QE(tm) digital cameras.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers.
  • We've enhanced our support for DirectX-compliant video acquisition devices (such as the Lumenera cameras). Specifically, we've carried out  enhancements that are useful when working with very large images as well as improvements to the support for live image overlays.

Added in version 7.89 (dated May 31st 2005) :

  • VisionGauge(r) now has support for its full Live Image Overlay Toolset when using DirectX video capture devices (such as Lumenera cameras).
  • VisionGauge(r) now has support for its full Live Image Overlay Toolset when using the QImaging Retiga & QImaging MicroPublisher cameras.
  • In VisionGauge(r)'s "Settings | General Preferences" menu option, we've added a "Number and Increment Quick Save Images" checkbox. By default, it is checked. When this is the case, a number is added to the QuickSave filename and this number is incremented. When this checkbox is not checked, on the other hand, the quicksave image is simply saved with the file name and extension specified. If these parameters are not changed between QuickSave operations, the previously saved image will be overwritten (without the user being notified).
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers.
  • We've carried out a number of small enhancements to the "Data Groups" tool, as well as to their ability to "Automatically Export Data to Excel".

Added in version 7.83 (dated March 23rd 2005) :
 
  • We've added Data Groups tools to VisionGauge(r).

Data Groups allow you to automatically collect measurements and to group them as you please. Statistics are also automatically calculated. Typically, Data Groups are used to group together "like" measurements.

VisionGauge Data Groups with Statistics

Data Groups also allow you to automatically create charts & graphs of your data (both numerical & pass/fail):

Data Group's Numerical Graphs

Pass Fail Graph for Measurement Results

You can also use Data Groups to automatically export measurements to Excel:

Automatically Export Results from VisionGauge to Excel

 

You can specify the Excel Book & Sheet numbers, as well as the base row & column, through the "Settings" button:

Automatic DDE Export Settings

 

All of the data going into the Data Group will then also automatically be sent to Excel, i.e.:

Measurement Results are sent directly to Excel spreadsheets

 

In the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, you can send measurements to Data Groups by specifying, in the appropriate lineof the program, if a measurement is to be sent to a data group, and to which.

You can also send measurements to Data Groups through the Program Toolbox, once again by providing the relevant information in the appropriate line in the program.

Finally, please note that we've also added the ability to remove data from a Data Group, using the "Remove" button.

Data Groups can be setup and accessed through the "Data Groups" menu option found in the menu of the main VisionGauge(r) window.


  • We've made the "Display Message" edit box in the Program Toolbox scrollable, so that you can enter longer message strings to display...
  • We've carried out small "display" improvements with VisionGauge®'s Live Image Overlay Builder, when reading-in DXF format CAD files and using the "Based on Calibration" scaling.
  • We've carried out small enhancements to the calibration toolbox (i.e. the edit box automatically gets the focus when you want to store a calibration in a button)
  • We've added a menu option in the "Command" sub-menu to "View the measurement report".

Added in version 7.77 (dated January 31st 2005) :
  • We've added the ability to change the video input format when using a DirectX video acquisition device.
  • We've added a "Stop immediately on Pause" checkbox in the Motion Toolbox's "Settings" window. When you select this checkbox, the stage motion stops as soon as you press the "Pause" button. When this checkbox is not selected, the stage's motion is only stopped once the current step or operation is completed.
  • We've added a checkbox in the Motion Toolbox's "Settings" window that you can use to indicate to the software that the user should be asked to supply a text string when the Motion Toolbox's "Output" button is pressed. The user-supplied text (it could be a single character, multiple characters, or no characters at all) will be written to the Data File, on the same line as the stage position, at the end of the line.
  • We've carried out a number of small enhancements when using DirectX video acquisition devices.
  • We've added information about the renewal date of the "VisionGauge® Annual Support and Update Program" in the "Help | About" dialog box...
  • We've updated the html-format "F1 Help". 
  • We've update the "pdf" file containing the electronic format documentation that comes with VisionGauge®.
  • We've moved the "Pause" button away from the Stop button in the Motion Toolbox (to prevent accidental "Stops" instead of "Pauses").
  • We've added the following "hotkeys" in the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®

F5 :   Pause / Resume
F6 :   Output


Added in version 7.71 (dated November 4th 2004) :

  • We've added a "Pause / Resume" button in the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®. This button can be used to pause a program being run in either "Continuous" or "Automatic" mode.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT Camera drivers.
  • We've carried out some miscellaneous enhancements to the "DXF Live Image Overlay With Stage Motion Tracking"

Added in version 7.66 (dated October 6th 2004) :
  • We've added native support for the QImaging(tm) MicroPublisher cameras
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge(r)'s multi-camera support when using the FlashBus Spectrim video acquisition card.
  • We've added the ability to carry out live previews when changing the device-dependent settings for all DirectX-compliant video acquisition devices (including the Lumenera cameras).

Added in version 7.63 (dated September 7th 2004) :
  • We've added enhanced support for large-format DirectX capture devices (including the Lumenera cameras) 
  • We've carried out some enhancements to the "Counting & Sizing" tool, to optimize performance when working with very large images. 
  • We've added enhanced support for the latest PIXCI video acquisition board drivers from EPIX INC. (i.e. PIXCI SV5, PIXCI D, PIXCI CL, etc...). 
  • We've improved Full Screen Live Video support when using the FlashBus Spectrim, so that it is guaranteed to work on all computer & operating system configurations. 
  • We've added extended support for Live Image Overlays when using the PIXCI CL and PIXCI D framegrabber 

Added in version 7.55 (dated July 4th 2004) :
  • In the Program Toolbox's "Settings" sub-menu, We've added the ability to "Buffer Data File output to the end of the program". This has been added for compatibility with certain data capture and analysis programs that require that groups of data be written to disk all at once (as opposed to one at a time, as they become available).
  • We've resolved some version-related issues (i.e. made it impossible to read-in program files created with a more recent version of the software than the one currently running)
  • We've added enhanced support for the SPOT cameras.

Added in version 7.52 (dated April 9th 2004) :
  • We've enhanced the "Plane-To-Point" measurement tool so that it can now be used to measure the distance between a plane and many points (i.e. a user-defined number of points). 
  • We've added enhanced support for the SPOT Insight FireWire&teade; camera.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge®'s support for 8 bit images with certain TWAIN drivers (including the QImaging QiCAM camera's TWAIN drivers).
  • We've added small enhancements to the functionality of the Program Toolbox's "Next" and "Previous" commands.
  • In both the Manual & Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, we've added the ability to set an arbitrary "current" position (i.e. not just 0, 0, 0) in the Motion Toolbox & the DRO.
  • In the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've added the ability to set a "Load Position" in the Motion Toolbox. You can use the "Set load position" option in the motion toolbox's Settings sub-menu to specify the load position.  Then, when you press the Motion Toolbox's "Load..." button the stage automatically goes to this position.

Added in version 7.45 (dated January 16th 2004) :

  • We've completely re-designed the "Settings | Measurement Mode" toolbox, so that it uses "tabs" to separate the different measurement tools into logical tools. This makes the toolbox much easier to navigate.

Tabbed Measurement modes in VisionGauge

  • We've added support for DirectX-compliant video acquisition devices (i.e. IEEE 1394 / FireWire(tm), USB 2.0, etc...)
  • We've added support for a new PCI-bus card for computer-controlled illumination that supports up to 4 light sources.
  • We've added an option - in the Program Toolbox's "Settings" menu  - to specify that a data file should automatically be opened when a program is started and closed when the program is stopped. The user can specify the name & location of the data file. This information is saved with the program itself. This means that each program can be associated with a unique data file, for example, or that this option can be turned on for some programs and off for others.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge®'s F1 Help. Also, the F1 Help is now in a new up-to-date HTML format.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers
  • We've made the edit box for the QuickSave file name  (in the "Settings | General Preferences" menu) "scrollable".  This allows the use of longer filenames as well as the inclusion of path information, etc...
  • We've carried out some minor enhancements having to do with image capture using the FlashBus MX / DX boards.
  • We've carried out some minor enhancements having to do with Joystick-based motion, in the motorized stage configuration of VisionGauge® (resulting in even finer motion control).

Added in version 7.34 (dated October 16th 2003) :
 
  • New "Noise Removal" and "Uneven Illumination Correction" Image Processing tools that are very useful to "clean-up" images that cannot be properly dealt with by the image analysis tools and transform them into imagery that can be successfully analyzed reliably. Here is an example: 

Original noisy image
Original image 
Image Analysis for noise removal and uneven illumination correction
Results of image analysis on the original image. 
We see that it is impossible to apply a unique threshold 
value across the entire image to successfully extract 
the objects from the image background. 
 

Image after noise removal and correction for uneven illumination
Results of image analysis after noise reduction and uneven illumination correction. 
In this case, the objects can be separated easily & reliably 
from the image background after applying VisionGauge's® 
noise reduction & uneven illumination correction tools.

For more information, please follow this link: 

https://www.visionxinc.com/software-systems-machines/image-processing-for-image-analysis.pdf

  • We've also added an Image Processing tool for "Image Blurring".
  • We added a "Ctrl-N" hotkey to quickly call-up the Annotation Toolbox.

Added in version 7.31 (dated September 22nd 2003) :
 
  • We've added the "Ctrl+W" hotkey to open the "Zoom & Focus Control" window.
  • We've extended VisionGauge's® DDE support so that all of the data in VisionGauge's® built-in report generator can also be sent to other applications using DDE. To query VisionGauge® for any "Report" data, the "topic" keyword is Report and the Item keywords are the following:
    • Key1, Key2,
    • Text 1 through Text10
    • Date
    • Meas1 through Meas10 and
    • Comment1 through Comment10
  • We've extended VisionGauge® HT's (i.e. for Hardness Testing) DDE support so that all of the Hardness Testing-specific data can also be sent to other applications using DDE. To query VisionGauge® for any "Hardness Testing" data, the "topic" keyword is HardnessTesting and the Item keywords are the following:
    • VickersLoad
    • VickersFirstDiagonal
    • VickersSecondDiagonal
    • VickersMeanDiagonal
    • VickersDepth
    • VickersHardness
    • VickersRockwell
    • BrinellBallDiameter
    • BrinellTestForce
    • BrinellMeanIndentationDiameter
    • BrinellHardness
    • KnoopLoad
    • KnoopLengthOfLongDiagonal
    • KnoopHardness
    • KnoopRockwell
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge's® support for "TIFF" image files.
  • We've carried out a Marker-to-marker measurement "Drawing bug fix" in the case where Marker #2 is a the center of a "thresholded object" and Marker #1 is not. In this case, Marker 2 (the thresholded object) previously did NOT get displayed properly (although it did get computed properly). This has now been corrected.


Added in version 7.29 (dated August 30th 2003) :

  • We've updated the User's Guide. The up-to-date version of the Visiongauge(r) User's Guide is available in "pdf" form in the "\doc\" sub-directory.
  • When the Computer-Controlled Illumination feature is enabled, VisionGauge® now automatically turn the lights off when you exit the software. This promotes longer lamp life.
  • We've enhanced the "Click to center" tool in the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®.
  • We've fixed a problem with the area distribution curve output through the "File | Save as..." menu command in the Counting & Sizing tool.

Added in version 7.25 (dated July 25th 2003) :
  • We've added Exposure & Auto-Exposure controls to VisionGauge® when using PixeLINK PL-A662 cameras. The camera control windowfor the PixeLINK PL-A662 is now the following:

PixelLINK PL A662 Settings with Auto-Exposure control

  • We've enhanced calibration password protection so that it now also applies to the "Command | Calibrate" menu option.
  • We've enhanced support for the PixeLINK PL-A662 & PL-A642 Cameras (i.e. the image stays centered at all of the different supported resolutions).
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers (i.e. version 3.5.9, dated July 22nd 2003).
  • We've carried out a few minor "Counting & Sizing" enhancements.

Added in version 7.19 (dated May 9th 2003) :
  • With the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, it is now possible to click on a feature with the mouse to bring it in the center of the field-of-view. This feature can be enabled by checking the "Click on a feature to center it in the FOV" checkbox in the Motion Toolbox's "Settings | Motion Control" window.
  • In the stage-based editions of VisionGauge® (i.e. both the Manual- and Motorized-Stage Configurations), it is now possible to skew a DXF-format CAD overlay that is set to "track" the stage's motion. To do this, simply set the part's skew, goto to the part (0,0) position and read-in the DXF-format CAD file. 
To use this feature:

1) in VisionGauge, choose the same units as the units in the DXF format cad file (i.e. if the drawing is in mm, choose mm in VisionGauge)

2) make sure that VisionGauge is properly calibrated optically

3) set the part "zero" (i.e. go to the "zero position" with the stage and press "Set Zero" either in the "DRO" window or in the Motion toolbox" window)

4) set the part's skew (through the "Command | Skew part" menu in either the "DRO" window or in the Motion toolbox" window).

5) go to the part's zero position.

6) Open VisionGauge's Live Image Overlay Builder (through the "Settings | Live Image Overlay" menu option and then press the "Overlay Builder" button).

7) In VisionGauge's Live Image Overlay Builder, choose "File | Read-in CAD file".

8) Pick the appropriate file.

9) Then choose a scaling "based on calibration" and check the "track with stage motion" checkbox.

The DXF overlay will be drawn in such as way as its "zero" position matches up with the part's zero position and it is skewed along with the part. Also, the overlay will "move" with the stage...


Added in version 7.17 (dated April 21st 2003) :
  • We modified the "Settings | Measurement Mode" window to be compatible with low resolution display settings.
  • We added a "rectangular grid" stage mapping function in both the Motorized- and Manual-Stage configurations of VisionGauge®.
  • We sped-up VisionGauge's® Auto-Mosaic tool.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers.

Added in version 7.15 (dated April 1st 2003) :
  • We've added support for version 3.x of the drivers for the PixeLink PL-A642 FireWire Digital camera.
  • We've added support for the new PixeLink PL-A662 FireWire Digital camera.
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers.

Added in version 7.14 (dated March 27th 2003) :
  • We've added a Mosaic-Based Navigation Tool to the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®. This new feature is part of the Auto-Mosaic tool. To enable the Navigator, simply select "Navigator" in the AutoMosaic tool's "Options" sub-menu.


    With the new Navigator tool, you start by building a mosaic of a portion of your stage's travel. But contrary to the AutoMosaic builder, the Navigator uses very little memory, so you shouldn't feel that you have to limit the area to consider. Then, once the mosaic is built, just click anywhere on the mosaic image (which constitutes a "navigation map") and VisionGauge's® Navigator tool moves the stage so that the point that you selected is brought under the optics.

    AutoMosaic Navigation

    Hint: you can relax the "Convergence Criteria" in the Motion Toolbox's "Settings | Motion Control" window to speedup the process of building the mosaic image.
     

  • We've added "Pass / Fail" buttons in VisionGauge's® Motion Toolbox. You can use these buttons for simple operator-assisted visual inspection programs. These buttons send a "Pass / Fail" result to the Measurement Report and move forward in the program. Note that on "Pass" we move to the next line in the program, whereas on "Fail" it is possible to instruct VisionGauge® to advance by more than one step in the program. This is done, at any step in the program, using the new "Number of steps to advance on Fail" option. This is useful, for example, if we want to disregard all of the other inspection steps that consider a given device as soon as we find one defect on the device.
  • It is now possible to read-in to the Motion Toolbox ASCII data in many different formats: XY, XYZ, XY + Label and XYZ + Label. When you read ASCII data into the Motion Toolbox, VisionGauge® prompts you at the appropriate time and asks you to indicate the file format.

Added in version 7.12 (dated March 17th 2003) :
  • VisionGauge® now has three measurement tools that are specifically designed for the measurement of welds (i.e. to measure the weld legs, throat, root, etc...).
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge's® "Marker-to-Marker" measurement tool and added a new type of marker: the point of intersection of two lines.
  • We've added "stretching" coefficients along both the X- and Y-axis directions. These coefficients can be accessed through the "Settings | Units | Advanced" menu option.

Added in version 7.10 (dated February 28th 2003) :
  • In both the Manual- and Motorized-Stage Configurations of VisionGauge(r), a DXF-format CAD overlay can be made to follow the stage's motion. This ability to have the live image overlay "track the part" allows you to carry out inspections and compare the part with its CAD drawing at higher magnifications.
  • It's now possible to carry out measurements on a live image with both the FlashBus Spectrim and FlashBus MV framegrabbers.
  • We've added support for both the AutoFocus & Focus Meter tools with the FlashBus Spectrim framegrabber
  • We've added support for the latest SPOT camera drivers
  • We've added two new "Perpendicularity Correction Factors" that you can use to correct for any perpendicularity error between the column & the stage in a stage-based system (either manual or motorized).

Added in version 7.09 (dated February 17th 2003) :
  • We've added support for the Integral XPress family of framegrabbers as well as for the new Integral FlashPoint 4XL framegrabber. For a complete list of the video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge, please consult FAQ #1.2 in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of our web site.
  • With the Integral FlashBus Spectrim, we've added support for the "Video Sequence Capture" tool.
  • It's now possible to carry out stage-based measurements with any type of live image overlay, or even without a live image overlay.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge®'s "Arbitrary Image Rotation" tool. It now uses higher-order interpolation, thus producing a resulting image with a better appearance.
  • In the motorized stage configuration of VisionGauge® we've enhanced the AutoFocus tool and made it significantly faster.
  • We've added new "checkboxes" in both the "Motion Tollbox Settings" window & the "Program Toolbox Settings" window that allow users to automatically clear the statistics toolbox and / or the measurement report when a program is started.

Added in version 7.01 (dated January 17th 2003) :
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge® so that the "Live Image Overlay Builder with Support for *.dxf Format CAD Files" works with the new FlashBus™ Spectrim framegrabber. 
  • We've disallowed simultaneous "Next" and "Previous" commands when running operator-assisted programs in the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®.
  • We've carried out some enhancements to VisionGauge's® stage motion sub-routines in the case where a system has a non-encoded motorized Z axis.
  • We've resolved a conflict that occurred in VisionGauge's® Counting & Sizing tool when an operator attempted to select an object on the tool's startup, and no object had yet been thresholded.

Added in version 7.00 (dated January 7th 2003) :
  • We've added support for the FlashBus(tm) Spectrim framegrabber. For an up-to-date list of all of the video acquisition devices that VisionGauge® supports, please see FAQ #1.2 in the Frequently Asked Questions section of our Web Page.
  • We've added a "Program Toolbox" that you can use to record & playback a series of instructions. You can access this new Program Toolbox through the Command sub-menu in the main VisionGauge® window.
Here's a "screen capture" of the Program Toolbox's interface:

VisionGauge's Program Toolbox

In this example, the program contains only 4 simple instructions. Each instruction corresponds to a button in the Program Toolbox. There is no limit on the number of instructions in a program. The scrollbar on the left of the Program Toolbox allows you to scroll through long programs and the white arrow on the right points to the current instruction in the Program. 

You can add & modify instructions by simply pressing on the appropriate button. When you do this, a window such as the one below appears. You can use this window to set the instructions that need to be carried out by VisionGauge® at this point in the program.

Program Toolbox Point Settings

Please note that Programs can be saved to disk and then read-in & played back later on. Also, the Program Toolbox data can be password protected, using the "lock-out" password protection described in the VisionGauge® User's Guide.

To start running a program, you use the Program Toolbox's "Run" button. The "Next" and "Previous" buttons allow you to step through a program and the "Stop" button allows you to stop it.

You can use the "Insert" and "Delete" buttons when you are editing a Program and you want to either insert or delete instructions. 

Finally, please note that this new Program Toolbox is available in all of the Editions of VisionGauge®.


Added in version 6.99 (dated December 20th 2002) :
  • We've added support for 8 bit per pixel (i.e. grayscale) bitmaps image files.
  • We've added support for updated drivers for the SPOT cameras.
  • We've added support for updated drivers for the FlashBus MX & FlashBus DX framegrabbers
  • In the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've added the ability to give the command to "Keep Z constant" at one or many points in a program. You would include this command in a program after you have used the AutoFocus tool to find a point's Z position and you know that one or many points that follow are at the same Z elevation. In this case, you wouldn't have to AutoFocus at the following points because the z position would be kept constant.
  • In the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've added the ability to "zero out" one or many of the axis at one or many points in the program. You could use this, for example, for a program involving many different parts.
  • In the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've solved certain joystick-related conflicts under Windows 2000
  • In the Motorized-Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've added support for variable illumination in the AutoMosaic tool (i.e. the illumination intensity is interpolated along the Y axis).

Added in version 6.94 (dated November 7th 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the most recent drivers for the PixeLINK PL-A642 FireWire(tm) (IEEE 1394) digital camera. . 
  • In both the Manual and Motorized Stage Configurations of  VisionGauge®, We've added a correction factor that allows you to correct "Stage Squareness" error. To use this correction factor, simply create an ASCII text file called "VisionGauge.sqr" in the main VisionGauge® sub-directory (typically: "c:\VisionGauge\"). You can use a simple text editor such as (Microsoft NotePad) to create this file. In this file, put the value of the stage squareness correction coefficient. This correction coefficient is simply the negative of the "delta x" deviation that can be observed over a travel of "delta y", due to stage squareness. For example, if the stage squareness error causes an error (delta X) of 4 microns over a distance (delta Y) of 200000 microns, then the value of the stage squareness correction coefficient is -0.00002.

Added in version 6.93 (dated November 5th 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for a Video-to-FireWire converter that can be used for notebook-based mobile systems. 
  • We've added a user-prescribed offset when reading-in dxf-format CAD files into VisionGauge's® Live Image Overlay Builder. You can use this offset to shift the entire drawing in both the X and Y directions. By default, both offset values are zero and VisionGauge® aligns the center of the CAD data in the middle of the field-of-view.
Added in version 6.92 (dated October 4th 2002) :
 
  • We've added a new "XY Position of Thresholded Object" measurement tool. This tool can be used for both stage-based and field-of-view measurements. 
  • We've added the capability to output measurement labels to the "Automatic Measurement Report" during manual field-of-view measurements.
  • We've added an option to enable or disable the joystick (both external and on-screen) during the execution of stage-based programs. This new setting can be found in the Motion Toolbox's "Settings | Motion Control" sub-menu.
  • We've solved certain joystick-related conflicts under Windows 2000
  • We've updated the "Power Zoom" algorithm in response to a change in the controller's drivers. This results in greater positional feedback, which in turns enhances measurement accuracy.
  • We've improved the display - during automated measurement programs - for certain "thresholded object" measurement tools.

Added in version 6.90 (dated September 20th 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge(r) for the PixeLINK PL-A642 FireWire(tm) (IEEE 1394) digital camera. You can control all of the camera's different settings directly from VisionGauge(r), through the following easy-to-use window: 

PixelLink PL A642 Settings

  • In VisionGauge(r)'s Report Builder, it is now possible to save images in the report database using the JPEG format. The JPEG image file format allows you to save space on your hard disk. However, please keep in mind that JPEG images have been compressed and that they cannot be used reliably to carry out high-accuracy measurements. If you think that an image that you're saving in the report database is likely to be used for measurements sometime in the future, we suggest that you continue to use the uncompressed BMP format. 

Added in version 6.89 (dated September 9th 2002) :
It's now possible to send field-of-view measurements to the "Measurement Report" window. Previously, only automated stage-based measurements could be sent to this window. 

VisionGauge measurement report to collect measurement results

To send field-of-view measurements to the"Measurement Report", simply check the "Insert field-of-view measurements in Measurement Report" check box in the "General Preferences" window.
 

  • In automated measurement programs, it's now possible to tell VisionGauge(r) that one or many points in the program is not to be used for measurements. This can be done in the "Motion Program - Point Settings" window.

  • Added in version 6.88 (dated August 8th 2002) :
  • It's now possible for you to specify the quadrant for angle measurements (i.e. 0-90 deg., 90-180, 180-270 and 270-360 deg.). This is done in the "Settings | Measurement mode" window. 

Angle measurement tool - quadrant identification

  • When using VisionGauge® with servo-encoded motorized optics, it's now possible for you to specify "initial" zoom & focus settings. The optics will go to these positions when you startup VisionGauge®. This is done through the "Options" menu command in the "Zoom & Focus Control" window:

Zoom and Focus Settings

  • Each character of the password that you type in is now displayed using an asterisk (*). This is true for both the "Calibration" password and the "Lock-Out" password.
  • We've updated the on-line help (available through the F1 hotkey).
  • This update contains a significatntly enhanced version of the Visiongauge® User's Guide (in pdf format). 
 

Added in version 6.86 (dated June 15th 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the SPOT INSIGHT QE camera.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge's "Live Image Overlay Builder" with DXF format CAD file support, to make it work with the INSIGHT and INSIGHT QE cameras.
  • VisionGauge's®  "Video Sequence Capture" Tool can now read-in AVI files.
  • We've fixed "upside down" display problems with the FlashBus MV  & FlashBus DX video acquisition boards.
  • We've added the F4 "hotkey" that you can use to quickly read-in overlay files.

Added in version 6.82 (dated April 2nd 2002) :
  • In VisionGauge's® "Statistics Toolbox", We've added the ability to draw charts of all of the values in a sample, as well as of the sample mean. Here's a simple example:

Statistics Toolbox Charts

  • VisionGauge's® "Counting & Sizing" tool can now compute, display and save to disk the perimeter, as well as the projections along both the X and Y axis of individual particles:

Blob Analysis - VisionGauge's Counting and Sizing


Added in version 6.81 (dated March 15th 2002) :
  • We've added a new Coplanarity Measurement Tool. This new coplanarity tool follows JEDEC standards (i.e. "Coplanarity Test for Surface-Mount Semiconductor Devices - JESD22-B108" - www.jedec.org).
  • We've fixed a problem with the color correction & white balance support when using the the SPOT INSIGHT camera.
  • We've added "trigger" support (for a footswitch, for example).

Added in version 6.79 (dated February 26th 2002) :
  • We've added a new "Auto-Mosaic" Tool in VisionGauge®. This new tool allows you to automatically build a very high-resolution image of areas that are larger than your system's optical field of view. 


    VisionGauge's® "Auto-Mosaic" Tool is very easy to use: simply select two opposite corners of the area that you are interested in and press the "Scan" button. VisionGauge® does everything else! You can also tell VisionGauge® to periodically refocus the image or ignore a certain number of rows & columns of pixels on each of the different borders of each field-of-view. This allows you to compensate for uneven illumination, for example.

    Here's a picture of VisionGauge's® "Auto-Mosaic" Toolbox:


Auto Mosaic Builder

Finally, please note that the maximum size of the resulting image (and thus the maximum area that you can scan at any one time) is only limited by your computer's system memory.


Added in version 6.77 (dated February 12th 2002) :
  • We've added "preset buttons" that you can use to quickly get to a preset zoom position, when using motorized zoom optics in conjunction with the VisionGauge® encoded servo-motor controller. The default present positions are: Home (i.e. 0% zoom), 20% zoom, 40% zoom, 60% zoom, 80% zoom and 100% zoom. VisionGauge's® "Power Zoom & Focus" window now has the following appearance:

Zoom and Focus - Power Zoom settings

  • You can now directly get the "Counting & Sizing" thresholds from within the "Settings | Measurement mode" window. This is very useful when you're setting thresholds for automated measurement programs, for example.
  • We've added 2 "hotkeys": F2 to turn Live Video ON and F2 to give the "Measure" command.

Added in version 6.74 (dated February 1st 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the SPOT Insight digital cameras. When you use an Insight camera, VisionGauge® allows you to access to the camera controls through this simple interface: 

Spot Insight camera controls

  • We've added support for the QImaging Retiga Monochrome cameras. The complete list of video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge® is available in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ#1.2) section.

Added in version 6.73 (dated January 14th 2002) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the Integral Technologies FlashBus DX video acquisition boards for digital cameras. The FlashBus DX™ video acquisition boards also have a «Camera Link» interface and are designed to capture both RGB and monochrome images in real-time to either system or display memory. The complete list of video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge®is available in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ#1.2) section.

Added in version 6.72 (dated January 7th 2002) :
We've added a new Measurement Report that allows you to easily collect, manage & analyze the results of fully-automated measurement programs. 


Measurement Report for viewing Measured results

This new reporting tool for fully-automated systems lets you: 

attach a label (or identifier) to each measurement,
select individual measurements and group measurements together
save groups of measurements to file
send groups of measurements to the statistics toolbox (this is very useful for analyzing results from a measurement program in which you "mix & match" different types of measurements, etc...).

This new measurement report for fully-automated measurement programs has many other useful and easy-to-use features and options. For example, the report can be displayed in either "full" or "small" format (to save space on the desktop).

Please note that there is no limit on the number of measurements that this report can handle. 


Added in version 6.71 (dated December 28th 2001) :
  • It's now possible to add text overlays in VisionGauge's® Live Image Overlay Builder.
  • We've enhanced VisionGauge's® camera "synching" when using video acquisition boards from the Integral Technologies 3D family. This can be useful when using video sources that are difficult to synch with (or that have low-quality synch signals) such as VCRs.
  • It's now possible to use the "distance between arbitrary parallel lines" tool to calibrate VisionGauge® (i.e. to compensate for alignment errors between the calibration standard & the camera...).
  • We've added 2 new measurement tools for the automated measurement of wire bond solder balls. You can use these new tools to carry out automated measurements of ball (X, Y) position and maximum ball size. You can set the wire-bond ball size measurement tool to return the ball's maximum dimension along either the X or Y axis, or the greater of these two values. You can use these new measurement tools for either field-of-view or fully-automated stage-based measurements. It's important to note that these wire-bond-specific automated measurement tools can accomodate wire bond balls that present both an "all black" appearance and those that have a "golden ring". In the case of balls with a "golden ring", the measurement tool correctly measures the ball size starting from the outer edge of the black ring located beyond the golden ring. Both of these automated measurement tools are very simple to use: simply draw a Region Of Interest (ROI) around the wire bond pad and the measurement tool does the rest... In the case of fully-automated stage-based measurements, these are "1-point" measurement tools (i.e. they only require 1 line in the part program).

Wire bond ball
Wire bond ball with an "all black" appearance

Wire bond ball
Wire bond balls with a "golden ring"


Added in version 6.69 (dated December 4th 2001) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the QImaging RETIGA FireWire™ (IEEE-1394) digital cameras. The complete list of video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge® is available in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ#1.2) section.

Added in version 6.68 (dated November 20th 2001) :
  • We've added support for "*.avi" movie files in VisionGauge's® Video Sequence Capture Tool. VisionGauge® can now save the video to disk either as a sequence of individual bitmap images or as an "*.avi" movie file that can be played by other applications such as RealPlayer ™ and Windows Media™ Player. In all cases, the video is captured and saved at full resolution and without compression, in full color and at full video frame-rate. VisionGauge's® powerful Video Sequence Capture tool allows you to capture full frame-rate video (or slower, if specified by the user) to system memory. Once captured to memory, the video can be played back, modified, saved to disk & retrieved later on, etc... The amount of video that can be captured (i.e. duration) is only limited by system memory.
     
  • We've added support for Integral Technology's FlashBus MV family of video acquisition boards in VisionGauge's® Video Sequence Capture tool.
  • In VisionGauge's® Video Sequence Capture tool We've added user-selectable begin & end delays. These "delay" parameters can be useful as fine adjustments to solve any "sync" issues that might occur in your system at the beginning & end of captured video sequences.

Added in version 6.65 (dated November 9th 2001) :
  • We've added support for "*.dxf" CAD file "ARC" entities in VisionGauge's® Live Image Overlay Builder. The list of supported ENTITIES is now as follows: LINE, CIRCLE, LWPOLYLINE and ARC. 
  • In the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge®, We've added an "Options" sub-menu in the Motion Toolbox. This new Options sub-menu has a setting that allows you to tell VisionGauge® to save the complete system configuration (i.e. a "setup" file) along with the part programs. This is useful if you want to associate different system settings, such as measurement units or motion control settings, for example with different parts. 
  • The Online Help has been expanded to include all of the information contained in the latest revision of the VisionGauge® User's Guide. The online help, with its search capabilities, is a very efficient way for users to locate relevant information needed to solve their application.

Added in version 6.61 (dated October 12th 2001) :
  • In the stage-based configurations of VisionGauge® (compatible with both manual- and motorized-stages) We've added the ability to display the Digital-Read-Out (i.e. DRO) in either regular or large format. The new large format DRO has the appearance of the old "DRO boxes" with which many more experienced shop-floor operators are familiar.

Regular format DRO:
Digital Read-out toolbox

Large format DRO:
Large Digital Read-out


  • We've added support for the new "Intel(R) JPEG Library Version 1.51 for Windows", released October 10th 2001. This will ensure that VisionGauge® has the best and most up-to-date support for JPEG-format image files. 


Added in version 6.60 (dated October 5th 2001) :
  • In the Motorized Stage Configuration of VisionGauge® We've added the capability to set the Hold & Run Currents (in the "Advanced Motion Control Settings") individually for each axis (instead of a single Hold Current value for all three axes and a single Run Current value for all three axes).

Added in version 6.58 (dated October 1st 2001) :
  • We've added support for DXF format CAD files in VisionGauge's® Live Image Overlay Builder. When you read-in a DXF file into the Live Image Overlay Builder, VisionGauge® can automatically scale the drawing to match-up with the system calibration. This means that if something measures one inch in the CAD drawing, it will appear the same size on the screen as a one inch object under the camera. This is the perfect tool to compare a part against its CAD drawing: VisionGauge® scales the CAD drawing appropriately and draws it "on top" of the part! 


    Other display options are also available: you can scale the CAD drawing to fit inside the image or you can specify your own scaling coefficient.

    Autodesk developed the DXF (Drawing eXchange Format) file format for use in its CAD program AutoCAD. The DXF file format is very general and it can contain many different types of data. At present, VisionGauge® supports the LINE, CIRCLE and LWPOLYLINE dxf ENTITIES. 


Added in version 6.57 (dated September 11th 2001) :
  • We've added a new "Measurement Toolbox" to VisionGauge®. This new tool allows you to pre-define and then store different measurement tools in the Toolbox's buttons. You can then quickly recall the measurement tools that you have defined simply by pressing the appropriate button in this new Toolbox. This saves you from having to re-open the "Settings | Measurement Mode" window and selecting the appropriate settings.


    This new Measurement Toolbox works very much like VisionGauge's® Calibration toolbox in that:
     

    • its contents are carried over from session to session
    • it can display either 10 or 20 measurement tools (i.e. buttons) at once
    • you can save the entire contents of the measurement Toolbox to disk, and read-it in later on


    This new Measurement Toolbox is found in the "Tools" sub-menu. It can also be called-up using the "Ctrl-X" hotkey.

    The procedure to define and load a measurement tool into the Measurement Toolbox is simple:
     

    • Start by going into VisionGauge's® "Settings | Measurement Mode" window (you can also use the "Ctrl-E" hotkey to do this) and set everything just the way you want it (i.e. select the appropriate measurement tool, of course, but also set the measurement tolerances - if any - the options, etc...). When you're satisfied with your selections, click "OK".
    • Then open-up the "Tools | Measurement Toolbox" (you can also use the "Ctrl-X" hotkey to do this).
    • Then - in the Measurement Toolbox's menu - select "Set | Button #1" (if you want to load this measurement tool in The Toolbox's Button # 1). You will be asked to supply a label for this measurement tool. You can of course use the name of the tool itself (for example: "point-to-point"). But you could also specify another label, for example: the name of the feature that you will measure using this tool (e.g. "Gasket thickness", "Line width", etc...)
    • Now, every time that you press on the Measurement Toolbox's Button#1, this tool will automatically be loaded into VisionGauge®. Furthermore, an arrow indicator will be displayed to indicate that this is the active measurement tool.
We've also added support for Motorized Zoom & Focus in VisionGauge(r).


Power Zoom and Focus optics

At this moment, VisionGauge(r) supports motorized zoom & focus using stepper motors. The "Motorized Zoom & focus" interface (shown below) is very intuitive and it allows also the user to set both the zoom & focus velocities.

Controls for the Power Zoom and Focus


Added in version 6.56 (dated August 30th 2001) :
  • We've added a new "Interlace Offset Correction Tool" to VisionGauge®. This new tool is very useful to correct "interlace offset error" that can occur in images captured using an interlaced video signal. The most common manifestation of such "interlace offset" error is "motion blur" between odd and even numbered lines in the image. Here is a "before and after" example that shows how this tool can be used to easily correct for interlace offset error:

Before

Interlace Offset correction - before

After

Interlace Offset correction - after
  • In VisionGauge's® "Counting and Sizing" tool, it is now possible to define a "Region Of Interest". You can use a Region Of Interest to limit the Counting and Sizing tool's scope to a user-selected portion of the image, rather than the entire image. This new "Region Of Interest" feature is fully integrated with all of the other powerful tools that are already part of VisionGauge's extensive image analysis toolset.

Blob Analysis Region of Interest (ROI)


Added in version 6.54 (dated August 6th 2001) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the Integral Technologies Inc FlashPoint 3Dx® family of video acquisition and display boards. The 3Dx® is a direct replacement for the 3D® family of video acquisition & display boards.
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the EPIX PIXCI® SV5 video acquisition board. The SV5 is a direct replacement for the SV4 of video acquisition board.
  • The complete list of video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge® is available in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ#1.2) section.
     
  • We've added two new "Horizontal Profile" and "Vertical Profile" tools in VisionGauge®. Both of these can be accessed through VisionGauge's® "Tools" sub-menu. You can use these tools to plot either a horizontal or vertical profile across the image of one of the following channels: either luminance, intensity, hue, saturation, red, green or blue. The user can select the profile position, either by dragging the hash mark in the image itself or by entering it manually.

Added in version 6.53 (dated July 23rd 2001) :
  • We've added the ability in VisionGauge® to load-in different "Report Configuration Files" at runtime. This effectively adds "multiple report template" support and "multiple database" support to VisionGauge's® report Generator and Database.
  • We've added support for multiple levels of "undo/redo" operations in VisionGauge®. This makes it possible for users to "go back" many steps in their work (for example: if you want to change something that you did to the image 7, 10 or 15 operations earlier...). You can set the number of "undo" levels through the "Settings | General Preferences" menu option. It is important to keep in mind that each extra "undo" level can take up quite a bit of memory, as every "undo" level requires that one full copy of the image be stored in memory. This consideration is especially important if you are working with very large images or if your computer doesn't have much RAM.

Added in version 6.52 (dated June 22nd 2001) :
  • We've added support in VisionGauge® for the Integral Technologies Inc FlashBus MX® family of video acquisition boards. 
The FlashBus MX® is designed to capture RGB and monochrome video in real time from both standard and non-standard analog cameras. It is capable of capturing both high resolution (up to 4K × 4K) and high-speed video.

Another noteworthy feature of the FlashBus MX® is that, with an RGB video signal, it digitizes all three channels with a resolution of 10 bits (as opposed to the more standard 8 bit resolution). This results in very high-quality imagery.

Please note that VisionGauge® has true native support for the FlashBus MX® and that it supports both the board's "On Screen" and "Off Screen" video capture modes.

The complete list of video acquisition devices supported by VisionGauge® is available in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ#1.2) section.

Follow this link to see the previous list of enhancements (i.e. those that are slightly less recent)

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