Custom Workholding and Fixtures

As part of a complete solution, we can design & manufacture custom workholding and fixtures, compatible with our systems and perfectly adapted to meet the requirements of your application.

Over the years, we’ve supplied a number of adapted precision pneumatic, vacuum and manually-operated fixtures to successfully solve applications with various types of parts.

A customized workholding developed to complete a VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator application

Please contact us with your applications for additional information including detailed spec sheets, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, pricing, etc…

Large Travel Systems

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are also available in large travel configurations to accommodate parts with larger dimensions.

The Super-Extended Travel Configuration 500 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is a precision system designed specifically to inspect and measure big and heavy parts.

500 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator - Super-Extended Travel Configuration
The super-extended travel configuration 500 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator for inspection of large and heavy parts.

We can also design and build Oversized systems to meet unusual or one-of-a-kind requirements.

48"x24"x12" super-large XYZ travel VisionGauge® system
48"x24"x12" Super-Large XYZ Travel VisionGauge® system

24″ x 24″ travel system in 500-series vertical configuration:

24" x 24" travel system in vertical configuration VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator

Please contact us for more information. We can configure a system to meet your requirements!

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Customizable Options

Many other options are available with the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator, including:

  • Adapted NIST-traceable stage micrometer with certificate of calibration (this will allow you to carry out the yearly re-calibration yourselves)
  • Upgrade of the X and Y axis encoders from 0.5 um resolution to 0.1 um resolution.
  • Extended (i.e. 24″) X-axis travel stage upgrade (from the standard 12″ travel) for Horizontal configuration VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
  • Extended (i.e. 12″) Y-axis travel column upgrade (from the standard 6″ travel) for Horizontal configuration VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
  • Extended (i.e. 24″ x 24″) X-axis and Y-axis travel stage upgrade (from the standard 12″ x 12″ travel) for the Vertical configuration VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
  • Extended (i.e. 12″) Z-axis travel. Applicable for either the horizontal or vertical configuration of the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
  • “Additional monitor option” to automatically load and display inspection instructions & criteria or other related documents when the work order barcode is scanned to automatically load the appropriate CAD file
  • On-axis reflected LED illumination module (programmable and computer-controlled) fully integrated with VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator. This reflected (i.e. “front”) illumination module produces a very different type of front illumination that is very “flat” (i.e. “shadow free” and low glare) that is more appropriate for certain types of parts. This illumination module is mounted on a “swing arm” to allow the operator to easily put it in position & retract it when it is not needed.
  • Supplementary rotary encoded motorized axes (i.e. to rotate the part), including:
    • All required motion control hardware for the supplementary motorized axis (for part rotation). This motion control hardware is completely and seamlessly integrated with the system’s existing motion control hardware
    • Motorized encoded high-accuracy rotary stage
    • Fixture to mount the stage to the system’s dovetail grooves
    • All required cables & power supplies
  • LASER module for Z-axis measurements, including:
    • High-accuracy structured LASER module
    • LASER controller hardware (to completely control the LASER’s operation from within the software)
    • Adapted fixture to mount the LASER module onto the Z axis stage
    • Software upgrade
    • All required cables & power supplies
  • Optional standalone “desktop” software license (to allow you to remotely view your CAD files, setup tolerances, create automated inspection and measurement programs, etc…)
  • VisionGauge® Annual Support and Update Program Membership Renewal (which provides users with unlimited technical support and free software updates for a full 1-year period). Note that unlimited technical support and free software updates are included for the 1st year with every VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator (Patent Pending) system.
  • Replacement air filter (this is the only “consumable” part in the entire system!)

 

Other accessories, system configurations, fixturing (etc…) are also available…

An optional supplementary monitor to automatically display related files, reports and information on the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
An optional supplementary monitor to automatically display related files, reports and information.
Optional adapted diffuse on-axis illumination module on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Optional adapted diffuse on-axis illumination module. This specialized illumination module produces a very different type of front illumination that is very "flat" (i.e. "shadow free" and low glare) that is more appropriate for certain types of parts. It is module is mounted on a "swing arm" to allow the operator to easily put it in position & retract it when it is not needed.

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

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Customizable Options

Z-axis Laser Measurements

Z-Axis LASER Measurement Module

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are available with an optional Z-Axis LASER Measurement Modules.

In the application below, for example, the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is used to measure the depth of slots in aircraft engine turbine blades. Without the Z-Axis LASER Measurement Module (i.e. the image on the left below), it is only possible to measure XY dimensions on the part (for example: the slot width).

However, with the Z-Axis LASER Measurement Module (i.e. the image on the right below), the part’s z-axis depth & height variations can all be measured, easily & accurately.

Image obtained with standard front (reflected illumination) on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Image obtained with standard front (reflected illumination).
Z-axis laser measurements for depth and height of parts on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
The LASER shows all of the depth & height variations in the part.

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

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators – Z-axis Laser Measurements

Rotary Stages / Rotary Axes

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are available with supplementary rotary axes. Our rotary stages are extremely flat and of the highest quality. They produce very repeatable movement and rotate the part about the stage’s true center.

Rotary stages can be mounted in different planes to accommodate the specific requirements of your application.

Multiple rotary stages can also be used (to provide “Pan & Tilt” capability, for example).

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator rotary stage/axis
VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator rotary stage/axis
An aircraft engine impeller mounted on a VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator rotary stage/axis
An aircraft engine impeller mounted on a VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator rotary stage/axis
Rotary stage mounted normal to the optical axis on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Rotary stage mounted normal to the optical axis
Rotary stage mounted with the axis of rotation aligned horizontally with a 5C Collet chuck on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Rotary stage mounted with the axis of rotation aligned horizontally (and with a custom fixture that includes a 5C Collet chuck)
Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application
Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application

The above video shows a VisionGauge® tool for Automatic Part Alignment that is often used in conjunction with rotary stages.

Overall Outline of Rotary Stage included in "VGDOC-30-RS" (different dimensions and configurations are available) on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Overall Outline of Rotary Stage included in "VGDOC-30-RS" (different dimensions and configurations are available)

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

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator – Rotary Stages / Rotary Axes

Single or Multi-mag Optical Configurations

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are available in industry standard 5X, 10X, 20X, 50X and 100X optical configurations, in either single or multi-mag configurations.

Multi-mag configurations still have a single front objective lens, but “under the hood” there is a 3-lens encoded motorized rotary turret. The movement of the 3-lens turret is completely controlled through the simple and intuitive VisionGauge® software interface. Simply press on a button to change the optical magnification. Also, the scaling of the CAD data and all of the optical calibration coefficients are automatically adjusted accordingly!

This innovative high-quality multi-mag system produces the same outstanding image quality as the single-mag configurations, including:

  • very high resolution
  • very sharp sharp edge profiles
  • very strong contrast (i.e. no problems with ambient illumination)
  • outstanding image clarity
  • long working distance
  • extended depth-of-field

 

An EDM part viewed at 10x, 20x, and 50x magnifications:

An EDM part viewed at 10X magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
An EDM part viewed at 20X magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
An EDM part viewed at 50X magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator

It’s also worth mentioning that the magnifications, when changing back-and-forth between objectives, are extremely repeatable. The measurement accuracy is, for all intents and purposes, the same as that of single-mag systems.

Finally, note that the various lenses in multi-mag units yield parcentric and parfocal results.

An Automotive Fastener viewed at 10x, 20x, and 50x magnifications on the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator:

Automotive Fastener Viewed at 10X Magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Automotive Fastener Viewed at 20X Magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Automotive Fastener Viewed at 50X Magnification on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator

Many other optical configurations are also available. We can configure a system to meet your specific requirements!

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

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators Single or Multi-mag Optical Configurations

Horizontal and Vertical Digital Optical Comparator Configurations

Our VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are offered in both horizontal and vertical configurations. The decision to choose a horizontal or vertical comparator takes into consideration the specific application requirements, the particularities of the part being inspected and how it is presented in the inspection area, and the convenience of operator handling.

Vertical Digital Optical Comparators

Vertical digital optical comparators feature a glass insert on the motorized or manual stage on which the part is placed for inspection. Collimated back-illumination utilizing ultra-bright LEDs illuminate the part from beneath the glass to display the part’s profile for inspection. The lens is mounted pointing downward to capture images as the XY stages moves the part in the field-of-view. Regularly spaced threaded mounting holes on the stage allow precise installation of fixtures, as required. Vertical optical comparators are well-suited for applications where the part sits flat on the glass, i.e. flat parts, such as large plates, etc…

500-series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Vertical Configuration

500-series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Vertical Configuration

The 400 Series VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator with manual stage motion

400-series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Vertical Configuration

Horizontal Digital Optical Comparators

Horizontal digital optical comparators feature a hard chrome plated X-axis stage, constructed from hardened tooling steel with dual industry-standard dovetail mounting grooves for easy and repeatable part fixturing. The part sits on the stage, perpendicular to the Z-axis and lens. The dovetail grooves make it simple for operators to add and remove fixtures or supplemental axes (e.g. rotary axes), contributing to the versatility of the system so it is widely-applicable for a variety of different inspections within a single setting. Our horizontal configuration machines are our most popular as they are ideal for a very wide range of parts. While vertical configuration machines are generally used for flat parts, the horizontal machines are most often selected for all other part geometries.

500-Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Horizontal Configuration (Generation 2 with Single Monitor)

500-series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Horizontal Configuration

400-Series VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator with manual stage motion in horizontal configuration (reduced image).

400-series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Horizontal Configuration

If you are upgrading an existing optical comparator to the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator, typically your part’s presentation to the camera will not change, so you can easily replace your traditional optical comparator with our system in the same horizontal or vertical format. In most cases, your existing part fixtures are already compatible with our system’s mounting methods. And even though the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator has many advanced tools and technologies not available in traditional optical comparators, we’ve provided a user interface that will be very comfortable and familiar for operators used to working with traditional optical comparators. For example: the system has a traditional-look Digital Read-Out (i.e. DRO), it supports traditional protractor-style crosshair-rotation, etc… The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator truly is a drop-in replacement for traditional optical comparators.

Single and multiple optical magnifications are equally available for each configuration, and each format achieves much greater accuracy than traditional optical comparators, regardless of the configuration. Both Vertical and Horizontal configurations of VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators support our full customizable range of system options, including:

  • extended stages for larger travels in X, Y, or Z,
  • supplemental motorized, encoded high-accuracy rotary stages,
  • Z-axis laser module for high-accuracy, automated height/depth measurements,
  • upgraded encoders for a resolution of 0.1 micron,
  • configurations for heavy loads,
  • and much more…

Our vertical and horizontal digital optical comparators feature high-accuracy crossed-roller movements on all 3 basic axes (X, Y and Z) for optimal linearity and positional repeatability. These systems are all capable of high-accuracy measurements beyond the field-of-view. Autofocus is standard with all motorized systems.

All of our VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators showcase high-quality illumination that produces stunning image clarity. All illumination is LED-based for stable and uniform intensity across the entire field-of-view, as well as being programmable and computer-controlled to ensure crisp edge profiles on your parts and strong contrast for every inspection. Multiple front illumination options are also available to inspect the surface of a part or for applications that require specialized illumination configurations.

Contact us for spec sheets, our recommendations, and for more information about how the vertical and horizontal configurations of the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator can solve your application.

Illumination

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are available with transmitted (i.e. back) and / or reflected (i.e. front) illumination.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators’ advanced, high-quality illumination modules produce outstanding image clarity even on surfaces and materials that have historically been considered hard to work with (e.g. reflective materials, plastics, etc…) The illumination intensity is very uniform across the entire field-of-view.

Transmitted Illumination on a part on a Digital Optical Comparator
Image of a part using traditional transmitted (i.e. back) illumination. This produces the maximum edge / profile sharpness
Reflected illumination on a Digital Optical Comparator
Image of the same part using both transmitted (i.e. back) and reflected (i.e. front) illumination. In this case we can also inspect the surface of the part.

All illumination is LED-based for very stable and repeatable illumination conditions over a very long life (no more bulbs to replace!). Furthermore, the illumination is programmable and computer-controlled, which ensures repeatable results.

All of the illumination is controlled through a single simple and intuitive software interface!

plastic part on a Digital Optical Comparator
Crisp and Clear image of plastic part (with no glare)

Different types of illumination, to make different features and defects stand out, are available. For example, our co-axial diffuse illumination is especially designed to produce uniform, shadow- and glare-free illumination. It is mounted on a “swing arm” to allow the operator to easily put it in position and retract it when it is not needed. And – again: it uses the latest LED technology and is computer-controlled by the system’s software.

Adapted diffuse co-axial illumination module on a Digital Optical Comparator
Adapted diffuse co-axial illumination module.

The following images show the effect of the ” VGDOC-30-COAXRI ” light source on a reflective / shiny surface (in this case: the touch pad of a BlackBerry).

standard reflected illumination on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
Using standard reflected illumination
coax illumination on a Digital Optical Comparator
Using the "VGDOC-30-COAXRI" illumination module
Orthopaedic tibial plate inspected at 10x magnification with regular illumination on a VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator
An orthopaedic tibial plate inspected at 10x with coax illumination on a VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator
Orthopaedic Tibial Plate Inspection at 50X magnification with coax illumination on a VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator

Images of an orthopaedic tibial plate implant. On the left: using standard reflected illumination and on the right: using the “VGDOC-30-COAXRI” illumination module

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

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators Illumination Options