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Methods Machine Tools is the exclusive North American distributor of VisionGauge digital optical comparators, developed by VISIONx. The comparators are said to digitally compare a part to its CAD data quickly, easily and accurately. This data can also be archived and documented electronically. The comparators automatically produce an operator-independent “pass/fail” result and display any deviation by comparing a part against bi-directional tolerances at control points.
The comparators combine the capabilities of an optical comparator, video CMM, machine vision and vision system. Similar to a CMM, the comparators produce highly accurate measurements in both manual and fully automated modes, the company says. They also feature an extensive set of machine vision tools to match patterns, verify colors, detect defects and more. A high-resolution imaging system inspects subjective properties such as surface finish verification, digital image collection, annotation and electronic distribution.
The non-contact measurement solution is suited for precision applications in metrology labs, the medical industry and other sectors. The comparators efficiently collect complete digital records of inspections, including images, measurements and other statistical data that are critical for documenting quality compliance via Statistical Process Control (SPC). A range of powerful edge detection measurement tools produce sub-pixel accurate readings, the company says. Equipped with a bar code reader and joystick interface, the intuitive comparators are said to require minimal operator training.
Other features include a high-resolution megapixel digital camera and a low-distortion, with a wide field of view, telecentric lens for capturing high-contrast, geometrically precise part images. For easy part fixturing, the comparators include a chrome-plated, X-axis stage constructed of hardened tool steel and designed with dual standard dovetail grooves.
VisionGauge online software enables the comparators to project high-resolution video images from the camera, along with a digital CAD data “overlay” on a large quad-monitor display. Systems are offered in a footprint measuring 66" × 20" (168 × 51cm).
The comparators are available in 5×, 10×, 20×, 50× and 100× magnifications. The systems are also available in multi-magnification configurations. Systems are Windows-based and delivered network-ready in a shop-floor convenient, “rolling cart” setup, the company says.
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