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medical manufacturing


“Each field of view contains approximately 300,000 data points,” said Cius. The Z-axis measuring range in standard mode ranges


from 1.3 mm (0.5 µm slices) to 21 mm (7 µm slices); the Z scanning pitch in wide-range mode ranges from 2.7 mm (0.9 µm slices) to 40.6 mm (14 µm slices). PFF is a viable option in medical shops where operators


wouldn’t want to touch the workpiece and create unwanted scratches or marks.


“I’ve also used PFF for minute forms that you can’t mea-


sure using contact methods” in micro or nano-manufacturing, such as components for hearing aids, said Cius. Mitutoyo also upgraded its hardware last year. The company’s Quick Image 2D color vision measur- ing system uses telecentric optics, making objects with a depth of 22 mm, or that are 22-mm tall, converge into focus, making it a replacement for an optical comparator for small pieces, said Cius. For workpieces larger than a machine’s FoV, the operator can move the stage to acquire multiple sections, comparing back to a single datum set. “We’re probably the only manufacturer that has an accu- rate stage that you can move around to accommodate larger workpieces,” Cius said.


“Parts we measure are getting more complicated, with advanced geometric dimensioning and tolerancing callouts.”


QI can also execute many simultaneous measurements with a single click of a mouse or an optional foot switch, due to its pattern recognition capability. “You can actually do multiple parts at the same time even in a random orientation, and you don’t have to tell the software to determine how many are there,” said Cius. “It’s literally pushing one button to do a sequence of accurate measurements.”


An illustrated guidance window provides instructions for carrying out measurements, along with icon-based macros. High-resolution screen images enable smooth observation and measurement. Also, the QI uses green LED light for telecentric illumina- tion, and white LED for the coaxial and ring light, both of


which contribute to longer machine life and lower power us- age. All illuminations are fully programmable and can adjust automatically during runtime for parts variations. “You also have patented tools in the software that will automatically adjust the lighting,” said Cius. “The name of the game on this platform is measurement efficiency.” The view field of the 3-megapixel color camera is 32 × 24 mm. QI (0.2×) operates in two modes, normal (with ±11-mm depth of focus) and high-resolution (with ±0.6 mm DoF). “If I need to push the machine to ±1 µm accuracy, I can switch to high-resolution view,” said Cius. “But then you reduce the depth of focus advantage of the telecentric lens.” The telecentric optical system achieves 0.2× magnifica- tion and a working distance of 90 mm, with an option for 0.5× that’s useful for smaller features, Cius said. QI (0.2×) is offered on five models, with X-axis measuring range from 100 to 400 mm; Y-axis measuring range from 100 to 200 mm; and Z-axis travel range of 100 mm.


Saving Air


For small workpieces, Zeiss Industrial Metrology intro- duced the redesigned, industrial-styled Contura CMM line that promises greater precision and cost savings, with a 60% reduction in compressed air usage. “Customers have to pay for compressed air, it’s not free,” said David Wick, manager of product management for Zeiss Industrial Metrology (Maple Grove, MN). “If you are a large shop and you have eight or 10 CMMs running, you don’t need to be using up that utility when the machine’s not being used.”


The Contura line has a new feature, navigator technol-


ogy, for active sensors that allows faster scanning of circular features, while also increasing accuracy. According to Wick, it functions like a navigation system with several short and long-term benefits: It helps to increase scan speed and output, and decreases or eliminates the probability that the probe will hit what it’s trying to measure, a critical factor when working with medical devices such as stents or implantable device casings.


“Think of it like a GPS,” said Wick. “It plots the fastest


route to move the probe around and measure what needs to be measured.”


He described the Contura as a high-performance model


that’s more affordable, with the same controller, sensor and software technologies found in the company’s Accura and Prismo CMMs. So if a shop or lab starts out with a Contura, writes its own specific measurement program for that


40 — Medical Manufacturing 2015


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