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Test & measurement


Encoders under the microscope


Renishaw’s advanced encoders have been installed on 3DHISTECH’s digital slide scanner, the P1000, enabling the highly accurate microscope to achieve market-leading performance


I


nvented during the 16th century, the first microscope was based on an optical system to magnify samples for analysis. These systems used natural sunlight or a spotlight to illuminate a sample while an operator made freehand sketches. Since then, a number of variants have been developed such as the fluorescence microscope, the electron microscope and the scanning microscope. In 1900, the first optical micrograph was


produced by taking a photograph of a sample through the lens of a microscope. Since then, these photomicrography systems have advanced to the point where multiple photomicrographs are taken and then combined to form ultra-high resolution images. These ultra-high resolution, multi- photomicrograph images are made possible through ever advancing optics, automation and highly accurate position feedback.


BaCkgRounD Located in Budapest, Hungary, 3DHISTECH designs and manufactures one of the world's fastest and highest-capacity autonomous panoramic digital slide scanner – the P1000. The P1000 is a highly accurate scanning


microscope that enables large pathology labs to capture ultra-high resolution images of medical samples, while operating unmanned for up to two days. Building upon 3DHISTECH’s successful product range, this new generation of digital slide scanner is the first to have integrated optical and magnetic position feedback encoders for enhanced throughput. Viktor Varga, chief technology officer of


3DHISTECH, elaborates: “The P1000 can digitise 1,000 slides in one work shift. It has two main components: a digital slide scanner [microscope] and a high capacity slide loader.


These components work in parallel to increase the throughput of the system. The microscope has three objectives enabling both immersion and dry scanning. We designed the system to cover any need of a typical pathology or biological laboratory.” The VIONiC digital incremental optical


encoder system with RTLC-S stainless steel tape scale has been installed on the three axes of the microscope, and the absolute LA11 magnetic encoder system was selected for the pick-and-place robot of the slide loader. These encoders enable the P1000 to operate at higher speeds than competing products in an accurate and repeatable way.


CHallEngES


The team behind the P1000 had one clear goal in mind: significantly increase the throughput of large pathology labs. They concluded that the


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January 2019 Instrumentation Monthly


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