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Cusom Toolmakers Microscope

thisguyjohn

Plastic
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, please move if needed

I work for a company that have been looking for a custom Toolmakers Microscope for nearly a year. I reached out to this forum last year with questions on our current microscope, but now we're ready to build some new ones.
I have had countless meetings with Keyence Laser company that has a profilometer laser that will work perfect for our application. The big hurdle is finding/making a fixture for it. The engineering company that they use wants to automate this laser but it is not feasible for our company. We literally have 1000's of parts in our inventory and only run small batches, so having the operator manual check the parts is our best best.

What I want is a retrofitted toolmakers microscope with this Keyence Laser head on it, with a monitor above it. Does anyone have any recommendations or knowledge in this field? I have emailed a few microscope companies with little to no feedback.

Thanks!



Here's a link to the forum discussing what we currently use
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/...90-degree-image-352115/?highlight=leitz+scope
 

car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
Why do you need a "microscope" with that Keyence sensor. That sensor should be able to be mounted in a simple (adjustable if necessary) fixture for the proper working distance to the parts, and then interfaced with a pc and the software. Is there some other reason you require the function of the "toolmakers' microscope" option; if so, perhaps just separate those functions with a generic toolmakers scope or optical-measuring device, and the sensor.

(I recall some of the old Unitron toolmakers' microscopes had that profilometer function of the Leitz, where they projected a linear beam at an angle onto the sample, reflected up into the objective).

And yes, those sensor companies have relationships with, and are interested in promoting the automation companies (and vice versa), which gets into $$$ quickly.
 

thisguyjohn

Plastic
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
It's not that I want the microscope aspect with the Keyence laser, I want the Toolmakers Stand part.

My company has struggled finding something to duplicate the Leitz microscope that we currently have. We have met with Leica (who now owns Leitz) and they have never seen our microscopes, nor can they duplicate it.
We have found that the Keyence laser can get us the accuracy that we desire (microns) and the pixels that are needed (we have angles and radii in the tenths) to measure most of our measurements.
I would like to use the laser to project the thread form (we make complex flat thread dies so a simple comparator won't work) and then use micrometers to measure everything. The programming aspect of the Keyence laser isn't realistic for us because we have really small orders with thousands of unique parts, so if we could combine the accuracy of the Keyence and the manual aspect, it should work perfectly.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
Since the sensor seems to do what you want why won't just about any toolmaker scope with the new head mounted on it work?
Some integration, some very picking mounting and alignment but seems straightforward.
I'd have to question of a laser style vs the white light stripe that you have but I don't know what Keyance equipment you are looking at, depth and field of views, tolerances and acceptable error band.
This doesn't seem like a really, really hard to solve problem so I'm surprised that microscope or machine vision guys have not helped you more.
Do people run away because the budget is too small or do they just not seem to understand how to do it?
Your application and user needs are indeed intriguing.
Bob
 

car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
It's not that I want the microscope aspect with the Keyence laser, I want the Toolmakers Stand part.

My company has struggled finding something to duplicate the Leitz microscope that we currently have. We have met with Leica (who now owns Leitz) and they have never seen our microscopes, nor can they duplicate it.
We have found that the Keyence laser can get us the accuracy that we desire (microns) and the pixels that are needed (we have angles and radii in the tenths) to measure most of our measurements.
I would like to use the laser to project the thread form (we make complex flat thread dies so a simple comparator won't work) and then use micrometers to measure everything. The programming aspect of the Keyence laser isn't realistic for us because we have really small orders with thousands of unique parts, so if we could combine the accuracy of the Keyence and the manual aspect, it should work perfectly.

I'm not really surprised that no one at Leica knows anything about that scope, it's likely 50+ years old, either custom or a small number made, and "toolmakers' microscopes" in general have been obsolete for a long time. I remember back in the dark ages at IBM, before optical CMMs and such, they had all sorts of beautiful specialty optical scopes and things for measurement and inspection (the Leitz sales rep who got the contract for inspection scopes for the semiconductor lines retired and bought a gentlemen's horse farm). We had a Leitz UV fluorescence spectroscope in the lab, that cost >$100K in 1980.

I have no experience with that particular Keyence sensor, but it appears to be a stand-alone canned unit to do the sort of thing you are trying to do (it contains the light-source, optics, sensor, electronics). But the data-output is purely electronic/software from the sensor, so I don't see how it may be useful integrated into a mechanical optical microscope, or just the "laser" part utilized. Seems that sensor should be able to display a simple profile measurement plot without a lot of software or automation required. I understand that you don't want to automate or write algoritims for all the different profiles to compare the output profiles, but maybe there is a simple measurement tool in their software (take a static sample measurement, display and manually measure) , or maybe even export the sensor output capture to a simple CAD program to measure/compare.

I'd tell the sales/technical rep that all you want to do is manually position your parts (you can have an xyz locating fixture) where a measurement is desired, take a snapshot profile measurement at that spot, and be able to measure that profile, and that it does not need to be "automated". If they won't help, you can probably find a student or someone familiar with optical-recognition widgets at a local college that will write a simple program for a nominal cost. Again, don't see the the compatibility of that "software/electronic output" canned sensor, with a mechanical optical microscope.

Another option might be an optical-scanner, although your tolerance may be an issue for an inexpensive solution.
 

Pariel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Location
New Jersey
Keyence has software for their high power optical microscopes (VHX series) which will do exactly as car2 suggested: give you an image, let you measure on it, save images for quality assurance, etc. I routinely used one to measure optical fibers and the aluminum parts they were packaged in to similar tolerances to what you're looking for. They can do also do fun things like sweep Z and generate a 3D model of the image and automatically take, stitch images along a line, some image recognition stuff as well. Very simple to use and the automation that makes the operator's job easier on a day-to-day basis is built right in (there are tons of ways to add software automation as well, which it sounds like you don't want).

I don't know how that compares to the laser system or whether the control from the VHX system could be hooked up to the laser, but I think it's worthwhile to ask Keyence.
 








 
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