Nikon Introduces Video Measuring Instruments With High Speed, High Accuracy, High Intelligence

jul 10, 2000

Nikon now offers a series of video measuring products designed to offer easier operation, faster throughput rates, advanced functions such as comprehensive 3D surface analysis, and new software to improve workflow. Nikon's new NEXIV video measuring system is designed to be the fastest, smartest and most accurate family of video measuring products available.

NEXIV instruments offer through-the-lens (TTL) laser autofocus for high accuracy, 3D surface analysis. Intelligent search functions help with alignment to keep fixturing costs low. They also correct for deviations in expected edge or feature locations, and do pattern matching measurements to ascertain the best coordinates for hard to determine shapes. Other advanced imaging techniques help in image processing and defect review.

Comprehensive 3D Surface Analysis

Nikon's optional TTL laser autofocus allows 3D surface analysis using Nikon's proprietary Bird's-Eye View software. This program allows scanned data provided by the laser autofocus system to be plotted quickly, accurately and reliably in a three-dimensional format. Then 3D shape analysis and 2D cross-section analysis can be performed.

Laser autofocus is also available without the TTL operation. This provides fast Z-axis measurement with greater accuracy than is available using standard vision autofocus. Suitable work pieces include plastics, lead frames, metal (diffusion surface), ceramics and mirrors.

Intelligent search functions

NEXIV systems also offer intelligent search functions to help keep fixturing costs low. The auto position search function helps in alignment by automatically searching for and identifying key features. This means the operator no longer needs to manually place multiple work pieces in proper alignment; NEXIV automatically searches for workpiece position and determines skew alignment.

The multi-pattern search function automatically corrects for part-to-part variation along with deviations in expected edge or feature locations. This unique pattern matching capability helps determine the best coordinates for complex shapes.

Optical Superiority with Advanced Imaging Capability

NEXIV incorporates the world's brightest and highest contrast optical components for distortion-free viewing. For users in the semiconductor field, for instance, it allows the use of numerous advanced imaging techniques to help in defect review for wafers and substrates.

NEXIV systems offer differential interference contrast (DIC), which provides enhanced 3D contrast for viewing tiny surface detail, such as wafer patterns. The DIC system helps the operator quantify the minute differences in height and contrast on the surface being measured.

In addition, NEXIV systems offer image processing tools that help establish consistent pattern matching for counting and determining defects for statistical process control purposes. Image analysis tools include:

* Morphological filters (dilate/erode/gauss filter/bilevel/high pass/low pass, etc.)

* Pattern: making geometrical patterns/flip and rotate image patterns

* Blob counting

* Pattern matching and comparison

Some of the defect review applications include viewing scratches, dust and defects in wafers, counting ink dots, finding blurs or defects in nozzle holes for inkjet printers, quantifying bubbles in ceramic parts, short and/or open circuit inspection, and more.

Nikon's NEXIV video measuring systems are available in numerous models, depending on the specific requirements of the application.