Nikon Introduces Improved Video Measuring Instruments with Increased Speed, Accuracy and Illumination

avr. 24, 2001

Nikon introduces two new products to its NEXIV line of measuring tools, the VMR-3020 tabletop model and the VMR-6555 bridge-design model. This improved NEXIV VMR video measuring series is designed to deliver the fastest, smartest, most accurate performance of any video measuring products available. With increased speeds in stage movement, sampling, image processing and system control, the VMR Series performs measurements with dramatically improved throughput. Combining the features of the previous NEXIV series with the latest advances in optics, software and a new progressive scan camera, the NEXIV VMR also improves workflow and yields faster image processing while offering easier operation.

NEXIV VMR 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 TTL laser autofocus is an advanced feature allowing 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 3D format. Then 3D shape analysis and 2D cross-section analysis can be performed.

With TTL laser autofocus, NEXIV VMR instruments deliver the world's fastest (1000 points/second) scanning mode. This mode is ideal for measuring increasingly smaller electronic parts in a non-contact manner. In addition, operators can use vision autofocus for chamfered or round edges.

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

Improved Software

NEXIV VMR systems standard software features advanced intelligence and ease of use. Interactive measurement wizards aid operators by guiding them, step by step, through functions required to achieve their tasks. Plus, wizards for frequently used procedures can be customized by each operator to streamline future use.

Intelligent search functions help keep fixturing costs low. Skew alignment and deviations between edge probing points within a workpiece are automatically corrected by a pattern-matching feature, eliminating an operator's need to place multiple workpieces in proper alignment and eradicating possible measurement errors.

The multi-pattern search function automatically corrects for part-to-part variation along with deviations in expected edge or feature locations. Pattern matching measurement determines coordinate values for features too difficult to measure in the normal geometric measuring mode. These unique pattern matching capabilities help determine the best coordinates for complex shapes.

All New Optics for Measurement with Unrivaled Precision

Already known for incorporating the world's brightest and highest contrast optical components for distortion-free viewing, this improved NEXIV VMR Series features Nikon's unique octant Light Emitting Diode (LED) ring-fiber illumination. Specifically designed for the VMR Series, this illumination makes possible observations of extremely low-contrast edges, by arbitrarily combining illuminations from eight directions. This capability is best for edge enhancement of the contours of bosses, pins, and ceramic packages. When not in use, the illuminator retracts, creating more space above the workpiece. NEXIV VMR Series also features new telecentric optics combined with the industry's widest 15x zoom capability to deliver significantly increased resolution at high magnification and a wider field of view at low magnification. In addition, a long 50mm working depth and high numerical aperture (N.A.) allow greater flexibility in moving parts and increased lighting capabilities with both episcopic (top lit) and diascopic (bottom lit) illumination.

Outstanding Speed and Precision

The NEXIV VMR Series features digital signal processing (DSP), which dramatically shortens the time required for sampling, image processing, and data transmission, while it enables processing of multiple tasks at the same time. Real-time image capturing using a progressive scan camera combined with the fastest stages available -- 300mm/sec. (VMR-6555), 150mm/sec. (VMR-3020) -- helps to minimize Abbe errors and deliver more repeatable results.

For more information on the NEXIV VMR Series, please contact Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Road, Melville, NY 11747; phone 800-52-Nikon, ext. P1008, or visit the Nikon website and Microscopy U at