ZEISS and Vision Engineering Create Extended Depth of Focus Solution

By Joel Davies -

ZEISS and Vision Engineering have partnered to make DeepFocus 1, a solution that allows real-time extended depth of focus imaging available for more customer groups.

Founded in 1958, Vision Engineering is a British designer and manufacturer of non-contact measurement, digital 3D visualization, and ergonomic inspection technologies. The company has offices across North America, Central America, the UK, Europe and Asia. ZEISS is a manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions that include coordinate measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems, microscopy systems for industrial quality assurance as well as metrology software.

DeepFocus 1 combines the ZEISS Visioner 1 digital microscope with Micro-mirror Array Lens System (MALS™) with Vision Engineering’s technical and design expertise. The technology package, combined with the reach of ZEISS’ distributor community and Vision Engineering’s sales network, is designed to allow more users to benefit from creating instant “all-in-focus” images.

Mark Curtis, Managing Director at Vision Engineering, said: “We at Vision Engineering have been offering our customers state-of-the-art solutions for their measuring and inspection tasks for a long time. Through this partnership with ZEISS, we continue this tradition with DeepFocus 1, utilizing the best technology available for real-time extended depth of focus. Thanks to our strong ties to our global customer community, we are delighted to partner with ZEISS to make this great solution become even more widespread – a clear win-win situation”.

The DeepFocus 1 solution has been created to solve the issue of shallow depth of field, especially at high magnification, posed by conventional inspection systems. As a result, only a small area of the sample is in focus, which can lead to features being overlooked. Extensive refocusing to obtain an extended depth of field or post-processing is a solution to this problem but can be time-consuming and complex. However, thanks to its MALS™ Technology, ZEISS Visioner 1 enables the user to see the sample completely in focus in real-time, without the need to Z-stack and post-process a series of images.

The key to this is the namesake system with an array of micro-mirrors that can generate “virtual” lenses with distinctly different curvatures and thus focus planes, by changing the orientation of each individual micro-mirror in an orchestrated way. This allows optical inspection for height differences of up to 69mm with an up to 100 times greater depth of focus than that of a conventional microscope, which makes the inspection task easier and quicker. The result is a more efficient failure analysis and quality control process with fast and accurate results.

Dr Robert Zarnetta, Head of Business Unit Industrial Microscopy Solutions at ZEISS, said: “With the unique MALS™ Technology in the Visioner 1 digital microscope, we offer customers a way to greatly increase their productivity and efficiency during their quality assurance and optical inspection. With its extensive experience, our partner Vision Engineering embeds this in an attractive package that I am sure will convince a lot of new customers”.

You can find more information about ZEISS, Vision Engineering and DeepFocus 1 on the companies’ respective websites.

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