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To meet the demanding requirements for applications such as Laser Micromachining, Stealth Scribing and In Line Optical Inspection, WDI has collaborated with its customers to develop automated modular microscopy systems (MMS). These systems include varying requirements such as large field of view optics, efficient multi wavelength laser delivery and illumination, real time tracking autofocus, fast lens changers and accurate Z-axis actuators. As the MMS is completely modular it is adaptable to any application and environment. It can be configured with any of WDI’s microscopy automation components including its Auto Focus Sensors (ATF), Linear Lens Changes (LLC), Z- Axis Actuators (ZAA) as well as a variety of illuminators, tube lenses and controllers. The MMS is compatible with objectives provided by most major microscopy companies, including Near Infrared and large diameter high resolution lenses. It can be equipped with a laser port for the introduction of machining lasers, and is designed to allow the addition of digital imaging cameras, CCD arrays and zoom lenses. WDI has also created a Differential Interference Microscope Kit, to further expand the power of the MMS by adding a DIC capability.

A clear focus on microscopy automation

By utilizing advanced optics, innovative mechanical design and quality materials the MMS meets the demands of many industries for a configurable, small footprint, light weight microscope. It does this while remaining rugged and reliable enough to withstand the harshest manufacturing and in line inspection environments.

Benefits of the MMS
High quality image acquisition attributable to both advanced optics and optical components engineered for digital imaging
Increased efficiency and minimum downtime resulting from rugged materials and mechanical design with a focus on exceeding the demands of manufacturing environments
Compromise free performance due to modular components which permit customization and configuration tailored to specific applications and requirements
Longevity and an excellent ROI thanks to the modularity of the system which allows upgrading and addition of features and functions as needs evolve
Minimal footprint and space requirements with no sacrifice to automation owing to the compact and light weight materials, simple design and integration of components

At the heart of the MMS is the Main Body unit. Like many MMS components each unit is constructed using light weight aluminium creating a compact design and small footprint which remains riged and rugged enough to handle the harshest environments. A meticulous manufacturing process and strict quality control ensure an accurate precise optical path perfect for digital imaging. As all MMS Main Bodies come with an integration kit they are easily paired with a WDI ATF module. The careful machining also ensures that all other WDI MMS components are easily integrated. The Main Body features a variety of mounting options for gantry and other frames making incorporation of a complete MMS into any manufacturing environment easy.
In order to accommodate the wide variety of digital imaging cameras and devices available today, the MMS features a number of different Tube Lens options. Like the Main Body, each Tube Lens has been precisely manufactured and quality control inspected to ensure both an accurate optical path and perfect image projection. All Tube Lens options available on the MMS have been designed for digital imaging. Recognizing the need to integrate newer line scan and large format CCD/CMOS cameras the MMS also features a Tube Lens option specifically designed with a larger field of view. To further ensure ease of integration the Tube Lens’ also have the ability to accommodate both industry standard C-Mount and F-Mount imaging devices.
Understanding that customer requirements vary the MMS Lens Changer family features a variety of Linear Lens Changers (LLC) and rotary lens turrets to suit every application. All units are precision engineered and manufactured to maintain a high level of accuracy, repeatability and reliability. WDI designed the LLC line with speed in mind using shaft linear motors which can change between nearby lenses in 0.2 seconds and across five lenses in less than 0.4 seconds. New to the LLC family is the LLC+, a modular version of the LLC which accepts different objective insert plates allowing unprecedented flexibility in how a system may be configured. Advanced features of the LLC include the ability to utilize high resolution, large diameter objectives and provide illumination via objective ring lights. The onboard encoders built into each LLC give them a positioning accuracy of 0.1 micrometers, ensuring reliable, accurate and repeatable performance, every time. Finally, the LLC line is Class 10 cleanroom certified and designed with a small footprint and light weight materials permitting integration into the most demanding manufacturing environments.

The MMS takes advantage of WDI’s complete line of high speed, high accuracy, autonomous digital autofocus sensors. Using Smart Sensor Architecture (SSA) and Through The Lens (TTL) technology, each unit incorporates a semiconductor laser, built-in CMOS image sensor, FPGA and microprocessor. This allows the ATF to provide extremely accurate autofocus, with a success rate typically higher than 99%. The on-board processing allows each ATF to couple this accuracy with extremely high speeds, typically achieving focus in less than 0.6 seconds. As the ATF is continually assessing distance and direction to focus, it can be used both in static imaging applications and as a dynamic tracking device. The ATF line features a number of options allowing them to operate effectively on various target samples including patterned and un-patterned specimens as well as diffusing and reflective surfaces. Each ATF is designed with ease of integration in mind. The ATF can be purchased as either a stand-alone sensor, or as a fully integrated autofocus system complete with one of WDI’s controllers. All ATFs feature small, standardized footprints and connections allowing in field upgrades. The ATF is able to integrate with WDIs Optical Offset Adjuster (OOA) to create an offset between the sensor and imaging focal plane. Together with the ZAA, these components allow unprecedented flexibility in the types of applications the MMS can be tailored to. The AFT line also features several specially designed configurations including one for LCD inspection/repair, one designed for the unique requirements of OLED, LTPS & IG70 panel inspection and versions compatible with piezo Z actuators.

WDI has designed a number of different Z-Axis Actuators (ZAA) for the MMS to meet the varying demands of manufacturing and research environments. A ZAA model exists to suit every application. All ZAA units are built to maintain a high level of accuracy, repeatability and reliability. Like the LLC line the ZAA family of actuators has been engineered with speed in mind. By using fast stepper motor drives and 1/32 micro stepping, the ZAA can achieve a maximum speed of 10mm/s. The ZAA remains very accurate with 0.15mm per step resolution. As it integrates with the ATF sensor, creating a positive feedback system, the MMS is always in focus. As with all MMS components the ZAA integrates easily into a complete microscopy system with the use of a WDI controller.

WDI’s MMS is compatible with a wide variety of objective lenses available from manufacturers such as Mitutoyo, Olympus, Zeiss and Nikon. It is thus able to meet the needs of a wide variety of applications. All lenses have been chosen to ensure the best combination of working distance and optical performance. The MMS features Infinity Corrected Plan objectives which ensure a flat, well focused image, over the entire field of view. All lenses are apochromatically corrected which is the highest level of chromatic colour correction available today. The combination of planar and apochromatic correction make all MMS objective lenses ideal for digital imaging. The MMS is also able to utilize specialty objectives such as those designed for Higher Resolution imaging or those designed for Near-Infrared light transmittance.

Understanding that illumination is key to successful microscopy digital imaging and that application requirements vary greatly, WDI has designed a variety of illumination options. All illuminators feature a compact and light weight design to ensure ease of integration and have precise intensity which can be computer controlled. The MMS illuminators are very flexible in their design and may be configured for field coaxial through the lens, back light or slit illumination. Furthermore, most illuminators mount directly to the MMS system which ensures both a smaller overall footprint and the elimination of fiber optic or liquid light guide bundles. All LED illuminators have very low power dissipation and consumption and, due to their LED technology, provide constant light temperature regardless of intensity. The MMS illuminator family also features unique options such as a Four LED version, a Xenon Strobe and a combination Xenon & LED model.

The MMS includes a variety of controller options ensuring the complete automation of functions, such as Z-Axis actuation, autofocus, objective lens selection and illumination. All controllers are compact and light weight, maintaining a very small footprint to ensure ease of integration within manufacturing and in line inspection environments. Each controller is capable of providing all essential functionality for a wide variety of applications. All WDI controllers are autosensing; once they are physically connected they are able to detect and begin to function with ATF sensors and other MMS components. All controllers include the ability to drive a ATF module and either a single or dual LED illuminator. The MMS controller family comes with WDI’s PC compatible control software and communication is made simple via standard RS232 connections.

To support the Modular Microscopy System WDI has built a Microscopy Application & Support Team (MAST) who collectively possess a wealth of microscopy application and engineering knowledge. This group of over 10 full time scientists and professional engineers from a number of disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, optical and software, is dedicated to supporting MMS customers. The MAST team allows customers to discuss their requirements and needs with skilled specialists who understand both their application and the unique challenges they face. Together the team is then able to overcome technical, automation and integration issues and deliver a complete MMS solution. The MAST group also has the ability to design and manufacture unique customized microscopy automation solutions when standard configurations and components are unable to meet a customer’s requirements.

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