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Precitech, Vision Research and Levicron Partner to Create First-of-Its-Kind, Slow-Motion Video of Ultra Precision Machining

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AMETEK Precitech, Inc
44 Blackbrook Road
Keene, NH, 03431

Press release date: July 1, 2014

KEENE, NH – Precitech and Vision Research, both businesses of AMETEK, Inc., have partnered with Levicron, a German manufacturer of air-bearing spindles, to create a unique slow-motion video of ultra precision milling that allows viewers to see the process in detail not available until now.

The slow-motion video captures the creation of a brass lenslet using two industry-leading ultra precision machining tools – a Levicron spindle and NanoformŪ X lathe. The resulting lenslet has a surface finish of under 3 nm Ra and a form accuracy of less than 200 nm peak to valley.

The spindle is a Levicron model ASD060-Cx high-speed, air-bearing, tool-holding spindle capable of operating up to 100K rpm. The spindle is specifically designed to be highly productive and robust, and yet still achieve the tolerances required for ultra precision machining.

The spindle is mounted on a Nanoform X, Precitech's latest small-frame lathe that is designed for high productivity and ease of use in ultra precise diamond turning; milling; and grinding of optical lenses, mold inserts, mirrors, and precision mechanical components.

The action is captured at 480 frames per second using Vision Research's revolutionary PhantomŪ Flex4K high-speed digital camera. The Phantom Flex4K delivers unmatched image quality with extremely low noise performance and a wide dynamic range. Built-in software allows complete on-camera control and editing, eliminating the need for a computer on set.

"We were excited to see this highly dynamic process revealed in such a high level of detail by the Phantom Flex4K camera. In addition to milling, we also captured several other diamond-turning processes, including the interaction between spray mist and chip formation. We will offer all of these videos to industry on our website over time," notes Jeff Roblee, Precitech Vice President of Technology.

Levicron manufactures precision air-bearing spindles for micro precision as well as ultra precision machining. Its spindles can be divided into two types, work holding and tool holding, for precision lathes and flycutting machines.

Precitech is a global manufacturer of innovative ultra precision machining solutions. It designs and manufactures machine tools for turning, milling, and grinding. Its precision machines produce rotationally symmetric, asymmetric, freeform and sculpted geometries, achieving form tolerances in the sub-micron range and nanometer surface finishes when equipped with diamond tooling.

Vision Research is a global leader in high-speed digital imaging systems that are indispensable across a wide variety of applications, including defense, automotive, engineering, science, medical research, industrial manufacturing, packaging, sports broadcast, TV production and digital cinematography.

Both Precitech and Vision Research are units of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of $3.6 billion. For more information, contact Precitech, 44 Blackbrook Road, Keene, NH 03431, USA. Tel: (603) 357-2511. Fax: (603) 358-6174. E-mail:
Web site:

44 Blackbrook Road, Keene, NH  03431

Contacts: Mike Tanniru
(603) 357-2511
Rick Robinson
(973) 696-4500
Vision Research

Dr. Ralf Dupont
+49 6301 66 800 0

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