Software Upgrade Enhances iVue and iScope Video Inspection Systems

The convenience of integrated optical analysis and image-sharing is enriched with second-generation software for the iVue and iScope video inspection instruments.

The models were introduced in 2008 as the first all-in-one systems that combine image capture, measurement, annotation and networking capability without external software or hardware. Their manufacturer, SharpVue division of Aven, Inc., this year introduced advanced software that loads faster and eases on-screen tasks.

A "snap" function lets users quickly measure distances between points, edges or defined geometries. Other tools let iVue and iScope operators add text, symbols or freehand shapes directly to captured images. Editing functions allow changes to text size, color and appearance without an external keyboard or computer, unlike other video microscope systems.

The improved program and on-screen help menus are part of plug-and-go simplicity that distinguishes the iVue and iScope for industrial, medical, scientific and academic applications.

Each instrument is an advanced video inspection system, while the iScope enlarges from 10X to 44X and has screen magnification up to 166X.

"These ready-to-use systems elevate digital inspection and documentation to a new level," says Mark Kanpurwala, managing director of SharpVue, located in a high-tech corridor of Ann Arbor, Mich. "The iVue and iScope reduce vision fatigue, increase productivity and save space. They're ideal for inspecting small parts."

By combining a 3-megapixel camera and touch-screen virtual keyboard for annotation and measurement, the systems eliminate compatibility concerns, reduce clutter and ease portability.

The 12-inch monitor tilts and is adjustable by height, allowing three-dimensional inspection at eye level. SharpVue's models also incorporate these practical features:

  • Images are captured directly to a USB stick or internal hard drive with a few clicks.

  • Touch-screen commands insert moveable, fully customizable text boxes simply.

  • Laser pointer highlights locations on viewed objects.

  • LAN connectivity and a Wi-Fi card allow team viewing and annotation.

  • Brightness controls on a patented LED lighting system provide custom illumination for each of four quadrants on the iScope and three quadrants on the iVue.

    Since their introduction in September 2008 at the Assembly Technology Expo near Chicago, the iVue and iScope have demonstrated their value in assembly operations, R&D centers, science labs and academic settings.

    "Design engineers, quality inspectors and other users say that eliminating integration challenges and setup time for multiple devices greatly simplifies their work," says Kanpurwala.

    "Image capture in the past required separate hardware and software - usually in the form of a PC interfaced with the inspection system's camera," adds the managing director. "With either of these new instruments, images are instantly saved and manipulated on-screen."

    The iVue's tilting head provides not only a top-down view, but also an angled view for increased depth of field. The iScope has a 45-degree fixed 3-D viewer option that rotates for 360-degree views without moving the object being examined.

    Correct lighting is crucial for crisp, clear images. Each quadrant has individual angle and height adjustments, as well as separate horizontal plane controls to provide shadowing when needed. The long life LED system, patented by SharpVue, is available only on the iVue and iScope.

    The iVue and iScope are useful for inspecting circuit boards, welds, tubes, hoses, precision parts and other manufactured products in a quality control lab or on the assembly floor. Users can detect and document gaps, hairline cracks, fractures or other microscopic defects.

    SharpVue's systems allow immediate team collaboration on the 12-inch screen or via networked units. They make it easy to provide material documentation and process conformance.

    There's also a smooth gateway to a database archive for continuous quality improvement, documentation and ISO certification.

    In research applications, the two instruments can evaluate prototypes, perform medical and pathology lab work, work in scientific studies and cataloging, support law enforcement and forensics investigation, and be used in educational settings.

    Users can prepare presentation slides and illustrations for training manuals or publications. For lecture demonstrations, each unit's VGA output allows interfacing to a projector or large monitor.

    For more information, call SharpVue at 734.973.0099 or see for video demonstrations.

    Visit SharpVue at Booth 727 of the Pittcon 2010 exposition from March 1-4 in Orlando, Fla.

    SharpVue, Inc. designs integrated digital microscope technology. It is a division of Aven, Inc., an international source of high-performance precision tools and optical inspection systems for industrial, scientific, research and education applications. Product lines include alignment tools, video inspection systems, magnifiers, precision knives, pliers and cutters, illumination equipment and other workbench solutions.

    An electronics innovator since 1983, Aven is located in a high-tech corridor near Detroit.

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