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New, automated, in-line dimensional measurement systems from the NEXIV series range

Two new models have been added to Nikon Metrology’s latest NEXIV S-range of CNC video measuring systems, which are suitable for in-line, automated dimensional measurement tasks. They can automatically measure the dimensions of component features using Nikon’s world renowned optical and image processing technology. By analysing the captured image of a component, detecting feature edges at high speed accurately and repeatably, it is possible to quickly measure components with simple or complex features.

With the growth in demand for measuring smaller components with higher efficiency and the huge increase in the number of electronic components installed in automobiles, there is a greater need for video measuring systems to inspect more components at higher speeds in automated production lines.

The NEXIV VMZ-S series is able to cope with this increased throughput by maintaining and enhancing the performance of the previous models, the NEXIV VMZ-R series. In November 2020, Nikon released the first in the line-up of new VMZ-S systems, the VMZ-S3020, which is part of the fourth generation of the series. The VMZ-S4540 and VMZ-S6555 join and expand this line-up and are perfect solutions for inspecting medium and large components or multiple smaller components. Now that the full line-up is available, it is possible to select the most suitable machine according to a customer’s applications and installation environment.

Improvement in component throughput

NEXIV systems achieve high measurement accuracy using an exceptional stage featuring high precision linear encoders. The NEXIV VMZ-S series is capable of capturing and processing images at higher speeds than the predecessor series. This has made it possible to reduce component measurement cycle times without compromising accuracy or reproducibility.

High quality images and accurate measurement data

Nikon has designed an optimised optical system to deliver high quality images and acquire accurate measurement data from within the field of view. With a movable LED ring light and 8-segment LED illumination, it is possible to resolve and capture the edges of complex shapes. In addition, a high-speed laser scanning at 1,000 points/sec can acquire the cross-sectional profile over a surface and evaluate the relative heights. This meets the surface quality and feature measurement needs across a wide variety of samples.

Advanced usability

The measurement software environment AutoMeasure achieves high accuracy and speed and delivers simple measurement functions. A large library of valuable tools is available in a user-friendly GUI. For simple components, a support function automates part of the measurement programming process. The joystick unit that moves the stage and measurement head has also been redesigned for even greater ease of use by the operator.

Multiple NEXIV systems controlled remotely

Up to 10 NEXIV systems can be integrated into a production line and controlled remotely using Remote Control SDK (optional), enabling centralised management and distribution of measurement programs and results from one place. By accessing and operating NEXIVs and measurement programs from a remote location away from the production line, such as a control room or office, manpower can be streamlined and productivity improved.

Automatic component loading and measurement by integrating an automated carrier system

With the increasing demand for full automation of production lines, especially within the semiconductor industry, the need for automated measurement solutions is also increasing. By combining the NEXIV VMZ-S series with in-house or third-party automatic wafer loader systems, the process of loading wafers and feature measurement can be efficiently automated.