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A Mantis Elite-Cam stereo microscope from Vision Engineering is helping Brynleigh Technology, a contract electronic manufacturer based in East Anglia, to improve inspection.

The company uses powerful management software to fully integrate all aspects of its operation.

Job data is entered once and transferred electronically, minimising human error and reducing setup times.

Each member of the company’s staff has access to materials and job data, enabling them to efficiently manage their work and provide customer support.

The quick-setting characteristics of Brynleigh’s machines enable rapid assembly to commence instantaneously, while intelligent feeders enable efficient swapping between jobs, providing the flexibility and fast turnaround required by customers.

The in-depth computer analysis of customer data, at pre-production and post-production analysis, highlights any required challenges prior to assembly and provides customer feedback for future production.

In accordance with the ISO 9001-accredited company’s rigorous quality regime, Brynleigh’s output is claimed to undergo meticulous inspection routines.

A recently purchased advanced stereo microscope, the Mantis Elite-Cam from Vision Engineering, is now making a significant contribution to the work of the company’s inspection department.

Maurice Apthorp, Brynleigh’s managing director, said: ‘As we undertake the detailed inspection of our work, including the thorough examination of soldered joints, the continued use of conventional microscopes can induce operator fatigue and the possibility of error.

‘To overcome this problem, we recently invested in a Mantis Elite-Cam stereo microscope from Vision Engineering.

‘Not only has the new inspection aid allowed improved operator hand-eye co-ordination and enhanced inspection routines, the unit’s patented eyepiece-less optical technology has overcome the problems we previously encountered with the restrictive eyepieces that are used on conventional microscopes.

‘Our use of the Mantis Elite-Cam now enables our quality control inspectors to complete more work in a given shift and it underlines our continuing commitment to investing in the best-quality control equipment available.

‘All of Brynleigh’s surface-mount assembly and a large proportion the company’s leaded assembly work is inspected by machine.

‘Although you may think this would reduce the requirement for manual inspection, we have found that our Mantis Elite-Cam is kept very busy.

‘Vision Engineering’s stereo microscope is an essential tool that complements the AOI, for checking the quality of our machine inspection.

‘Among other tasks, the Mantis is perfect for both rework and modifications – areas where its extended working distance is of great benefit.

‘When investigating problems, the microscope’s camera attachment has proven ideal, as its findings can be shared by several people.

‘The depth of field and clarity provided by Vision Engineering’s advanced optics also give us excellent image capture of potential problem areas,’ he added.

The Mantis Elite-Cam is a variant of the Mantis Elite stereo microscope.

The ‘Cam’ model features an internally integrated digital camera, allowing effortless image capture and documentation, according to Vision Engineering.

Easy-to-use PC software simplifies image capture formats and documentation tasks, with a variety of image capture formats, including BMP, JPEG and PNG.

File sharing and reporting can be conducted quickly and easily.

All Mantis Elite models offer good 3D imaging and high levels of comfort – advanced features that are claimed to reduce operator fatigue while helping to increase a company’s quality and productivity.

Mantis Elite is suitable for a range of precision tasks across a variety of industries.

The Mantis Elite range has magnification options from x2 to x20, with all models having the ability to accommodate two magnification options in a quick-change turret.

The unit offers true-colour LED illumination, provides up to 10,000 hours of shadow-free viewing and enhances fatigue-free viewing.

The advanced stereo microscope’s long working distance and large field of view enable excellent hand-eye co-ordination for both inspection and manipulation tasks, according to the company.

Extending usability, a variety of stands are available, including a flexible swing arm, a versatile articulated arm for applications requiring extended reach and a rigid bench stand for added stability.

Vision Engineering

Founded in 1958, the privately owned Vision Engineering Ltd has become Britain’s leading microscopy company and a world leader in optical innovation, specialising in eyepieceless and expanded pupil inspection and measurement systems for both industry and life-science markets.

Vision holds world patents for techniques, which expand the exit pupil of microscope systems. These techniques are used in the company’s renowned DynascopeTM eyepieceless inspection and non-contact measurement systems, Mantis® eyepiecelss microscope and Lynx® expanded pupil microscopes. Vision Engineering has patented the ISIS® expanded pupil microscope accessory for optimising the ergonomics of other brand microscopes. The company has a successful range of non-contact measuring systems (Kestrel®, Hawk) and the DX range of biomedical and analytical microscopes. Vision Engineering has revolutionised the optical inspection and measurement sector by adopting emerging new technologies in optical production, precision injection moulding and vacuum forming to give the highest optical performances at low cost. Vision Engineering’s products also focus on advanced ergonomics for user comfort, reduced eyestrain and improved productivity.

Vision Engineering’s main manufacturing base is at Send, near Woking in Surrey. Further commercial and assembly activities are carried out at a second site in Woking. Vision has a North American division, which manufactures in New Milford, Connecticut, US, and operates direct sales and distribution networks from regional offices on the east and west coasts. The company also has additional subsidiaries in France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Benelux countries, Brazil and China, plus a network of 120 stock-holding and fully trained distributors servicing all other developed countries.

More than 90 per cent of manufacturing output from the Send research and production base is exported. Vision Engineering received the Queen’s Award for Export in 1991.

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