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Industrial Photonics
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EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Jul 2017

Raising the Bar

MARCIA STAMELL, ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR, marcia.stamell @photonics.com
Marcia Stamell As photonics technology reaches greater levels of sophistication, inspection systems are becoming capable of identifying ever-smaller defects at ever-increasing speeds. Consumers and downstream manufacturers benefit from this because the goods they buy are safer and more durable. OEMs benefit because they can find defects earlier in the production process, decreasing costs.

As “Measuring Surface Features With High Resolution in Factory Environments,” points out, improvements in inspection also can change the very nature of what the technology can accomplish. It’s now possible right on the shop floor to quantify features from 2.5 to 2500 microns deep or tall. This greater precision in inspection systems, write Erik Novak and Mike Zecchino of 4D Technology Corp., opens a path for improving the production or repair process itself. That would be a happy example of the tail wagging the dog, and one more indicator of the profoundly beneficial impact photonics technology is having on the way we make things (read article).

Our cover story looks at another striking innovation in inspection and quality control. Dave Kelly and Andres Tamez of Coherix Inc. describe an embedded machine vision solution that enables continuous 360-degree measurement of structural adhesives at the dispensing nozzle. With adhesives coming into more common use in automobile manufacturing, such a real-time 3D bead inspection system increasingly is in demand. You won’t want to miss the valuable informtion in “Embedded Vision Propels Bead Inspection” (read article).

Elsewhere in this issue:

Contributing Editor Hank Hogan surveys some recent advances in quality control that respond to the need for more exact tolerances and more stringent specifications. Among the new techniques he describes are detection by wavelength, the use of polarization and detection involving multiple illumination approaches. “Getting the Picture on Quality Control,” (read article).

Researchers at Fraunhofer IWS give an account of dynamic beam shaping for laser cutting thick metal. This new technique, write Cindy Goppold, Thomas Pinder and Patrick Herwig, uses two superimposed layers of the laser beam. The result, they outline in “Dynamic Beam Shaping Improves Laser Cutting of Thick Steel Plates,” is improved quality and productivity (read article).

Our Picks column gives insights on how to best implement a laser line projection system by analyzing four basic triangulation configurations. Each configuration, writes Coherent Inc.’s Dan Callen, presents different trade-offs concerning such factors as height resolution, occlusion and the type of objects each can best measure. “Configuring a 3D Triangulation Vision System” (read article).

Enjoy the issue.
Karen Newman
Group Publisher Karen Newman has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
Mike Wheeler
An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, Managing Editor Michael D. Wheeler oversees editorial content for Photonics Spectra, EuroPhotonics, BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics magazines.
Marcia Stamell
Associate Managing Editor Marcia Stamell is the editor of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics. She has worked for general interest newspapers, the business press and national magazines as a writer and editor.
 
Justine Murphy
Senior Editor Justine Murphy is an award-winning journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. She serves as editor of EuroPhotonics, host of Light Matters and producer of podcasts. She also leads development of magazine special sections and marketing projects.
Autum Pylant
News Editor Autum C. Pylant is an Air Force Veteran with 10+ years of award-winning broadcast journalism experience. She is responsible for the steady flow of news and new product announcements to web and print and is the producer of the Light Matters video newscast.
Robin Riley
Multimedia/Web Editor Robin Riley has 30+ years of experience in communications and marketing for a range of technical industries. She is a regular contributor to web content and social media, and organizes and produces custom and editorial webinars.
 
Hank Hogan
Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody
Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Valerie Coffey
Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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