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Industrial Photonics
Industrial Photonics is your global resource on lasers, sensors, machine vision and automation systems for materials processing, process control and production. Stay current with a FREE subscription to the digital or print magazine, and expand your knowledge through our extensive archives.

EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Jan 2017

Widening Our Vision

MARCIA STAMELL, ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR, marcia.stamell @photonics.com


With another holiday season behind us, it’s staggering to think about the number of parcels and packages that passed through shipping facilities around the world in recent weeks. And each one of those parcels had to be sorted — by color, size or bar code.

It’s a job uniquely suited for industrial vision cameras. As we learn in our cover story, “Liquid Lenses Bolster Package Inspection,” by Pixelink’s Shilpa Varghese, many facilities have relied on traditional fixed-focus lens cameras, often requiring multiple units placed next to fast-moving conveyor belts. Use of autofocus cameras with an integrated liquid lens can convey significantly sharper images from less than 2 cm to infinity in less than 20 seconds.

To get the most out of vision systems, picking the right filter can improve contrast, color and subject recognition and otherwise control light reflected from the object under inspection. Don’t miss “Select an Optical Filter to Suit Changing Conditions,” by Barry Warzak of Midwest Optical Systems (read article). It’s the first of a new column we’re calling “Picks,” where we invite industry experts to deliver practical tips on how to best use cutting-edge photonics technologies.

Imaging of another variety is the subject of an article by LightForm’s Jeremy Lerner on the use of wavelength-dispersive hyperspectral imaging microscopy. Too often, potential problems with coatings such as automotive paint stem from interactions of nanoparticles, dyes and pigments at the micron or even submicron scale. Hyperspectral imaging microscopy can catch abnormal changes that could pose “time to failure” problems down the line. Don’t miss “New Imaging Technique Reduces Time to Failure in Auto Paint, Cosmetics” (read article).

Contributing editor James Schlett contributed “Laser Paint Removal Takes Off in Aerospace,” (read article). The laser stripping of aircraft paint is fast moving into commercial use — generating comparatively little harmful waste and replacing environmentally harmful methods such as solvents and abrasives.

Finally, there are some micromachining applications where ultrafast lasers have no equal. Don’t miss “For Glass and Silicon Wafer Cutting, Shorter Pulse Widths Yield Better Results,” by Dirk Müller of Coherent (read article).

January offers the inherent promise of new beginnings. Industrial Photonics wishes you a happy, prosperous and innovative 2017.
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 Michael D. Wheeler is managing editor of Photonics Spectra and EuroPhotonics. In addition, he is responsible for the editorial direction of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics.
Justine Murphy Senior Editor Justine Murphy is a multiple award-winning journalist who brings more than 15 years of experience to her role at Photonics Media.
Marcia Stamell Associate Managing Editor Marcia Stamell has worked for general interest newspapers, the business press and national magazines as a writer and editor.
 
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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