Microelectronics is one of the most important industries of our high-tech world. More and more products are equipped with computer technology. Used mainly in computers only a few years ago, processors can today be found in medical systems, watches, glasses, smart textiles, vehicles, and in building automation systems. The entertainment and communication technology is booming in our interconnected world. Meanwhile, microelectronics have arrived at the nanoscale, the components being so tiny that a processor fits into the size of a pinhead. This places high demands on production.
Fraunhofer IOSB has long been concerned with automated image analysis for quality assurance in production, and especially with the inspection of surfaces. The idea was born of transferring this knowledge to the world of microscope imaging. A demonstration and test environment was developed for fully automated inspection with various microscopes, which were combined using established automation components. In MicroLab a range of optical microscopes are available as examples. Currently they include a macroscope with flexible lighting options, a white-light/confocal microscope, a research microscope, and a 3D-reconstructing autofocus system.
Robot as operator
The microscopes are operated by a standard six-axis industrial robot, which places the samples under the microscopes precisely in a defined position. Project manager Peter Frühberger explains: “The robot is connected to a central control unit, which can access additional sensors. The inspection system therefore remains informed about the current process and can intelligently steer the inspection sequence. Test sequences are distributed over the microscopes, so that, wherever possible, all systems can be used simultaneously.” This saves time and yields results that are optimized for the respective inspection task.
MicroLab is deliberately composed of standard automation technology components. This permits its use as a complete system for inspection, analysis, and quality assurance for a wide range of objects and surfaces. The range of available microscopes ensures that a wide range of tasks can be solved. The combined use of several microscopes, furthermore, opens new possibilities in applications for which individual microscopes would not suffice. Because of its modular design, selected components of MicroLab could easily be incorporated in existing systems.
Another advantage of MicroLab is that industry customers can test various microscopes in their application to determine which is best suited and how to best integrate it into the existing installation.
MicroLab also benefits from the extensive experience of IOSB in the field of image processing. Established methods from the fields of image fusion and photometric stereo imaging have been transferred to the microscopic dimension.
The adaptation of such proven practices pays a significant contribution to successfully putting modular and industry-capable microscopic inspection systems into industrial use.
At CeBIT 2014, part of MicroLab will be presented to the public for the first time. It can be seen in Hall 9 at the Fraunhofer stand.
Dipl.-Ing. Sibylle Wirth | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion
22.03.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions
21.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy