Steinbeis experts at the Ilmenau Transfer Center Quality Assurance and Image Processing played a key role in the development of the IMD 300 image processing measurement system. They created an image capturing channel and developed the software. The compact tabletop device is controlled by computers and can measure objects as small as 300 x 200 x 40 mm down to individual sub-pixels.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the team was the software. It had to control the camera, motor and illumination. Small parts can be measured optically in a single image but parts which are too big to go on one picture have to be measured by using the length measuring systems of each axis (based on X and Y coordinates). While this is happening, the software regulates the reflected light, a four quadrant LED ring light, and transmitted LED light automatically.
The software can be controlled individually by setting the area of interests as well as scanning contours automatically. A special requirement of the instrument was the macro-environment with a special ‘teach-in’ function. This allows the device to learn repetitive measurement procedures quickly. The user interface is broken down into clear functional categories. For each category there are straightforward looking buttons outlining the main function. For example by selecting “Measurement” you are given instant options to measure shapes such as dots, straight lines, squares or circles. The device contains a comprehensive software library which provides the necessary image processing functions, statistics and filtering.
Some development work is still in the pipeline: the Steinbeis Transfer Center is currently working on a new concept for the software interface based on. NET framework technology – to pave the way for the latest Windows Vista environment.