Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has developed a new technology that allows active control of fluid motion in three-dimensional structures. This opens exciting possibilities in applications ranging from optical switches and filters to printing technologies and (bio)chemical synthesis and analysis in lab-on-a-chip devices. The research results were published in the 12 January 2001 issue of Science. Philips cautions that the research results presented in this press release do not imply market introduction of a new product by Philips Electronics.
The technology is based on controlling the position and motion of fluids inside a microchannel by electrically adjusting the magnitude of the capillary effect. The inner wall of the microchannel is coated with an electrode and separated from the fluid by an insulating layer. In this way, a capacitor is formed with the fluid as the second electrode. By charging and discharging the capacitor, the interfacial tension between the fluid and the wall can be adjusted, which determines the position of the fluid. By using a network of channels, down-scaling the dimensions and applying a matrix of control electrodes, a structure arises in which the position of fluids can be electrically and reversibly controlled in three dimensions and at a micrometer scale.
This so-called electrocapillary pressure (ECP) method does not involve mechanically moving parts, which has advantages for reliability, allows miniaturization, and reduces power requirements. The realized flow velocity of several centimeters per second allows a high switching speed. The velocity is up to hundred times higher than that achieved by alternative non-mechanical and electrical methods. These features open new possibilities in several fields.
Important benefits can be realized in the rapidly growing field of micro(bio)chemical synthesis and analysis in so-called lab-on-a- chip devices. In these chips a small fluidic sample volume is directed through networks of channels and distributed across a large number of probe locations. In present-day devices the motion of fluids is controlled by tuning the channel dimensions and by external pumps. With the ECP technology, much more accurate, complex, and flexible chips become feasible. Heating effects and space requirements are important limitations in the miniaturization of present-day inkjet printer heads. The direct control of fluid motion with ECP technology gives the possibility to integrate a multitude of nozzles in a single printer head, for higher resolution and higher printing speeds.
Other options arise in optical products. By changing the position or amount of fluid inside the network of microchannels, the optical properties (such as transparency, reflectivity or absorption of light) can be controlled and varied locally. This can be applied to switch optical signals in telecom applications, or to spatially filter x-rays for a better image quality and a lower required radiation dose in medical x-ray imaging.
Contact: Dr. Koen Joosse or Dr. Menno Prins, Philips Research, Prof. Holstlaan 4, 5656 AA Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Tel. +31-40-2743703, Fax +31-40- 2744947, Email: koen.joosse@ philips.com or menno.prins@ philips.com.
Already glowing away on thousands of consumer electronics products, the light-emitting diode (LED) is proving to be a remarkably versatile material. The same technology behind the glowing lights reminding people to turn off VCRs and stereos is being applied to new treatments for hard-to-heal wounds and new super-efficient traffic lights. Now a group of scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has shed light on a valuable new use for LEDs by demonstrating their usefulness as chemical sensors.
In research published in the Jan. 25 issue of the journal Nature, the UW-Madison researchers illustrate how chemical exposure can alter the surface structure of LED materials, causing the intensity of the light to fluctuate. That resulting light change can be put to use in simple, highly sensitive systems that warn of chemicals in the air or water. The finding may have a big impact on the national campaign to develop "laboratories on a chip," by offering an accurate, inexpensive, and mass-producible method to integrate sensors on to computer chips.
"There's a big movement to make sensors smaller, more versatile and to use the economy of scale you get from the semiconductor industry," says co-author Thomas Kuech, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science. "What's nice about this effort is the prospect of making very small optical emitters and detectors that are chemically sensitive to a wide range of substances you would care about in the environment."
Perhaps the most ubiquitous chemical sensors are at work in home safety systems used to detect smoke, radon, or carbon monoxide. They are also used to monitor air and water pollution, both indoors and outdoors, and monitor problems in car engine performance. But the existing technology is primitive compared to the "smart environments" imagined by scientists.
Arthur Ellis, professor of chemistry and co-author of the paper, says this project is funded through a National Science Foundation initiative called "XYZ on a Chip." The essential challenge is to demonstrate how a wide range of non-electrical processes can exploit the power and sophistication of integrated chip technology. In addition to chemical sensors, the effort is being applied to genomics, chemistry, mechanics, and software development.
A light-emitting diode, a tiny chip made of semiconducting materials, converts electrical energy into visible light. The chips also can convert light into electricity when used in a solar cell or photocell. In past research, Ellis demonstrated that light emitted from these materials could be altered by exposure to chemicals.
Ellis teamed with Kuech and electrical and computer engineer Luke Mawst to apply this discovery to a new class of sensors. The group began by changing the surface of the light-emitting structure to enhance its chemical sensitivity. Then they integrated it onto a chip with a nearby detector system, where both the emitter and detector can communicate.
When they placed the system in a chemical environment, the chemicals that interacted with the semi-conductor surface changed the amount of light emitted—and thus detected. But rather than just indicating the presence of that chemical, the system was also sensitive to the amount of that chemical in the air.
Mawst, co-author of the paper, says the technology's most attractive commercial potential is its simplicity. Conventional sensors are much more complex devices made from a variety of materials, whereas these are modeled from the same chunk of material and can be built with the cost-effectiveness of computer chips. These very flexible sensors could be adjusted to detect everything from ammonia in a factory environment to biological molecules in a war zone.
One ultimate goal of the "lab on a chip" research effort is to create a real-time response to environmental dangers, whether it be a chemical spill in a river or the threat of chemical warfare or bioterrorism. The current technology is nowhere near meeting that challenge, Kuech says. Mawst says industry has shown early interest in the technology. In the next step, researchers will try to better understand the basic chemical reactions that are taking place on the surfaces of LEDs to optimize the process.
Contact: Arthur Ellis; Tel: 608/ 262-0421, Email: ellis@chem. wisc.edu or Thomas Kuech, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Tel: 608/263-2922, Email: kuech@ engr.wisc.edu.
Panametrics, Inc. has built the new 36DL PLUS ultrasonic thickness gauge to produce a powerful, versatile and easy-to-use tool for measuring remaining wall thickness of pipes, tanks, and other critical areas subject to corrosion or erosion. This latest instrument from Panametrics was designed to enhance the features that made its predecessor, the 26DL PLUS, an industry standard since its introduction in 1991. Many improvements come directly from the suggestions and comments of our 26DL PLUS customers.
The new 36DL PLUS has a similar operational look and feel as the 26DL PLUS, is compatible with the same transducers used with all other Panametrics' 26 series gauges, and can transfer data with the 26DL PLUS features. It includes on-screen comparison of current readings and historical data, advanced measurement features, Windows interface program, and advanced data-logging capabilities.
The 36DL PLUS has some powerful standard measurement features such as:
|Thru-paint echo-to-echo measurements with dual and single element transducers|
|Wide thickness range from 0.020 to 20 in. (0.5 to 500 mm)|
|Fast minimum capture mode|
|Exclusive MinFinder bar visually assists in locating the held minimum thickness|
|RF, half wave positive or negative, and full wave rectification|
|Measurement adjustments on frozen A-Scan for post-processing of information|
|B-Scan with recall of minimum waveform|
|Grid form viewable in A-Scan.
File-based data-logging and storage:
|Up to 95,000 thickness readings and/or 1750 waveforms, all fully documented, can be stored, recalled, and transmitted|
|Data can be stored in seven standard or custom application-specific file structures|
|Eight-character file name plus 16-character alphanumeric location code input|
|On-gauge reporting of: summary with statistics, min/max with locations, and file comparison|
|Multiple comments per location|
|On-screen comparison of current versus previous readings|
|Memory can be upgraded for added capacity.
The 36DL Plus unit has a Windows Interface program, and has fully compatible, bi-directional data transfer between it and 26DL Plus allowing import/export of 26DL Plus format data files. The file environment is project-based for better file management. The unit has a high-resolution backlit display. Both A-Scan waveform and thickness reading can be seen in one large liquid crystal display.
High A-Scan resolution ensures precise waveform traces. The screen is a bright LCD with adjustable contrast for various lighting conditions, and features electroluminescent backlight with a selectable power save feature. The unit is ergonomically designed with a case that has hand straps that provide well-balanced, one-hand operation. The unit is water-resistant, and features a gasket case with sealed connectors to keep out moisture, dust, and couplant. The durable Lexan case withstands the rigors of heavy field use. Operator interchangeable Nicad or AA alkaline batteries and a two-hour fast charger with universal voltage round out the other features.
Contact: Panametrics NDT Thickness Gauge Sales Engineer; Tel: 800/225-8330 or 781/899-2719, Fax 781/899-1552, Email: ndt@ panametrics.com.
Existing ultrasonic bolt gauges are limited in reliability and resolution because they only use one point (one zero crossing) in the whole reflected waveform. Distortions in the echo can cause "peak-jumping" without your knowing it.
Ultrasonic bolt gauges transmit a sound pulse (ultrasonic) into one end of a bolt and listen for the echo (like sonar). When you tension the bolt it takes a longer time for the echo to return (the bolt stretches and the speed of sound slows down). For over 30 years, bolt gauges have measured this "echo time" by starting and stopping a counter (clock). The counter is started when the ultrasonic pulse is sent out, and the counter is stopped using a single zero-crossing event in the return echo as shown in the figures below. Tension often induces distortion of the echo that can cause the clock to miss a peak with no display indicating that this peak jumping has occurred.
SureBolt from American Remote Vision Co. is said to outperform other bolt gauges by using all of the return echo's data. This increases the reliability and accuracy dramatically. The entire reference echo is recorded and compared to the entire new echo when you tension the bolt. SureBolt's screen graphically overlays and displays the two echoes and lets you see any distortions that tensioning might cause. Moving the ultrasonic transducer (slipping, off center, loss of coupling, etc.) causes some distortions, and other distortions are due to the actual tension in the bolt that deforms the surface of the bolt. With SureBolt, if there are distortions, the user will know this immediately.
Because of the distortion factor, some existing "one point" bolt gauges include a built in scope to let you see the echo's strength. But they still only use one point. They do not store the zero tension's entire echo for you to compare to the new echo. SureBolt stores enough information for each bolt to make the reliability of each measurement much more obvious. SureBolt uses the familiar Windows 98 user interface to record and play back data.
Short bolts, weak echo bolts, and bolts that distort the echo when they are tensioned are unreliable with one-point bolt gauges. For example, the CBM attach ring bolts used to hold NASA's space station together were too short and the echoes were too weak for the one-point bolt gauges to be very reliable. The test, using old technology bolt gauges, was difficult. On the next test, a SureBolt prototype was used on six bolts, and it was fully reliable at all tensions. The SureBolt prototype readings were directly compared to the one-point bolt gage readings for each of the next five tests. After the third test, NASA stopped requesting the data from the one-point bolt gauges and relied solely on the SureBolt prototype because SureBolt outperformed the one-point bolt gauges on every bolt and every test in reliability and accuracy.
Contact: American Remote Vision Co., 3561 Alan Dr., Titusville, FL 32780; Tel: 321/383-4896, Fax: 321/268-0658, Email: .
Portable Airscan Flaw Detector
The SONDA LF 50, from QMI, Inc. (Contact: Website: www.qmi. inc.com), is a portable, air-coupled ultrasonic flaw detector with DSP, memory card, and PC connection for manual field inspection. It has a frequency range from 20 to 450 kHz. The time base is adjustable with zoom. One can freeze display and peak values. Digital signal processing is available for averaging, frequency spectrum (FFT), and FIR filters. Numerical display of amplitude and TOF 2- D display of activated alarms (B-scan) is part of the system. Amplitude and TOF is displayed in analog and digital output.
The unit has Analog output of A-scan, and A-scan printing on portable printers. It also has a 12 V switch that is alarm activated. Other features include a PC connection for remote control and data transfer, recording of all setup parameters, A-scan recording, voice recording and playing, real-time clock for data recording, and C-scan data acquisition for display on PC. The unit can be operated on battery or direct line voltage. It has a low power mode with automatic power-off.
Ultrasonic Heat Meter Intros
The new ultraheat 2WR5 ultrasonic heat meter from the Siemens power transmission and distribution group (PTD) of Erlangen, Germany, is said to be currently the only ultrasonic heat meter in the world whose volumeter, even for low flow rates from 0.6 to 2.5 cu. m per hour, is all-metal. Thus, the heat meter's volumeter operates without any wear and manages without moving parts in the flow rate sensor. This ensures the necessary sturdiness and low life cycle costs. Siemens assigns the meter a useful life of more than 15 years. A patented ultrasound signal guidance system provides a measuring accuracy that exceeds the German PTB and the European CEN stipulations, because exact volume measurement, even if consumption is very low, signifies additional income for the operator. The new meter is the result of merging the two previous Siemens Sonogyr and Ultraheat 2WR4 heat meter ranges. It is available for all usual nominal flow rates from 0.6 to 60 cu. m per hour and the associated overall lengths.
With only one arithmetic unit for all nominal flow rates, the 2WR5 heat meter measures the thermal energy exchanged through water in a heat exchanger circuit. The ultrasonic heat meter can be used in utility substations of district and local heating networks, in larger heating systems in multiple- family dwellings and in residential areas, but also in refrigerating systems, for example. Here, it operates not only as a conventional heat or low-temperature meter, but also as a combined heat or low-temperature meter, as a condensate meter or as an energy-rating hot water meter (geyser meter) and as a pure flow rate sensor for heat meters with a high-speed pulse output. The meter produces a pressure drop of less than 200 millibars at the nominal flow rate. For the operator, this signifies less pumping output and thus a further cost saving.
The meter measures the supply and return temperatures and the flow rate of the hot water with a high measuring constancy and measurement dynamics during flow rate metering of 1:100. It registers the current values of output, flow rate, and temperatures as well as their maximum values during a defined measurement period. Besides the continuous flow rate temperature of 130°C for the volumeter, an excess temperature of 150°C is permitted for up to 2,000 hours. A date when the meter reads itself and saves the measured values can be programmed. Tariff registers make variable accounting methods possible.
The meter can be read by means of a hand-held terminal or a PC connected to an optical interface. Suitable communication modules make it possible to integrate the meter into various communication systems. The communication modules operate without any electrically retroactive effects and can be installed and removed during operation without the need for subsequent parameterization. The unit also features a self-monitoring facility that provides an early warning of contaminated heating water.
The values shown in the display are grouped into a customer area and a service area. The dividing line between the two areas can be selected and the sequence of displays can be programmed at the works prior to delivery. The meter can be operated with a battery, which has a useful life of up to 11 years, with 230 or 110 V mains voltage and with 24 V DC or AC voltage. Its overall length corresponds to the standard dimensions of vane meters. The meter is approved throughout Europe and meets the Class 2 EN requirements 1434.
Contact: Reference number: PTD ME 200102.240 e, Press Office Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD), Dietrich Biester, PO Box 3220, 91050 Erlangen, Germany; Tel: +49-9131-7-33559, Fax: +49-9131-7—33615, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economical Level Measurements
The Universal Lite Series RF transmitter from AMETEK Drexelbrook is said to be an affordable solution for OEM users seeking a level measurement system that will provide years of maintenance-free reliability and RF dependability. The 509-15 series two-wire RF level transmitter provides dependable, low-cost, level measurement, and control for liquid and interface applications.
A convenient integrally mounted package (or remote up to 50 ft.) comes with optional local indication through a full 4-digit LCD display. Calibration and configuration are quick and easy through menu-driven, push-button selection. There are no moving parts to break or wear out, and there is no need for routine maintenance or recalibration.
Each system is available with a user definable display (percent or engineering units), meter trim to adjust the output to a known plant standard, and optional display/ keypad for quick and easy setup. Adjustable time delay provides signal damping. The Universal Lite Series RF transmitter can be configured with the HART Model 275 Communicator or optional AMETEK Drexelbrook PC software for more detailed setup and diagnostics.
Contact: AMETEK Drexelbrook, 205 Keith Valley Rd., Horsham, PA 19044; Tel: 215/674-1234, Fax: 215/674-2731, Website: drexelbrook.com.
Broad-Band Current Probe
An instrument that noninvasively measures alternating current over a broad frequency band (typically from about 0.3 to about 110 MHz) has been invented. This instrument could be especially useful for assessing radio-frequency hazards by measuring currents in various parts of humans or personnel exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields.
The instrument includes a magnetic pickup coil connected to an active circuit that measures the current induced in the coil by the magnetic field of the current that one seeks to measure. The pickup coil is of a type known in the art as a Rogowsky coil or Rogowsky transformer. As such, the coil is essentially the secondary winding of a transformer with a toroidal core that is placed around the human limb or other object that carries the current that one seeks to measure. The current-carrying object acts, in effect, as the primary winding of the transformer. To avoid the weight, cost, and nonlinearity of a ferrous core, and to minimize the effect of the perturbation of the current to be measured, the coil in this circuit is wound on a nonferrous core.
The active circuit used to measure the current induced in the coil is similar to active-antenna circuits developed previously at NASA for measuring the magnetic components of electromagnetic fields at frequencies up to a few megahertz. The active circuit includes an operational amplifier. The virtual ground at the input terminals of this amplifier is used to present a low impedance to the coil, thereby making the series resistance of the coil circuit much less than the inductive reactance of the coil, even at the low end of the frequency range.
By basic principles of electromagnetism, the voltage induced in the coil is proportional to the frequency and to the current that one seeks to measure, while the inductive reactance of the coil is proportional to the frequency. The current in the coil, which is the current sampled by the amplifier, equals the ratio between the voltage induced in the coil and the total impedance of the coil circuit. Hence, at all frequencies for which the inductive reactance is the dominant component of the impedance of the coil, the coil current sampled by the active circuit is proportional to the current that one seeks to measure.
John F. Sutton of Goddard Space Flight Center and Mark J. Hagmann of Florida International University did this work. For further information, access the technical support package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com under the test and measurement category.
NASA owns this invention, and a patent application has been filed. Inquiries concerning nonexclusive or exclusive license for its commercial development should be addressed to the Patent Counsel, Goddard Space Flight Center; Tel: 301/286-7351. Refer to GSC-13985.
Optical Head for Testing Laser Diodes
Keithley Instruments and X-Rite, Inc.'s subsidiary Labsphere, Inc. (North Sutton, NH) have signed an agreement that will result in Keithley offering a custom-designed integrating sphere optical head. The new Model 2500INT integrating sphere facilitates direct optical measurement of laser diode output power when used with certain types of electronic test instrumentation, and marks Keithley's first offering of an optical sensor. Keithley is an innovator and manufacturer of precision electronic measurement instruments, while Labsphere, Inc. is a world leader in diffuse reflectance technologies, integrating sphere systems, and related optical test equipment.
Keithley will offer the Model 2500INT integrating sphere for use with its light intensity-current- voltage (L-I-V) test system. The Keithley L-I-V test system is designed to test laser diode modules, a critical component in dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems used in fiber optic telecommunication. With the addition of the integrating sphere, Keithley will be able to deliver a complete, single-vendor LDM test solution capable of measuring laser diode module electrical and optical performance, including direct optical power measurements from the laser diode.
The Model 2500INT integrating sphere is designed to work with the Keithley model 2500 photodiode meter, the light intensity measurement instrument in the L-I-V system. The integrating sphere is a two-inch diameter design that provides an optimal balance of size, cost, port size, and performance. It features two ports, three detector choices to cover wavelengths from 500 to 1700 nm, and two connector choices (SMA and FC). Customization is available. The sphere will initially be available with silicon, germanium, or cooled InGaAs detectors. Each type of detector is used in the measurement of different wavelengths of light, as required by differing applications. Each detector/ sphere combination includes a calibration certificate from which the appropriate constant can be entered into the model 2500 photodiode meter to facilitate direct readings of optical power.
LDM manufacturers will realize cost and performance benefits from the announced alliance. By supplying a complete solution, Keithley permits LDM manufacturers to ramp up test systems and programs quickly, without having to purchase an optical head separately or perform their own calibration. The use of a factory- supplied and calibrated optical head enhances accuracy by minimizing unknown variables in setup, sensor characteristics, and operation of test systems. Users can receive support for hardware, demo software, and sensor from a single vendor, thus saving time, development effort, and associated expense.
Contact: Ellen Modock, Keithley Instruments, Inc.; Tel: 440/498- 2746, Email: emodock@keithley. com.
Audio Spectral Analysis DMM
Keithley Instruments, Inc. announced its new model 2015-P audio analyzing DMM. The model 2015-P provides a unique, highly cost-effective solution to audio quality testing in telecommunication applications. While other instruments exist that can be adapted to this purpose, they are typically general-purpose instruments that are larger, slower, more expensive, and more complex to operate. The model 2015- P, along with companion models 2015 and 2016, are aimed specifically at production applications that demand rapid, automated testing, especially in the 300-4000 Hz spectrum where human voice frequencies are found. The model 2015-P is housed in a single half-rack package, making it extremely space efficient in crowded test racks. Moreover, Keithley's new audio test solutions are the only instruments of their type, providing the lowest-cost THD test capabilities available.
The model 2015-P's internal computational capabilities allows it to characterize an acquired signal spectrum without the need for a computer, data transfer, or separate analysis software. The model 2015-P can report the frequency and amplitude of the highest value in a complete spectrum, or within a specified frequency band. It can also identify additional peaks in descending order of magnitude. Once a peak frequency component is identified, the model 2015-P can identify the magnitude and frequency of maximum components above and below the peak value. If desired, the 2015-P can also report the magnitude of a specified set of frequency components, or even determine the difference in amplitude between two spectral components.
The model 2015-P combines a full-function 61/2-digit DMM with audio measurement capability, including total harmonic distortion (THD), THD+noise, signal-to- noise plus distortion (SINAD), and frequency spectrum analysis. With its combined audio source, test, and DMM features, the model 2015-P provides one of the most cost-effective methods available for making both frequency domain and time domain measurements.
The instrument includes five audio shaping filters (CCITT weighting, C-message, A-weighting, CCIR and CCIR/ARM) plus separate selectable high-pass and low-pass filters that can be combined to form a bandpass filter for narrowband analysis. It also offers a dual-output 20 Hz (20 kHz) sine wave generator for generating fundamental stimulus signals. The second output provides the inverse of the first output, which allows for testing differential input circuits for common mode or noise cancellation performance. Alternatively, the second output can be a pulse train used for pulse synchronization of other instruments with the model 2015-P's source output.
The model 2015-P DMM section is based on Keithley's high-speed, low-noise analog-to-digital converter technology. It provides 13 functions, including standard AC and DC voltage and current, true RMS voltage and current, two-wire and four-wire ohms, temperature, frequency, period, dB, dBm, diode testing, and continuity testing. The DMM features traditional Keithley sensitivity and accurac. High-speed autoranging (30 msec) and fast range changes (50/sec) provide exceptional measurement speed at any resolution. At 61/2 digits, the model 2015-P delivers 50 triggered readings/sec over the IEEE-488 bus. At 41/2 digits, the model 2015-P can read up to 2,000 readings/ sec into its internal 1,024 sample buffer, making it an excellent choice for applications where throughput is critical.
Built-in IEEE-488 and RS-232 interfaces allow the model 2015-P to be connected to a PC to acquire, store, process, and display results automatically. "Test-Point" instrument driver libraries and run-time programs are available to simplify IEEE-488.2 and RS-232 program generation. A LabVIEW library is also available.
Pci Bus Waveform Digitizers
Gage Applied, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tektronix, Inc., launched a family of advanced waveform digitizers for PCI bus that more than doubles the sample rate currently available. CompuScope 85G, the fastest in this family of digitizers, is based on semiconductor technology from Tektronix. This technology, in the shape of custom ASICs, provides very fast data conversion, low manufacturing cost and low power consumption, allowing Gage to provide an unprecedented price-performance to its customers.
The high performance is achieved by utilizing Tektronix's proven fast-in-slow-out (FISO) technology that uses analog memory to store the signal being acquired and converts it to digital code using highly accurate, slower speed analog to digital converters. CompuScope 85G is a single slot, full length PCI card that receives all the power required for proper operation from the PCI bus connector. It also features a wide analog band-width of 500 MHz and 10,000 points of acquisition memory for each channel.
The very flexible, oscilloscope-like input amplifier circuitry allows switchable gains that provide full-scale input ranges from +/- 40 mV to +/- 20 V (10 mV/div to 5 V/div), with programmable DC offset of as much as +/- 50 V. Advanced trigger circuitry on the CompuScope 85G also includes complete PAL and NTSC TV trigger capability.
CompuScope 1450, another one of the waveform digitizers being launched, features very high resolution (14 bit), sample rate as high as 50 MS/s, low cost, very deep acquisition memory and 100 MB/ s data transfer to PC memory. Due to a fully bus-mastering PCI interface, CompuScope 1450 provides a very high data transfer speed from on-board acquisition memory to PC memory. This permits its use in applications that require the acquisition system to keep up with very fast trigger repeat rates. Examples include ultrasonic imaging, non-destructive testing, Radar, Lidar, etc. All waveform digitizers in this family work seamlessly with GageScope software, allowing effortless data collection for post processing.
For customers who need to embed one or more of these waveform digitizers in their own software program, software development kits (SDKs) are available for C/C++, MATLAB, and LabVIEW, with support for Windows 95/98, Windows ME, Windows NT, and Windows 2000. A Linux driver and sample program is also available.
Dewpoint Monitor for Natural Gas
The Western Research Model 241CE Hydrocarbon DewPoint Monitor from AMETEK Process Instruments is an ideal quality control tool for natural gas processing, distribution, and consumption. The monitor is sensitive enough to detect trace amounts of condensable hydrocarbons, yet strong enough to withstand saturation levels and process fluctuations, such as temperature, pressure, and flow rate.
The Model 241CE offers an economic solution for detecting high hydrocarbon dewpoints and the problems associated with them such as plugged lines and compressor station malfunctions. It can be located anywhere along a pipeline, even at remote or hazardous locations. It requires only electrical power and a small supply of dry purge gas to obtain fast and accurate readings with little service and maintenance. The need for cooling gas is completely eliminated by the Model 241 CE's air-cooled design.
The AMETEK monitor detects and measures hydrocarbon dewpoint in a single cell, single cycle operation. Its proprietary multiple stage filter protects the analyzer from the most likely sources of contamination (aerosols, particulate, and liquid slugs). A programmable alarm system automatically activates when problems are detected.
The Model 241 CE Monitor uses patented chilled-mirror technology. All monitoring and measuring of the dewpoint are done automatically under the control of an on-board computer. This unique device identifies and rejects water dewpoints. As a result the Model 241CE never mistakes a water dewpoint for the hydrocarbon dewpoint.
The Model 241 CE is designed for unattended operation. It carries CSA (Class I Div 1, Group C&D) and CENELEC (Zone 1) certification for use in hazardous areas. It is one of a suite of products offered by AMETEK Process Instruments to the natural gas industry. Others include the model 933 H2S analyzer and model 3050 trace moisture analyzer.
Contact: AMETEK Process Instruments, 455 Corporate Blvd., Newark, DE 19702; Tel: 800/222- 6789, Fax: 302/456-4444, Website: ametekpi.com.
Flexbar Fiberoptic Flexible Borescope
A general purpose fiberscope from Flexbar Machine Corp. (Contact: Flexbar Machine Corp., 250 Gibbs Rd., Islandia, NY 11722- 2697; Tel: 631/582-8440, Fax: 631/582-8487) is designed to be a valuable inspection device that is capable of reducing or eliminating costly machine and equipment teardown for inspection purposes.
With the portable battery handle light source the GP model becomes a self-contained versatile inspection device to detect worn, damaged, or otherwise inadequate conditions in hidden or normally inaccessible areas. Other features include direct and right angle viewing, B-style, Diopter Adjustable Eyepiece, and ACMI light guide connector. It has a portable battery and the light source is in the handle.
Machine Vision for Copper Pickling
Cognex Corp. announced that Wieland-Werke AG, one of the world's largest copper strip manufacturers, has integrated Cognex's SmartView ICN web inspection system on their copper pickling line in Germany. SmartView ICN is a state-of-the-art web inspection system that is used to automatically detect, identify, and display defects in metals and other materials as they are being produced.
Based in Ulm, Germany, Wieland-Werke will use the Cognex machine vision system on its pickling line. Pickling is a special treatment used to remove impurities from the surfaces of metals during the manufacturing process. SmartView ICN—which was completely installed and running on Wieland-Werke's manufacturing line in two days—will be used to check the copper sheets for any particles of dirt remaining from the rolling process and acid bath. Cognex says that it has sold over 70 SmartView ICN systems since its release in February, 2000, making it the most successful product launch in the history of Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division.
Contact: David Carder, Director of Marketing, Cognex Corp.; Tel: 508/650-4116.
Speeding Up Dimension Inspection
The high speed vision based inspection system from Advanced Inspection and Measurement, Inc. can be used for screw machine components, and is intended to provide manufacturers of high volume screw machine components a means for inspecting 100% critical geometry features. The systems are provided turnkey, including the parts feeding, inspection positioning, and output sorting.
The feeding system can be supplied for a specific component or may be fitted with tooling to allow setting to any component within a family. The output of the feed system will then feed the parts into the inspection fixture. The component shape, size, and orientation requirements govern feed rates. Typical speeds range from 1 to 10 parts per second.
The inspection positioning mechanism is driven by the inspection requirement. Components that require a large number of features to be inspected and need the inspections performed for multiple sections of the part, require that the component is precisely located for the inspection process. Mechanisms requiring a cycle time of at two to four components per second utilize cam driven mechanisms to provide smooth, reliable operation. These systems require component specific tooling and are intended for long run jobs. Reduced numbers of features to be inspected at a single section allow the ability to provide linearity settable tooling, which can accommodate a family of components. These configurations are typically utilized for short run jobs and have typical cycle times of 1 to 10 parts per second.
The sorting mechanism accepts parts from the inspection stage and provides a fail-safe method for sorting the components into accept/reject/unknown bins. Parts are constantly monitored via part passage sensors for verification of proper sorting for each cycle of the machine.
Digitizing a high resolution CCD camera with 1300 x 1030 pixel format performs the inspection. High inspection accuracy is maintained via a digital camera interface that reduces jitter common to most RS-170 based systems to zero. The camera is operated with an asynchronous electronic shutter allowing for strobe operation when stop motion imaging is required. A collimated backlight operating in strobe or continuous mode is utilized to provide a high definition of the component edges. A telecentric lens that provides a high definition minimally distorted image to the camera CCD array images the component edges. This element is key for achieving full accuracy over the entire field of view.
The camera image is processed by a high performance, industrially hardened IBM PC compatible processor. The processor also provides the system timing and control functions for part movement as well as image capture. The user is provided a VGA monitor and full alphanumeric keyboard for user setup and operation of the system. The processing software is extremely flexible and provides the user with the ability to quickly configure the inspection tools to the features that need to be inspected. All part inspection configurations are saved to a file for storage and later retrieval. Subpixeling techniques are utilized to provide inspection resolutions of .000040 in. The various edge tools provide edge positions and can be combined in a number of ways to form any desired feature. Each feature is provided with tolerance limits to allow accept/reject determination.
The software also provides correction for lens distortions to work within the entire image field at the specified resolution. Additional software exists to allow parallel processing to be used in the case of high-speed requirements and multiple cameras. This is typical when a part needs to be inspected in multiple sections such that roundness and concentricities may be computed. Each associated camera processor reports its preprocessed features to the master processor that performs the final dimensional computations as well as the system timing and control functions.
Networking is provided as well that allows the inspection data to be retrieved over a network for analysis by the computers statistical processing package of choice. This provides the ability to monitor the performance of multiple machines and allow for immediate corrective action to be taken if required.
Contact: Advanced Inspection and Measurement, Inc. (AIM, 222 Flanders Rd., PO Box 480, Niantic, CT 06357; Tel: 860/739-6211, Fax: 860/739-9184).
Technique Predicts Life of Rubber
A new technique for testing the condition of rubber products could lead to cost and time savings for industry and improve safety, by making it easier to check the likely performance life of parts in service. Scientists from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Monash University have developed a technique that can evaluate the condition of rubber products such as conveyor belts or vehicle tires.
The technique uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques, which involves putting the sample into a magnetic field to measure the "health" of the rubber. It could lead to the development of a hand held scanning device used to check components while they are in service, eliminating the need to take samples. This will mean that people will be able to get the full life out of components but replace them well before they fail.
"Unfortunately, rubber performance degrades over time due to aging," says CSIRO's Anita Hill. "Rubber aging results in a loss of flexibility, abrasion resistance, and elasticity. For many abrasive and erosive applications (e.g. conveyor belts transporting highly abrasive materials or most passenger car tires) degradation is not a concern because the rubber will be worn away before any significant aging effects occur. "However rubber degradation can lead to catastrophic failure, such as a retreaded truck tire "blow out". In industry it can cause costly downtime and can be dangerous."
Rubber degradation has been very difficult to predict because its rate depends on many factors such as temperature, chemical environment, loading conditions, and type of rubber. "Current inspection techniques for rubber condition rely on observing the subsequent effects of aging, for example cracks or tears in the rubber—by the time these appear it can be too late to prevent failure," says Hill. "Our new technique will give earlier warning if a rubber part such as a conveyor belt is degrading or losing elasticity, so that the part can be replaced well before failure occurs."
The research has been applied to the failure analysis of rubber conveyor belts and processing tank liners, but is equally applicable to other rubber products that are subjected to wear, such as vehicle tires.
"NMR techniques can be used to characterize the polymers in the rubber so that over time we can detect molecular symptoms of rubber aging, such as changes in polymer chain length, cross-linking and the presence of degradation products," says Maria Forsyth of Monash University. "From this we can get some idea of the likely performance life left in the rubber." Hill says that the next step is to adapt this technique to simpler NMR equipment, which is robust, portable, and can show the results in a simple way.
Contact: Rosie Schmedding; Email: rosie.schmedding@nap. csiro.au.
Fully-Automated 3-D Metrology System
FEI Co. introduced its new Metra series of 200 mm and 300 mm DualBeam systems, the industry's first fully-automated and completely integrated series of 3D metrology systems designed to facilitate the transition to 130 nm nodes in semiconductor design and manufacturing. The new Metra systems are the first to deliver true 3D metrology capabilities and the shortest time to data. As a result, manufacturers can keep pace with technology shifts while reducing their costs through yield enhancement and reducing the number of wafers scrapped.
3D metrology is seen as the most viable solution for control of latest generation processes. As manufacturing processes move to 130 nm designs, new materials are introduced, and process design and control increase in complexity, 3D metrology is a necessary working technique for supporting future technology nodes. The new Metra series of DualBeam systems from FEI are designed to aid manufacturers in making critical technology shifts while at the same time saving time to market.
"FEI's 3D metrology suite is becoming ever more critical as chipmakers try to get a handle on 130 nm process ramps," says industry analyst Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research, Inc. "As devices become more integrated vertically, 2D technology can't provide the detail of three-dimensional metrology tools."
The benefits of the Metra series include:
|Process monitoring in three dimensions for tighter process and equipment control resulting in higher yields and shorter cycle times;|
|Automatic collection of statistically meaningful data;|
|Increased yield and analysis through reduced wafer attrition;|
|More data allowing improved process window determination;|
|Incorporation of sidewall angle, allowing better control of the
The Metra 845 and 875 systems are designed to accommodate wafers up to 200 mm, and the Metra 1275 will handle 300 mm wafers. The Metra series is the latest addition to FEI's family of proven DualBeam products. It combines in situ FIB milling and SEM imaging with automated wafer handling and a powerful and flexible metrology package to provide rapid access to critical data.
Contact: Dan Zenka, APR, Corporate Communications of FEI Co.; Tel: 503/844-2695, Email: email@example.com.
Jdsu Division Gets Iso Certification
JDS Uniphase Corp. became the first TL 9000-Hardware/ISO 9001:1994 certified producer of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) with the certification of its MEMS division (Research Triangle Park, NC). TL 9000, developed by the quality excellence for suppliers of telecommunications (QuEST) forum, is the telecommunications industry's extension to ISO 9001:1994. The purpose of TL 9000 is to define the quality management system requirements for the design, development, production, delivery, installation, and maintenance of products and services for telecommunications. Included in TL 9000 are performance and cost-based metrics that measure reliability and quality performance of the products and services.
"Meeting the requirements for the TL 9000-hardware quality system at our MEMS facility in December, 2000, represents a major milestone in our path toward introducing MEMS-based products into our industry," remarks Jesko von Windheim, general manager of the MEMS division. "This achievement also exemplifies our company's overall commitment to quality."
As part of JDS Uniphase's quality program, it has established a corporate reliability council to set policy, maintain standards, and establish best practice methods for the company's reliability and quality efforts, including product qualifications. As a part of this effort, cross-functional teams with representation from manufacturing, development, and reliability engineering are established from initiation of a design activity. These teams are subsequently responsible for ensuring that reliability considerations are addressed during the concept, development, and pilot phases for new product introductions.
One approach being used by the company to gain greater understanding about the development of highly reliable products is subjecting components to extreme environmental conditions beyond current reliability requirement standards and forcing failures during the design and development phases. "We are looking to continually improve all our products and the processes used to assemble them—from design throughout manufacturing," adds Tom Adda, director of quality assurance for amplifier components and a member of the JDS Uniphase Corporate Reliability Council.
With a unique "inside out" viewpoint, the JDS Uniphase Corporate Reliability Council is intended to complement industry-wide certification programs such as TL 9000 with particular emphasis on customer satisfaction. Discovering new and better ways of delivering reliable products to meet or exceed customer expectations is the ultimate objective of this company-wide initiative.
Jmar Teams with Malaysian Foundry
JMAR Technologies, Inc., announced that its JMAR Semiconductor, Inc. (JSI) fabless semiconductor division has signed a three year supply and manufacturing agreement with First Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., a recently established foundry located in Sarawak, Malaysia. Under the agreement, First Silicon will manufacture to JSI's proprietary design specifications up to 400, 8-in. semiconductor wafers per month using its 0.25 micron and 0.18 micron CMOS logic and mixed signal processes. Depending upon the specific product designs, each wafer could contain up to several thousand individual semiconductor chips with selling prices to the end users ranging from less than $10 up to several hundred dollars, each.
First Silicon is a dedicated semiconductor foundry established in 1998 by the Malaysian State of Sarawak. First Silicon's 200 mm wafer fab, with a planned capacity in excess of 30,000 wafers per month, commenced operations in the third quarter of 2000. The facility initiated production with 0.25 micron digital and mixed signal CMOS technology and plans to produce geometries of 0.18 micron and below within the near future. SHARP Electronics Corp. of Japan has contributed substantial technology to the First Silicon foundry operation as First Silicon's technology partner and its first customer. First Silicon has its headquarters in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, and has a U.S. registered subsidiary corporation located in San Jose, California. Its homepage is www.1stsilicon. com.
Marvin W. Sepe, president of JSI, comments, "We are very pleased to be one of the earliest customers to sign-on with First Silicon as they extend the capability of their new foundry to higher performance microcircuits with ever-smaller dimensions. Initially, our products will be produced by First Silicon's 0.25 micron process. First Silicon anticipates its 0.18 micron process will come on-line in Q4 2001. When that occurs we plan to transition our higher-speed products to that smaller feature size process. The availability of First Silicon's leading-edge fabrication capacity provides JMAR with a solid basis for the continuing development and production of its broad line of advanced proprietary semiconductors for the telecommunications industry."
Sepe continues, "Under the agreement, our two companies will establish a secure electronic data-link and network to expedite data transfer between us. JSI will also gain access to the advanced semiconductor design libraries prepared by First Silicon. These libraries provide the format to manufacture JSI's chip designs using First Silicon's process.
Under the terms of the agreement, in accordance with standard industry practice, JSI will procure and provide to First Silicon the production mask sets for each JSI semiconductor design. The masks are templates containing circuit design features that are optically projected, lithographically, onto photoresists deposited on the surface of the wafers. First Silicon will use JSI's designs and other proprietary information solely for the purpose of providing the specific semiconductor products and will not disclose or sublicense that information to any other party.
John S. Martinez, Ph.D., JMAR's chair and CEO comments, "We are delighted with this new working relationship with First Silicon and look forward to a long and mutually profitable relationship with them.
"The cyclical nature of the semiconductor market creates inherent fluctuations in the availability of foundry space, worldwide. During boom times it is often difficult for small volume producers, like JMAR, to gain adequate access or foundry management attention to assure that production needs are accommodated in a timely, high quality manner." He continues, "With this agreement, JMAR Semiconductor, Inc. has secured, for the next three years, guaranteed production capacity at First Silicon for up to 400 wafers per month using the 0.25 micron process now, and their 0.18 micron process expected to be available later this year. We look for this assured product availability to help maintain an adequate flow of semiconductor chips through our pipeline during periods of peak demand as well as at other times."
He concludes, "As our penetration of the telecommunications semiconductor market progresses from JSI's initial product introductions in the communications memory area to a broad range of high-value local area network (LAN) chips, and then to the very high-value switches and processors for the asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and optical network markets, our wafer requirements could increase substantially. It is our expectation that as that occurs we will be able to expand our guaranteed number of wafers from First Silicon."
Agfa Teams with Top Image
Agfa and Top Image Systems, Ltd. (TiS), a leading innovator in digital information recognition and data capture software solutions, announced today that they have completed a European sales, marketing, and technology agreement. The agreement covers TiS' eFLOW and Freedom solutions for automated data capture and Agfa's ADMIS line of scanners, BSCAN software, and COLD products.
According to the agreement, Agfa will act as Top Image Systems' system integrator partner, selling and supporting integrated solutions for automated data capture, forms processing and document management. TiS will provide product training to Agfa sales and support staff. Agfa and TiS will coordinate marketing activities, including joint participation in trade shows, road shows, and customer seminars. The two companies will also share technology to ensure smooth product integration.
Patrick Van Loon, Agfa's business group manager for the industrial imaging business group states, "Agfa and TiS share common goals in the automated data capture, forms processing and document management markets. TiS' new developments in electronic data capture and in extending its technology to personal mobile devices will enable Agfa to enter new strategic market segments."
"Agfa is recognized as a world leader in document scanning technology and related solutions. Agfa's strong market presence and active direct sales force will result in, increased product sales and market penetration," says Izhak Nakar, president of TiS. "The integration of Top Image Systems' software solutions with Agfa's hardware will enable us to provide our customers with a complete solution to capture and deliver data to any part of the enterprise," Nakar adds.
Agfa seamlessly integrates its products into the digital file office solution. The ADMIS capturing systems consist of a range of production scanners—the S31 and S51 document scanners and the S61 high volume production scanner and BSCAN software components to capture paper documents and its contents for storage, classification, indexing, and work distribution. Agfa's OpenData suite of COLD software captures a very wide range of printstream data (including IPDS and Xerox), extracts index data, and delivers an easy to use common format.
eFLOW is TiS' global data collection portal for e-business solutions which integrates data collection using electronic forms and the Internet, personal mobile devices and standard paper forms. eFLOW optimizes business processes by delivering data that originates outside the enterprise to the areas of the organization that require the data. Freedom, automates data collection for incoming supplier paper invoices and helps the enterprise manage its financial obligations to its suppliers.
Contact: Norman Kreger, Director of Marketing, Top Image Systems, Ltd.; Tel: +972 3 648-7722, Email: Norman@TopImage Systems.com or Andreas Klinke, MDS Marketing Manager, Agfa Gevaert N.V., Tel: +49 221 5717 734, Email: andreas.klinke.ak@ germany.agfa.com.
Perkin-Elmer Buys Applied Surface
PerkinElmer, Inc. announced that it has acquired Applied Surface Technology (AST), a provider of proprietary processing techniques and services applied in semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment. Located in San Carlos, California, AST annual revenue is approximately $7 million.
"The addition of AST will strengthen us as a leader in higher value added semiconductor and processing subsystems, and expand our consumables and services offerings to semiconductor manufacturers," says Robert Barrett, president of PerkinElmer Fluid Sciences.
Contact: Diane J. Basile, PerkinElmer, Inc., Tel: 781/431- 4306.
Integral Vision Licenses Coreco
Integral Vision, Inc. today announced that it has granted a nonexclusive license to Coreco, Inc. permitting Coreco to utilize Integral Vision's patented VisionBlox technology in their software product line. VisionBlox technology provides tools that facilitate the development of machine vision applications by integrators and end users.
"Coreco is a leading manufacturer of frame grabber boards and custom hardware," says Charles J. Drake, chair and CEO of Integral Vision, Inc. "We are very pleased that companies of this caliber in our industry have recognized the value of our VisionBlox technology."
Integral Vision, Inc., an ISO 9001 registered firm, offers machine vision- based inspection systems to the industrial manufacturer. Integral Vision is a leading supplier of machine vision systems used to monitor or control the manufacturing process. Vision systems are used to supplement human inspection or provide quality assurance when production rates exceed human capability. More information can be found at www.iv-usa.com.
Contact: Integral Vision, 38700 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills, MI 48335; Tel: 248/471-2660 ext. 4721, Fax: 248/615-2971.
Jmar Awarded $9.0m Contract
JMAR Technologies, Inc. announced that it has been awarded an additional $9.0 million of contract funding for its x-ray lithography (XRL) program from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). These funds will be used by JMAR for construction of an integrated engineering prototype point source XRL system for production of high-bandwidth gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductors for the optical networking, high performance wireless telecommunications, and military markets.
The integrated system will include an XRS 2000 NanoPulsar lithography stepper manufactured by SAL, Inc. of South Burlington, Vermont, powered by a 25 W collimated JMAR PXS-125 laser plasma x-ray source. The collimator is a leading-edge optical device that directs the one nanometer wavelength x-rays produced by the PXS-125 onto the semiconductor mask/wafer target. This will be the first x-ray point source system with a collimator to be used in semiconductor manufacturing.
John S. Martinez, Ph.D., JMAR's chair and CEO, comments, "JMAR has been a leading developer of compact x-ray lithography (XRL) sources for the past several years. This additional funding will accelerate the transition of JMAR's high-performance, compact XRL technology from the laboratory to the factory floor. We are especially pleased that, with this new contract addition, DARPA has expressed its confidence in JMAR by assigning us the overall responsibility for producing a fully integrated XRL system for installation in an established GaAs manufacturing facility. We expect DARPA to make available prior to yearend additional funding to support the system installation and checkout.
"Recent industry studies suggest that the projected costs of advanced lithography technologies, such as deep ultraviolet (DUV) and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) for producing many of the finer circuit features required to support the future product needs of the microelectronics industry, are soaring dramatically as researchers have gained greater familiarity with the technical difficulties involved in implementing them," Martinez continues.
"As the trend toward smaller circuit sizes continues, we believe lithography systems based on JMAR's PXS light sources and SAL's NanoPulsar steppers (which, comparatively, do not require expensive optics) could become increasingly attractive to semiconductor manufacturers as they strive to meet the demand for those ever-smaller microcircuits within an economically-feasible cost structure."
Martinez notes, "We believe this new contract funding demonstrates DARPA's confidence in the potential for the combined JMAR and SAL technologies to provide the semiconductor industry with a lower cost, more agile approach to manufacturing the very high performance chips needed to operate a range of future military and commercial electronic systems and components. This is a major step forward for the XRL industry."
SAL is the world's most experienced provider of XRL stepper systems, having built and installed 15 such systems around the world. JMAR is the world's leader in laser plasma x-ray source technology. During the past year JMAR has made a number of important new advancements in the demonstrated performance of its patented PXS onenanometer XRL light source technology. Included among them are the order of magnitude improvements in both the x-ray power output of the PXS and in the intensity of the collimated x-ray power illuminating the semiconductor mask/wafer targets. Important advancements have also been made in the areas of target debris reduction and uninterruptible source operating life.
He continues, "The mating of JMAR's world-leading point-source x-ray technology with the world's most experienced x-ray lithography system capabilities at SAL offers great near-term promise for improvements in the manufacturing throughput and economics of high bandwidth GaAs semiconductor device production. As we continue to scale-up the power output of our x-ray sources, the opportunities to broaden our markets should expand rapidly to encompass an important segment of the silicon processing industry as well."
Contact: Dennis E. Valentine, JMAR Technologies, Inc., San Diego, CA; Tel: 760/602-3292, Website: jmar.com.
X-Rite Forms Laser Subsidiary
X-Rite, Inc., announced the formation of Coherix Corp., a subsidiary company that uniquely utilizes tunable laser technology in the electronics, metalworking and other emerging markets. Commenting on Coherix, Rich Cook, X-Rite, Inc.'s president and CEO, says, "Coherix will enable its customer's workflow processes with a new, revolutionary, patented method of precisely measuring the shape of an object. Non-contact precision shape measurement is new in a variety of design, verification, and manufacturing businesses. We believe Coherix has first-mover advantage in bringing this capability to a new customer base, one that will help us grow."
"Coherix is accelerating the development cycle of the HoloVision line of products in traditional metalworking markets, as well as the electronic and emerging micro electro-mechanical industries," says Jon Nisper, general manager of Coherix Corp. "This newly formed company gives X-Rite expanded opportunities to serve current customers in addition to developing new markets where shape needs to be analyzed."
X-Rite recently acquired the assets of the HoloVision Products Group from Veridian-ERIM International. HoloVision's product line is based on tunable laser technology and is used in a variety of industries to accurately map the surfaces of physical objects.
Contact: Duane Kluting, X-Rite, Inc., 3100 44th St. SW, Grandville, MI 49418; Tel: 616/534-7663, Fax: 616/534-9212.
STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS
NIST Celebrates 100 Years
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be celebrating 100 years of service to the U.S. with a Centennial Standards Symposium on March 7, 2001 (Gaithersburg, MD). Founded on March 3, 1901, as the National Bureau of Standards, NIST was the federal government's first physical science research laboratory. NIST's major accomplishments of the past 100 years and their impact on industry, science, and technology, the nation's economy, and the public are described in NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress, an extensive, illustrated web site. Another fact sheet briefly summarizes the benefits of NIST's research and services.
Members of the ANSI community have been invited by NIST to attend the symposium—entitled "Standards in the Global Economy: Past, Present, and Future." The event will focus on a variety of economic sectors—information technology, automotive, construction, and others. Experts from industry, government, international standards organizations, and academia will address the evolving roles of standards and of the hundreds of organizations that develop them. Standards veterans will have tales to tell, reflecting on notable experiences and lessons learned. Since standards are the result of collective selfinterest, achieving consensus on specifications for products, processes, or systems would challenge the skills of even the most able negotiator or diplomat.
Speakers will also anticipate the future. In this fast-paced world, with its expanding assortment of high-technology products and services, the need for timely, high-quality, technically sound standards continues to grow. The symposium's final session will focus on the National Standards Strategy, developed and adopted by ANSI and its nearly 1,000 members in August, 2000. The strategy responds to rapidly changing technological and economic trends, aiming for effective representation of U.S. technology interests in global standards-setting activities.
The symposium agenda and information on registration and logistics are available on the NIST website. The registration, includes a ticket for an evening of dining and dancing at the Centennial Gala on Tuesday, March 6, 2001, in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan office building and international trade center in Washington, DC, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The gala, a highlight of centennial week, will bring together NIST staff and the business, scientific, and technical communities that have benefited from NIST's research and measurement services over the years. The event will highlight NIST's contributions to industry and the U.S. economy, and will recognize members of the NIST family, and those in the private sector who have supported NIST.
For more information, visit the NIST centennial web page: www.100.nist.gov.
Contact: National Institute of Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway M.S. 815.04, Boulder, CO 80303, Tel: 303/497-3455, Fax: 303/497-3387.
April 24-26, 2001, Congrès COFREND 2001, CND and Corrosion. Reims - Palais des Congrès, Organized by La COFREND, France Society for Nondestructive Testing. Contact: COFREND, Tel: 01 44 19 76 18, Fax: 01 44 19 75 04, Email: cofrend@worldnet. fr.
May 16-19, 2001, Failure Analysis and Metals Properties Monitoring, Ekaterinburg (Russia), Russian Academy of Sciences, Urals Branch Institute of Engineering Science. Contact: 34, Komsomolskaya str. 620219, Ekaterinburg, Russia Institute of Engineering Science of the Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Website: www. imach.uran.ru/conf/metall/.