Danboro, PA When Jim Sutcliffe, the technical lab supervisor at Penn Engineering and Manufacturing (PEM), takes pictures at work, it's not for fun. He uses his new Polaroid digital microscope camera, the DMC Ie, for reviewing new designs of PEM's self-cinching fasteners and deciding whether or not they work.
"We provide support for the engineering department, focusing primarily on new product development," says Sutcliffe. "We see in an instant if our displacement calculations are correct." The DMC Ie is also suitable for use in automotive, aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing, and other industries during failure analysis, materials characterization processes, and for detecting reverse engineering or patent infringements.
PEM also uses the digital images for quality control and visual inspection. "Say that we discover a problem with our tooling company in South Carolina. Now, we just e-mail them an image of the fastener with an explanation and straighten the problem immediately," says Sutcliffe. Previously, PEM used a 35-mm film-based photo-micrograph system. "We couldn't do much with the film. We'd have to develop it, mail it, and then wait. That doesn't happen now," he says.
Polaroid's DMC Ie utility software used with the camera gives users measurement marker and annotation tools that add markers in micron, millimeter, centimeter, and inch. Designers may also place a title or make a note on the digital images.
Exposure times for the DMC Ie range from 20 milliseconds to one second. Data transfer rates are greater than 2M bytes per second. Polaroid uses a raw sensor file containing one million pixels for providing sharp image detail and enlargement capability. The pixel sensor captures color RGB (red-orange, green, blue-violet) images with resolutions measuring 1,600Χ1,200 pixels.