Bruker NPFLEX 3D Optical Microscope
Bruker NPFLEX 3D Optical Microscope
Most flexible profiler with isolation and large gantry
The NPFLEX provides the most flexible, non-contact, 3D areal surface characterisation for such large samples as orthopedic medical implants and the larger parts in aerospace, automotive and precision machining industries.
The NPFLEX also provides data density, resolution, and repeatability beyond what is possible with contact instrumentation, making it ideal as both a complementary technology or as a stand-alone metrology solution. The NPFLEX enables superior flexibility, accuracy, and throughput for precision manufacturing, providing an easy path to tighter tolerances, more efficient processes, and better end products.
Unparalleled Metrology Flexibility
NPFLEX is designed specifically for investigating widely varying sample sizes and shapes without damaging the sample. Insensitive to material type, the system’s WLI technology provides 3D, non-contact measurements of virtually any surface feature. A breakthrough open-gantry design affords more than 300 degrees of access to surfaces previously inaccessible or too difficult to analyze due to size or part orientation. With 13 inches (330 millimeters) of space below the objectives, there is easy accessibility to part areas that simply can’t be reached with other types of profilometers.
The NPFLEX system offers many options to customize its operation for specific applications. The Swivel Head option permits repetitive investigation of sidewalls, beveled edges, and angled surfaces. Additionally, there are several stage options available:
- Rotational stage with optional chuck for holding fixtures
- Theta rotating stage for sample rotation
- Phi rotating stage for vertical sample rotation
- Phi Roller Stage for automated positioning and rotation of smaller, cylindrical samples
- Automated XY Stage for automated XY positioning
Automated Processes and Analyses
NPFLEX is powered by Vision64 software, the industry’s most functional and user-friendly graphical interface. It incorporates the familiar Windows ribbon design and toolbar functionality. Intelligent architecture enables extensive user-defined automation capabilities. Vision64’s Data Analyzer and Analysis Toolbox incorporates industry-specific analysis routines and ISO standards. Based on a typical manufacturing production flow, the interface provides tools to easily customize process workflows and automate mapping.
Precision Surface Characterisation Yields Quantitative Analysis of Cutting Tool Coatings and Wear
The ability to quantitatively analyse surface coating structure and wear is an important qualification within the precision tooling industry to assess cutting tool life under different cutting conditions. This however can be a challenging prospect for CMM's due to the lack of 3D measurement resolution, and for stylus based tools due to the complex shape and often smaller feature size of the tools. In a recent development by Bruker Surface Analysis group the NP Flex was applied to the study of drill bit coatings under controlled conditions to assess the subtle changes of different coatings.
The study utilised the nanometre vertical measurement sensitivity of the 3D interferometric technique employed on the NP-FLEX to assess surface wear after only a few drilling processes. Qualifying surfaces to new ISO2012 standards for 3D surface parameters, such as Sa and Str, provide a statistical approach to understanding wear and removes any subjective assessment which can lead to incorrect conclusions. The case study investigated the pre and post wear surfaces at the apex of the drill bits in QC environment as well as along leading edge cutting regions to quantitatively assess coating wear. From this study an understanding of the coating of choice was determined.