Industrial Process News is proud to announce that Vision Engineering Ltd has been selected as our Optical Instrumentation Company of the Month, for the company’s pioneering development of unique ergonomic stereo microscopes and non-contact measuring systems.
Vision Engineering was established in 1958 by Rob Freeman, a toolmaker who used to work as a race mechanic with the Jaguar Racing Team. Whilst there, Rob developed a borescope for inspecting internal race engine parts, without the need for disassembly. This led to him establishing Vision Engineering Ltd, in order to develop his interest in optics for use with manufacturing technology.
In 1994, the company introduced the world’s first stereo microscope without an eyepiece, the Original Mantis, which was designed to fill the gap between a bench magnifier and a microscope. This was a major ergonomic revolution, and it went on to win numerous design and innovation awards. Mantis became the new benchmark for high performance stereo magnification, and since then, Vision Engineering has consistently delivered leading-edge stereo inspection and optical measurement products to improve productivity and quality for thousands of companies.
“We design, manufacture and sell optical and digital inspection and measurement equipment. We are working to optimise the user interface, the point at which the user interacts with a system, be it a monitor, microscope eyepieces, keyboard or operating software, and our products are sold to manufacturers around the world,” explains Mark Curtis, Group Managing Director. “90% of our output is to the export market. We are an established global company with multiple overseas subsidiaries; America is our largest, along with Central Europe, and we also maintain a presence in France, Italy, China, Japan, and India, to name a few.”
Offering fault detection, rework, research and development, and quality control, Vision Engineering’s products are unparalleled for their ergonomics. The company’s unique patented products have saved manufacturing companies an abundance of man-hours, reduced materials wastage, and ensured quality and conformance to desired specifications.
“We sell into four main vertical markets,” Mark explained, “electronics, aerospace, automotive and medical devices, and there is a lot of crossover between these. Basically, any manufacturer that needs to exercise excellent quality control needs our products.”
Vision Engineering’s unique technology is industry-leading. The operator of its equipment will be doing repetitive tasks for up to eight hours a day or carrying out intensive inspection, measurement or manipulation tasks, so Vision Engineering ensures that it is easy to use its equipment for longer periods of time. Improved ergonomics not only improves the comfort of the operator, but also benefits the company by reducing absenteeism.
Microscopes which use an eyepiece require users to hold a fixed viewing position, which can lead to stiffness in the neck muscles. Vision Engineering’s eyepiece-less equipment means that users do not have to precisely align their eyes with the eyepieces, allowing freedom of movement and more relaxed muscles, reducing neck and back strain. What’s more, the company’s microscopes reduce eye fatigue, hand-to-eye coordination, and minimise the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
The company also pioneers solutions around cameras/digital technology, but this normally means sacrificing the natural easy view of stereo for a flat field mono picture, with no perception of depth.
Recent developments in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality offer stereo digital viewing, using VR headsets or polarised/ shutter glasses.
Both of these new and exciting technologies involve either isolation from sensory inputs or from colleagues (in the case of VR) or significant issues with flicker, nausea and the inability to wear prescription eyeglasses.
Vision Engineering applied its substantial expertise in ergonomics to correct the issues with the new VR/AR technologies and have produced a completely new technology; DRV Deep Reality Viewing. “We recently launched the Deep Reality Viewer – DRV-Z1 – the world’s first 3D stereo viewer, for which we have global patents. DRV addresses the disadvantages of sensory isolation and disorientation. It means you can work more comfortably, for longer, wear your own prescription glasses and interact freely with your colleagues.”
The DRV-Z1’s stereo digital image without headsets or specialised glasses provides a natural 3D view, with a high definition resolution to enable better quality inspection. Without the need for special glasses/headsets, Vision Engineering’s unique device allows freedom of head movement, natural subject view, comfortable working position, easy hand-to-eye coordination, and the ability to wear prescription eye glasses.
Indeed, the DRV-Z1’s ergonomic design reaps an abundance of benefits, contributing to improved efficiency, accuracy and productivity. The DRV-Z1 can be up and running with minimal setup. It possesses familiar controls which have been designed specifically for efficiency and comfort, and minimal training is required to use the device to its full advantage.
It allows inspection or manipulation of manufactured parts, examining them to make sure they are within tolerance and of the highest quality before assembly.
“We believe that DRV is the next big thing,” explains Mark, “and so we are taking this technology and addressing the drive for real time communicability found in the IoT and Industry 4.0. We are taking the real time digital information that our products generate, including live moving stereo images and making it available to people no matter where they are, allowing valuable, real time, collaboration whether the other person is in the next room or the next continent.”
DRV-Z1’s sharing capability creates exciting opportunities to collaborate with real time digital connectivity for companies with offices around the world.
Without question, Vision Engineering is a company dedicated to progression and innovation, ensuring its products are designed to allow for optimal working conditions. “We are an international company with over 230 staff members, 120 in the UK and the rest dotted around the world. We have been exporting for many years, and despite all of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and other international issues, we are dedicated to growing and expanding to ensure we are always giving our customers the latest advancements in ergonomics and technology.”
If you would like to find out more information on Vision Engineering’s full range of products and details of their ergonomic benefits, head to their website. Alternatively, get in touch using the contact details below.
T 01483 248300