Ultra-fast LED Flash Unit for Quality Checks

February 3, 2010, Siemens

Siemens researchers have developed the world’s fastest LED stroboscopic lamp for the purposes of quality control.

This high-power light source makes very short exposure times possible and can therefore be used to capture high-resolution images of fast-moving objects. This makes it ideal for monitoring rapid production processes. The high-speed flash unit has been developed for an inspection system for printed electronics. Compared to the halogen lamps conventionally used, it not only consumes less energy but also heats up the inspection area to lesser degree.

Quality control often involves the use of optical procedures, whereby a camera is used to record digital images for subsequent analysis. Production processes are often so fast that conventional camera systems are incapable of delivering a sharp image. In this case, tests are deferred until the end of manufacturing and carried out on individual production units. If a fault is discovered, all the units produced after the last test have to be rejected. In order to conduct in-line testing, during the actual production process, exposure times of well under one millionth of a second are required. A light source of such speed and with sufficient power has not yet been developed. The only alternative is to use a continuous light and a camera with extremely fast shutter speeds. This is relatively expensive, however, and also has the disadvantage that the light source heats up the inspection area.

The new high-speed, high-power developed by researchers at Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) comprises a number of LEDs. It enables exposure times of 0.3 millionth of a second (300 nanoseconds) — much faster than conventional photoflash units (50 microseconds) and industrial stroboscope lamps (one microsecond). Moreover, the power of the LED flash can be very finely adjusted to a value of over 12 kilowatts. The flash unit combines LEDs of different wavelengths, so the color of the light can be adjusted to the product being inspected.

The flash unit was developed as part of the MaDriX project, which is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. It is suitable for a whole range of applications at and other companies, where it will help to enhance production processes and reduce inspection and energy costs.

Explore further: Brightest LED Puts Light Bulbs in the Shade

Related Stories

Brightest LED Puts Light Bulbs in the Shade

June 14, 2005

Osram has developed the world’s brightest white light-emitting diode. Known as Ostar Lighting, this LED supplies 200 lumens, thus literally putting light bulbs and neon lamps in the shade. Previously, the brightest LED ...

K-State attosecond research could aid Homeland Security

May 21, 2007

Building a new laser-like X-ray source powerful and quick enough to capture fast motion in the atomic world is a big job. But Zenghu Chang, Kansas State University professor of physics, and his team of physicists and engineers ...

Machine vision for hot surface automatic inspection

September 15, 2009

TECNALIA Technological Corporation is developing an innovative application for the automatic inspection of hot steel surfaces, based on Machine Vision technologies that enhance quality control in hot rolling mill processes.

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.