Archive for the ‘Image Analysis’ Category

News Flash: The upstart sCMOS technology is now dominating the market

Once considered a speed king, sCMOS is showing its versatility

In the early days of sCMOS technology, manufacturers touted only the readout speed of the sensor. One of the first entry’s into the market, Hamamatsu released the Flash 2.8 with promises of speed – but what it offered in speed it lacked in low light sensitivity. Now with sCMOS sensors offering quantum efficiency of more than 95% the sensitivity issue has been addressed – in force. Although very few sCMOS cameras offer 95% QE, at this point most offer 82% QE.

In addition to excellent sensitivity, most sCMOS sensors are also extremely low noise. Where most CCD cameras offer readout noise of 6 electrons rms most sCMOS cameras offer a median readout noise of less than one electron rms. The combination of high sensitivity and low noise means that even long exposures provide very clean data for image analysis.

sCMOS technology takes over for routine imaging

When sCMOS first entered the market at a price over $20,000, most people still opted for the less expensive CCD technology for any application other than high speed. However, currently, most value oriented sCMOS cameras such as the Leica DFC9000G are available for around $14,000. Some sCMOS camerasare now available for less than $10,000 and creeping into the routing imaging realm.

The entry in to routine imaging comes with good reason, sCMOS technology is superior to CCD by offering lower noise, higher resolutions, faster readout, and better low light sensitivity. Models such as the QImaging Optimos and pco.edge come in either at or near the $10,000 mark, making sCMOS available for mainstream users.

sCMOS takes aim at EMCCD

Earlier in 2016 Photometrics disrupted the EMCCD market by introducing the Prime 95B which offers 95% quantum efficiency and 1.44 million 11 micron pixles with a massive 18.7 mm sensor. The Prime 95B is currently in process of devouring what is left of the EMCCD market. Yes there is still a place for EMCCD for extremely low light applications such as photon counting – but with the Prime 95B the applications are dwindling. Also, with a price that is nearly half of most EMCCD’s, the price advantage is significant as well.

High Speed in Low Light

Conventional wisdom in scientific imaging chose EMCCD for applications where high sensitivity and high speed is required for accurate data collection. Again sCMOS technology is challenging conventional wisdom with clever on camera processing.

The Photometrics Prime employs a process called Prime Enhance where pixel grayscale values are rapidly compared to neighbors thereby reducing the effect of readout noise on the image data. This processing can, in some cases, offer a higher signal to noise ratio (SNR) by a factor of eight! An image acquired at 100ms has equivalent SNR of an image acquired at 800ms!

The End of Big Data

When a 4.2 megapixel sCMOS camera is unleashed at 100FPS with 16 bit images, the file size can increase rapidly. Datasets of 100GB are not uncommon in high speed or multidimensional experiments. However, with the release of the Hamamatsu Flash v3 and Photometrics Prime, sCMOS cameras have started to address the issue of file size by offering lower bit depth images and “blank data” elimination with Prime Locate.

Although disk space is increasingly becoming less expensive, waiting 30 minutes to copy 100GB of data to a network drive is about as exciting as rush hour traffic.

Trust W. Nuhsbaum

The world of scientific cameras is rapidly changing with new technology and models released regularly. Trust the imaging experts at W. Nuhsbaum to educate you on the many choices and help select the right camera for your application.

Look like a Cleanliness Expert

You’re not fully clean until you’re ISO 16232 – fully clean!

Manufacturing is just catching on to what bath soap companies have known for years – cleanliness sells product! In a never-ending quest for superior product and reliability, manufacturers, particularly in the automotive industry, are turning to the ISO 16232 standard to hold manufacturing practices to the same quality of engineering.

Cleanliness standards are being applied to everything from drive train components to suspension and steering. Manufacturers have discovered that infrequently occurring metal objects can lead to component failure, costly repairs, and recalls.

Increasingly, major automotive companies have been requiring suppliers to provide cleanliness information. Now, in order to maintain or earn new contracts, suppliers need to meet or exceed cleanliness standards set by the manufacturer.

Although there are plenty of systems claiming to provide suppliers with cleanliness data, Leica has several easy to use and cost effective Cleanliness Expert systems that provide suppliers with ISO 16232 cleanliness results.

Rinse, Baby, Rinse!

Standard cleanliness procedure includes rinsing a part with a solvent and filtering the fluid through a 47mm diameter filter patch. The filter will catch inorganic material such as organic fiber, but it will also capture metallic debris. The metallic debris are concerning, depending on size they can either be insignificant or lead to component failure in a final product.

Scanning the filter paper with a microscope can identify the difference between organic and metallic objects using a polarizer. Since metallic objects are highly reflective, the software compares the polarized and non-polarized images to identify objects that are reflective (metallic) and non-reflective (organic).

Reduce User Errors with Leica

Automation and routine save time, but they also significantly reduce user error. The Leica Cleanliness Expert system automates both hardware and software to make acquiring consistent conditions as simple as a few mouse clicks. With Leica systems, engineers can configure the image acquisition conditions and set the limits for cleanliness.

Once the system has been configured, users can log into the system with restricted access to settings and quickly work through the guided acquisition procedure. Generating consistent and accurate results has never been easier!

Reporting is also made easy and consistent with standard report templates – providing engineers and decision makers with the information they need in a familiar format.

High Content Cleanliness Data

In addition to providing engineers with XY size information, Leica also offers users the ability to provide Z data for the most detailed contaminant data. If a metal shaving is taller than it is wide, the motorized focus motor can capture an “extended depth of focus” image to calculate volume!

This feature could be the difference between failure in the quality lab or failure in the product. Measuring contaminants in 2D only provides half the information; 3D is required for the full picture.

Time Equals Money

One unique feature of the Leica Cleanliness Expert system is speed. The software will acquire both brightfield and polarized light images rapidly with a filter wheel and provide analysis results during acquisition. Therefore, if there are too many contaminants detected at 25% complete, the user can cancel the acquisition and report the results.

The high-speed filter wheel also means that the cleanliness scan happens more quickly. Other systems require manual polarizer switching leading to lost time and possible error. In a setting where results have to happen quickly and accurately for a shipment to leave the building, time equals money!

Money Equals Money

Leica offers a variety of configurations for Cleanliness Expert systems to meet just about any budget. The fully automated system, which is the pinnacle of speed, accuracy, and quality, may fit into the manufacturer’s budget, but it may not fit into the supplier’s budget.

However, the suppliers need to meet cleanliness to maintain and win new contracts – so Leica offers fully configurable semi-automated systems and manual systems to meet budget. At the entry level, a system can be configured with one of Leica’s digital microscopes!

Along with affordable Cleanliness Systems from Leica Microsystems, for a limited time, W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. is offering up to $2,500 savings with any Leica Cleanliness Expert system purchased before June 30th, 2016. There has never been a better time to have the experts at W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. provide you with a system that meets your needs and your budget!

Trust W. Nuhsbaum, Inc.

With 35 years of experience in microscopy and a track record of delivering results for customers with cleanliness systems across the Midwest, the sales representatives and imaging specialists at W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. are qualified and prepared to deliver results for your company.

Contact your representative to learn more about the Leica Cleanliness Expert system and how much you could save!

Image-Pro Premier unlocks 3D Analysis for the masses

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men lacked 3D reconstruction to put Humpty back together again

The original Mother Goose nursery rhyme pretty much described the difficulty in reassembling a delicate and complicated 3D structure:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Although today’s challenges faced by industry leaders and cutting-edge research are not reassembling broken eggs, the obstacles are just as daunting. Individual 2D images do not provide information about depth, volume, or features hidden above or below the plane of focus, which makes understanding a 3D structure difficult.

The ability to acquire 3D data has existed for quite a while through confocal, deconvolution, and serial sections, however, the software to reassemble the images and make critical measurements has been slow to develop. Furthermore, making the 3D measurements straightforward for average users has been even more challenging.

Meet Image-Pro Premier 3D

Based on over 30 years of input from Image-Pro software users, Image-Pro Premier 3D brings breakthrough technology to users, offering intuitive tools that make it easy to import, visualize, process, measure, and share your image sets and valuable data.

The new Image-Pro Premier 3D offers robust 64-bit support, a user-friendly interface, multi-dimensional visualization, 3D volume measurements, object counting, 3D manual measurements, custom movie making, reporting, and many tools for customizing your workflow.

All the 3D analysis you need with all the 2D analysis you want

In addition to the powerful 3D measurement tools, Image-Pro Premier 3D also includes all the processing and measuring capabilities of Image-Pro Premier, making for a well-rounded 2D analysis package in addition to the 3D abilities.

Measurement tools such as Smart Segmentation and the Intelligent Classifier are included in the analysis package. So whether your applications demand volume measurements or simple area measurements, Image Pro Premier 3D is ready to take on the challenge.

Hundreds of images to measure? No problem.

Included with Image Pro Premier 3D is a powerful scripting engine that will eliminate repetitive steps and batch process hundreds of images with just a few clicks. Whether you choose to build your own macro in the visual editor or write the code in visual basic, Image-Pro Premier is designed for automated 3D analysis.

Even if your 3D analysis project is seemingly impossible, the team at W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. is prepared to assist with your 3D analysis challenges. Many 3D analysis tasks can be accomplished with a series of image processing steps, which can be made simple and free from user error when automated. Save time and reduce error by working with W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. for your automated 3D analysis project.

Make 3D measurements and save a pile of cash

The popular Image-Pro Premier 3D with a FREE analysis computer promotion provided by W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. has been extended to June, 30th, 2016.

Many modern computers simply are not optimized for the unique demands of the 3D rendering engine in Image-Pro Premier 3D. Companies can waste thousands of dollars on the incorrect computer and the current promotion can eliminate headaches and save money!

Trust W. Nuhsbaum, Inc.

Microscope systems such as the Leica SPE confocal, DMi8, DM6, M205C, and Digital Microscope line are ready to acquire 3D data. When combined with the powerful analysis tools in Image-Pro Premier 3D the data generated from the Leica acquisition systems can answer questions quickly, accurately, and free of user analysis error.

Going beyond 2D imaging and analysis doesn’t have to be a mind-bending experience. With 35 years of experience in microscopy and imaging, the team at W. Nuhsbaum, Inc. is uniquely prepared to assist with your 3D acquisition and analysis needs. Contact your local W. Nuhsbaum imaging specialist to learn more about what Image-Pro Premier 3D can do for your analysis needs.