Software – the Window Between the Microscope and the User

Software for High Throughput and Precision

In industrial manufacturing and quality assurance, speed, precision and high throughput are essential. Microscopes also have to have easy-to-use, intuitive controls so that they can be operated by different people in shifts. Even untrained laboratory staff should instantly be able to achieve correct and reproducible results. “The microscope, camera and software form a unit that reliably supplies images and measurement results. In industry, the microscope is a tool that is used to do a defined job,” says Kay Scheffler, Product Manager at Leica Microsystems. Software is assigned a key role in this system.

Reproducible Results

As all the microscope parameters, from aperture and magnification to illumination, can be recalled automatically for each documented image, the software enables reproducible results. Critical measurements can therefore be re-enacted at any time and remeasured under the same conditions.

Automation

A high level of automation is important when different and sometimes untrained personnel use the microscope. In this case, the software guarantees that measurements are always taken with the same microscope settings. Automation thus helps to reduce or eliminate the element of human error in the work process.

User-friendliness

Microscope software should always be user-friendly. It should be so clearly designed that users don’t need much instruction and always know exactly the step they are at in their analysis process.

Documentation

Quality control involves proving the integrity of the manufactured components. The documentation of the inspection results is therefore particularly important and is another job for the software: users can export the measurement results to the desired formats and programs with a single mouse click.

Norms and Standards

Measurement specifications in quality control are mainly governed by defined norms and standards. This guarantees that suppliers and customers apply the same assessment criteria. In the special modules of Leica Microsystems software, the relevant standards are already provided as measuring templates. The microscope parameters are automatically set, the user only has to determine the focal point. Employees of Leica Microsystems are regularly engaged in workgroups and standardization bodies and invited to speak at symposiums and seminars. This ensures that the software is always up-to-date with the relevant norms and standards. 

Interactive Measurements

Time-critical processes rely on fast and efficient measurement. The software LAS Interactive Measurement allows measurements to be made directly on the live microscope image. This saves time while still offering the full range of further processing options: the user can directly call up statistical trends, create a report as an Excel file and save the configuration for later applications. 

Multi-focus Images

One of the key tasks of microscope software is to produce images that are larger than seen by the microscope alone. LAS Live Image Builder produces images that extend beyond the normal field of view. The LAS Multifocus Module provides images with an extended depth of focus: a stack of images of a sample captured at different focus positions are combined to generate a pin-sharp image.

Special Applications

Leica Microsystems‘ expert modules are specially designed for high-spec applications. These include Leica Cleanliness Expert for component cleanliness, Leica Steel Expert 2.0 for steel purity analysis, Leica Phase Expert and Leica Grain Expert for materials and metallurgy labs. Developed with the know-how of these specialists, the expert modules are exactly tailored to the requirements of the respective sectors of industry.
 

Related Images