Digital microscopy offers clear advantages for a large number of industrial quality inspections, particularly for surface analysis. Fracture analysis and the analysis of inclined or vertical surfaces, or in situ inspection of large components such as turbine rotors are just a few examples of applications where digital microscopes can show their full potential. For some applications, however, a traditional solution with stereo- or light microscopes is more practical and cost-effective. Qualified advice and extensive application know-how are therefore essential for choosing the right solution. But what are the key criteria for the successful use of digital microscopes, and what are the differences between digital and traditional microscopy?
First of all, a digital microscope has no eyepiece to look through. The sample is directly imaged on the monitor. This enables the user to view and analyze the sample in a single pass using the software, sitting in a comfortable and relaxed position. The individual components of a digital microscope are chosen according to the particular application: zoom optics for low to ultra high magnifications, stands, sliding stages, etc. A digital microscope system should have a modular design so that it can be exactly configured to suit its intended use and flexibly adapted to changes in general conditions. To offer users real value added compared with traditional set-ups, a digital microscope has to meet the five following technological requirements:
- Optimized digital imaging
- Dynamic viewing of processes or objects
- Qualitative and quantitative sample analysis
- Display and analysis of samples with high dynamic range
- Lean optics for flexible orientation to sample and for mobile use
Typical digital microscopes are equipped with a 2.11 megapixel