We have repaired the export of optical constants of some types of materials (in particular effective dielectric function objects) to the workbook.
Several import routines for the workbook or the batch control window look for empty cells to detect the end of a data block. These routines failed when the workbook contained cells which looked empty but contained an invisible carriage return character.
Starting with object generation 4.28 this is fixed – a carriage return character is treated like an empty cell now.
We have introduced the above mentioned new type of material object in 2014 already. However, we forgot to add documentation to explain how to use it. This has been done now …
Here is the link to the updated SCOUT documentation page:
Use the new menu command Actions/Clone current product to copy the currently selected product to a new product. The new product is automatically added to the products.ini file.
After the copy activity BREIN selects the new product and asks you if you want to delete all result files and clear the database.
Finally you can use the new command Actions/Set target values to open a workbook showing all target values and tolerances and modify the settings.
Meanwhile we have learned to control the motion of traverse systems. This enables us to record position dependent spectra and generate color profiles as well as thickness profiles. These give valuable information for operators controlling large area coaters. Results are available immediately after production.
Our first system records transmittance and reflectance spectra (from both sides of large glass substrates) in the range 380 … 1000 nm. Data are recorded with Zeiss MMS1 spectrometers and tec5 electronics. 2 stabilized halogen light sources provide the required radiation.
All 3 spectra are taken simultaneously at the same sample spot. Here are some sketches of the optical setup:
The spectrometer units (including light sources and electronics) are mounted on 2 vertical rail systems (made by ITEM). The rail systems are mechanically synchronized and driven by a Trinamic stepper motor.
The measuring heads can be positioned at any location on the glass as well as several calibration positions below the glass.
The whole system fits in a container of 400 mm width and 1000 mm length. This was a requirement of our customer. The open slit in the middle provides enough space for the glass (more than 2500 mm) to move through the system:
The spectrometers as well as the stepper motor are controlled by our CODE software. CODE scripts are used to execute actions like calibration and automatic scans. Measurements can be triggered by an OPC connection – in this case CODE provides an OPC client.
Light source and measuring heads for transmission and reflection, mounted on the rail system:
System opened, showing one measuring head with electronics and the energy chain for power supply and ethernet connection:
Typical spectra of high quality:
The measured spectra show excellent agreement with those measured by a laboratory research instrument in the range 380 … 950 nm):
Coupled to our BREIN software operators get information about inhomogeneities across the pane (transmittance,reflectance, color). The display below shows a thickness vs. position for the last 3 panes:
We can provide similar solutions for horizontal scanning as well, IN addition, we can mount measuring heads for any angle of incidence in the range 8° … 60 °.
In the case of light scattering products such as textured solar glass we can provide an excellent measuring system recording R and T using an integrating sphere.
During the last months we have implemented a lot of hardware related functions in CODE. Powerful script commands can be used to perform automated optical measurements. Trigger objects can execute actions based on obtained values of spectrometers, optical sensors or motors.
We have now opened a connection to the outside industrial world by adding OPC clients (available in the list of spectrometers). A client automatically connects to a server and retrieves a parameter value at a user-defined rate. The value is available as optical function and can be used in trigger conditions. This way CODE actions can be triggered externally.
A typical application is triggering spectrum recording based on the position of a product in a production line.
In order to realize some hardware projects we have implemented spectrometer objects that can handle up to 3 Avantes or tec5 spectrometers. Spectra are recorded simultaneously.
We have used these objects for production control systems recording transmittance and reflectance from both sides of coated glass. In addition, we use 3 spectrometers in an integrating sphere system that records reflectance and transmittance of light scattering samples like textured solar glass.
The global “parameter variation” mechanism (started by the menu command “Actions/parameter variation”) has been enhanced. From now on objects of type “Color angle variation” export their full angle dependence for every value of the parameter variation to the workbook. Tables for L*, a* and b* are written to individual worksheets.
A problem writing BREIN results files has been detected and solved: When the update of integral quanties has been switched off during parameter fits, the results files did not get the correct values. We have inserted an additional update command after the fit which ensures that the right values are written to the result file.
The WOSP MRC-DESKTOP system records reflectance spectra of glass panes or other flat and large samples for 30°, 45° and 60° angle of indicence.
Spectra are recorded in the wavelength range 380 … 1000 nm using halogen light sources and a Zeiss MMS 1 spectrometer. After calibration the time to acquire the required sample spectra is less than 10 seconds.
The image below shows the first demonstration prototype as presented at the ICCG 11 exhibition. The metal frame is based on ITEM parts which allow very flexible modifications of the setup, adapting the system to customer needs. All required optical parts are above the sample plane – in principle there is no size limit for samples.
Recording data requires 3 steps:
- Redording of the dark signal of the spectrometer. This takes about 3 seconds and does not require any action except a mouse click.
- Secondly, a reference mirror has to be placed at the sample position, and the signals for the 3 angles are recorded. Data acquisition takes less than 10 seconds.
- Finally, data are recorded for the sample which is placed on the table.
We recommend to take dark and reference spectra at least every 15 minutes.
The system is operated using our CODE-NF software which is a restricted version of our CODE thin film analysis and design software package. In CODE-NF you cannot perform automatic parameter fits – all other features of CODE are contained in CODE-NF.
CODE user interfaces are very flexible. We recommend to have a few buttons only, triggering dark, reference and sample measurements as well as the export of the obtained data.