Precitech, Vision Research, and Levicron release a second series of Slow-Motion Videos of Ultra Precision Machining

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Contacts: Mike Tanniru (603) 357-2511 Precitech
Rick Robinson (973) 696-4500 Vision Research Dr. Ralf Dupont +49 6301 66 800 0 Levicron

KEENE, NH, September 18, 2014 – Precitech and Vision Research, both businesses of AMETEK, Inc., have partnered with Levicron, a German manufacturer of air-bearing spindles, to create unique slow-motion videos of ultra precision machining. Together they have released a second series of these videos, allowing viewers to see additional processes in detail not available until now

“This latest series of videos shows some interesting perspectives of the milling process. Of particular interest is the video filmed at ultra-high speed in which individual chips can be seen being removed from the brass sample,” notes Jeff Roblee, Precitech Vice President of Technology.

The initial video series, released in July, showed an ultra precision milling process using a Levicron high-speed milling spindle to create a brass lenslet. The first video in this series shows two different perspectives of this same process. The first segment is filmed at 500 frames per second (30k frames per minute) using a Phantom® Flex4K high-speed digital camera from Vision Research. Throughout the process the camera and spindle remain perfectly synched, capturing every other rotation of the spindle operating at 60k rpm, with the result that the tool appears to be stationary while creating the lenslet.

In the second segment, Vision Research’s Phantom® v2010 ultrahigh-speed digital camera was focused on the tool at 40,000 frames per second. At this speed individual chips are seen being removed from the part. Both segments give viewers a unique perspective of the ultra precision milling process.

The spindle used in this milling video is a Levicron model ASD060-Cx high-speed, airbearing, tool-holding spindle capable of operating up to 100k rpm. The spindle is specifically designed to be highly productive and robust and yet still achieves the tolerances required for ultra precision machining.

The second video in this series shifts gears from ultra precision milling to ultra precision diamond turning of infrared lenses. Precitech is the global leader in providing diamond turning machines for the manufacture of infrared lenses.

The first segment of the video shows the machining of germanium using a wide radius diamond tool. With a wide radius tool germanium lenses can be machined faster with comparable form and finish results than with a small radius tool. This process is documented in an application report available on Precitech’s website .

A second segment shows the machining of silicon using a chamfered edge diamond tool. Silicon is a very challenging material to diamond turn due to the cutting forces required and the chemical reaction that occurs between the part and tool. Use of a chamfered edge tool is one method that has been experimented with to extend tool life when diamond turning silicon.

“Precitech has provided diamond turning machines to infrared lens manufacturers for a long time. We are very excited to be able to provide these views of two important processes for improving productivity in this area,” adds Jeff Roblee of Precitech. <,p>The milling and turning processes are both recorded on a Nanoform® X machining system. Precitech’s latest small-frame lathe is designed for high productivity and ease of use in ultra precise diamond turning, milling, and grinding of optical lenses, mold inserts, mirrors, and precision mechanical components.

The cameras to record the videos included Vision Research’s revolutionary Phantom® Flex4K high-speed digital camera and its Phantom v2010 ultrahigh-speed digital camera.

The Phantom Flex4K delivers unmatched image quality with extremely low-noise performance and a wide dynamic range. Built-in software allows complete on-camera control and editing, eliminating the need for a computer on set.

The Phantom v2010, part of Vision Research’s v-Series line, offers the fastest 1 megapixel (1Mpx) cameras on the market. The v2010 achieves 22,500 frames per second (fps) at full 1Mpx resolution and up to 1 million fps at lower resolutions. Complete with Phantom picture quality, software, and analytical tools, v2010 is a valuable tool for industrial diagnostic troubleshooting applications.

Levicron manufactures precision air-bearing spindles for micro precision as well as ultra precision machining. Its spindles can be divided into two types, work holding and tool holding, for precision lathes and flycutting machines.

Precitech is a global manufacturer of innovative ultra precision machining solutions. It designs and manufactures machine tools for turning, milling, and grinding. Its precision machines produce rotationally symmetric, asymmetric, freeform and sculpted geometries, achieving form tolerances in the sub-micron range and nanometer surface finishes when equipped with diamond tooling.

Vision Research is a global leader in high-speed digital imaging systems that are indispensable across a wide variety of applications, including defense, automotive, engineering, science, medical research, industrial manufacturing, packaging, sports broadcast, TV production and digital cinematography.

Both Precitech and Vision Research are units of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of $3.6 billion. For more information, contact Precitech, 44 Blackbrook Road, Keene, NH 03431, USA. Tel: (603) 357-2511. Fax: (603) 358-6174. E-mail: Web site: