The Scalar DG-3 - third generation Portable Digital Microscope
By Mike Hanlon
March 30, 2006
March 31, 2006 A fortnight from now, Scalar Corporation will begin shipping the DG-3, the third generation of what was the world's first portable digital microscope. If you’re unaware of the capabilities available in a touch-and-view, portable microscope, we suggest you might review the following, as it seems to us that it has application in almost every production, maintenance and non-destructive testing process known to man. The strength of the DG-3 is its extreme portability, meaning it can be used in the field or factory, in a fuselage, on animals … basically anywhere. Surfaces are magnified with its LED illuminated lenses from 25x to 1000x and then imaged by its 2.3 megapixel sensor complete with calibrated measurement (micron) bars in the image. Scalar microscopes are used for sophisticated and mission-critical inspection by companies such as NASA, Boeing, the United Space Alliance, car manufacturer s, airlines and the military but as the unit has matured and become more readily available, we envision the DG-3 being used wherever it’s important to understand what’s happening on a micron level.
Some of the applications in which DG units are already employed include a major car manufacture using them on their paint line to examine and troubleshoot painting defects. Scalar's DG units have been used by United Airlines to examine jet engine turbine blades, Florida Power and Light has used them to examine debris caught in screens within their power generating systems and the U.S. Navy uses them but won’t say how or why. The units are increasingly used in the fabric and printing industries for quality control.
The new DG-3 comes with a 25x to 200x Parfocal Zoom Lens which makes it easy to magnify the exact item you would like to view in a broad range of magnifications, though like a top-of-the-line SLR camera, specialist lens are available from 25x to 1000x to suit the task at hand. In many ways, the DG-3 is similar to an SLR in that it has a large (3.5 inch) LCD screen and a preview mode so you save only the best images.
Engineer with Boeing at Kennedy Space Center are now using the Scalar DG-2A in close handheld inspections of bolt holes, bonding screens, corrosion, and braided flex hoses. Boeing also has obtained Scalar's 25x-200x Parfocal Zoom lens (US$4200). This lens can be used as a Touch & View lens or it can provide about 1/2 inch working distance when its Touch Collar is removed. This zoom lens allows one to scan an area at 25x, bullseye a defect or area of interest, and then zoom to 200x without moving the lens. The surface of the material is preserved, time is conserved, and certainty is provided that the whole object has been inspected as images can be stored.
The price of the DG-3 begins at US$5780 and optional lenses begin at US$660.
Scalar Corporation was founded in Japan by Masao Yamamoto in 1985 and since its inception, has produced more Touch & View microscopes than any other manufacturer in the world. Scalarscopes is Scalar Corporations USA entity for managing distributors needs in the Western Hemisphere and assists distributors in training, pre and post sales support. Scalar is seeking distributors worldwide and enquiries should be routed via Mitch Axsom of Scalarscopes.