Active lens alignment methods are great for high-quality lenses requiring the highest possible precision. While offering outstanding results, automated tools can take several minutes to align the lenses while manual tools may take up to ten times longer.
INO’s patented auto-centering method is based on the use of the geometrical relationship between lens diameter, lens radius of curvature and the thread angle of the retaining ring. The barrel thread angle and the spatial profile of the peripheral region of the lens surface are selected to create auto-centering conditions whereby any decentering of the retaining ring and a corresponding tilt of the retaining ring have counterbalancing effects on the centering of the optical element.
INO’s method, enables you to achieve comparable or better results more quickly than other techniques. Our tests show that lens alignment takes less than 25 seconds per lens, with a great repeatability under 5 µm.
You can align lenses with outstanding precision while significantly reducing production time and rejection rate, and in some cases fewer lenses will be required in your assembly.
The method works with spherical, aspherical and cylindrical lenses, with any lens geometry, provided the centrability criteria are met. The method can tackle any lens centering needs. Most lens shapes are supported, including plano and biconvex, plano and biconcave, meniscus and any centrosymmetric flat optical component.
Here are two comparisons between INO’s method and two of the most used alignment techniques. The following figures show the centering error measurements.
Actual drop-in lens mounting technique
The red dots are the results in terms of precision obtained with the drop-in technique, relying on the retaining ring for centering and using standard thread. The blue dots show the results of INO’s auto-centering technology. For the same amount of time spent, INO’s method gives results that are 10 to 20 times more precise, at a similar operating cost.
The red dots represent the precision obtained with a manual lens alignment machine, and the blue dots show the results of INO’s auto-centering technology. Both methods have comparable precision, however these results were obtained faster using INO’s method, while the overall cost (operations and tooling assets) was considerably lower.
INO’s auto-centering technology is a fast, precise lens alignment method. This patented technology will solve design and production challenges. Easy to implement, it is perfectly suited for new product development, for both small and large series.
Please contact us if you would like more information about what INO’s auto-centering technology can do for you, it will be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have. This method is available for technology transfer.
For more technical information, see our patents: