The Nikon Story - Industrial measuring systems
Today Nikon is a world-renowned brand, firmly established as a market leader in optical instrumentation and the only microscope company to manufacture its own glass, ensuring the very finest quality assurance throughout production. With over 90 years expertise in the field, Nikon has always been at the forefront of optical and technological innovation, promoting creativity and trustworthiness as part of the company's global mission statement.
The Nikon story began back in 1917 when three Japanese optical manufacturers merged to form a company known as Nippon Kogaku KK ('Japan Optics'), producing precision optical glass. In 1925 the brand expanded to produce the first microscope with a revolving nosepiece and interchangeable objectives - the Joico microscope.
The next few decades brought considerable growth to the microscopy division, ground-breaking polarising and stereo microscopes were introduced in addition to products for the increasing measuring and inspection market. Next to the microscopes, Nikon also introduced optical inspection systems for industrial applications, such as optical comparators, autocollimators, profile projector and automated vision based systems.
In the 1970s the CF Optical system was established and Nikon unveiled the Optiphot and Labophot microscopes. In the 1980's Nikon launched more than 80 new products and the first test tube babies were conceived in the UK (1978) and the USA (1980) with the assistance of a Nikon inverted Diaphot microscope.The 1990's brought yet more innovation with the introduction of the Eclipse range of infinity optics. The new Millennium saw the birth of digital imaging solutions for microscopy and Nikon once again led the market in providing superior and practical cameras to do this. The introduction of the DS camera series and the Coolscope heralded a further advances in the transfer of images across the globe. The future as always is unclear but what is obvious is the pace at which changes happen.
Expanding towards 3D Metrology
With the acquisition of Metris in 2009, Nikon enlarged its portfolio with optical 3D measuring instruments. The new division "Nikon Metrology" today offers the broadest range of metrology solutions for applications ranging from miniature electronics to the largest aircrafts. Nikon Metrology’s innovative measuring and precision instruments contribute to a high performance design-through-manufacturing process that allows manufacturers to deliver premium quality products in a shorter time.
Following products lines are now available in the portfolio:
Nikon Metrology provides best-in-class precision equipment and metrology solutions for use on CMMs and articulated arms CMMs.
Optical CMMs are portable, handheld coordinate measuring machines, with a proven track record in engineering, preproduction and quality control applications.
Next-generation digital LC and XC laser scanners confirm market leadership for CMM-based laser inspection, offering full surface and feature measurement.
Digital ModelMaker 3D scanners are ideally suited for use on articulated measuring arms, serving a variety of inspection and reverse engineering applications.
The HN-6060 multi-sensor 3D metrology system provides fast, high-precision, non-contact inspection of complex shapes with tactile accuracy.
The X-ray and CT inspection systems provide detailed insight into the internal structure of parts.
Typically used for inspection of loaded PCBs, compact castings and plastics, these imaging systems facilitate the detection of connectivity failures, material defects and assembly issues.
CNC video measuring systems from Nikon Metrology’s cover precision optical and digital imaging systems for inspection and non-contact surface inspection, reconciling high precision with maximum productivity.
Measuring microscopes focus on industrial measuring and image analysis, designed for complete digital control for maximum measuring accuracy.
Industrial microscopes (stereo, upright, inverted) serve a wide range of visual inspection application. Recently added to the microscopes portfolio is the portable ShuttlePix offering users to simply grab the instrument and take images and measurements anywhere needed.
Rugged optical comparators are built to provide bright crisp images of an incredible range of specimens, whereas autocollimators provide exceptional measuring accuracy and reliability in demanding measurements, such as flatness or height by simple geometry.
The Laser Radar is a top large-scale metrology solution available to the manufacturing industry, performing fully automated, non-contact measurement and inspection up to 60 meters.
The iGPS is a modular, large-volume tracking system used in manufacturing and assembly, enabling factory-wide localization of multiple objects with metrology accuracy.
Nikon Metrology also provides a full range of complementary software solutions for CMM and point cloud based inspection and reverse engineering applications.
The product portfolio is completed with a vast range of support, metrology and integration services.
Your Nikon Family
Owning a Nikon is not just about making a purchase it is about joining a growing family and becoming part of the future. Nikon provides you with the opportunity to enter a new world that you can help shape and define. We want to assure you that we will expend every effort to ensure our products and services will enhance your experience of imaging and help deliver you the results you want to achieve. Every aspect of our business from product development to customer service is constantly reviewed and adapted to an ever changing market to ensure that your needs are met and expectations are exceeded. Our corporate goal is to instill trustworthiness and our future creativity truly depends on your input. With optics at the heart of every imaging system, it's essential to choose the leading brand. With over 90 years expertise in the field, Nikon has achieved a level of optical excellence unrivalled by any other. Combined with innovative technology and intuitive software you can be reassured that your Nikon equipment is second to none.
Owning a Nikon Imaging System is just the beginning.
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Recollections - Long-selling products, historical products & technologies
The Nikon archives are stored in a warehouse, where they are used to study the history of the company. In this series, we look through the archives to reveal some of Nikon's long-selling products, little-known historical products and technologies.
To have a look at Nikon's recollections, please click here.