Combustión Ingenieros, based in Bogota, Colombia, a producer of holographic products such as labels and manufacturing equipment, has utilized an embeddedvision system developed by Vision Components to develop Firefly, a microlithography system that allows users to upload image files and use those images as templates for producing holographic label designs that can be used as masters for further production.
Holographic labels are used as an authentication and security measure for official documents like driver's licenses, credit cards, or currency because it is very difficult to forge a hologram unless one is in possession of the master hologram. The ability to produce master copies of high-quality holographic labels therefore enables organizations to design their own levels of security for document protection. The more complex the hologram, the more difficult it is to forge that hologram. The Firefly microlithography system developed by Combustión Ingenieros allows users to design these high-quality master holograms.
The Firefly machine works by projecting a laser onto a photoresist plate, which is then treated by a chemical to develop the master hologram. This laser etching process requires precise positioning. In order for the hologram to have good levels of contrast the optics cannot lose focus, which requires rapid refocusing. Combustión Ingenieros achieves this in the Firefly by using a Vision Components embedded vision system, the VCSBCnanoZ-0011, to guide the laser with 50 µm accuracy to draw patterns between 200 - 300 µm, and to refocus the Firefly's optics every 20 ms.
The Vision Components system captures and processes the image, and transmits the position data to a piezoelectric nanopositioning system via an RS232 interface. According to Combustión Ingenieros, this process only takes a few milliseconds.
The VCSBCnanoZ-0011 features a single-board camera with a 1.3 MPixel CMOS sensor with 40 x 65 mm footprint. It utilizes a Xilinx Zynq dual-core Cortex-A9 ARM processor with a 2 x 866 MHz clock rate and integrated FPGA. The embedded system is equipped with 1 Gbit Ethernet, RS232 serial, and I²C interfaces, 12 inputs and outputs including an opto-isolated fast trigger input and flash-trigger output, and a battery-backed real-time clock.
The Firefly machine is controlled by a computer running Linux OS, the VCSBCnanoZ-0011 runs the VC Linux OS, and Combustión Ingenieros wrote custom Python code on the vision system.