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ramé-hart Newsletter

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September 2019

We just got a lot faster!
This month we are pleased to announce a significant change to our instrument lineup. All ramé-hart goniometer and tensiometer products above Model 90, effective 1-Sep, will ship with our brand new U4 Series SuperSpeed digital camera. What's most amazing is that this new camera is 420% faster than the U1 Series camera it replaces.

Just over five years ago we upgraded from the FireWire bus to the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed bus. The U1 Series camera has been a solid and reliable performer. We've had zero failures during the warranty period and fewer than 1% failure rates for systems that are between one and five years old. 

The new U4 Series camera, also made in Germany, runs at an amazing 520 frames per second (compared to 100 fps for the U1 Series). The resolution has also increased by 20%. This new camera also uses the same USB 3.0 interface which has replaced FireWire as the bus of choice for high speed machine vision applications. What's more amazing is that we are NOT increasing the prices of any of our instruments despite the tremendous increase in speed and improvement in resolution. We prefer to pass on the product improvements to you at no additional cost.

In conjunction with the release of our new U4 Series camera, we will now also offer a U4 Series Performance Package (p/n 100-U4-PP). This upgrade includes a high-performance PC with SSD drive which is optimized for applications that require running at the highest speeds for extended durations. The system upgrade includes ample memory and storage to handle the most demanding high-speed tasks.

For more information, check out our updated instrument products and brochures here. If you have any questions regarding our new U4 Series camera, or any of our products, or would like a quotation, please contact us today.

High-speed imaging FAQ
Since we are releasing our new U4 Series camera this month, it's appropriate to offer some of the more common frequently asked questions relating to camera speed.

Q: Why do people need high speed?
A: High speed is useful for any test that happens quickly. Some of our customers who have ordered a system with a high speed camera use it to capture fast wetting behavior, Cassie to Wenzel transitions, fast absorption, and dynamic surface tension.

Q: Is the U4 Series camera the fastest camera you offer?
A: No, actually we also offer a SuperSpeed U2 Series Upgrade Kit which runs at 750 frames per second. We offer kits for new and existing instruments. The upgrade requires DROPimage Advanced. 

Q: Why did you upgrade from FireWire to USB?
A: FireWire 400 was great when it was new but at under 50 MB/s, it proved to be too slow. USB SuperSpeed is capable of speeds in excess of 1250 MB/s. That's an amazing 2400% improvement. In addition, the USB 3.0 interface is now standard on new PCs while FireWire requires a PC with a dedicated adapter installed. We upgraded from FireWire to USB 3.0 over five years ago with the introduction of the U1 Series SuperSpeed camera.

Q: I'm thinking about buying a new ramé-hart instrument. Should I add the U4 Series Performance Package?
A: Probably not. First, only DROPimage Advanced supports the Performance Package. Thus, if you're looking at a Model 90, 210, or 400, it's not needed or supported. If you are looking at a higher-end model with DROPimage Advanced, the Performance Package should only be added if you have a need to do any of the high-speed tests mentioned in the first answer above.

Q: I have a system with a U1 Series camera. Should I upgrade it?
A: Probably not. For most users, 100 frames per second is more than sufficient for 95% of all tests that are being done using our goniometer and tensiometer tools. If you do happen to have a need for a high-speed instrument, we do offer an kit that will upgrade you to the U4 Series camera. The p/n is 100-12-U4-UPGF. This upgrade kit is good for any U or F Series instrument. You could also upgrade to the 750 fps U2 camera.

Q: When running at 520 frames per second, is the resolution of the U4 Series camera reduced?
A: No. Unlike some competitors who offer high speed cameras that work at a reduced resolution as the speed increases, our U4 Series camera operates at all speeds at full resolution. This is an important feature as reduced resolution also reduces the accuracy of the results.

Q: Why do you use a German-made camera?
A: We have tested other cameras made in Japan and USA and we have found that our German-made camera is the most reliable and quality made. For example, our U1 Series camera which is also German-made - by the same camera maker as the U4 Series - suffered from zero failures during the first year of use on hundreds of instruments. The five year failure rate is below 1%.

Q: I have a homemade instrument and would like to add the U4 Series camera and your DROPimage software to the setup. Do you sell these parts separately?
A: While we do recommend that you buy a complete turn-key ramé-hart system in order to achieve optimal results, we do understand that there are custom applications that may benefit from components of our technology. So, yes, we do sell parts separately. Please contact us for a quotation. We can also build a custom instrument to your exacting specifications. See this page for more details on our custom offerings.

Q: How can you offer a camera that is over five times faster than the previous camera and is also higher resolution - but without raising the price?
A: Think of it as our way of improving our products, providing increased value to our customers, and giving ourselves an increased competitive edge over our slower competitors. It's our way of saying thank you for being a ramé-hart customer.


Carl Clegg
Director of Sales
Phone 973-448-0305
Contact us


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