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High-Quality Imaging Demands High-Quality Optics

23rd Sep 2020

Thermal imaging, medical imaging, geospatial imaging, imaging technology for food quality; there’s an abundance of imaging categories used across a diverse spectrum of industries. Although each subcategory varies considerably, they all share one commonality that provides high performance to each and every device. And, that shared element is the integration of optics.  

As an industry leader in the field of optical components for high-specification, ultra-precision imaging applications, Knight Optical is well-versed in ground-breaking innovations within various sectors. Not only have we supplied premium-quality, metrology-tested optics to world-leading manufacturers, engineers and scientists working on cutting-edge projects, but we have also helped to develop concepts from testing through to fruition. Here, we look at some of the most current and innovative uses of imaging from around the world and touch on the optical components that enable these devices to perform as required.

Medical Imaging 

Perhaps one of the more life-changing sub-divisions of imaging is seen within the medical sector. Medical imaging dates back to 1895 when German Physics Professor Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the invention of the X-ray. Not only has Röntgen’s invention saved millions of lives across the world, but it’s also saved a considerable amount of time; making the medical sector more time-efficient than ever before. Of course, Röntgen’s discovery dates back centuries, and since his innovation, more and more scientists, professors and engineers have found brand-new technologies to increase medical efficiencies even further.

Search for new innovations in medical imaging, and you’ll get results in the thousands. With our unappeasable appetite for new technologies and discoveries – particularly following the pandemic – there’s certainly no slowing down for medical imaging. Take; for example, last month’s SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) Biomedical Optics and Medical Imaging Newsletter, where three reports on medical imaging breakthroughs were reported. Firstly, a story on ‘super-resolution imaging with diagonal sampling’, where Peng Xi – Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Peking University – examined the frequency domain characteristics of CCD/CMOS imaging, using lens-based microscopic techniques1. Across the pond in America, the University of Virginia has looked into common challenges in understanding the brain with innovations in image analyses2. And lastly, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) revealed a ‘new imaging system that shows details of fatty liver disease’3.

What Optics Are Used in Medical Imaging?

With such revolutionary discoveries, the integration of high-quality optical components is imperative, and for potentially life-saving equipment, comprehensive testing of optics is equally essential. Here, at Knight Optical, we understand just how vital precision is for medical imaging, that’s why all our optics are thoroughly tested in our in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory. Following this testing, our components are visually inspected by our dedicated QA department for any surface defects that could impede operability of an end application. Our entire process ensures our customers receive the highest possible quality that aren’t only fit for purpose, but also withstand environmental pressures they are subjected to.

We supply a range of stock and custom-made optics for medical imaging, including (but not limited to):


By ordering high-precision optical components from Knight Optical, you guarantee a high-performing end application.

Food Processing Imaging 

Imaging really comes into its own in the food industry – especially in mass production. Here, imaging can be used to assess the composition, colours and structure of a piece of food. For example, Campden BRI – a science and technology company that provides practical scientific, technical, regulatory, information support – uses near-infrared (NIR) imaging to assess food composition rapidly4.

Not only does imaging ensure that high-quality food reaches our supermarket shelves; but it also provides an element of safety, ensuring consumers purchase safe-to-eat goods. Identifying dangers such as E. coli and Salmonella, imaging is hugely beneficial for produce that’s renowned for causing food poisoning. In fact, hyperspectral imaging – a method that analyses a broad spectrum of light (rather than just assigning primary colours to each pixel) and regularly used in the defence sector – is being relied on for food processing even more5 of late.

What Optical Components Are Used in Food Processing Imaging?

High precision is of the utmost importance when it comes to hard-to-inspect, mass-produced products from the food and beverage sector. That’s why our long-standing customer base relies on our premium, metrology-tested optical components for high-performing operability of machine vision and imaging systems within the industry.

There is a range of optics that can be used for imaging within the food sector. Some of these include:

Why Choose Knight Optical? 

Here at Knight Optical, we have been supplying a range of optical components for imaging applications. Discerning engineers working on such applications rely on Knight Optical not only for the premium quality of our output and in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory and QA Department‘s capabilities but also because – as well as a range of Stock Optics (available for next-day dispatch) – we also offer a range of sought-after Custom-Made Optical Components.

If you’re looking for premium-quality, bespoke optical components, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Technical Sales Team today.