Process Visualization

Process Visualization

Learn more about specific Total Vu HMI capabilities by following the links below:

Obtaining measurement values from LaserLinc’s laser micrometer, UltraGauge+™, and Profile Vu™ devices is just the beginning. Off-the-shelf, LaserLinc’s Total Vu HMI accomplishes many important goals:

  • View large, easy-to-read color-coded graphical displays and data so you can instantly assess product quality and process trends
  • Summarize product quality and process capability with statistics display and reporting
  • Quick, error-free changeovers with an unlimited recipe system 
  • Detect and report dimensional flaws using unique, built-in filtering so defects may be eliminated before reaching your customer or downstream processes
  • Independent and simultaneous processing of measurements for SPC, flaw detection, measurement, and trending so each function works optimally for your operation
  • Capture measurement data to disk or network storage devices for post-processing and record keeping
  • A large selection of “actions” for customizing behavior; “actions” can be linked together into macros to make the system do exactly what you want with the touch of a button
  • Use standard displays or adapt them, including buttons and actions, to fit your exact needs


In addition to traditional support methods–phone and email, you can initiate interactive support via the Internet using the Quick Support application. Through Quick Support, LaserLinc's support staff are there for you when you need them to diagnose and solve problems quickly as well as provide training.

Hardware Options

The Total Vu HMI is Windows®-compatible software so you can choose the computing platform, whether industrial or desktop, laptop, mini-PC, or an all-in-one product. For turnkey systems, LaserLinc can source a PC for you or choose the μLinc™ processor for an integrated package with CPU, I/O and software for the ultimate in ease of installation.

For minimum hardware requirements, contact LaserLinc.

Microsoft, Excel, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Total Vu HMI is a powerful tool for gathering real-time data about the product and the process. An equally powerful tool is needed to document the results: Excel®-based reporting is that tool.

With data in a common electronic format—an Excel workbook—satisfy any reporting need with this option. Benefits include:

  • Report generation process is entirely automated ー no operator involvement required.
  • Use an included customizable report template or design your own in Excel.
  • Complete control over the look of the report.
  • Capture all the information you want including:
    • Recipe details
    • Statistics
    • Chart images: Run/Trend, Histogram, or X-bar/Range charts
    • Screen shots
    • Logged measurement data
    • Process Tracker™ and Flaw event logs
    • Attribute values
  • Add custom post-processing using formulas Excel macros in the report template.
  • Save the report electronically, print it, or both.
  • Generate report file names automatically according to your own naming convention.
  • Use optional password protection to protect report workbooks
  • Use any printer supported by Windows®, including label printers.
  • Reprint reports at any time in the future.

Microsoft, Excel, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Reliably and consistently measure key dimensions of non-round profiles and variable diameter products, for in-process and off-line applications.


  • Corrugated tubing: measure peak (maximum) and valley (minimum) diameters, pitch (distance between consecutive peaks or valleys), and peaks-per-unit-length
  • Stranded wire and wire rope: measure enveloping diameter (circumscribed diameter) even with odd strand count
  • Groove depth: measure minimum diameter
  • Rectangular profile: measure width and height as profile orientation oscillates or using oscillating fixture for the micrometer.

In general, use this module to captures minimum and maximum dimensions over user-defined intervals of time, length, or other events.

An audit trail provides a complete history of dimensional characteristics, and for production applications, process conditions as well. If you have a process analysis or improvement project, are a supplier to the automotive industry, or you produce critical products such as those that affect human health, complete process and product monitoring is important.

All of the information and data sources described below form a complete picture of the product and the process—an audit trail—from which stakeholders can draw important conclusions and devise corrective actions.

Data Sources

LaserLinc’s Total Vu platform supports the collection of data from our non-contact measurement devices and it also can be used to acquire data from:

  • Transducers and sensors via analog voltage input
  • Smart transducers and sensors via serial and Modbus RTU input
  • Hand tools and non-electronic devices via keyboard input
  • PLCs, other HMI/MMI systems, or any OPC-compatible platform via the OPC protocol
  • Barcode readers

In addition to these sources of data, other notable tools include: Process Tracker™, Attributes, and Event Characterization.

Process™ Tracker Event Reporting

Process Tracker™ captures event information such as spool changes, operator notes, recipe changes, material changes, closed-loop control actions, and more. Each event is time, date, and length stamped (requires encoder input).

Event Characterization

Capture high-speed data (10 KHz or higher) in bursts to capture full detail on events of interest, such as around an out-of-tolerance measurement, or a trigger from an external device such as a flaw detector or spark tester.

All of the data from just before, during, and just after each event is stored in one file and a separate file is created for each event. You only keep the data that matters, making it easy to analyze post-process.


To complete the audit trail, capture contextual information about the run, and other process or product information not captured by other means. An Attribute value can come from a barcode reader, operator input or selection, MES and ERP system, OPC, or other source.

OPC is a registered trademark of the OPC Foundation

SPC is the application of statistical methods to monitor and control a process to achieve optimal product quality. The Total Vu platform has standard and optional SPC features to help you reduce variability and scrap, and improve the process, product quality, and productivity.


  • Track and display Maximum, Minimum, Range, Average, Standard Deviation, Sample Count, and process capability statistics Pp and PpK
  • Save electronically (CSV format) and/or print a statistical summary report per package/spool and per batch/run

Advanced SPC Option:

  • Apply SPC Sampling Plans (sampling frequency and sub-grouping) to properly analyze process capability
  • Identify process shifts when they happen using X-bar/Range control charts rather than after post-processing the data when product quality is set
  • View real-time histograms and quickly assess quality distribution
  • Track and display many additional statistics: Estimated sigma, Relative Standard Deviation, Coefficient of Variation, Coefficient of Variation Percent, subgroup Maximum, Minimum, Range, and Average; Range-bar, X-double-bar, and process capability statistics Cp and CpK
  • Built-in calculation of process control limits
  • Generate reports suitable for engineers, managers, and customers with Excel-based templates

Microsoft, Excel, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

A System Designed by You, for You

With customizable buttons and displays, one or more monitors, including touch-screens if desired, you can adapt the look and operation of your Total Vu HMI to conform to the way you run your process. And you can do it without custom engineering charges, PLC programming, or writing code.

LaserLinc’s Total Vu™ HMI includes a standard display for common in-process and off-line applications. When your operators, engineers, supervisors, and managers see opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the system, changes are easily made.

Create your own displays by dragging and dropping:

  • Trend charts
  • Measurement values
  • Statistical values
  • Part position indicators
  • Histograms
  • X-bar / Range charts
  • Graphic images (e.g. logo or line layout drawing)
  • Labels
  • Buttons

For ease of use:

  • Quickly switch between preconfigured views with tabbed displays
  • Select exactly the information and presentation format for display that is of interest and importance to the user
  • Ensure accessible actions are exactly those necessary for your operations by adding, removing buttons, hiding and showing buttons at the right times, and customizing button behavior. Through customization, build in aspects of your standard operating procedure to ensure consistent and expected use
  • Attach multiple monitors (size and resolution of your choosing), each independently configurable. Users can view exactly what they need, when and where they need it
  • Use one or more touch-screens for intuitive and easy operation

Buttons Make It Happen

There are hundreds of predefined functions that can be assigned to any existing or new button. These have developed over 25 years of applications experience solving problems and accomplishing tasks commonly encountered in industries like yours.

Macros Make It Really Simple

Predefined functions can also be dragged and dropped into user-defined functions, called macros. Suddenly, a single button press can make a long list of things happen. For example: accept entry of customer, material, and job ID, clear data, set closed loop control to manual mode, start data logging, start SPC, enable flaw detection, enable alarms, and initialize the display. You can even change the properties—caption, color, and function—of the same button to execute a different macro the next time it is pressed.

Contact us to have an applications expert show you a system that perfectly matches your needs.

For efficiency in your operations, you require information to flow from the front-office down to the manufacturing floor, and vice-versa. Information also must be shared amongst devices and software applications on the same production line. OPC is one of the most powerful and flexible ways to meet this need.

The OPC module for Total Vu HMI makes Total Vu configuration settings, status, and measurement data accessible to other devices and applications. OPC allows other systems to trigger or automate virtually any action within the Total Vu HMI.


With the introduction of the Universal Architecture (UA), OPC is now a universal protocol. Data can now be exchanged directly between PCs, PLCs and other devices with OPC UA--no gateways or bridges are needed, provided the receiving device is a client.

The importance of Server and Client functions

Most devices only offer Server functions. A server listens and waits for requests before responding. If two devices need to exchange information, and both are OPC Servers, then 3rd party software is required: an OPC Bridge which will act as a client to both servers.

An OPC Bridge to direct traffic between two servers adds cost, complexity, and another software tool to learn and maintain.

Since the Total Vu platform acts as both an OPC Client and an OPC Server, information can be easily acquired from or sent to other OPC-compliant platforms for a fully integrated and connected plant floor.

To learn more about the OPC standard, visit the OPC Foundation website:

OPC is a registered trademark of the OPC Foundation

Use In-Process Monitoring to Dynamically Improve Efficiency and Quality

With closed-loop control, real-time analysis of continuous measurement data automatically adjusts the process to keep your product within specifications, improving product quality and when possible, reducing material usage.

Controlled Parameters

In typical extrusion operations you can control line speed, air or vacuum pressure, or extruder RPM. Other examples include roll-stand position in flat-wire or other forming operations and grinding wheel position in centerless grinding applications.

Process parameters may be controlled through a variety of interfaces:

  • Pulse-width modulation (a variable pulse length proportional to desired process change)
  • Pulse-count modulation (variable number of fixed length pulses proportional to desired process change)
  • Motorized potentiometer (MOP)
  • DC analog voltage output (e.g. 0-10VDC where zero and ten represent the minimum and maximum settings for the controlled variable)
  • Current output (4-20mA or 0-20mA)
  • OPC software protocol

Advanced Capabilities

For plastic and rubber extrusion applications, monitoring product dimensions close to the extruder shortens the control response while gauging at the end of the line monitors finished product dimensions. Shrinkage Compensation automatically adjusts the upstream setpoint so that after shrinkage, the product is the right size.

For hose and tube applications, the Control module can manage two process parameters simultaneously, e.g. line speed and air or vacuum pressure, to maintain OD, ID, and wall dimensions.

Maximize Profit

In some processes, additional savings can be had without compromising product quality by optimizing material usage (typical in extrusion) or process efficiency. The Profit Maximizer™ feature compares process capability with product specifications and automatically optimizes the process in real-time to balance material usage (such as minimum wire insulation thickness) and quality. Best of all, you control the relative importance of these two opposing needs with just one parameter.

Control in Multi-Strand Applications

In applications such as monofilament production, Total Vu can monitor and independently control each extrudate through manipulation of independent line speed or pressure parameters. If your process involves multi-die extrusion, contact LaserLinc for this unique capability. (See the Multi-Strand application page.)

LaserLinc offers a range of input and output options, including:

  • Analog Input
  • Analog Output
  • Closed Loop Control
  • Digital Input
  • Digital (Relay) Output
  • Encoder Input
  • Serial (RS232/RS422/RS485/Modbus RTU) Input
  • Serial Output

See below or contact LaserLinc to learn more about any of these I/O options.

Analog Input 

Monitor process parameters represented by a DC voltage:

  • Temperatures
  • Pressures
  • Loads
  • RPMs
  • Strain
  • Tension

These additional measurements can be graphed, logged, analyzed statistically, compared against specifications, etc., as is done with diameter, wall thickness, and other measurements.

Tracking these process parameters along with product dimensions can be critically important for gaining process knowledge and improving the process.

Analog Output

Convey measurement values represented as DC voltage or current to devices such as PLCs, strip chart recorders, and data loggers. A variety of hardware is available with different resolutions, voltage ranges, update rates, and channel counts.

Closed-Loop Control 

Automatically adjust a process parameter such as line speed to maintain a measured product dimension within specification. Read more about the control module here, including hardware interface options.

Digital Input 

Automatically trigger actions within the Total Vu HMI from a PLC, discrete control such as an E-stop button or foot-pedal, or from equipment such as an automatic spool changer.

Digital Output (Relay Output) 

Switch external AC or DC voltage signals on or off based on selectable status conditions such as an out-of-tolerance measurement or a device error. These outputs are frequently used to actuate lights, buzzers, marking devices, solenoids for sorting, and cutters.

Encoder Input 

Track length and speed with this input. The following are some of the useful operational benefits of encoder input:

  • Plot measurement values against length on trend charts and run charts to identify patterns and locate anomalies
  • Delay process control activity by length following a correction to ensure the process has stabilized, independent of line speed
  • Trigger sorting by tracking part location
  • Make advanced measurements such as pitch and taper length
  • Make measurement, logging, SPC sampling, and other functions operate consistently, independent of line speed
  • Automatically identify defective equipment such as capstans when combined with the FFT module

Serial Input 

Read measurement values from smart sensors using serial input. Many devices stream measurement data via RS232/422/485 connections and if your Total Vu host PC has the hardware, these values can be accessed and treated like any others in the system: they can be graphed, logged, processed statistically, et cetera.

Tracking additional measurements can be critically important for process improvement and thorough, unified reporting of all data related to the process and product.

Serial Output

Transmit measurement values to other devices via RS232/422/485 connections. (This capability is standard, provided the host PC has the serial connection hardware—hardware is not included.)

Contact Us 

Contact LaserLinc for help analyzing all of your I/O needs and understanding the value of complete process and product monitoring.

FFT allows users to analyze periodic deviations in a measurement, such as the diameter of a wire or cable. By combining the FFT information with specifications for line speed, Total Vu™ HMI can identify likely causes of the measurement deviation, such as a faulty pulley. FFT can identify patterns that are not otherwise discernible, even when viewing trend charts. It is an essential tool in any process improvement effort.

Sometimes the value of FFT is best understood by evaluating it in your process. Contact us to get a free trial of this powerful tool.

Fourier analysis is applied to a set of samples (measurements) taken at regular intervals, to transform time-domain information (the measurement values) into frequency-domain values, where periodic changes in the input signal are seen as spikes in the frequency-domain graph.

Skilled operators can interpret the graphs and make decisions to take corrective action and improve the process. However, to simplify the decision making process, the FFT module in Total Vu HMI converts the spikes to measurement values, allowing the system to automatically alert the operator about potential process problems.

Total Vu HMI supports any number of FFT input measurements. This enables the user to tailor the resolution of the frequency analysis and view the resulting frequency-domain graph for each measurement.

The user may also select any FFT data point to see its magnitude, the harmonic frequencies associated with it, and the diameter of the pulley that might be responsible for the deviation.

Structural Return Loss in Communication Cable

SRL is an option of the FFT package that is of particular interest to the wire and cable industry.

Periodic fluctuations in wire and cable dimensions can cause significant signal loss, especially in high-frequency products such as network patch cables. Because periodic disturbances in a cable cause a portion of the signal to be reflected, overall signal transmission at various frequencies is degraded due to destructive interference between the reflected signal and the original signal.

By analyzing the periodic deviation of certain measurements, such as insulated wire diameter, the software can compute the signal loss that will occur at various frequencies along the length of a cable.

Monitoring SRL during production makes it possible to correct problems much faster. Prompt correction of problems helps you reduce scrap and improve production line throughput.

Total Vu HMI offers SRL calculation, and displays the SRL values (dB) in a graph correlating transmission frequency with signal loss at that frequency. As with the FFT graph, users can select an SRL data point to see its transmission frequency, signal loss, and the harmonics associated with the selected frequency.

As with FFT, “peak” values from SRL calculations, both frequency and amplitude values, can be converted to measurements. These values can be automatically checked and actions taken to alert the operator when warranted.

The SRL Spectrograph shows a graphical representation of the signal loss that occurs at various transmission frequencies over the length of a product. On completion of each SRL computation, that information is linked to the position (length) within the product at which the signal loss was computed.

The chart includes a configurable color spectrum to indicate the signal loss magnitude for a given length/frequency pair. An operator can quickly assess whether any portion of the cable is expected to show significant signal loss at one or more frequencies; the software also supports graphical zooming to examine areas of potential problems in greater detail. Because the spectrograph display is cumulative, it provides an excellent historical record of the SRL information acquired over the entire run of a product.

Microsoft, Excel, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks
of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

OPC is a registered trademark of the OPC Foundation