Fast acquisition of all external geometry
Modern industrial manufacturing aims for continuously increasing production speed; for this reason fast measurement and validation of component tolerances is becoming increasingly important. Using optical 3D metrology we measure and digitise the entire geometry of the component in seconds and detect all tolerance deviations via a nominal-actual comparison on the profile of the surface. Optical metrology is suitable in particular for complete component analysis and trend analysis at an early stage on components of any size for process management and quality control.
- 3D digitisation: preparation of a 3D model of the component surface, output of the data as triangulated surfaces (STL data)
- Geometric dimensional inspection: highly precise measurement of standard geometries, freeform surfaces as well as geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) on very small and large components
- Surface comparison: preparation of nominal-actual comparisons against CAD data with any alignment and colour-coded depiction of the deviation
- Initial sampling: preparation of initial sample test reports according to drawing requirements (e.g. VDA and PPAP)
- Reverse engineering: preparation of CAD models from the scanned STL data, output format of the data: .step and .iges
- Measuring volume: flexible measuring volume for different component sizes and accuracies
- Mobile ESD protection zone for the inspection of components sensitive to electrostatic
Improve your quality assurance by means of optical metrology
During 3D scanning, we create high-resolution digital images of your components. Using an optical sensor, the external contour of your components is quickly and precisely acquired in full and a 3D model of your component created based on millions of measurement points. The spectrum of components ranges from battery trays and cell systems, through injection moulded and die-cast components, sheet metal parts, to prototypes.
Analysis & evaluation
of 3d data
Due to its incomparable data density, optical metrology is particularly suitable for nominal-actual comparisons. Deviations can be depicted graphically based on the 3D model. Optical metrology also offers many advantages for checking geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), reverse engineering or initial sampling.
Our 3D scanners of the latest generation are available for every measuring task. We use highly precise systems from Carl Zeiss GOM Metrology GmbH. Due to our flexibility in relation to the measuring volume, we are able to analyse very small components of only a few millimetres in size as well as items of up to 3 m.
Added value at quality analysis
You receive from us precise measurement results, even at short notice. We have both the necessary personnel and a large range of equipment with the latest optical 3D scanners.
We provide highly precise measurements from sheet metal to injection moulded and die-cast components, as well as battery trays, of any size and quantity. For this purpose, we have accredited, permanently air-conditioned measuring rooms.
For mobile applications
It is not possible to transport your components? Our measuring systems from GOM are suitable for mobile use. Our experts would be pleased to travel to your facility and undertake the measurement directly on site.
Applications for optical metrology
Precise measurement and inspection methods
Accredited test laboratory
for optical metrology
Our organisation is accredited in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS). We are one of the few test laboratories in Europe in which all specialist areas have been successfully accredited.
You can read more about our accreditation, the prerequisites and the related advantages for you here.
Frequently asked questions about optical metrology
What is optical metrology?
Optical metrology is a method for measuring surface geometries without contact by means of photogrammetry. Using this method, entire surfaces are acquired, not just individual measurement points. Optical metrology is suitable in particular for complete component analysis. With this method, the surface of the component is digitised without contact using a 3D scanner and analysed quickly and with a very high point density – in our accredited measuring rooms or directly on site in your facility. The spectrum of components ranges from prototypes, through sheet metal to injection moulded and die-cast components, as well as battery trays.
Can analyses using optical metrology be automated?
Checking and quality assurance on individual components can also be fully automated using optical measurement methods. For this purpose, the item inspected is placed in the 3D scanner or the coordinate measuring machine by a robot and the measurement starts. Such an automated surface analysis is particularly advantageous if high quantities of individual components are to be inspected during manufacture or if work in dust-free or sterile conditions is required.
For which applications is optical metrology suitable?
Optical metrology is suitable for numerous workpiece inspections, such as dimensional inspections, surface comparisons or initial sampling. The primary obstacle for optical inspection is the need for high accuracy. In such a case, tactile measurement methods are superior; these methods are accurate to the micron, however they require more time. Which advantage is more important must be considered in each specific situation. In general terms it can be stated that the measurement method applied must be five times more accurate than the largest tolerance that is still acceptable. If you are still unsure which method is most suitable for your requirements, simply talk to us - we will be pleased to help you.
Does quality analysis offer optical measurements also on site in our facility?
Yes, our measurement systems are suitable for mobile use and are therefore excellently suited to a measurement on site in your facility. If you cannot or do not want to have the inspection undertaken in our accredited inspection rooms for logistical, time or production-related reasons, we would be pleased to come to you and undertake the necessary measurements on site. If your parts cannot come to us, we will come to you!
What are the advantages of optical metrology?
Above all else, optical metrology has five key advantages over tactile methods.
Sensitivity to physical contact
Numerous workpieces and materials in modern industrial sectors such as the electrical engineering industry are extremely sensitive to physical contact. Optical 3D metrology is therefore ideal for these parts because there is never any contact between the item and the sensors during the measurement, unlike tactile methods for industrial metrology. In this way damage by the measuring machine is excluded.
Electrically live parts
Particularly in the automotive and e-mobility sector, optical metrology is very important because sampling without physical contact is of course particularly important for electrically live components. Optical metrology plays an important role above all for:
- Vehicle attachment points
- Distortion of the complete battery
- Incoming goods inspection of the individual components to be installed
- Development (load test, simulation of load cycles, etc.)
There are numerous possible applications; one of the most important advantages is that there is no physical contact with the surface and therefore the inspection is non-destructive, which means that the surface of a component must not be damaged and there must not any physical contact with electrically live parts (cells, batteries, delicate materials).
Maximum data density
Optical measurement methods provide a data density that is far superior to that of the tactile methods. Using a 3D scanner, as we use it, not only are individual coordinate points measured on the item inspected, a three-dimensional model is also created. Such a result is not possible with tactile metrology, even with thousands of measurement points.
All data always available
With optical metrology all features from the area scanned are acquired and made available in a 3D model. The information can be retrieved at any time. This means that additional features from the model can be measured also after the measurement. With tactile metrology the component would have to be clamped and measured again.
Time saving thanks to optical metrology
In practice the sampling of just a few hundred measurement points by means of physical contact is a major challenge; although it would be feasible technically, the sampling would be time consuming - this type of inspection process can take several hours. It is a matter of course that such inspections must be limited to random samples during production. Optical measurement methods, on the other hand, are very precise and fast because the measurement and digital transmission occur almost in realtime. These methods are suitable for solving very complex, critical measuring tasks. An optical measurement takes only a few minutes or even just seconds.
What are the disadvantages of optical metrology?
Optical metrology provides a high data density in a very short time. Why is it then not used everywhere?
Optical vs. Tactile measurement - which is more accurate?
This question is very easy to answer: tactile measurement is more accurate. While it is possible to measure to better than a thousandth of a millimetre using tactile methods, the resolution of optical measuring systems is "only" sufficient for measurements in the range of a few hundredths of a millimetre. For many applications, however, that is not precise enough.
Mirror and glass
Due to their characteristics, some surfaces require a pretreatment so that they can be analysed using optical measuring instruments. The workpiece must be treated with a spray to make it matt so that homogeneous and highly accurate data can also be generated for very glossy and transparent surfaces. This spray is applied very thinly and does not affect the accuracy of the measurement. Alternatively, tactile measurement can also be used in some situations.
THE RIGHT PARTNER
FOR OPTICAL METROLOGY
Do you need a 3D scan of your component?
We would be pleased to advise you about the possibilities. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your component.