Requirements for production measurement technology


Production measurement technology requires highly accurate and fast optical 3D measurements, easy handling, high cost-efficiency with fast ROI and production suitability including measurement automation. The measuring instruments used for this purpose must fulfill a range of requirements to facilitate efficient production without rejects. If modern production facilitites also aim for integrated production strategies according to Industry 4.0, they already lay the foundation for self-controlling production through their choice of measuring equipment.

The following is a description of requirements that should be taken into account when choosing a measuring instrument.


Modern measuring instruments ensure quality, reduce setup times and increase process reliability:


#1 Measuring instrument capability

The measuring instrument must be capable of completing the measurement task adequately. To make sure this is the case, it is necessary to verify the instrument’s measuring capability and accuracy. This is usually determined based on predefined Cg and Cgk values. Other important factors in the assessment of measurement quality include high repeatability of measurement results, traceability to national and international calibration standards, compliance with global ISO standards, and low measurement uncertainties.

Using Bruker Alicona, Kendrion is able to measure the roundness of valve seats in a repeatable and traceable manner for optimal sealing.

#2 Usability

Since different machines are used in a production, the operator and/or measuring technician often has to operate several, different machines. Therefore, the simple, intuitive operability of the measuring system is indispensable for ongoing operation. Single-button solutions and automated measuring procedures ensure constant measurements without user influence. 

FESTO (Germany) uses a customized sample holder for 10 parts with additional lightning for the automated measurement process.
This video clip is from the webinar "Measurement on the Shop Floor: Fast and Contactless". Watch the entire webinar here!

#3 Flexibility

Flexible production requires flexibe measuring instruments. It is becoming more and more common to produce small lots of different components, resulting in a difficult task for production measurment technology: Different component shapes, types, and sizes, often made of various materials and composites, must be measured fast and reliably. Measurement technology must be able to adapt to production and the varying components, geometries, and materials. Ideally, a measuring instrument should cover all measuring tasks, regardless of component size and surface conditions. One important requirement for this is easy and quick access to the component details that need to be measured.  

The Canadian company Miltera, a prototype and advanced manufacturing facility, shows how flexible the optical µCMM operates.
This video clip is from the webinar "Measurement on the Shop Floor: Fast and Contactless". Watch the entire webinar here!

#4 Long-term stability

The long-term stability of a measuring instrument is crucial for ensuring high process reliability at all times. When a component is measured at different points in time over a longer period, results must be consistent, even when environmental conditions such as temperature, vibrations or illuminations vary.

Element Six (UK) relies on the Bruker Alicona Cobot to ensure reliable and repeatable measurement results. 

#5 Future-proof technology

Modern production strategies are increasingly based on integrated production concepts. In Industry 4.0, production systems, machines, and measuring devices connect and communicate with each other to enable adaptive production planning and self-controlling production. In this production concept, also referred to as SmartManufacturing, measuring instruments are integrated directly into production and are able to intervene in it  Measuring sensors recognize faulty components and automatically feed this information into the production loop. Production then automatically adapts to the new information and corrects the error. To ensure long- erm implementation of self-controlling production, the measuring devices employed must fulfill various requirements. Among these are fully automatic measurements, high-precision sensors suitable for production environments, and interfaces for easy connection and integration into existing production systems.

Kleiner (Germany) operates a fully automated production including the measurement process with the optical µCMM.

#6 Speed

Measurement and setup times are directly related to each other. Short setup times demand high measurement speeds and repeatable, traceable measurement results. The faster a measurment result is available, the faster personnel can react and reconfigure machines. Therefore, measurement speed is a key factor in reducing downtime and ensuring fast response and process adjustment times, all of which contribute to economic, efficient production without reject. 

STEPPER (Germany) ensures fast and repeatable measurement results with the optical µCMM.

This video clip is from the webinar "Measurement on the Shop Floor: Fast and Contactless". Watch the entire webinar here!

#7 Cost efficiency

The investment in a measuring system must be profitable. A fast ROI, maintenance without maintenance costs and ongoing operation without consumables are part of the overall calculation. Solutions that increase the efficiency of the entire measuring process are also in demand. This can be implemented, for example, through a CADCAM connection that enables measurement planning already in the CAD model of the reference component. The tedious and time-consuming definition of measuring positions on the real component thus becomes obsolete. This is particularly attractive if 100 or more measuring positions have to be defined and taught in. 

CADCAM connections are solutions to increase the efficiency of the measuring process.

Additional Information

Increasing efficiency in production with artificial intelligence (AI)

For the manufacturing industry, AI can be used to meet increasing demand for automation and error minimization. With conventional methods of quality assurance, these demands are sometimes difficult to manage. Bruker Alicona offers field-proven solutions where, by means of AI-based classification software, i.O. and n.i.O. surfaces are automatically segmented. Recent developments focus on automatic defect analysis for all sectors of the manufacturing industry. It is an interplay of image processing, optical 3D metrology, digital measurement planning, robotics and artificial intelligence. Automatic defect detection can replace many costly manual and unstable process methods in defect analysis.