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Steinbichler Optotechnik introduces the innovative 3D touch probe T-POINT CS at the EUROMOLD 2012

Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH from Neubeuern, the worldwide leading provider of optic measuring and sensor technology, will be presenting the ideal portable coordinate measuring device at the EUROMOLD (hall 8 stand F89): the new, hand-held touch probe T-POINT CS for easy and efficient single-point measurement. The innovative touch probe all-in-one solution STEINBICHLER T-POINT CS offers you a new dimension in coordinate measuring technology with an attractive price performance ratio. The perfectly coordinated components – tracking camera, hand-held scanner and touch probe – act as a modular system to provide optimum flexibility for multiple uses in the broadest range of sectors,” explain Andreas Fuchs, Product Manager Surface Inspection & Laserscanning at Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH. 

 STEINBICHLER T-POINT CS boats impressive accuracy and precise measuring results as wellprobe measures the selected measuring points quickly and reliably, making it the perfect solution for single-point measurements on building areas such as (trimmed) edges and ruled geometries. The system can be used with conventional measuring probes, which can be simply and quickly replaced. Trigger buttons in multiple positions, an aas a sophisticated, highly flexible and intuitive operating concept. The touch

In creating the STEINBICHLER T-POINT CS touch probe, particular emphasis was placed on its ergonomic design for fatigue-proof and efficient working processes. The result is that the compact and light-weight device can be used to simply and effortlessly conduct single-point measurements even in deep, difficult-to-reach building areas or measuring positions. In addition, the IR markers are optimally arranged, therefore offering excellent optical accessibility for all markers required for a measurement. The system is also calibrated quickly and intuitively.dditional function button and status LEDs guarantee highly efficient measuring processes.

The areas of application of the STEINBICHLER T-POINT CS are versatile: The system is particularly employed in fields such as quality control/inspections (e.g. target/actual comparison for CAD, dimensioning/boundary measurements of sheet metal parts, production-focused inspection), in tool and mould-making (e.g. tool construction, scan data for generating cutting paths, current status determination after tools’ release, inspection of complex welded structures, setting up gauges and supports), in design (e.g. scanning design models for processing in CAD and documentation, capturing character lines, quickly capturing basic areas for adjustment), in rapid manufacturing when capturing 3D data for rapid prototyping processes as well as in reverse engineering when entering highly complex geometries such as reverse engineering data.

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Besides the T-POINT CS, Steinbichler will also be presenting its latest 8 megapixel sensor COMET L3D 8M. In the development of this device Steinbichler made use of the continuously improved one-camera technology as well as the experience gained through the premium product range COMET 5. In comparison to competing systems on the market, the COMET L3D 8M offers detailed results in the premium segment and remains true to the COMET L3D series in terms of pricing, resulting in an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

The package consisting of the COMET L3D 8M and the COMETplus software offers all the necessary functions for easy and efficient work processes. The COMETplus software and the integrated correction models enables the COMET L3D 8M to render impressive data quality and density. “Single and multi-axis rotary tables are available as accessories, which enable fully automated measurements in connection with the COMETplus software and therefore also a very comfortable entry-level solution in automated optical measurement technology. The new STEINBICHLER COMET L3D 8M is particularly convincing with its high degree of detail, providing high resolution structures even for larger measurement fields”, adds Herbert Daxauer, Product Manager 3D Digitalisation at Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH.

Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH is well-known around the world for its years of expertise in high-precision optical measurement and sensor technology as well as for efficient hardware and software solutions designed primarily to cater to the needs of the automotive, aerospace and tire industries. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Neubeuern, Germany, the international company today has a staff of 200 employees. In addition to a worldwide distributor network, Steinbichler has subsidiaries in the U

SA, Brazil, China, India, Portugal, France, England and Russia. Reference customers include Airbus, Audi, BMW, Boeing, Daimler, EADS, Siemens, Sony and Thyssen. Further information about Steinbichler Optotechnik is available on our website at


Contact PR communications agency:

4marcom + PR!                                                      Theo Drechsel

Siedlerstraße 33                                          

85716 Unterschleißheim – Germany                   fon: +49-89-370029-40, fax: +49-89-370029-35


Contact Steinbichler Headquarter:

Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH                          Christina Papsdorf

Georg-Wiesböck-Ring 12                          

83115 Neubeuern – Germany                            fon: +49-8035-8704-760, fax: +49-8035-1010


Coordinate Measuring Machines: Here To Stay

This headline of this recent post by Quality Magazine (see link below) seems a bit humorous, as ‘CMM’s’ have been around for decades and do not seem to be going away any time soon. The number of CMM manufacturers and software developers does not seem to be shrinking. While being pushed by the more portable systems which have improved greatly in accuracy and precision there will always be a place for CMM’s in fast paced part inspection process or when the highest accuracy measurements are required.


CMM at work
CMM at work (Photo credit: ஃ முதல் அ வரை)

Test & Inspection: Coordinate Measuring Machines: Here To Stay – Feature Article – Quality.

Using Portable Dimensional Metrology in Remote Locations

Mining the Sky – Today’s Energy Solutions

Written by Elizabeth Engler Modic –  May 2012

SolarReserve’s first-generation solar power plant is a welcome sign of green progress. Once completion of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in 2013, it will generate roughly 480,000MW-h per year of clean, renewable electricity to power 75,000 homes during peak electricity periods. Developed by the same Rocketdyne engineers and scientists who designed Apollo rockets, Space Shuttle engines, and the solar power system for the International Space Station is the company’s unique concentrating solar power (CSP) technology and innovative energy storage.

Harnessing Sunlight

Entrance to Tonopah Test Range from Highway 6,...
Entrance to Tonopah Test Range from Highway 6, Nevada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonopah Solar Energy, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, manages the project located on 1,600 acres northwest of Tonopah, NV, a historical silver mining town near the Nevada desert. The site selection was based on key ingredients for optimum solar energy – hours of direct sunlight, altitude (more intense sunlight), and DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance) strength. The power plant design includes a tall receiver tower and power block positioned centrally in a large circular field of mirrors known as heliostats. The 100ft receiver mounts on the 553ft concrete tower. Tower height is essential for plant efficiency, ensuring the heliostat array can concentrate sunlight onto the receiver.

Comprised of thousands of tracking mirrors in a two-square mile area, the solar collection field operates whenever there is ample solar resource to collect energy. SolarReserve’s propriety motion control software lies on a central computer that sends angle location data to the heliostat field, as the mirrors move simultaneously as the sun travels across the sky. The energy is stored and delivered to the grid anytime, even after sundown. The 110MW plant will utilize an ordinary steam turbine generator to produce electricity, but integrates a sophisticated hybrid cooling system using less than 600 acre-feet/year of water, a scarce commodity in the Southwest.

The power tower receiver glows as it soaks up the sun during the day, but remains dormant at night. Its high heat flux hardware is a unique blend of liquid rocket engine heat transfer technology and molten salt handling expertise. Inside the receiver, concentrated sunlight heats molten salt to more than 1,000°F. The liquid then flows into an insulated storage tank maintaining 98% thermal efficiency. Eventually, pumps into the generator for electricity production. This process is similar to a standard coal-fired power plant, but clean and free solar energy fuels this process.

The solar power plant utilizes components primarily manufactured in the United States as opposed to competing technologies using mostly imported parts and assemblies. Bar a few one-of-a-kind components, the plant employs readily available materials (mirrors) and established technologies (steam generators and turbines). The inexpensive molten salt, made from an environmentally friendly mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate, is the same ingredients used in garden fertilizer. This configuration of materials and equipment will enable SolarReserve to provide electricity at or below prices from traditional sources such as coal or natural gas.

Challenges of Production
Project manager Gary Raczka is responsible for the design, manufacture, and installation of the solar collector system in the field, as well as the software that drives the mirrors to focus on the receiver. Heliostat design is a large team effort, and his staff includes mechanical engineers, software developers, and a growing engineering workforce to support not only the heliostat production, but also the entire solar plant.

For the build aspect of the project, the team works closely with contract manufacturers well versed in handling large mechanical components. To get a feel for the size of these heliostat assemblies, the mirror surface is approximately 28ft x 24ft, with the pedestal made from large diameter piping that is 11ft to 16ft tall. Other metal components and trusses supporting the mirror structure range from 28ft to 30ft long.

The company cut its teeth on small test facilities, and then went on to create three different designs and sizes of heliostats supported by various structural configurations. Each SolarReserve plant is roughly the same in terms of tower size, general field layout, and overall square meters of glass in the field. Use in Tonopah will be the baseline 62.5m2 heliostat that translates to 17,608 heliostats in the collection field. The project has an ambitious plan to install 70 heliostats per day until completion.

Metrology is the Glue
For optimum performance, the solar plant design calls for an overall beam quality and accuracy of less than 1.5mRad for each facet of the entire heliostat field. This high precision specification dictated the early need for dimensional control and verification. Raczka found specialized expertise at Hexagon Metrology Services, North Kingstown, RI, to verify designs and build confidence into all aspects of manufacture and assembly. Rina Molari, a seasoned metrologist from Hexagon, was excited to be a part of this groundbreaking endeavor.

Because the project entailed working with sizeable parts in formidable outdoor settings, Molari employed a portable Leica AT901 laser tracker for its ability to handle numerous quality assurance tasks. Due to its long-range measurement volume of 525ft when used with a standard corner cube, use of this laser tracking system is primarily for aerospace and other in-place measurement applications. Based on Leica’s Absolute interferometer (AIFM) technology, the portable CMM maintains precision measurement in all operating conditions, with multiple, built-in redundancies to ensure high accuracies.

 see more via Mining the Sky – TES – Today’s Energy Solutions.

The Art of Aerospace

Boeing's Everett plant, the largest enclosed f...
Boeing’s Everett plant, the largest enclosed facility in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


3-D mapping technology created unique depictions of the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., that are akin to modern art. The art of aerospaceBy Nathan A. Hulings

As Boeing researcher Charles Erignac recently walked through the company’s expansive factory in Everett, Wash., he used a camera and laser-scanning sensors that captured three-dimensional images of the plant and the large twin-aisled commercial airplanes assembled there.

It’s expected that aerospace manufacturing of the future will require increasingly detailed and timely 3-D maps to meet efficiency and productivity demands – and Boeing researchers such as Erignac are working to improve the technology that can create such maps.

The images “are quite stunning on their own.”

via The art of aerospace.

Nextec Laser Metrology Announces WIZprobe 3D Laser Inspection Technology

Non-contact, precise laser metrology solution inspects parts 5x faster than mechanical probes for improved quality and production rates

Eastlake, OH (PRWEB) May 20, 2012

Nextec Laser Metrology LLC, a corporation serving the quality inspection market, has announced its WIZprobe solution, an advanced non-contact, multi-position laser-scanning sensor that significantly reduces component inspection time while providing highest precision. WIZprobe offers a large dynamic range that makes it easy to collect thousands of data points quickly and accurately.

The Nextec WIZprobe relies upon vision and laser technologies featuring patented optics and image processing to deliver fast, accurate and highly reliable scanning and geometric measurements. It can handle a large variety of materials at varying angles and surface finish types including very shiny surfaces. Additionally, WIZprobe automatically performs self-calibration on-the-fly via real-time closed loop adaptive control.

WIZprobe is available as a stand-alone product kit with customized software packages and motion control for integration into any process control or can be easily integrated into a CMM system. Small in size and featuring a standard PH-10 rotary head interface, it can effectively replace conventional mechanical touch probes.

For more information and WIZprobe specifications, visit

Nextec Laser Metrology solutions are based upon laser and quality control technologies developed by Nextec 3D Inspection Technologies (Haifa, Israel), which originally developed the solution in 2001. Haifa is part of the Israeli Silicon Valley corridor, recognized as a highly influential location for edge of technology development. Nextec inspection systems are installed at leading automotive and aerospace customers across the world.

via Nextec Laser Metrology Announces WIZprobe 3D Laser Inspection Technology.

Nikon Announces MCT225 Metrology CT System

LEUVEN, Belgium, May 9, 2012 – Nikon Metrology combines 50 years’ experience of Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) metrology with 25 years’ experience of X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) to develop a new “absolute accuracy” Metrology CT system. MCT225 provides Metrology CT for a wide range of sample sizes and material densities with9+ L/50µm accuracy in accordance with the VDI/VDE 2630 guideline. All internal and external geometry is measured efficiently in a single non-destructive process. A full 3D visualization of the sample volume additionally provides valuable insights into part deformations and internal structural integrity.

Metrology CT, the future of dimensional inspection

Metrology CT is the fusion of metrology and X-ray Computed Tomography (CT). X-ray has long been used for industrial applications. With X-ray CT a number of 2D X-ray images are taken at different angles around the sample. All of the external and internal geometry is captured as the X-rays pass through the sample. CT software constructs a 3D model of the sample using these 2D images. Dimensional characteristics such as size, position and form can be measured directly using the model as well as full part-to-CAD comparison, section reporting and GD&T analysis.

Absolute accuracy for internal geometry

MCT225 is pre-calibrated using accuracy standards traceable to the UK’s national measurement institute (NPL) and verified using VDI/VDE 2630 guidelines for Computed Tomography in Dimensional Measurement. “Absolute accuracy” guarantees measurement accuracy without time consuming comparative scans or reference measurements; samples are simply placed on a rotary table inside the enclosure and measured.

A key component of the MCT225 system is the in-house developed Nikon Metrology 225 kV micro-focus X-ray source. It produces incredibly sharp images with low noise levels, enabling magnification levels up to 150x with 2µm feature detection.

High-precision linear guideways equipped with high-resolution optical encoders are error corrected using the laser interferometer mapping techniques employed for CMMs. For optimal accuracy and long term stability, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used during the design phase to optimize the stiffness of the manipulator.

To minimize thermal effects the interior of the MCT225 enclosure is temperature controlled, effectively creating a conditioned measurement room stable to 20°C ± 1°C.

Flexible efficiency

MCT255 is an invaluable asset for manufacturers seeking to benefit from reduced leads times and inspection cycles. The powerful X-ray source and large capacity manipulator combine with high magnification and detailed feature detection to create a solution suited to a wide variety of applications.

Plastic injection-mold and metal die-cast manufacturers can significantly reduce correction cycles during tool development and production start-up, accelerating time to market for new products. All shrinkage, deformation and dimensional errors are clearly identified in easy to understand inspection reports making it easier to define corrective actions.

Emerging production techniques like additive manufacturing now make it possible to produce small and highly complex components that can’t be inspected using touch probes or optical sensors. Here too MCT225 makes it possible to measure and analyze these components in a single non-destructive operation.

About Nikon Metrology

Nikon Metrology offers the broadest range of metrology solutions for applications ranging from miniature electronics to the largest aircrafts. Nikon Metrology’s innovative measuring and precision instruments contribute to a high performance design-through-manufacturing process that allows manufacturers to deliver premium quality products in a shorter time. Further information is available on

Creaform Introduces New C-Link for Faster and Easier Inspection of Complex Parts

Lévis, May 3, 2012

Creaform - HandyProbe
Creaform – HandyProbe (Photo credit: Creative Tools)

We are proud to introduce the latest improvement to our inspection systems: the C-Link functionality. Through C-Link, it is possible to network up to 4 C-Tracks and operate them simultaneously with a HandyPROBE portable CMM or a MetraSCAN 3D optical CMM scanner.

Benefits of the C-Link Functionality

· Makes the inspection process of complex setups, jigs, tooling or prototype faster and easier than ever before.

· Featuring the TRUaccuracy technology, it generates guaranteed high accuracy results, no matter the measurement environment (instability, vibrations, thermal variation, etc.) or operator skills;

· Can be used as a mobile measurement solution for complex set-ups;

· Allows the creation of fixed measurement rooms (virtual CMM with freedom of handheld probe/3D scanner);

· Can be used for large or complex objects deformation analysis when used with Creaform’s VXtrack software module.

“We were receiving repeated requests from our MetraSCAN and HandyPROBE customers towards a solution that would enable them to carry out demanding and specific applications such as deformation analysis on plane wings and presses or measure car chassis with their Creaform technology, but without having to actually move the CMM, explained Jean-François Larue, product director. The idea of the C-Link functionality was born out of a desire to actually meet this need; our R&D crew figured out a way to build upon our inspection systems’ accuracy, power and dynamic referencing capability and developed C-Link, which also improves the performance of our systems with regards to inspection and QC of large or complex parts.”

Creaform’s technologies upgraded with the C-Link functionality will be demoed at the CONTROL tradeshow in Stuttgart, Germany, from May 8 to 11 (hall 5, booth 5108).

via Creaform Introduces New C-Link for Faster and Easier Inspection of Complex Parts.

Leica AT401 Now Provides “Real Time Rapid Measurements”

Hexagon Metrology Press Release 26 April 2012

 Version 1.1 for Hexagon Metrology’s ultra-portable 3D laser tracker enables high-speed measurements for more complex applications.

With the latest firmware update, Hexagon Metrology has improved the Leica Absolute Tracker AT401’s usability. The AT401 now features a full speed digital read out (DRO) for dynamic laser tracker measurement processes and free-form surface inspection (video example here).

The updated Leica Absolute Tracker AT401 can perform measurements without a warm-up period. This allows the operator to switch the system on directly out of the box and start measuring within seconds. The 1.1 firmware also includes such specialized features as “Outdoor Mode” which enhances the systems performance when using it in adverse conditions like rain or snow.

Enhancements also include the use of several reflectors in view of the sensor at the same time. The built in WiFi on the AT401 can now be used in a company’s encrypted WiFi infrastructure even with several sensors in the same network. Finally, the 1.1 firmware further facilitates the user compensation of the sensor making an already simple task even easier.

All new Leica Absolute Tracker AT401s are already shipping with version 1.1 on board. However, all existing AT401s can be easily updated to take advantage of this exciting new functionality. No advanced knowledge is needed to update a system. Simply drag and drop the update file into the TrackerPilot and the rest is handled automatically. All existing AT401 users can download the new firmware from the Leica Geosystems website at

Leica Geosystems Metrology Products
Whether building the fastest car, the biggest plane, or the most precise tooling, you need exact measurements to improve quality and productivity. So when it has to be right, professionals trust Leica Geosystems Metrology to help collect, analyze, and present 3-dimensional (3D) data for industrial measurement. Leica Geosystems Metrology is best known for its broad array of control and industrial measurement products including laser trackers, Local Positioning Technology (LPT) based systems, hand-held scanners, 3D software and high-precision total stations. Those who use Leica Geosystems Metrology products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the world-class service & support that’s second to none.
Precision, reliability and service from Leica Geosystems Metrology.

Hexagon Metrology
Hexagon Metrology is part of the Hexagon AB Group and includes leading metrology brands such as Brown & Sharpe, CogniTens, DEA, Leica Geosystems (Metrology Division), Leitz, m&h Inprocess Messtechnik, Optiv, PC-DMIS, QUINDOS, ROMER and TESA. Hexagon Metrology brands represent an unrivaled global installed base of millions of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), portable measuring systems and handheld instruments, and tens of thousands of metrology software licenses. Hexagon Metrology empowers its customers to fully control manufacturing processes that rely on dimensional precision, ensuring that products manufactured precisely conform to the original product design. The company offering of machines, systems and software is complemented by a wide range of product support, aftermarket and value-added services.

Hexagon Metrology Services Ltd.
World Headquarters Office
Cedar House
78 Portsmouth Road
Cobham, Surrey
KT11 1AN
Great Britain

For further information, please contact:

Africa & Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe
Birgit Albrecht, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: +41 62 737 67 72, e-mail:

Bill Fetter, Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: +1 847 931-0100 ext. 5234, e-mail:

Lu Liao, Marketing Manager
Phone: +86 532 8089 5236, e-mail:

Steinbichler Optotechnik presents a portable surface testing system

Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH from Neubeuern, the worldwide leading supplier of optical measuring and sensor technology, will present two innovative new products at the CONTROL 2012 trade fair (hall 5 stand 5304): the STEINBICHLER ABIS optimizer, the world’s first portable surface testing system with depth evaluation and an objective surface evaluation as well as the STEINBICHLER T-SCAN, a new laser scanner with a considerably improved performance. “The ABIS optimizer – a logical further development from the numerous automatic ABIS systems already used on the market – is especially developed for applications at an extremely early stage of the manufacturing process and is consistently equipped with all of the necessary technical features required for this. The new T-SCAN, on the other hand, offers a data transfer rate which is up to 30 times higher than its predecessor and achieves a previously unseen performance thanks to its larger line thickness and a higher stand-off,“ reports Hans Weigert, Head of Sales/Marketing at the Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH.

 Due to its extremely compact construction and the user-friendly arrangement of all additional components such as the power supply and the USB port to the laptop, STEINBICHLER ABIS optimizer is intended to be operated in an error-free way by all users from the production environment, all the more so as the robust construction and the dustproof optical components of the system enable it to be used in the most difficult of industrial conditions. The use of the BLUE LED technology combined with the completely revised technical design opens up optimal areas of application, in particular in tool design and construction, of the pilot production and during the entire optimisation process.

STEINBICHER ABIS optimizer applies already at a very early stage of the manufacturing process in order to avoid costly subsequent work in good time. Partial focus area examinations of a defect region during manufacturing and the supporting of virtually all surface quality areas no longer pose a problem with the system. Last but not least, thanks to its excellent price/performance ratio, the surface testing system is the perfect tool for always conveying and also tracking an objective and reproducible impression of the surface quality with regard to its dents, distortion, rippling and other abnormalities during the tool design and construction and also during the entire process chain.

 As a result of its large dynamic range on the most varied of surfaces, T-SCAN enables better measuring results than its predecessor the T-SCAN 3. Together with the new Steinbichler tracking system which has also been especially developed for the sensor, customers receive a directly harmonised, holistic solution. Compared to technologies such as index arms and coordinating machines, the new laser scanner offers a considerable advantage thanks to the dynamic referencing alone which also enables work to be carried out even in oscillating or moving environments without loss of precision.

“This year, our CONTROL appearance will be marked by the 25 year company anniversary of Steinbichler Optotechnik. For a quarter of a century, we have made an important contribution to the further development of measuring and sensor technology with product innovations and our constantly growing team, now entailing 160 members of staff. This competence – which is now expected of Steinbichler Optotechnik by our customers – has also, of course, influenced the STEINBICHLER ABIS optimizer and the STEINBICHLER T-SCAN,“ says Hans Weigert who is pleased to be able to present two important new products at the CONTROL trade fair in the company’s anniversary year.

 Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH is well-known around the world for its years of expertise in high-precision optical measurement and sensor technology as well as for efficient hardware and software solutions designed primarily around the needs of the automotive, aerospace and tire industries. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Neubeuern, Germany, the international company today has a staff of 200 employees. In addition to a worldwide distributor network, Steinbichler has subsidiaries in the USA, Brazil, China, India and Portugal. Reference customers include Airbus, Audi, BMW, Boeing, Daimler, EADS, Siemens, Sony and Thyssen. Further information about Steinbichler Optotechnik is available on our website at


 Contact PR communications agency:

 4marcom + PR!                                                      Theo Drechsel

Siedlerstraße 33                                          

85716 Unterschleißheim – Germany                   fon: +49-89-370029-40, fax: +49-89-370029-35


 Contact Steinbichler Headquarter:

 Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH                          Christina Papsdorf

Georg-Wiesböck-Ring 12                          

83115 Neubeuern – Germany                            fon: +49-8035-8704-760, fax: +49-8035-1010

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