User Case

Stepper: Dimensional metrology in combination with collaborative robots

Stepper is one of the technology leaders in the field of high-performance punching tools. In this user case we will show you how the tool expert uses the optical coordinate measuring system µCMM in combination with collaborative robots for the measurement of a 3-up stamping insert for high-performance stamping tools. The range of applications includes also embossing dies, bending inserts, bending dies, etc.

cmm machine dimensional metrology stamping insert

"We manufacture high-end punching tools, so we need high-end measuring technology. For us, only Bruker Alicona is an option. I also don't see a possibility to measure those components with tactile instruments!"
Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting

The component being measured:

3-up stamping insert for high-performance stamping tools, which are used for the production of miniaturized automotive contacts. Stepper produces up to 2250 plug contacts per minute, and within just a few years 3 billion parts have already been produced.  

What is important for the measurement: 

Dimensional accuracy, surface quality and the position of the embossing die relative to the outer contour. As 3 parts are produced simultaneously with each stroke in this stamping process, it is also checked whether all 3 forms match. 

What is also possible with µCMM: 

Reduced measuring times with highest accuracy. One of many benefits is that it is not necessary to measure the complete component. Users only need to measure the relevant measuring positions. “We only have to measure selected positions of the tools´ contour. This reduces measurement times by more than 2/3.”

stamping insert measured with cmm machine

Stamping insert measured with the µCMM Pick & Place

What is the benefit of Vertical Focus Probing?

The possibility of measuring components with flanks of more than 90° opens up a completely new spectrum of parts for Stepper.  "To date, we have mainly measured embossed and bent parts. Now we can also measure cylindrical, continuous contours such as cutting punches and cutting inserts." 

How is automation implemented?

µCMM is extended with a collaborative robot arm. This Pick & Place solution enables automatic assembly and measurement including sorting in OK/not OK components. The teach-in of measurement series takes place in only 3 steps and requires no previous knowledge of measurement technology. 

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Measurement Report

Measurement of a 3-up stamping insert for high-performance stamping tools


The measurement object is a 3-up stamping insert, measured with the µCMM and a rotation unit (Real3D). To analyze the stamping insert, the following parameters are measured:

  • Shape accuracy over the entire stamping insert
  • Measurement of the position of the stamping insert in relation to the outer surfaces
  • Contour inspection: angle and radius measurement
  • Surface quality: Profile and surface roughness


>>>Download Measurement Report: 3D measurement of a 3-up stamping insert
>>>Watch Video
>>>Read more about Stepper

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