How to maximize 
your productivity 
with optical 3D metrology 
Top 7 requirements for your next production measurement & metrology system 

Benefit from modern measuring instruments to reduce setup times, ensure quality and increase process reliability

Production measurement technology asks for 

  • highly accurate and fast optical 3D measurements
  • easy handling
  • cost-efficiency with fast ROI 
  • production suitability including measurement automation

To reach this goal, your measuring systems must fulfill a range of requirements. 

Have a look at the top 7 assets you should consider 
before choosing a new measuring instrument:

#1 Measuring instrument capability

To ensure that your measuring instrument is capable of completing measurement tasks adequately, it is necessary to verify the instrument’s measuring capability and accuracy. These are usually determined based on predefined Cg and Cgk values. Other important factors are high repeatability, traceability to national and international calibration standards, compliance with global ISO standards, and low measurement uncertainties.

Measure roundness of valve seats for optimal sealing

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

#2 Usability

In production environments, several machines are simultaneously in use. Thus, the simple and intuitive operation of your measuring system is indispensable. Single-button solutions and automated measuring procedures ensure constant measurements without user influence.


An example: FESTO (Germany) uses a customized sample holder for 10 parts with additional lightning for the automated measurement process, as shown in the webinar "Measurement on the Shop Floor: Fast and Contactless". 

#3 Flexibility

Flexible production asks for flexible measuring systems. Production managers are increasingly confronted with the production of different components in small batches. Thus, various component shapes, types and sizes made of different materials or composites must be measured quickly and reliably. Modern measurement technology must adapt to these varying conditions - ideally, one measurement system covers all measurement tasks regardless of size and surface finish.

The Canadian company Miltera, a prototype and advanced manufacturing facility, shows how flexible the optical µCMM operates. Watch this video clip from the webinar "Measurement on the shop floor: Fast and contactless". 

#4 Long-term stability

A measuring instrument's stability is crucial for ensuring high process reliability at all times. When measuring a component at different times over a longer period, results must be consistent, even with varying environmental conditions such as temperature, vibrations or illuminations.

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. With Industry 4.0, production systems, machines, and measuring devices communicate with each other to enable adaptive production planning and self-controlled production. In this production concept, also referred to as "Smart Manufacturing", measuring instruments are integrated directly into production: Measuring sensors recognize faulty components and automatically feed this information into the production loop. Production automatically adapts to the new information and corrects the error. To ensure long-term implementation of self-controlled 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. Short setup times demand high measurement speeds and repeatable, traceable measurement results. The faster measurement results are available, the faster operators can react. Therefore, measurement speed is a key factor in reducing downtime and ensuring fast responses and short process adjustment times, all of which contribute to economic and 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".

#7 Cost efficiency 

The investment in a measuring system must be profitable. A fast ROI, reduced 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, with the operator software MetMaX 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 many measuring positions have to be defined and taught in. 

Automatic measurement and evaluation of components

The operator software MetMaX, available for µCMM and InfiniteFocus G6, enables the automatic measurement and evaluation of components. Users do not need any specific metrology knowledge to perform robust measurements.

Want to learn more about production metrology in practice?

Watch 16 free lectures from international speakers and Bruker Alicona experts who talk about their experiences in production measurement technology. The focus lies on modern trends in machining, newer processes such as additive manufacturing and automated production processes by uniting robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and metrology. Here are 2 examples:

Towards uncertainty evaluation with optical coordinate metrology

Coordinate metrology is mainly applied to ensure production quality. Richard Leach, Professor of Metrology at the University of Nottingham, introduces different types of coordinate metrology and focuses on the difference between traditional tactile (contact) technologies and new optical methods. Key aspects in verifying measurement accuracy are the use of standards and the role  measurement uncertainty plays.

Richard Leach, Professor at the University of Nottingham
Franz Helmli, R&D Director at Bruker Alicona

Accuracy and usability of the µCMM coordinate measuring machine

High measurement accuracy and high usability are absolute "musts" when it comes to verifying complex geometries. In this session, R&D Manager Franz Helmli presents how the Bruker Alicona optical coordinate measurement system µCMM meets these requirements. The focus of this session lies on the MetMaX operator software, which is designed for users without special metrology knowledge. This session also includes measurement planning in CAD, measurement automation, and reporting functionalities.

Are you up for more lectures about production measurement technology?