Measuring systems inspect parts on the shop floor

Aug. 20, 2019
Technical advances are allowing new, robust measuring systems to leave the quality-control lab and hit the factory floor.

Technical advances are allowing new, robust measuring systems to leave the quality-control lab and hit the factory floor.


Mitutoyo’s latest coordinate-measuring machine (CMM) is the MiSTAR 555, designed for machine-side operation. Features include a contamination-resistant design and a new “absolute scale” that provides an absolute value for each measurement point, eliminating the need for initialization procedures. The CMM can operate in temperatures ranging from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Built with probes mounted on a stationary horizontal arm, the MiSTAR 555 has a 30 percent smaller footprint than Mitutoyo’s CMMs with moving bridges, the company said. Its CMM controller and PC are tucked under the measuring table. This configuration makes it easy to move samples on and off the measuring table.

Mitutoyo’s optional MeasurLink software provides real-time acquisition and analysis of measurement data in order to detect defective parts as soon as possible.

The unit accommodates parts up to 26.4 inches high and weighing as much as 264 pounds. It has a measuring range of 22.4 inches along the X-axis and 19.7 inches along the Y- and Z-axes.


The Lotos optical 3-D measuring system from KoCoS provides noncontact inspection of parts.

Designed for machine-side use, the unit features a high-resolution Class II laser sensor to measure volume, diameter, radius, circumference, circularity, parallelism and other specifications. Parts revolve 360 degrees with each imaging cycle and can be measured and assessed in as little as 10 seconds. The touch-screen control allows rapid selection of test phases, and flexible holding fixtures permit fast changeover of parts. Calibration, when necessary, is done quickly by scanning a control part.

Options include software and hardware interfaces, and the ability to perform in-line production monitoring and statistical functions for process control, as well as manual, semi-automatic and automatic measurement; data also can be exported to different formats. To prevent operator errors, a poka-yoke function is available.

The system can measure objects as tall as 19.7 inches with a maximum diameter of 15.6 inches. Scanning speed is 5 seconds per 2.4 inches.


Micro-Epsilon’s IFS2407-0,1 unit measures thickness and displacement using a confocal laser-scanning sensor. The sensor has a measuring range of 0.1mm and resolution of up to 3 nanometers. It can precisely measure transparent films with thicknesses down to 5 microns.

The IFS2407-0,1 has a large tilt angle and a light-spot diameter of 3 microns that allows it to scan extremely fine surfaces and detect rough features that could affect end-use performance.

The device’s standard sensor has an NA (numerical aperture) value of 0.8, which is suitable for rough surfaces and thin layers. An alternate light-intensive version with an NA 0.7 value is designed for high-speed measurements of dark surfaces. 

Pat Toensmeier, correspondent

[email protected]


KoCoS America LLC,

Westerly, R.I., 401-622-0149,

Micro-Epsilon USA,

Raleigh, N.C., 919-787-9707,


Aurora, Ill., 888-648-8869,