Developing methods and guidance to support use of optical surface measurement technologies in advanced manufacturing processes
Surface topography significantly influences the functionality of manufactured components; about 10 % of manufactured parts fail due to surface effects, while surface roughness affects measurement performance in lithography, additive manufacturing processes and biological samples. High-resolution, contactless measuring systems, such as optical microscopes and optical distance sensors, could speed up quality control processes, and support digitalisation concepts such as industry 4.0, but are infrequently used in industry due to complex interactions between devices and surfaces.
The EURAMET project on comparison measurement study #1242 on areal roughness measurements by optical microscopes showed that roughness measurements depend on choices of measurement principles applied, and measured parameters depend on instrument setups. Yet, end-users are offered little guidance on instrument selection, meaning tactile measurements are more usually performed. These non-optical methods, while accurate, can be destructive, slow, costly, and harder to integrate into production lines.
The project will enable accurate 3D roughness and dimensional measurements using optical 3D microscopy and distance sensors, and produce guidance on instrumentation selection.
Data evaluation and uncertainty estimation methods will be developed and procedures devised to guide selection of instrumentation. Industrial take-up of the developed technologies and advice will be promoted to measurement supply chains, standards organisations and end-users via good practice guides, publications, and training courses.
The developed metrology will encourage wider adoption of optical sensors for faster, more accurate non-destructive control of manufactured component surfaces and geometries. The inherent time efficiency and cost advantages could then accelerate product development and production processes, and so help improve Europe’s industrial competitiveness.