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Automotive industry

Reliable quality assurance of functional components

Micro and nano structured functional surfaces reduce fuel consumption, make cars more environmentally compatible and reduce wear. Key components in the fuel feed supply and drive technology have to be precisely manufactured and inspected. Stable process control in production calls for fast measurement technology in the production environment. For this reason, leading automobile manufacturers are increasingly turning to NanoFocus technology.

Tactile measurement systems not sufficient

Contact surface profilers, which have been predominantly used in mechanical engineering in the past to characterize complex three-dimensional surfaces, such as cylinder running surfaces, micro structured sheet metal or Tools, are not sufficient anymore. Due to their operating mode they are very slow, sensitive in handling and can destroy the surface. Other optical measurement are either sensitive to vibration, imprecise or fail to capture complex geometries with steep edges.

Though with the fast and precise NanoFocus 3D surface measurement systems it is possible to capture areal 3D structures and conduct analyses according to DIN EN ISO, as well as to determine threediemensional structural Information – and all of that with easy handling!

The measurement results provided by NanoFocus systems are absolutely comparable with the results of tactile systems. This is confirmed by studies e.g. of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA. The modular surface analysis solutions allow the application close to production as well.

Examples of application

The non-contact measurement technology of NanoFocus precisely determines the quality of surface structures of cylinder running surfaces, camshafts, connecting rods, coatings or sheet metal in the laboratory, as well as during production.

Coated surfaces (Appearance)

The appearance of varnished and unvarnished sheet metal is determined by structure and waviness on a microscopic level. With µsurf mobile samples of previously defined areas of the cary body can be measured at various steps of the production process.  The amplitudes of the single wavelengths bands are protocolled. The influence of material and manufacturing conditions can be evaluated comprehensively at the hands of this data. The measurement results in one zone profile can be compared to set-values of a car model.
Read more about appearance measurements.

Products: µsurf custom, µsoft analysis


Automated optical inspection systems, based on the NanoFocus µsprint technology, determine the three-dimensional characteristics of sealing sheets only 60 µm thick, which are applied to their substrates using screen printing. µsprint takes just a fraction of the time required by tactile profilometers to perform this task. In addition, the system scans the surface structures in the low µm range without contact, and much more accurately, too. Within only a few minutes, it is not only possible to measure the properties of the seals over the surface of the entire panel, but also to measure various data points relating to the surface composition.

Products: µsprint hp-hsi, µsprint sensor, µsoft analysis

Injection systems

During production of piezo-common rail (PCR) injection systems, quality assurance is performed with the ultra-fast µsprint technology. Welded metal membranes are examined for evenness, surface defects and welding spatter – fully automated and with cycle times of six seconds. Samples are handled with the help of a SPS-controlled robot. The software µsoft automation enables measurement processes on the basis of recipes. The measurement results are stored in an SQL-data base.

Products: µsprint hp-hsi, µsprint sensor, µsoft analysis

Sheet metal

The oil pockets rolled into sheet metal serve to absorb oil and improve its shaping properties. To evaluate these functionally important 3D structural elements, NanoFocus provides comprehensive analysis tools. Alongside DIN EN ISO roughness evaluations, the microvolume of the enclosed proportion of the surface can be calculated and evaluated. The stitching function is used to expand the measurement fields to several millimeters.

Products:  µsurf custom, µsoft analysis

Laser welded seams

The µsprint 3D line sensors inspect the quality of laser welded seams for pores, bubbles and vats. Additionally, the completeness and coherence of the seams can be examined fully automated. If the software µsoft automation declares a sample as not ok, welding and measurement can be repeated. Thereby, the reject rate can be reduced significantly.

Products: µsprint custom, µsprint sensor, µsoft analysis

Cam rings

Burned in laser pads on the inside of cam rings are inspected for structure depth and roughness. In the laser structuring process, carves and chunking can be measured and evaluated during production. NanoFocus offers automated solutions which can measure every desired position of the component automatically. Measurement results are available after a few seconds.

Products: µsurf custom, µsoft analysis


Camshafts have typical grinding structures. The roughness according to DIN EN ISO is determined on the basis of a profile section for quality assurance. Evidence of wear and the directional dependence of roughness can also be determined by a 3D measurement.

Products:  µsurf custom, µsoft analysis

Connection rods

In the laser structuring process, carves and bulking can be measured and evaluated during production. The µsurf measurement system automatically moves to freely definable measurement positions while the sample rotates. Once all positions are measured, surface data is evaluated automatically at the hands of profile cuts, and the results are protocolled. With the µsurf-Technology, non-destructive measurement results can be obtained during production.

Products: µsurf custom, µsoft analysis

Engine cylinder walls

The surface topography of cylinder bore surfaces is captured by the µsurf cylinder down to the nanometer range. Honing structures, exposure depths, standard roughness values and the surface roughness can be analyzed with the help of measurement data. This yields qualitative and quantitative information on the wear and defects on the cylinder wall.
Read more about measurements of engine cylinder walls.

Products: µsurf cylinder, µsoft analysis

Benefits at a glance

  • Traceable measurement results
  • Non-destructive measurements
  • Special solutions for different applications in the automotvie industry
  • Measurements on transparent and polishes surfaces
  • 99,9% correlation to tactile measurement results
  • Roughness measurements conform to DIN EN ISO

Contact us

Your contact
Domenique Weiner
Phone:  +49 163 251 88 91
Fax:  +49 208 620 00 99

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