Collaborative Project “INSPIRE”

Interferometric Distance Sensor System with Autonomous Subsystems for High-Precision Inline Measurements to Control Automated Manufacturing Processes – “INSPIRE”

INSPIRE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its “Digital Optics” program. Together with the companies LSA - Laser Analytical Systems & Automation GmbH, Beratron GmbH, HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH and Friedrich Vollmer Feinmeßgerätebau GmbH, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on the development of inline digital optics for metalworking processes that will enable measurements with sub-micrometer accuracy.

The goal is to create an interferometric distance sensor system for absolute measurement which is also capable of performing simultaneous inline detection of the macroscopic and microscopic geometric workpiece properties of metal semi-finished products.

For the first time, this new technology would make it possible to test the shape and orientation tolerances of products in the sub-micrometer range.

Specific project objectives:

  • To integrate three autonomous subsystems in the sensor system that are capable of tailoring their parameters in real time to the properties of the component to be measured on a production line, thereby increasing the dynamic range twentyfold.
  • To develop subsystems that respond to different surface properties (roughness, absorption capacity), complex geometric workpiece shapes (steps, curves), relative motion between the sensor system and the workpiece (swarm motion), and changes in the inclination of the workpiece surface (slopes).
  • To build a reliable system that is capable of achieving a measuring accuracy of 250 nm within a measuring range of at least 20 mm, not just under laboratory conditions, but also inline during the production process.

“INSPIRE” is a joint project of the Fraunhofer ILT and the following partners

Beratron GmbH, Aachen

Friedrich Vollmer Feinmeßgerätebau GmbH, Hagen

HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH, Kleinmachnow

LSA - Laser Analytical Systems & Automation GmbH, Aachen

Contact Fraunhofer ILT

Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Hölters

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT

Steinbachstr. 15
52074 Aachen, Germany

Phone +49 241 8906-436

Fax +49 241 8906-121