Chromatic confocal sensor technology

Process equipment and process monitoring by means of in-line distance measurement

Laser processing systems can be used as photonic technology in almost every modern industrial manufacturing process chain for components and parts, for example cutting tapes for the automotive industry or micro-structuring electronic components in the semiconductor industry. The use of laser processes has increased in the production of large batch sizes as well as small series. Therefore, there is a high demand for the use of cost-effective dimensional measuring equipment for machine calibration, for the digitization of manufacturing processes and in quality assurance.

Due to their comparatively low system costs, the use of chromatic confocal sensors is suitable for a variety of machines in which workpieces have to be positioned precisely to the laser focus or in which special attention is paid to quality assurance.

The Fraunhofer IPT has developed an inline sensor that can be integrated coaxially directly into the optical beam path of laser systems and uses the chromatic confocal measuring principle directly in the machine for inline measurements. We use individually developed coaxial sensors in machines as well as commercially available standard sensors, which we integrate non-coaxially into processes or process chains.

By using the same beam path of the laser beam or by introducing it with an offset or angle, the inline measuring system can analyze the component before, during and after processing as required.

Our services

  • Development of measurement systems and demand-oriented signal processing
  • Integration of ready-made and machine-adapted sensor solutions
  • Integration of commercial standard sensors and automation
  • Validation and characterization of the measurement process


Machine calibration

Machine calibration and component positioning using dimensional, chromatic confocal distance measurements, coaxial through the laser beam path.

Dimensional distance

Chromatic confocal sensor technology allows dimensional distance measurement of surface geometries.

Focus finding

Inline focus finding and adjustment with the chromatic confocal sensor as coaxially integrated measuring system in a laser beam path.