User application

Dimensional metrology in combination with collaborative robots


For quality assurance, the stamping tool expert has been relying on Alicona optical 3D metrology for many years. Stepper is now also using the new automated optical CMM metrology solution µCMM Pick&Place. The optical coordinate measuring system µCMM is extended with a robot arm to automatically pick, place, measure and sort components. The range of applications includes embossing inserts, embossing dies, bending inserts, bending dies, etc.

Optical 3D measurement of a 3-up stamping insert

The component being measured:
3-up stamping insert for high-performance stamping tools, which are used for the production of miniaturized automotive contacts. Stepper produces up to 2250 plug contacts per minute, and within just a few years 3 billion parts have already been produced.  

What is important for the measurement: 
Dimensional accuracy, surface quality and the position of the embossing die relative to the outer contour. As 3 parts are produced simultaneously with each stroke in this stamping process, it is also checked whether all 3 forms match. 

What is also possible with µCMM: 
Reduced measuring times with highest accuracy. One of many benefits is that it is not necessary to measure the complete component. Users only need to measure the relevant measuring positions. “We only have to measure selected positions of the tools´ contour. This reduces measurement times by more than 2/3.”

Stamping insert measured with the µCMM Pick & Place

What is the benefit of Vertical Focus Probing?
The possibility of measuring components with flanks of more than 90° opens up a completely new spectrum of parts for Stepper.  "To date, we have mainly measured embossed and bent parts. Now we can also measure cylindrical, continuous contours such as cutting punches and cutting inserts." 

How is automation implemented?
µCMM is extended with a collaborative robot arm. This Pick & Place solution enables automatic assembly and measurement including sorting in OK/not OK components. The teach-in of measurement series takes place in only 3 steps and requires no previous knowledge of measurement technology. 

Measurement Technician Alexander Geiger and Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting, with the µCMM

"We manufacture high-end punching tools, so we need high-end measuring technology. For us, only Bruker Alicona is an option. I also don't see a possibility to measure those components with tactile instruments!"
Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting

Find out more 

How Stepper expands automation in production with optical 3D measurement

Read more

Optical 3D measurement of a 3-up stamping insert for high-performance stamping tools


In this video you can watch the optical coordinate measuring machine µCMM is extended by a robot arm to automatically load, measure and sort a 3-up stamping insert.

Measurement Report

The measurement object is a 3-up stamping insert, measured with the µCMM and a rotation unit (Real3D). To analyze the stamping insert, the following parameters are measured:

  • Shape accuracy over the entire stamping insert
  • Measurement of the position of the stamping insert in relation to the outer surfaces
  • Contour inspection: angle and radius measurement
  • Surface quality: Profile and surface roughness