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Application Examples non-contact measuring systems

Please find below some application examples of our capacitive and eddy-current position and displacement measuring systems.

SEM focus

An integrated probe system was developed for stage focusing. A tailored probe design with 45° surface was required to fit the available space; the probe was encapsulated to improve reliability and prevent charging issues. The probe was optimised to allow on/off switching within 1 ms.  A dual range option was offered for high precision focus measurement. The system was supplied for a UHV environment with vacuum feed through.


Automotive bearings

In production (100%) measurement of bearing shell thickness with 2 opposed sensors was required. Measurement was to be carried out in the feeder resulting in a large variation in the position to the probe. This required a large stand-off and probe range, while maintaining sub-micron accuracy. Probes were calibrated against the convex/concave surface to eliminate linearity error caused by the small bearing shell radius. Up to 6 channels were implemented per machine to measure eccentricity. Synchronisation was applied to avoid cross talk.


Disk Drive Run-Out

In production (100%) measurement of disk drive writing heads was required to minimise run out. Reducing this enables smaller track widths to be written and higher storage densities to be achieved. Extremely high resolution (sub-nanometre) was needed on very small targets (smallest target 0,2 mm). A tailored probe design was applied with a sensing area very close to the edge of a flat probe; a fork design was used to enable measurement of difficult to access locations. Eurocard design was realised for easy integration into the customer electronics.


Spindle Error

A multichannel system has been developed to determine critical performance parameters including: radial and axial error motions, thermal drift and distortion due to environmental vibrations.  Hardware developed can be synchronised with customer encoders or index pulses and employs an integrated temperature module. The system offers a dual range option for either standard or ultra-precision machines. Integrated data acquisition is employed for the highest accuracy, undisturbed by electrical influences.


Stealth Ships

Ultra precision probes were implemented under water to detect vibration and/or motion of moving surfaces on sea-going vessels (propellers, rudders...).


Magnetic Levitation Stage

A contactless, wireless solution was developed for in vacuo real time control of the short stroke of a magnetically levitated precision stage. A set of synchronised probes were used to measure the z height and two rotations out of plane.  2kHz bandwidths were achieved with deterministic data transmission at latency figures of 300s; sufficient for real time positioning control. Packet loss rates of 1.1e-7 were also realised to ensure reliability.


Machine tool metrology frame

24 sensors were integrated into a machine tool bed to enable real time measurement of thermal and work piece related deformations.  Wireless probes were employed to ease integration and provide cost effect smart metrology solution.