Optical measurement machines are contactless industrial metrology devices. They allow you to define the coordinates of points in space on the surface of the measurand, and through calculation algorithms applied to these points, they make the determination of the dimensional measurements of the object possible. Each optical system is capable of measuring all kinds of components, guaranteeing excellent performances in countless applications in every production sector.
The advantages of optical measurement machines include:

  • Contactless measurement: optical measurement machines can measure the dimensions of an object without directly touching it.
  • Precision: these systems offer high precision and reliable results.
  • Cost reduction: optical measurement machines can reduce production costs and scrap material.
  • Versatility: these systems can be used in a wide array of applications and production sectors.

Optical measurement machines are useful in various production sectors, the mechanical industry included. Here are some of the common applications of optical measurement machines in the production of mechanical pieces:

  • Quality control: optical measurement machines allow you to take precise and accurate measurements of the dimensions of mechanical pieces. This helps guarantee that the pieces comply with the quality standards requested.
  • Dimensional control: optical measurement machines can be used to measure the dimensions of mechanical pieces, such as length, width, height, diameter and other dimensional characteristics. These measurements can be used to ensure the conformity of the pieces to the requested specifics.
  • Shape control: optical measurement machines can be used to verify the shape of mechanical pieces, such as planarity, straightness, roundness and other geometric characteristics. This helps guarantee that the pieces are correctly built and that they satisfy the design requirements.
  • Surface control: optical measurement machines can be used to assess the quality of the surfaces of mechanical pieces, such as rugosity, finish and other surface characteristics. This helps guarantee that the pieces meet the expected standards by appearance and performance.
  • Assembly control: optical measurement machines can be used to verify the accurateness of the assembly of mechanical pieces. They can be used to measure the distance between components, the alignment, the angle and other assembly features. This helps guarantee that the pieces are correctly assembled and correctly working.

These are just some of the many applications of optical measurement machines in the production of mechanical pieces. Choosing an optical measurement machine depends on the specific measurement needs and on the characteristics of the pieces to be produced.

Optical measurement machines in our company:
Yesterday… On the edge of the new century, important investments were made in Mecal regarding the production of pinions for pneumatic rotary actuators with CNC machines for bar turning. In a short amount of time, two Gildemeister GM70 multi-spindle lathes entered into production. Their power was in the volume of the pinions for rotary actuators produced. As the volumes grew, so did the quality demanded by the clients.
We immediately realized that traditional measurement systems were not enough anymore. The search for control machinery for the measurement of transmission shafts became focused on contactless systems, which were more and more precise and performing.
In the year 2000 the first optical machine, the Hommel Optik 410, entered our company, with a measurement capacity of Ø100×400.
This was a defining moment. Thanks to the new machine, the measurement results were immediate because multiple dimensions were able to be measured in just a few seconds.
The measurement on the border of the machine during setup became swifter and had a smaller error margin.
The production of big volumes was controlled with repeatability and immediate effectiveness.
It was immediately clear how this kind of machinery went perfectly together with the production, which was rapidly moving from shaped pinions for racks to pinions for Scotch-Yoke actuators.
Today… In 2018 a second generation of optical control machines was acquired. The Hommel Jenoptik 614 with a shaft measuring capacity of Ø140×600 soon found its way into production lines. This machine is ideal for piston rods, shafts and pinions for pneumatic rotary actuators.

This machine is even more precise, as it’s capable of detecting deviations of 0,002; it’s equipped with a software able to measure holes, screw sizes, and complex shapes.
The factory is its ideal environment; we placed the machine next to the other equipment so as to make it immediately available to the workers.
No physical barrier is present, safety is guaranteed by electronic barriers and cameras are always in a protected area.
Programming a drive shaft such as the one pictured here is an approximately thirty-minute task; the programming later is codified and saved for future uses.

Copies of the measurements can be saved for internal audits or for client-requested documentation.
We’re going to conclude our focus on optical measurement by saying that this kind of machinery perfectly encapsulates the company philosophy of perfecting the control of the production of transmission shafts in general, but most importantly the production of pinions for pneumatic rotary actuators, which are an essential element in the automation of ball or butterfly valves.