QMT News: April 2010
Conference Report - MetroMeet 2010, Bilbao, Spain
The 6th international conference on industrial dimensional metrology was held in Bilbao, Spain  on 25 -26th February. International speakers and delegates participated in a wide ranging metrology programme.

Micro and nanoscale metrology was a significant theme of the two day event. Dr Oscar Lazaro (olazaro@innovalia.org) of Associacion Innovalia, Spain, outlined a nano-cmm concept. The NanoCMM is  an EU Project for a nano-scale 3D instrument for large volume characterisation of micro-features. The target for the project is to achieve measurement accuracies in the 50-200nm range in a volume of 150x150x150mm based on a metrology frame with high precision scales, step gauges and optical scanners in multiple orientations. The aim is to move nanometrology instrumentation away from dedicated systems to that of being universal, flexible and simple to use. Launch of the NanoCMM, currently at the prototype stage, will be end 2011, says Dr Lazaro.

Key to nanometrologic CMMs is micro probe development. Ernst Treffers (ernst.treffers@xpresspe.com) of Xpress Precision Engineering, Holland, looked at the challenges in developing the next generation of nano CMMs and micro probes. He outlined the design principle of the TriNano 3D nanoCMM which is now in production. However, TriNano will not be commercialised by Xpress but licensed as their main interest is in probing. He then described the Xpress Gannen XP probe  which is suitable for scanning applications with a measurement range of 30µm, a repeatability of 2nm and a probing force of 0.3mN (at 1µm).

Staying with microscale measurement, Dr Marcin Bauza (marcin.bauza@instutec.com) of Instutec Inc USA  gave a presentation on microscale surface and form profilometry using a standard wave probe. Microscale measurements using wave form probes were cited for a variety of difficult to measure materials, including plastics, copper and Aerogel Foams. Ongoing work with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, seeks to scale down the probe by an order of magnitude to allow profilometry of feature opening below 10nm.

Sensors, both optical and tactile were key area addressed by the conference. Martin Wany (info@awaiba.com) of AWAIBA, Portugal  discussed how megapixel sensor technology, in the race to more and smaller pixels, can help optical metrology improve measurement performance. Dieter Imkamp of Carl Zeiss, Germany, looked at optical and tactile metrology for application to surface and contour measurement.

Whether small, mid or large scale 3D measurement, calibration and verification underpin results. Dr. Philip Bleys from Sirris, Belgium, (philip.bleys@sirris.be)  reminded users not to forget the influence of feature form on uncertainty determination for CMMs. 

At the other end of the scale, Dr Will Zhang of NASA, USA described progress of the International X-ray Observatory (IXO), a mirror based system due to be launched in 2021. 15,000 mirror segments have to be assembled in a doughnut shape making a total mirror area of 1,000 m2  Fabricating and assembling this is an metrology challenge on an industrial scale. (You can view Dr Zhang web video on progress - visit QMT’s website www.qmtmag.com)
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