Surface inspection

Detection of defects and texture

Surface defects are a common issue in the production of components or strip metal – for example due to wear of tools. Even the slightest surface defects, however, impair the function of products or lead to problems during further processing. Fraunhofer IPM develops optical systems for monitoring the quality of technical surfaces. The imaging inspection systems measure with accuracies down to the micrometer range and can be used flexibly, including in the production line as required. Measuring method, optical setup and lighting are chosen according to the measuring task. Image processing is usually conducted in real time. For data evaluation, we rely on specially adapted analysis software and also use high-performance AI-based methods such as deep learning.

Single components and strip metal

Our systems inspect the surface of different product classes – ranging from complex 3D components to fine wire. Various technologies are used for defect detection and texture analysis, such as bright and dark field imaging, pulsed LED illumination or pixel shifting methods. For the automated optical inspection (AOI) of mass-produced components, we rely on 100 percent component inspection in free fall.

Systems for surface inspection


Inspect-360° MP

100 % component inspection without additional handling

The free-fall system fully inspects components with even complex geometries for defects in the outer contour and texture.


Inspect-360° HR

100 % component inspection without additional handling

The free-fall system detects defects in dimensional accuracy and texture with a minimum size of 30 µm on any small components.



Inline quality control of large components on the conveyor belt

The system inspects defects in the outer contour and texture of components with sub-millimeter precision without specific component handling.



Automatic inspection of wire production

The imaging inspection system detects micro-defects already during production.



Automated texture analysis

The inspection system captures surfaces with extremely high resolution at a comparatively large measuring field.



High-resolution measurement of surface defects

The imaging inspection system detects impurities or defects on surfaces in the production line.