Flawless, residue-free surfaces in many cases decide the quality of modern products. Contaminations on component surfaces – such as residues of drawing or release agents – can severely disrupt partial steps in the manufacturing process and render the product unusable. This is because modern, highly efficient joining methods, such as laser welding, laser soldering or gluing sometimes react very sensitive to contamination such as residues lubricants, corrosion protection or release agents. Likewise, incorrectly or incompletely applied functional coatings also impair further processing or the function of components.

F-Scanner: Fluorescence measuring system for large-area inline testing of surface cleanliness and coatings

With its F-Scanner family of devices, Fraunhofer IPM offers sensitive measuring systems that detect contamination or defects on surfaces directly in the production line. By using a combination of imaging fluorescence measurement and laser scanners, the F-Scanners detect organic contamination of just a few milligrams per square meter. The scanning systems enable 100-percent inspection while generating a high-resolution map that reflects the distribution of organic substances on the surface. Beyond the inspection of component cleanliness or coating this often also indicates issues in the production process.

Fluorescence reveals even the slightest impurities – and makes it quantifiable

Imaging fluorescence measurements based on the principle of the F-Scanner make use of a simple principle: Residues of oils, greases or wet chemical detergents, which are used for material processing or cleaning, exhibit fluorescence. Fluorescence measuring systems analyze the surfaces of components or production plants for residues of these substances without contact – whether it is a contamination or a functional coating. Thanks to imaging, the quantity and distribution of impurities can be easily located.

Various system concepts to match the task

F-Scanner 1D and 1Dmini –  inspecting cleanliness and coatings in motion

The F-Scanner 1D is optimized for measurement of components in motion, e. g. components on conveyor belts or strip metal. The inline inspection system scans the component surface rapidly perpendicular to the direction of motion. Even at speeds of several m/s, the surface is recorded with millimeter resolution.

While the F-Scanner 1D is designed for speed and maximum field of view, the F-Scanner 1Dmini features a particularly compact design. Due to its low weight it can be operated with lightweight industrial robots and cobots. In contrast to the stationary F-Scanner 1D, the measurement device itself moves rather than the part. This allows complex geometries, such as structural elements or lightweight constructions, to be completely captured. The combination of line scanner and robot is also advantageous when dealing with large components.

F-Scanner 2D – for use in quality assurance laboratories as well as in nearline and inline applications

The F-Scanner 2D scans the surface in two dimensions generating a complete image of the coating or contamination. This image shows where and to which extent organic residues or coatings can be found on the component surface. This makes quantitative analysis of the surface coverage possible for the first time, even for free-form 3D objects. The system is suitable for pre-inspection, for flexible quality assurance of batch components and for online monitoring in production lines.The F-Scanner 2D is available as stand-alone-device and can also be integrated into production lines.

Further information


Press release/Inline particle measurement technology / 21.4.2021

SPOT research project kicks off

As part of the SPOT research project, Fraunhofer IPM is working together with partners to develop a novel optical inline measurement system for detecting particulate contamination and defects on component surfaces.

Technical paper

»Using laser scanning to inspect part cleanliness«

The Fabricator, online, 08/2023