Robotic Measurement Partnership Provides High Speed CMM Quality Inspection

Nikon Metrology and Metrologic Group will showcase their production line 3D metrology solution at the 2018 Control Exhibition. The robot-mounted Laser Radar is fully controlled and automated by Metrolog X4 i-Robot software, and easily programmed with Silma X4 i-Robot simulation software.

The Nikon Laser Radar combined with Metrologic Group’s software suite, Silma X4 i-Robot and Metrolog X4 i-Robot, provides a highly flexible and accurate 3D metrology solution, designed for shop floor CMM quality measurements in short time cycles. The single, intuitive software suite controls both the Laser Radar and the robot, thus simplifying part measurement programming and inspection.

Silma X4 i-Robot is a virtual offline programming and simulation tool capable of generating automatically optimized Laser Radar and robot positions and takes care of robot constraints (singularities, over speed, limits) and also the Laser Radar specifics (line of sight, incidence angle etc.) to combine optimized and collision-free robot trajectories. What was a complex programming operation is now made simple as robot programming and inspection are totally intuitive and flexible. In addition there is no necessity to reprogram when modifying a feature or a part; the metrologist simply updates trajectories in the software as he would do with any conventional CMM part program update.


Metrolog X4 i-Robot controls and synchronizes the motions of the robot and the Laser Radar. It can accommodate any robot cell, including a 7th axis rail, rotary table, or multiple robots. The measuring solution is independent of the robot accuracy; therefore, robot drift, warm-up and backlash have no influence to the measurement results. The system executes single or multiple part programs and can easily adapt to different part models or variations. Metrolog X4 i-Robot can be used to execute programs created in Silma X4 i-Robot or, such as on a CMM, easily create or update an inspection program combining robot and Laser Radar commands in one single measurement program.

The Nikon Laser Radar combined with the Metrolog X4 i-Robot software provides absolute, accurate measurements on the shop floor many times faster than traditional CMM solutions allowing customers to significantly increase measurement throughput providing improved control over their manufacturing processes.

“The Laser Radar mounted on a robot is particularly adapted to the automotive and aerospace industries, where flexibility and efficiency are major productivity factors,” says Nikon Metrology CEO, Hajime Kosawa. “This shop floor solution combined with Metrolog X4 i-Robot guarantees product quality and maximum production effectiveness of the measurement process, directly on the shop floor. I am very glad we started this project with Metrologic Group in 2012 to create this very unique solution”

“Metrolog X4 i-Robot is the first software enabling an easy-to-operate, intuitive, all-in-one robot-based inspection for the Laser Radar,” states Bertrand Gili, Metrologic Group President. “It is important to highlight that the X4 i-Robot solution features the same software program to generate and drive both robot trajectories and the Laser Radar, manage the measurements, analyze the data and create customized easy-to-understand reports. Combined with the Laser Radar, it offers a uniquely flexible and extremely robust solution. It allows to managing complex scenarios with a very simple, user oriented interface:  this is the result of Metrologic Group’s 35 years of excellence and focus in 3D metrology innovation.”

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