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ZEISS Adds Measurement Accuracy to X-ray Microscopy

The miniaturization and integration of components is driving a growing demand for high-resolution metrology. This is particularly the case when access is required to measure part characteristics not attainable with tactile and optical measuring systems.  ZEISS is ‘making the invisible visible’ with the introduction, at an recent online seminar, of an entirely new realm of non-destructive insights into submicron details with its Xradia Versa X-ray microscopes. Now with the new ZEISS offering of Metrology Extension (MTX) to its Xradia 620/520 Versa, dimensional measurements can be made with an accuracy that far exceeds the limits of conventional X-ray computed tomography (CT) technology. Where traditional tomography relies on a single stage of geometric magnification, the Xradia Versa features a unique two-stage process based on high resolution optics.

With the addition of MTX users benefit from high-resolution X-ray imaging combined with high-precision metrology with verified measurement accuracy of small dimensions in reconstructed cubic volumes of less than 125 mm3. With a simple calibration a Maximum Permissible Error (MPE) value of (1.9 + L/100) μm is achievable with which ZEISS states will open-up a completely new fields of application for X-ray microscopes in industrial manufacturing and research.

Precise and Accurate Measurements on a Submicron Scale

The industry’s highest resolution and sharpest contrast, achieved through Zeiss X-ray technologies, has already enabled the inspection of intact samples on a sub-micron scale, including in-situ imaging for the non-destructive characterization of microstructures in controlled environments. “The miniaturization and integration of components in smaller devices is creating an increasing demand for high-resolution metrology in industrial manufacturing,” says Herminso Gomez, X-ray Quality Solutions Manager at ZEISS Industrial Metrology. “With adding the Metrology Extension for ZEISS Xradia Versa X-ray microscopes, users now have the most accurate CT metrology package in the world.”

ZEISS has developed a multi-sphere length standard for verifying the accuracy of CT measurements of small-scale dimensions

Reveal Smallest Dimensions. Measure Them Most Accurately

The Metrology Extension option adds the ability to make measurements in small volumes [in a cube of five millimetres per side, for instance] with high dimensional accuracy. For this purpose, ZEISS has developed XRM Check, a new length measurement standard, in accordance with the relevant VDI/VDE 2630-1.3 guidelines. The integrated, user-guided calibration workflow, allows users to calibrate their ZEISS Xradia Versa X-ray microscopes to a verified market-leading measurement accuracy of MPESD = (1.9 + L/100) μm, where L is the measured dimension in millimetres. This allows for the most accurate measurements to be made and the collected data to be accessible for further dimensional analyses with the ZEISS Calypso standard metrology software.

New Applications For X-ray Microscopy

The non-destructive insights provided by X-ray microscopes have always offered tangible advantages for research, development, and quality assurance. Now, the combination of high-resolution X-ray microscopy and high-precision metrology reveals entirely new applications of the technology. Its strengths shine in the assessment of internal and external structures, particularly for components that are not accessible to traditional measurement devices such as internal cavities, difficult-to-reach or ‘hidden’ features, and flexible or easily deformable materials.

With the Metrology Extension for ZEISS Xradia Versa users can determine dimensional deviations from nominal geometries defined in CAD models for functional features in small components such as injection-molded plastic connectors or fuel injector nozzles. Even complex parts, such as a smartphone camera lens assembly, can be measured using a variety of criteria. Compared to destructive methods, the X-ray measurement inspection technique not only saves time and money but also allows manufacturing designs and processes as well as product quality to be improved and taken to a whole new level due to highly precise and accurate measurement results.

“With the Metrology Extension, our users receive traceable results in the smallest of volumes,” says Herminso Gomez, “ZEISS is continuing its culture of innovation to drive progress, efficiency and the success of its customers, and, once again, is pushing the limits of what 3D X-ray based technologies can do.” Continuing with  its ‘Protect Your Investment’ customer strategy, ZEISS extends the capabilities to the existing install base by making MTX available as a field upgrade option – in addition to offering it with new instruments.

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