3D distance, shape & thickness

Precitec Optronik sensors for 3D distance, shape & thickness


The wide range of CHRocodile sensors from Precitec Optronik utilize several distinct techniques to perform high speed distance and thickness measurements. Chromatic confocal and interferometric methods are used to measure on nearly all surfaces. Various white and infrared light sources are available to extend the ranges of materials.

To determine which measurement technique is right for your application click on the appropriate link and also have a look further down the page for some industries that are successfully using Precitec Optronik systems:

a) Distance

b) Thickness (transparent, up to 37mm)

c) Thickness (transparent, 2µm to 250µm)

d) Thickness (opaque)



1) Photovoltaics

Measurements involve specially developed CHRocodile sensors based on interferometric and chromatic measuring procedure with the smallest measuring point. Irrespective of whether it’s solar glass or a wafers, they precisely measure the thickness and surface structure all the way to the edge. The determination of form parameters, the topography of the contact finger, the simultaneous measurement of thickness and sawing grooves or thickness measurement in real time during the etching process – these are all measuring tasks that are easily accomplished. Their rugged and simple design enables simple integration directly into the production process.


Solar cell wafers online with non contact measurement

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The highest production quality at high cycle rates – the modular CHRocodile MI5 optical sensor addresses these requirements as the flexible configuration options provide parallel determination of parameters like thickness and surface structure in the production process of solar wafers. The sensor is designed to be easily integrated into production processes, and can even be used to measure chemical etching in acid or brine. Measurements at the edge area of the wafer can be determined through the use of a small measuring spot of just a few micrometers width.  The measuring data is acquired in real time at up to 4kHz.

Product recommendation:       CHRocodile MI5


Finger height on solar cells

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While demands on quality are increasing cost pressure is now determining the winner of thecompetition in the production of solar cells. For example, the measurement of finger heights and the geometry of conducting paths present the deciding measure for avoiding rejections and the reliability of product quality.

The CHRocodile SE optical sensor is the ideal tool, thanks to its high dynamic range, for topographically evaluating various reflecting surfaces of the conducting paths in a precise manner – integrated into the production process, as well as under laboratory conditions.

The 3D presentations of measurement  results along with data from various other interfaces provide an exact picture of the quality of the production process and thus, allows for the immediate correction of process parameters.

Product recommendation:      CHRocodile S / CHRocodile SE


2) Glass Industry

Almost regardless of environment and circumstance the sensors of the CHRocodile family measure the thickness and topography of glass of any colour or surface structure. There are many multifaceted application areas in this industry sector with CHRocodile sensors becoming the industry standard in wall strength measurement of glass containers in inspection machines, thickness measurement of display glass and pipe glass. Even circular objects such as bottles, the wall strength of hot quartz pipes or function foil in pre-fabricated sandwiched layers can be easily determined. And even at glass temperatures of 1,700 °C the sensors don’t get too hot.


Non contact wall thickness measurement of container glass

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In the production of container glass, high speed non contact measurement of wall strength and roundness are vitally important. The CHRocodile M4 sensor, with four integrated, but independent measuring heads, can deliver 4000 measurements/second from different positions on each container.  Even non-round containers can be measured thanks to the high performance of the measuring heads. Since the spot size is only a few hundredths of a millimetre in diameter, even the smallest failure can be discovered in the glass. Additional calibration is not required. Due to being manufactured to the highest precision the sensors ensure high-quality and reliable measurements online from both the hot and cold ends, in the laboratory or in offline mode. The CHRocodile M4 is the measurement standard in the glass industry.

Product recommendation:       CHRocodile M4


3) Semiconductor Industry

Online quality control of wafers

Applications in the semiconductor industry require a lateral resolution in the micrometer range plus height resolution in the sub-micrometer range. The sensors can be used to measure the thickness of wafers, determine semiconductor structures in screen manufacturing and check bonding during online quality control. Moreover, they can also be used to measure transparent coatings, determine paint thickness and monitor mechanical and chemical removal processes in real time for quality control. CHRocodile sensors measure reliably in both acid baths and ultra-high vacuum.


Non contact measurement of wafers

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Simple and highly precise distance and layer thickness measurement of wafers and solar cells is provided by the sensors from the CHRocodile IT product family. These optical sensors are capable of measuring silicon up to a thickness of 1mm with just one measuring head. The exact determination of thickness all the way into the edge area is very important for the highest quality. CHRocodile IT guarantees this via an especially small measuring point, but the sensors of the CHRocodile IT family can measure even more; GaAs wafers, visually opaque plastic foils and multi-shift systems. The rugged, simple design of the optical sensors enables their easy integration directly into production processes. Naturally, the devices can also provide affordable and highly-precise layer thickness measurement in the laboratory.

Product recommendation:       Product family CHRocodile 2 IT1000


Thickness measurement of highly-doped wafers

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Rejection of part-worked wafers is not only wasteful it is expensive too. The form and thickness measurement of wafers needs to be conducted with great precision, and CHRocodile DW has proven itself the best at this task, especially with highly-doped wafers. It measures highly-doped silicon with high precision and accuracy up to a thickness of 500µm using just one measuring head. The rugged, simple design of the optical sensors enables their easy integration directly into production processes and built-in standard interfaces provide feedback to the production line ensuring warning of process variation at the earliest stage possible.

Product recommendation:       CHRocodile DW


4) Medicine

Reliability & Precision

The optical sensors of the CHRocodile series make possible the non contact, high-precision distance and layer thickness measurement of medical components. For example, the exact wall strength of medical balloons is of great importance for the success of any therapy. It is even important to be as precise as possible when processing spectacle glass and contact lenses. CHRocodile sensors can measure glass thickness as well as the thickness of the anti-scratch coating on the glasses. In the area of packaging, the high-quality requirements for foils, blister, and moulds are monitored with our precision measurement technology. The sensors have also proven useful in many other areas of medical application, e.g. for high-precision measurement of artificial hip and knee joints as well as coating thickness measurement on stents.


Wall strength measurement of balloons

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Balloons that are used in cardiology for dilation of constrictions in coronary blood vessels have to be able to handle great demands on their wall strength. The CHRocodile E sensor is the right choice for this precise measurement as it can provide reliable non contact and high-quality measuring data of the lining and taper area of the balloon.

With a high measuring rate, built-in interfacing to external encoder signals plus the compact measuring head design means that integration of the sensor into the inspection machines used in both laboratories and production is greatly eased.

Product recommendation:      CHRocodile E


Wall strength measurement of medical packaging

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Medical packaging, for example medicine bottles, syringes or blister packaging, has to meet the highest of quality standards. Wall strength of the material used is often an important quality criteria and using the chromatic confocal CHRocodile M4 sensor enables easy, quick and precise measurement of wall thickness which directly correlates to strength. It determines the wall strength reliably and precisely, even of highly coloured packaging like dark brown glass bottles. Due to its advanced design, the sensor can be easily integrated into existing production environments with the added benefit that it can be used for offline measurements in the laboratory.

Product recommendation:      CHRocodile M4


5) Plastic industry

Correct during manufacturing

Regardless of the strength of preforms or PET bottles, plastic thickness should be precisely determined during manufacturing  and this can be achieved with CHRocodile sensors. Deviations in the production process can be recognized by the non contact, fast measurement. The high measuring speed can often make it possible to use closed-loop process control during production. Our sensors have been proven with some well-known manufacturers in topography measurement of injection moulds and wall strength measurement of blisters (PET, PP, EVOH)


Topography measurements on injection moulded parts

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Injection moulded parts can vary in nature – whether it is form, colour or surface condition. A topography measuring system has to work despite these basic conditions if it is to supply measurements that deliver value. The CHRocodile SE in conjunction with high aperture optical measuring heads can address these requirements perfectly. It can be applied to all surfaces, is suitable for almost all component geometries and is insensitive to environmental influences. The measuring precision and lateral resolution are in the micron range and axial resolution in the sub micron range. The CHRocodile SE delivers impressive measuring rates of several kHz but what’s the use are these impressive capabilities without the possibility of simple integration into the process environment? Even that is addressed because synchronisation with external hardware is guaranteed by a number of interfaces in line with current industry standards.

Product recommendation:       CHRocodile S/ CHRocodile SE


Thickness measurements of films

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Thin transparent and opaque films are typically produced at high speeds, under demanding manufacturing conditions and, because of this, a more robust sensor must be used to determine the film thickness during production. Any measurement technique must remain unaffected by environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, or vibration of the film. The CHRocodile K, with its interferometric measurement method meets these conditions perfectly, while simultaneously combining high precision and fast data rates. These features allow the process parameters of film production to be controlled with minimal latency leading to less waste of product and enhanced profitability.

Product recommendation:       CHRocodile K


6) Co-ordinate measuring technology

Measuring & Testing

Some well known manufacturers of coordinate measuring machines use CHRocodile sensors as supplements to their usual tactile sensors. First, this combination of two measuring principles enables the user to find the correct solution to the specifications of the respective measuring task. The high measuring speed reduces the measuring time of surface topography substantially. Even strongly slanted and polished surfaces are measured exactly. Precitec Optronik is the leading provider of topographic 3-D systems for measuring layer thickness, roughness or shape and this experience combined with that of the producer of the coordinate measuring machines brings the best possible solution to the end-user.


Chromatic confocal distance measurement for the highest demands

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Manufacturers of coordinate measuring machines and topography measuring systems place great value on precision, quality and service, so it is no wonder that leading companies use sensors from Precitec Optronik like the CHRocodile SE used in combination with high aperture measuring heads. The reasons for this include the universal applicability of the sensors to all surfaces and their great precision, dynamic range and high measuring speeds.

Product recommendation:        CHRocodile S / CHRocodile SE



Click on one of the links above to download a screen resolution PDF of the product or click here to request a high resolution PDF version. Alternatively please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1604 654 220  to discuss a measurement problem that you may be struggling with.

Price: £0.00

CLS chromatic confocal line scanner system


Precitec CLS chromatic confocal system for fast surface profiling


The new Precitec Optronik CLS chromatic confocal line scan sensor system uses an array of point foci arranged linearly to enhance the rapid scanning of surfaces of all kinds. While the usual chromatic confocal scanning system is made up of an optical controller unit with separate optical probe attached via an optical fibre, the CLS chromatic confocal line scan sensor system is housed in a single unit comprising light source, chromatic optics, spectrometer and control electronics



The CLS chromatic confocal line scan sensor system is available in two configurations – linear and with a 90° fold. Three line widths are available of 1, 2 and 5mm length providing a data-point pitch of 5, 10 and 25µm along the line. The three line-widths offer measuring ranges of 0.2, 1 and 4mm and resolutions of 30, 150 and 300nm respectively. All configurations can operate at data collection rates of up to 2KHz.

Ths CLS chromatic confocal system will soon be available for demonstration – if you have an application that you feel would benefit from the linescan performance don’t wait – just call us on +44 (0) 1604 654220 to talk to one of our specialists or CLICK HERE

For more information please download the Precitec Optronik CLS chromatic confocal brochure.

Wondering about chromatic confocal measurement? Click this link to have it explained Chromatic Confocal Measurement principles, 

Price: £0.00