3D surface inspection in a new light

Confovis is a system provider of optical 3D measuring systems for industrial application. In the market since 2009, the company has focused on customer and application- oriented solutions. The Confovis patented confocal technology of “structured illumination microscopy” opens new vistas in fast and nanometer scale surface analysis for industrial applications. With the latest generation of products, Confovis combines the confocal measuring technique and the focus variation in a single system. In doing so, the measuring equipment specialist offers industry customers in the areas of automotive & aerospace, tool making and mechanical-engineering, metallurgy, semiconductors, and optical industries a time and cost-saving solution for most different measurement tasks such as micro contour measurement and roughness measurements traceable to certified standards in accordance with valid norms.

OLYMPUS partnership

After two years of the delivery of optical lenses, a partnership was also agreed with Olympus in 2018 to be able in future to deliver all-in solutions to customers in the semiconductor industry, particularly for infrared measurement tasks, on the basis of the Olympus microscopes with IR capability.

NIKON partnership

The first products were sold to buyers in industry and in R&D. The demand for all-in solutions for the semiconductor industry was felt very soon. To that end, a partnership with NIKON was forged in 2011 with the aim to create a system capable of 2D and 3D measurements on the basis of the NIKON optical microscopes for wafer inspection using the ConfoCam®.

Extension of the product portfolio

In addition to standard systems on the basis of microscope components, the Duo Vario measurement system was developed in 2016. It combines the patented confocal measuring method with the focus variation and has a substantially wider measuring area. On the basis of this system, different device types with a granite base were developed to be able to measure large and heavy samples. Besides, additional axle drives and handling facilities for positioning the samples were developed in line with requirements in industry.

Establishing specific solutions for industry

Starting in 2015, the company increasingly focused activities on different industries and developed measurement systems specifically for the requirements in the target areas. The combination of confocal measurement and focus variation, for example, attracted new customers from tool making and mechanical-engineering and the automotive industry. The traceability of measurement results to independent standards with practical ground and polished textures such as, e.g., roughness standards of the company HALLE, was of paramount importance.

Second measuring method implemented

With two scan modules in the range since 2015, the measuring systems are even more flexible. A new addition is the FocusCam® Scan Module, aimed mainly at shape and contour measurement of microstructures with high flank angles. It measures exclusively using focus variation.  For more advanced and comprehensive analyses of shape and roughness, there is the 2-in-1 Scan Module ConfoCam C1+. This module can measure even reflective surfaces to nanometre precision for standards-compliant and fully traceable determination of roughness parameters. 

Higher degree of automation

In industrial environments, the ease of operating a measurement system and the absence of operator intervention are becoming ever more important factors. In the area of roughness measurement and outline analysis, based on the requirement of operator independent measurement, the measurement system TOOLinspect was developed in which a measuring plan is available for recurring measurement tasks.

For the semiconductor industry, Confovis developed the WAFERinspect measurement system which performs 2D and 3D measurement tasks on the basis of recipes. For measuring macro-lead and micro-lead of shafts, an automated solution was worked out together with the Institut für Maschinenelemente which evaluates macro-lead according to die MBN 31007-7 and micro-lead according to the IMA procedure in one measuring sequence nt . The declared target is to offer an alternative to the string method.