Optical Inspection of Surfaces

We are experts in optical surface inspection, with deep expertise in a wide variety of imaging methods combined with rule-based or AI-based image analysis.

Ensuring aesthetically and functionally flawless surfaces in production is a supreme discipline of machine vision. With more than 25 years of experience in optical surface analysis, we are a reliable partner for your project.

Automatic Detection of Surface Defects

Our solutions offer the detection of a wide range of defects, including:


  • Scratches
  • Cracks
  • Dents
  • Chipping
  • Elevations and depressions
  • Impurities
  • Color irregularities and color deviations
  • Paint defects and inclusions
  • Lacquer defects
  • Lacquer runners
  • and many others.

Not All Materials are Equal!

Choosing the right technology is the key to success:


  • Photometric Stereo or Shape from Shading:
    Works well with matte to semi-gloss surfaces
  • Incident Light Deflectometry:
    Shows its strengths with highly glossy and reflective surfaces.
  • Transmitted Light Deflectometry:
    We apply it for the inspection of transparent and semi-transparent objects such as foils, glass and transparent plastics.
  • Combined Direct Reflection and "Dark Field" Illumination Methods:
    Often, only the combination of illumination methods makes all defects visible
  • 3D Surface Inspection: To see only the shape and not the color on highly textured surfaces.
  • CIS Lines and Line Scan Cameras for Coils and Conveyor Inspection:
    Provides uniform imaging of very wide continuous material such as paper, stainless steel, foils...


New Possibilities with AI

AI models, especially Deep Learning models, can recognize and generalize complex patterns and features in images. This means that they are able to recognize unknown patterns that are not explicitly defined in the rules. Rule-based approaches, on the other hand, often require manual definition of rules for every conceivable scenario, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.


What does this mean in practice?


AI, and deep learning in particular, helps identify unknown defects through anomaly detection, for example. In addition, AI can reliably detect defects such as scratches or cracks under changing background conditions. Another advantage is that it enables the subsequent classification and categorization of the detected defects.

Examples of Surface Inspection Applications


Inspection of Sealing Surfaces

To inspect carbide sealing surfaces, we use a shape-from-shading setup with four illumination directions to detect function-impacting defects such as chipping, scratches, or cracks on surfaces. The setup produces a homogeneous gray-scale image that reproduces the highs and lows of the surface but removes texture.


Foil Inspection

For the optical inspection of continuous material such as transparent foil, we use transmitted light deflectometry. Special transmitted light illumination produces a uniform sinusoidal brightness image that shows a significant deviation in the case of deformations such as dents, imprints or cracks. The defects are then detected using our Neuralyze AI tool.


Inspection of Stainless Steel Plates

Inspecting reflective surfaces such as stainless steel is particularly challenging, and only a few technologies are suitable for this. In this application, stainless steel sheets are inspected over a width of 800 mm using so-called CIS lines to detect scratches, discolorations and dents.

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Experience the future of surface inspection with our state-of-the-art solutions.


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