GF Machining Solutions, Sensofar Metrology partner on advanced micromachining methods

March 8, 2017
Sensofar Metrology will supply GF Machining Solutions with surface metrology systems to be used for developing advanced nanotexturing methods.

SATIGNY, SWITZERLAND AND BARCELONA, SPAIN – GF Machining Solutions and Sensofar Metrology have entered into a strategic partnership in which Sensofar Metrology will supply GF Machining Solutions with custom S line (S neox) surface metrology systems to be used for developing advanced nanotexturing methods. These methods use ultrafast laser, electrical discharge machining (EDM), and/or other micro- and nanomanufacturing technologies for producing technical surfaces that exhibit precise functional characteristics, or that meet specific aesthetic requirements.

The move to the Sensofar S line platform in part follows GF Machining Solutions' adoption of ultrafast laser technology for micromachining (FIGURE). The new metrology systems are needed to reverse-engineer natural surface textures down to the nano-feature level and to chart the production process, from the micromachining of the mold to the degree of replication achieved in the molding process of artificial surfaces manufactured with these textures and other features.

A carbon matting surface replicated using an ultrafast laser system.

The partnership supersedes a previous and similar agreement with a supplier of focus variation (FV) 3D metrology systems. FV is a well-regarded technique where sufficient surface roughness and structure are present. Nonetheless, for achieving higher precision acquisition, and for the more advanced surface texturing approaches currently under development, a more versatile metrology tool is essential.

Sensofar's S neox, the system platform at the core of the partnership, provides confocal, interferometry, and FV measurement techniques in a single sensor head, allowing exploration of new micro- and nanotexturing approaches across more diverse scales and structures. For consistency, reproducibility, and benchmarking, measurement reports will tie in to the 3D surface texture parameters defined within the ISO 25178 norm, a standard feature of Sensofar's metrology systems. The S neox systems associated with this agreement further include custom hardware and software changes.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the metrology systems to potential customers of both companies, GF Machining Solutions and Sensofar have agreed to co-exhibit at a suite of key trade events and workshops in automotive, optical, medical, micromachining, semiconductor, and various other industry sectors. Any GF-qualified Sensofar systems sold as a result of the strategic partnership will be delivered and supported through Sensofar's existing global network of distribution and service channels.

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