Optical metrology makes use of interaction of light with any object to measure unknown quantities. Optical metrology is a technology involving measurements with light. Measurement is based on the principle that transmission of light is without contact. Thus, optical metrology is majorly used in applications where physical contact cannot be made between the object to be measured and the sensors. It is possible by use of different light sources such as broadband, lasers and narrowband light sources which are directed on the test object in order to record its measurements and then project it back on a receiving target.
The data thus obtained undergoes processing, where it is analyzed and interpreted by means of software algorithms for providing an accurate representation of the data required. Additional advantages of optical metrology include its potential to operate with larger volumes of measurement as well as its ability to set focus of measurement at the point of interest with high precision. Increased focus on precision in manufacturing has led many industries to use such measurement technologies in order to ensure accuracy. As a result, the optical metrology market is witnessing a strong growth in the end users industries such as the aerospace, automotive, industrial, medical and power-generation industries. Additionally optical metrology systems are also used by semiconductor companies globally for their semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Optical metrology is majorly used for applications such as calibration of high dimensional sensor models, surface quality examination of polished surfaces, laser speckle metrology, close range photogrammetry, measurement of uncertainties in complex objects, sensor signal processing and interferometric distance measurements. The global optical metrology market is segmented into various categories such as laser scanners, vision measuring machines and laser micrometry. Shortage of skilled precision machine operators, rising adoption of international quality standards and lack of applicability of existing measuring equipment are the major drivers of the optical metrology market. However, lack of universal system which can be applied across different sectors acts as a restraint for the market growth.
Demand for high quality parts globally is likely to push the use of optical metrology systems since producers need to maintain the quality of their products. The optical metrology market will remain a crucial component of the entire dimensional metrology system. The optical metrology market efficiently addresses all the applications in the dimensional metrology markets owing to the development of various types of technologies and continuous innovation that serve the primary needs of customers. The application and adoption contact (non optical) metrology system will remain the largest in the dimensional metrology market. However, with shifting trend towards simple, fast and easy solutions, the market for optical metrology is anticipated to grow at a rapid pace. Additionally, equipment vendors have also played a significant role in the market growth by increasing the awareness levels of the emerging technologies as well as promoting the existing technology.
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