Customer stories: High-precision measurement with fiber optics can increase the productivity for manufacturers

Manufacturers can choose from a wide variety of measurement techniques to ensure the quality of their products. The Swedish company System 3R International, a supplier of tools for the manufacturing industry, partnered with Acreo Swedish ICT to develop a flexible high-precision measurement system based on fiber optics technology. “We have been cooperating since 2006. Acreo’s competence, lab resources and their connections in the fiber optics industry have been valuable to us,” says Håkan Dahlquist at System 3R International.

The growing demand for inexpensive, high-quality optical components for consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and digital cameras, puts pressure on the manufacturing industry. They must make new moulds within a shorter time span in order to manufacture components according to demand. When in production mode, the equipment must work with a continuously high accuracy. High-precision measurement is a key factor in the production process.

System 3R International is a supplier of clamping tools for the manufacturing industry. They needed a flexible method to measure distances with high precision, for example to be able to locate work pieces properly or for machine calibration. In 2006, Acreo and System 3R International began collaborating to find out if sensor technology could be used. Together, they developed a prototype for a measurement system for high-accuracy positioning based on fiber optics. The sensor measures the absolute distance between a fiber tip and an object within tens of nanometers.

“This is a flexible and easy-to-use measuring system. The core of the system is patented signal processing algorithms which makes it possible to get a high resolution from the relatively inexpensive hardware equipment in the solution,” says Magnus Lindblom at Acreo.

With the fiber interferometer, System 3R International can extend their business area, covering not only the mould making for plastic components.

“Now we can include mould making and direct manufacturing of components that require even higher precision, such as mass production of optics,” says Håkan Dahlquist at System 3R International.

Summarizing the cooperation with Acreo, Håkan Dahlquist points out that Acreo has a good understanding of the fact that research projects must lead to sellable products:

“They are business-minded, which is very important for us. They also have an organization which makes is possible to run projects efficiently”.

Project partners

Acreo Swedish ICT, System 3R International


Magnus Lindblom. magnus.lindblom [at]

Håkan Dahlquist, hakan.dahlquist [at]

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