History of Industrial Metrology

How it all began

Since the early days, industrial metrology and ZEISS have always been closely connected. Precision measuring is needed wherever production accuracy is a must. For this reason, it is no wonder that the first scientist at the company – Ernst Abbe – not only revolutionized the making of microscopes, but also introduced significant innovations in the areas of metrology.

Industrial Metrology repeatedly came up with new and groundbreaking ideas, thereby pushing the limits of what was physically possible and generating new markets. After the first measuring devices, derived from microscopes, contact and then multisensor metrology emerged and dominated the market. Today, ZEISS precision metrology ensures that even the most demanding standards are maintained when it is an absolute must to achieve the very highest degree of precision.


Ernst Abbe develops a thickness gauge that makes use of the comparator principle named after him, one of the most important fundamental rules of metrology.


Length measuring machine based on the Eppenstein principle


First universal measuring microscope


Universal measuring microscope (UMM)


First digital measuring instruments with electronic numerical output of measuring values.


UMM 500 – Carl Zeiss launches the first CNC coordinate measuring machine with a measuring probe head and an HP 9810 computer. Workpieces can now be measured at an accuracy of 0.5µm without prior alignment.


WMM 550/850 – a new line for use on the shop floor


PRISMO VAST 3D coordinate measuring machine for high-speed, shop floor measurement of size, shape, and position; ULM 600 universal length measuring machine, a highly accurate universal instrument; ZKM 250 CNC two-coordinate measuring machine, the most accurate opto-mechanical measuring instrument of its class.


ScanMax – an articulating arm measuring machine designed for parts inspection directly next to production machines, it combines the accuracy and flexibility of scanning coordinate measuring machines with the robustness, user friendliness and minimal space requirements of gauges


Introduction of the Navigator principle: measure faster than ever before – continuous and easy scanning without the stop and go


METROTOM® marks the development of a computer tomograph for industrial use, which meets the high metrology precision demands in the micrometer range


DuraMax, an economical and easy-to-use measuring machine for any workshop


SurfMax,® SurfMax®, the in-line tester for visual inspection rationalization and objectivation.