Metrology Lab – VTT MIKES

Quality control has important role also in factories of the future. Automatization of measurements and measurement in the production line are clear trends in modern manufacturing. Automation boosts the consistency of results and reduces the costs of calibration and repair time. It also produces a lot of data that can be utilised in production control, supplier chain and replacement part management.

In order to be useful, measurement data needs to be traceable and it needs to have known uncertainty, which is adequate for each inspection task. Traceability for the measurement is reach by calibration of the measuring devices or checking standards. The calibration service provider also needs to have traceability to the definitions of the SI-units. The commensurability of the measurements is prerequisite for modern industrial production.

VTT MIKES is the National Metrology Institute of Finland. VTT MIKES is responsible for the implementation and development of the national measurement standards system and realisation of the SI units in Finland. We offer highest accuracy measurements in length, mass, pressure, temperature, humidity, gas flow, electrical quantities, time and frequency, acoustic, force and torques. More information on our services can be find at

The length metrology group of VTT MIKES is a measurement laboratory operating at high international level. In addition to calibration and measurement services, we perform metrological basic and applied research and provide research services for industry.

Areas of expertise

The activities and services of VTT MIKES length group cover almost the whole dimensional metrology field. Our most important industrial expertise include:

  • Manufacturing metrology:
    • Length, diameter
    • Angle
    • Form
    • Straightness
    • Flatness
    • Surface roughness
    • Roundness, cylindricity
    • Co-ordinate measurements
    • Quantitative microscopy
    • Optical measurements
  • Design and implementation of measurement systems, validation and traceability
  • Estimation of reliability of the measurements, uncertainty
  • Inline measurement methods, substitution method
  • Geometric product specifications (GPS) and tolerances
  • Training

Facilities & equipment

The instruments of VTT MIKES length group are situated in Otaniemi, Espoo in accurately controlled laboratory rooms. We perform calibrations also at customer sites for e.g. machining centres, measuring plates, 1-D measuring machines.

Our most important measuring devices are:

  • Stabilised lasers; Laser wavelength
  • Primary interferometers:
    • Gauge block interferometer
    • Step gauge interferometer
    • Line scale interferometer
    • 30 m interferometric bench; machinist scale, tapes, laser tracker, total station
  • High accuracy angle set-up; optical polygon, 90˚ square, electronic level, spirit level, theodolite, total station
  • Diameter and threads
    • Mahr PLM 600-E 1-D measuring machine
  • Roundness, cylindricity, straightness, flatness
    • Taylor Hobson Talyrond roundness device
    • Taylor Hobson Talyrond 262 cylindricity device
    • Agilent 5519A; straightness and angle change
    • Zygo GPI Fizeau flatness interferometer
  • Surface form
    • Taylor Hobson Form Talysurf series 2; surface roughness and form
    • Bruker GTK white light interference microscope; topography
  • Co-ordinate measurements
    • Mitutoyo Legex 9106, co-ordinate measuring machine
    • Mitutoyo Hyper Quickvision Pro, vision measuring machine
    • Mitutoyo MF-B4020C measuring microscope
  • Quantitative microscopy
    • Atomic force microscope, PSIA XE-100
    • Scanning electron microscope, LEO SUPRA-35

Research project: Measurement method validation & traceability

Machine design researchers of Aalto and Rollresearch Ltd. needed validation for inline multiprobe cylindricity measurement method for large rolls.

MIKES characterized probes and made uncertainty estimation and validation for the method.

This co-operation led to metrologically solid cylindricity measurement system.

More information:

Widmaier T, Hemming B, Juhanko J, Kuosmanen P, Esala V-P, Lassila A, Application of Monte Carlo simulation for estimation of uncertainty of four-point roundness measurements of rolls, Precision Engineering 2017 48, doi:10.1016/j.precisioneng.2016.12.001.

Solution for inline measurement problem

Customer had a manufacturing problem with an axle. Machined coning angle of the axle was not behaving as it should.

MIKES planned a method and provided traceable transfer standard with which machinist could measure accurately the coning angle in the turning machine.

Oy MTG-Meltron Ltd  – Quality problem with molded parts

Oy MTG-Meltron Ltd is providing LED based lightning solutions for their customers. They had problems with a mould provider. The end product didn’t work as planed, but the source of the problems was unclear.

MIKES studied the problem and made AFM measurements of the products: Pitch, sidewall angle, corner rounding and side wall roughness. The measured data were then used in simulations.

The results were used in negotiation with the subcontractor.

Verification of machining centre

A precision engineering work shop bought new high accurate machining centre.

In order to guarantee specified accuracy performance it was agreed that MIKES will measure NAS or other test  pieces. During acceptance several NAS pieces were manufactured and machine performance was fine tuned to specified performance.

As result factory got what they paid for -> an high accuracy machining centre.