Today high-tech products are often treated with coatings or functional layers. In the automobile industry or in aircraft construction, for example, increasing use is being made of components based on coated plastics or fiber composites. Until now, there has been no mature and commercially available measuring technology capable of reliably measuring the thin layers of paint or varnish on non-metallic substrates. Existing measurement techniques such as ultrasonic testing, laser triangulation or optical coherence tomography (OCT) require either direct contact or optically transparent layers. Using terahertz waves enables layer thicknesses to be measured non-destructively and without making contact. It also opens up the possibility of inspecting multi-layer systems. Terahertz measuring technology is suitable for real-time measurement in industrial production processes.
In many industries, well over half of all components are now painted manually simply because of the number and variety of options. The fully automated paint booth will enable the processing of any object in batch sizes of one.