Holography in the 70s was expected to become a key-tool for analyzing a large diversity of industrial problems. Unfortunately, the use of non-reusable materials for the holographic recording was a serious key obstacle for holography to conquest the industry. It was not until 1994 that digital holography became a reality and the problem of consumables was solved. At that time new hopes were growing. And, indeed, digital holographic microscopy had a huge impact at the beginning of the 2000s and today brings a growing number of scientific publications and companies in the field of holography. However, the effective implementation of holographic methods in industrial supply chains (except shearography, a method related to holography) is still extremely rare. In this paper by Fratz et al, the inline integration of a digital holographic sensor, called HoloTop, in a precision turning plant is fully described. They demonstrate that digital holography is a versatile tool for 100% inline measurements and that, even under harsh environmental conditions in a precision turning shop for metal parts, long-term stability of height measurements in the one-micrometer dimension is possible. The proposed technique is the only one to be able to measure more than nine million 3D sample points in less than a tenth of a second with a single point absolute measurement accuracy of less than 0.8 microns (1σ). As a conclusion, the paper demonstrates that the implementation of holography on an industrial scale is now a reality and that the combination of speed, accuracy, and robustness really makes digital holography a versatile tool for mass production, particularly in the automotive industry.
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