History of Industrial Metrology

How it started

The fine measuring department of Carl Zeiss was founded in 1919. That same year, measuring technology manufactured by the company was presented at the Leipzig Spring Fair.

After the Second World War and the following Division of Germany, a handful of former employees established a new company in Oberkochen. This company has been known as Industrial Metrology since 1976. 

Today Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology is the world’s leader in CNC coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and complete solutions for multidimensional metrology.


Abbe comparator principle in Abbe thickness measuring instrument, one of the fundamental rules of metrology.


Length measuring machine based on Eppenstein principle.


First universal measuring microscope.


UMM universal measuring microscope.


First digital measuring instruments with electronic-numeric output of measured values.


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


WMM 550/850 – a new line for shop floor operation.


UMC 850 – scanning coordinate measuring machines for the measuring lab. WMM hardware combined with a measuring probe for scanning operations.


Together with the Ford factories in Cologne, a WMM 850 is no longer set up near the production machines, but directly integrated into them.


PRISMO® VAST 3D coordinate measuring machine for the high-speed, shopfloor measurement of size, form and position; ULM 600 universal length measuring machine, the most versatile and accurate 1D instrument; ZKM 250 CNC two-coordinate measuring machine, the most accurate optomechanical measuring instrument in 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 demands on precision in the micrometer range.


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


SurfMax®, the in-line tester for the rationalization and objectification of visual inspections.