Laser Tracking

What is it? And, why do you need it when you ask for laser scanning as a service?


Like all other contract measurement services offered by Laser Scanning Australia, Laser tracking offers the highest available accuracy in portable measurement.  It is capable of measurement with certainty (accuracy) of 15µm and has a 200 Meter range (per Setup).

Laser Scanning Australia has a proven record of utilising this machine to measure components that are outside the realm of traditional measurement capabilities, due to the accuracy needed, type, shape, and size of the equipment. We are able to gather, interpret, and report the information it in a way which is easily used and understood by engineers, machinists and reliability professionals as well as stakeholders that can use the information outside of the direct engineering sphere.

“We are not Surveyors, we are engineers that understand manufacturing and mechanical engineering concepts and report what the engineering consultant, draftsperson, facilities managers, and reliability professional’s need in order to complete difficult projects with complete confidence in the captured or  “3D scanned”  information. This does not mean that we don’t perform traditional survey in conjunction with Scanning projects but when we require absolute accuracy we utilise the Laser tracking system”. – Managing Director (LSA) Mark Woodley

So what is Laser Tracking?

It is a large-scale coordinate measuring machine (CMM), if you are familiar with Romer arms/Faro Arms or any other brand of portable CMM, a laser Tracker is basically the same device without the limitations of having a measurement probe fixed in union with the base station.

Our Laser Tracking and Portable Arm CMM
Our Laser Tracking and Portable Arm CMM

In the case of the laser tracker, instead of 6-7 sensors calculating the position of the measurement probe in relation to the base station the Tracker uses a laser with an SMR ( a sphere with a calibrated prism in the centre). Using this method we are capable of extremely high accuracy with targeting ranges that are huge in comparison with any similar measurement system.
It would also be important to note Laser scanning Australia also have an arm based CMM with an integrated laser scanner, this can be used in conjunction with the tracker to capture very fine detail on a large component, and by itself to measure wear  profiles or reverse engineering of complex components.

Having a laser tracking system allows Laser Scanning Australia to conduct dimensional control at the next level of accuracy. Giving project QA/QC departments, manufacturers and Fabricators complete confidence that what is measured on site or in their workshop can be checked exactly to the specification’s required. Deviations to the desired result can be reported with accuracies of 15 µm, so that you have a complete picture in order to make fully informed decisions.


Using this specialist system we are able to measure huge mechanical components or equipment onsite, things like concentricity of bores, parallelism, centre lines of shafts for position and alignment, flatness and circularity of machined components. Perfect for rotating equipment like Kilns, Ball Mills, and Conveyors, allowing Laser Scanning Australia to work closely with maintenance departments to improve plant efficiency and find the root cause to common misalignments.

“So what if you’re able to measure that accurately, temperature changes will cause you to lose your overall accuracy”.

This is a common comment when we introduce this equipment.

Temperature Compensation

This is perhaps one of the greatest advantages to having this system in WA, with temperatures in the Pilbara having a machine that can be as accurate as 15 µm. would almost be useless after a couple hours in the sun as all the measured features would have expanded in the heat, this would cause inaccuracy to creep into important features like diameter measurement’s or gear tooth profiles. For these reasons our Laser Tracker continuously monitors the air temperature, measured component temperature and the barometric pressure and adjusts the overall projects measurement’s based on the components material and its known thermal expansion, other deviations it has identified due to temperature creep are all calculated and adjusted to a reflect what the item would measure in a  20 degree environment. This can be adjusted to show what the item would measure when it is 40 degrees for example.

So why do you need it for laser scanning?

A major setback in laser scanning is the understanding of accuracy particularly around the understanding of the machine and the accuracy of a single station scan compared to the accuracy of the registered group of scans or the overall accuracy of the data. We like to supply our clients with the most accurate data possible and ensure they know the difference. (I will elaborate about this on another post)
LSA use a few machines to bridge the gap between getting accurate scans and getting providing clients with absolute accuracy for the data and the critical areas of a project.
By using the laser tracker in a similar manner to surveyors we are able to locate the scanning stations with a certainty of up to 15 µm. and then register the scan locations based on this information, removing the requirement for any “best fit” registrations that can cause irregularities with the acquired information. Using this and other specialised equipment LSA are able to provide a comprehensive and complete solution to Laser scanning, from a project spanning kilometres down to the size of a 5 cent coin, from subsea environments to remote deserts we can go anywhere.

why should you consider Laser tracking together with laser scanning?

Laser scanning provides us with a complete 3D pictorial representation of the equipment or site, whilst Laser Tracking validates our critical features and relative geometry and holds the entire dataset to a fixed known accuracy

This extreme accuracy reduced risk and provides a complete understanding of what was measured on site or in the workshop,

No matter where the measurement occurred, you can rely on the accuracy and speed of capture every time.

But most of all our machines are calibrated, our systems are traceable, and our operators are experts in their field when engaging with laser scanning Australia you are relying on equipment that can validate its measurement and is trusted by the aerospace and manufacturing sectors worldwide. Contact one of our staff for more information on any of Laser Scanning Australias services.

SMR Probe, laser scanning

Western Australia based laser tracking service

Inspection of Large Equipment using our Laser Tracker and laser scanner

Laser Scanning