Laser Measuring Equipment

TBK Automation
Contactless measurement for optimal production processes

TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH, located in Graz, Austria is SMS group´s center of competence for laser measuring equipment and a 100-percent subsidiary of SMS group.


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Tailor-made measuring solutions for long products

TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH has been developing measurement technology solutions for the steel industry since 1986, in particular laser measuring systems based on the light section method. The two companies TBK and SMS group have been working closely together since 2004.
TBK offers tailor-made solutions for dimension control and surface analysis of rolled products for the long product plant range, including wire rod, bars, sections, rails, as well as tubes or semi-finished products such as continuous cast billets or blooms.
Straightness measuring equipment, especially for rails, and instruments for measuring special profiles and wheels complete the product range.


1989: First laser based system for straightness

1997: First cross section measurement system

2013: Member of SMS group

2014: First surface defect detection system

2018: SMS group take over 100% of TBK

  • Waviness measurement since 1990
  • Measurement of rails since 2000
  • Measurement of wire and rod since 2003
  • Measurement of heavy sections since 2007
  • Surface defect detection since 2014
  • Measurement of and tubes since 2015
  • Measurement of reinforcing steel since 2019


Continuos monitoring of rolling processes

High sampling rates, short exposure times, and absolute synchronization are key features that set TBK sensors apart from other light section sensors on the market.

TBK uses the Light Section Method. This method allows the entire contour of the product to be examined, regardless of its shape.
The sensors developed by TBK measure up to 15,000 contours per second. Following the principle of two-dimensional triangulation, a laser line is projected onto the product surface. Diffusely reflected light provides the basis for the acquisition of cross-sections from which relevant information for controlling the rolling process can be generated.
TBK systems are able to calculate the precise cross section of the product using these values. The high-resolution and high measurement density enables the creation of a 3D model of the product, which also recognizes surface defects.

Systematic quality improvement based on measurement data

Based on the high-precision cross-section measurements, TBK systems generate precise information that is relevant for rolling process control and upload it back into the production system. Depending on the plant layout, the models are displayed on the plant operators’ workstations or are automatically analyzed by SMS group control systems to improve product quality and efficiency.

TBK gauges are characterized by the following features:

  • Robust housing suitable for rough mill operation
  • Highest thermal stability through closed cooling water circuit and temperature control
  • Laser and camera installed as sensor and calibrated in in-house test center, reducing the need for calibration at customer’s workshop to 2 minutes
  • No moving parts
  • Water-cooled frame with temperature stabilization unit
  • Measuring window size / precision standardized or to customer specifications
  • Cooling by water and ambient air to ensure close tolerances and long lifetime of sensors
  • Lenses cleaned by conditioned compressed air
  • Gauge can be moved out of the line for maintenance work
  • Calibration interval every 14 days
  • Maintenance-friendly sensor arrangement
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Customized solutions

Competence and products

TBK systems can be utilized for the full range of long products including wire rod, bars, tubes, sections, rails and special profiles, as well as continuously cast billets and blooms. Our portfolio also covers the measurement of wheels or rings rolled on a ring rolling machine as well as forged product measurements:

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Laser measuring system for section and rails (hot and cold condition)

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Laser measuring system for bars, wire rod and tubes (hot and cold condition)

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Measurement of dimensions and determination of weight per meter for rebars

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Straightness laser measuring system for rails, sections and  tubes and rail waviness

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Dimension measurement systems

For billets, bloom, slabs, wheels, and special profiles

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Surface defect detection system for sections, rails, bars, wire rod, and tubes


Sophisticated measuring technology ready for industrie 4.0

Automatic collection of product data is key to digitalization

Relevant key values from tried and tested algorithms

It is usually plant operators who make decisions regarding production control, and relevant and precise key performance values provide a reliable basis for this. In addition to standard, established values, TBK measurement systems provide a wide product-specific range of dimensional parameters. Tried and  tested algorithms that have proven to be effective are used to generate performance values from the measured contour data.

Industrie 4.0 rolling mill

The aim of all mill operators is to maintain stable mill operation with high time utilization and consistent product quality. A fully automated system of production control and data collection is a basic requirement of digitalization. Furthermore, to adjust and adapt the process according to different conditions, process data or production and process data are required in addition to data on the product conditions. The TBK gauge collects data on the condition of the finished product including its geometry, shape, dimensions, surface conditions, and on the temperature or rolling speed.



SMSgroup Kremer, Ralf

Ralf Kremer

TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH
Schmiedlstraße 8
8042 Graz

Phone : +43 316 405574 13

SMSgroup Scheiflinger, Gernot

Gernot Scheiflinger

TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH
Schmiedlstraße 8
8042 Graz

Phone : +43 316 405574 34

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TBK Automatisierung
und Messtechnik GmbH
Schmiedlstraße 8
8042 Graz, Austria
P +43 316 405574-0
F +43 316 405574-2

Company registration number:
FN 250894 m
Court of registration: Graz
VAT number: ATU58116746