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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Digitalization

Into the Future with Metrology

The Challenges of Digital Transformation

We are in the middle of a digital revolution. In households, trade and industry, new opportunities are being created everywhere by digital data traffic. The "Internet of Things" is driving this development at breakneck speed: machines exchange information directly with each other via digital interfaces. Entire production processes are already fully networked or have digital twins in a cloud. The catchphrase is "Industry 4.0". Measuring devices are also in part inseparably linked with digital technology and automated data processing.

This transformation is a major challenge to the sophisticated system of quality infrastructure, consisting of metrology, accreditation, conformity assessment, norms & standards and market surveillance. In order to be able to continue to guarantee the safety of (and confidence in) measured values, PTB has compiled all the necessary tools under the umbrella of a comprehensive digitalization strategy – from digital calibration certificates and virtual measuring instruments to intelligent research data management and digitally supported testing and approval processes. Thus, the German economy's commitment to providing quality shall continue to apply in a digitalized world.

PTB Strategy on Digital Transformation - Update 2020 [NEW]

PTB has again updated its digitisation study, which relates the many plans and projects to each other and generates a larger framework. 

Initiates file downloadDownload (German; the English version will follow soon)


Network Time Protocol (NTP)

Die Synchronisation der Uhren von vernetzten Computern und digitalen Geräten ist grundlegende Voraussetzung für viele verteilte Anwendungen – etwa Datenbanken, die auf mehrere Server verteilt sind, verteilte Sensordaten im gesetzlichen Messwesen der Versorgungsnetze der Zukunft oder in der Industrie 4.0, die von einem zum nächsten Computer weitergegeben werden und exakte Zeitstempel benötigen,...

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Damit das hohe Qualitätsniveau „Made in Germany“ auch in einer digitalisierten Welt gilt, hat die Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) gemeinsam mit weiteren Forschungspartnern und Unternehmen das Projekt GEMIMEG-II ins Leben gerufen, das vom Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) mit 12 Millionen Euro gefördert wird. Unter dem Titel „Sichere und robuste kalibrierte Messsysteme...

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An interactive software package which includes a tutorial and example measurement data has been developed to demonstrate how the deconvolution method can be used to subsequently correct measured ultrasonic signals. This program can also be applied to evaluate one's own measurement data [1]. The intention is to make the technique of signal deconvolution accessible to a broader group of users as a...

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Die EKG-Datenbank aus der PTB

Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler des Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts (HHI) und der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) haben in einem Artikel in der aktuellen-Ausgabe von Scientific Data, dem Datenjournal von Nature, die Beschreibung eines Datensatzes von 21837 10s-EKG-Signalen von 18885 Patienten veröffentlicht. Er ist damit der größte frei zugängliche Datensatz seiner Art...

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Schematic setup of virtual mammography

Within the scope of the mammography screening program, approved devices must ensure that radiologists are able to reliably detect even small contrasts. The imaging quality of each device is therefore checked every year by means of monitoring measurements. For this purpose, test images of phantoms are taken and assessed by means of procedures of data analysis. PTB has developed a simulation...

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digitales Kalibrierzertifikat

The quality infrastructure (QI) in Germany is essential for the country's economic success.The PTB wants to ensure uniformity in metrology even in a digitized world and be a guarantor for measurement accuracy, measurement stability and testability. To this end, it develops and operates:

  • digital calibration certificates
  • The "Metrology for Virtual Measuring Instruments" Competence Center
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence

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Basic elements of research data management

PTB participates in the sustainable usability of research data. It ensures that research results are properly documented, archived in the long term and made publicly accessible free of charge if possible

  • Research Data Management
  • National Research Data Infrastructure

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PTB develops holistic concepts for the handling of measuring instruments and measurement data, taking into account the interaction of digital and analog components of measurement systems and promotes the networking of all interest groups involved. Central components are:

  • The "Metrology Cloud"
  • Communication of metrological data on the "Internet of Things"
  • "Metrology by design"

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PTB supports the efficient and safe use of digital technologies. Among the building blocks of this digital transformation are the electronic file, in short E-File, and the PTB customer portal E-Services. With this service, a web-based order data processing system is to be established which is closely linked to the E-File system.

  • E-File
  • Electronic Customer Portal E-Services

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Core Objective 5: active participation of all employees in digitalization

A digital transformation can only succeed if no one is left behind and if digital innovation is stimulated. For this purpose, PTB is developing, among other things, formats for the active support of digital pioneers within its own ranks and offers a wide range of training and learning opportunities for all employees. These include a variety of seminars, training courses and learning opportunities, promotion of opportunities to participate and become involved, as well as regular "Digital Workplace" theme days as a forum for information and exchange.

Steering Group for DigitalizationSteering Group for Digitalization

PTB's Steering Group for Digitalization


Dr. Sascha Eichstädt

Member of the Presidential Staff

Phone: +49 531 592-2008




Dr.-Ing. Prof. h. c. Frank Härtig

Vice President

Phone: +49 531 592-2001



Dr. Thorsten Schrader

Head of Division 1 Mechanics and Acoustics

 Phone: +49 531 592-1010



Hon.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Kück

Head of Division 4 Optics

Phone: +49 531 592-4010



Dr. Harald Bosse

Head of Division 5 Precision Engineering

Phone: +49 531 592-5010



Prof. Dr. Tobias Schäffter

Head of Division 8 Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology

Phone: +49 30 3481-7343



Dr. Frank Lienesch

Head of Division 9 Legal and International Metrology

Phone: +49 531 592-3600

Opens local program for sending emailfrank.lienesch(at)ptb.de


Manfred Gahrens

Head of Division Cross-Sectional Services

Phone: +49 531 592-8010