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Into the Future with Metrology - The Challenges of Digitalization

Innovation Cluster for Digitalization

Foto: JT Jeeraphun / Adobe Stock

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.

Important publications by PTB

AI Strategy 2021

PTB has developed their own strategy for strategic planning of activities in the area of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI Strategy of PTB: Download

Digital transformation strategy 2020

This is the updated strategy on metrology and digital transformation of PTB 

Metrology for digital transformation of economy and society | 2020: Initiates file downloadDownload


The Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have kicked off the pilot phase of the Digital Calibration Certificate with a digital accreditation symbol. As central stakeholders of the German quality infrastructure, they are both taking an important step toward digital transformation and the automation of manufacturing and quality monitoring...

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Teilnehmende des Kickoff-Meetings für TEF AI MATTERS

Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) hält Einzug in die Fertigung, etwa wenn Menschen mit Robotern interagieren. Ein Netzwerkprojekt der EU soll helfen, innovative KI-basierte Ansätze in Robotik und Sensorik im Fertigungsbereich zu prüfen und schneller zur Marktreife zu bringen. Das Projekt mit dem Namen TEF-AI-MATTERS startete mit einem Kick-Off-Meeting am 24. Januar. Es ist Teil des Programms „Digital...

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KI in der Medizin (Symbolbild), Quelle: PTB

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently pushing a large number of innovations in medicine forward. And this area in particular makes us ask a critical question: How do we know if a new AI system is reliable or not? The EU has started a project in the healthcare sector within the scope of its TEF initiative – TEF being Testing and Experimentation Facilities – to address this question. It is to...

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QI Digital

In an increasingly digitalized world, quality assurance must also be redefined because it is the foundation of the digital and green transformation of industry. Within the scope of the QI Digital Initiative, which was established by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), core stakeholders of Germany’s quality infrastructure (QI) have joined interested parties from industry...

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Siegel des BIPM

Megacoole Nachricht für die Welt der Metrologie: Es gibt neue Einheiten-Vorsätze (Präfixe) für extrem große und extrem kleine Zahlenangaben: Ronna und Quetta sowie ronto und quecto. Die Bekanntheit von Mega (eine Million) oder milli (ein Tausendstel) werden sie sicherlich nicht so schnell erreichen. Aber die Erweiterung war beispielsweise deshalb notwendig, weil durch die Digitalisierung die...

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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-Service. 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-Service

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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.

Innovation Cluster for DigitalizationInnovation Cluster for Digitalization

Dr. Alexander Oppermann
Department 9.4 "Metrology for digital transformation"
Phone: +49 30 3481 7483
Opens local program for sending emailalexander.oppermann(at)ptb.de


Dr.-Ing. Prof. h. c. Frank Härtig
Vice President
Phone: +49 531 592-2001
Opens local program for sending emailfrank.haertig(at)ptb.de


Dr. Thorsten Schrader
Head of Division 1 Mechanics and Acoustics
Phone: +49 531 592-1010
Opens local program for sending emailthorsten.schrader(at)ptb.de


Hon.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Kück
Head of Division 4 Optics
Phone: +49 531 592-4010
Opens local program for sending emailstefan.kueck(at)ptb.de


Dr. Harald Bosse
Head of Division 5 Precision Engineering
Phone: +49 531 592-5010
Opens local program for sending emailharald.bosse(at)ptb.de


Dr. Jörn Stenger
Head of Division 6 Ionizing Radiation
Phone: +49 531 592-6010
Opens local program for sending emailjoern.stenger(at)ptb.de


Prof. Dr. Tobias Schäffter
Head of Division 8 Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology
Phone: +49 30 3481-7343
Opens local program for sending emailtobias.schaeffter(at)ptb.de


Dr. Frank Lienesch
Head of Division 9 Legal and International Metrology
Phone: +49 531 592-9090
Opens local program for sending emailfrank.lienesch(at)ptb.de


Manfred Gahrens
Head of Division Q Cross-Sectional Services
Phone: +49 531 592-8010
Opens local program for sending emailmanfred.gahrens(at)ptb.de


Susanne Wiemann
Head of Division Z Administrative Services
Phone: +49 531 592-9010
Opens local program for sending emailsusanne.wiemann(at)ptb.de