ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Solutions

Identify the root cause and make the right decisions faster

  • Faster standard analysis
    Detect shiny metallic particles with only one filter scan
  • Faster particle classification
    Combine light microscopy and electron in a seamless workflow
  • Faster decision making
    Analyze the chemical composition of critical particles to identify the source of contamination
  • Faster documentation
    Create cleanliness reports that meet all current industry standards in one work step
  • Faster particle inspection
    and verification with integrated machine learning algorithms

What is technical cleanliness?

Technical cleanliness plays an important role, especially in areas where components are manufactured, such as electrical engineering or the automotive industry. If contamination occurs at particle-sensitive points, this can quickly lead to functional impairments or even malfunctions. If the residual dirt in a system is so low that no damage occurs, it is considered technically clean.

Technical cleanliness is particularly important in the following sectors:

  • Automotive and electric vehicles
  • Medical industry
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Electrical engineering and battery production
  • Optical industry
  • Oil analysis and Hydraulics

Why is technical cleanliness so important?

Thanks to technological progress, many industries require increasingly complex systems. As early as the 1990s, there was an increase in damage caused by contamination on components in the automotive industry. It quickly became clear that procedures had to be standardized. The so-called "VDA 19 Guideline", also known as "Testing of Technical Cleanliness – Particle Contamination of Functionally Relevant Automotive Parts", was published in 2004 and revised in 2015 as VDA 19 Part 1. At the international level, ISO 16232 (2007) forms the standard set of regulations. VDA 19 Part 2 from 2010 contains a guideline of rules for cleanliness-relevant orientation of assembly production.

VDA 19 Part 1 precisely defines various types of contamination. With the help of these definitions, contamination can be detected by cleanliness analyses and other technical cleanliness processes and appropriate decisions can be made. The aim is to preventively avoid residual dirt on components.



Solid bodies of

  • Metal
  • Plastics
  • Minerals
  • Gums
  • Salts
  • The ratio of length to width is 1:20
  • Width of a fiber: ≤ 50 µm

Correlative particle analysis
to characterize process critical contamination

Suppliers, manufacturers and end users expect constantly higher quality standards. Therefore, an innovatively designed cleanliness process is essential to exclude any contamination of functionally relevant parts and components throughout the production process. ZEISS solutions for technical cleanliness identify the root cause of contamination and enable to make the right decision more quickly.

How do you identify the root cause? ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Solutions

Increase your productivity for object classification in ZEISS ZEN core Technical Cleanliness Analysis.

ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Workflow with Extraction and Filtration

Optimized processes thanks to technical cleanliness solutions

Maximum cleanliness – Maximum quality

Particle contamination is the enemy of efficiency, functionality and longevity of any product. For example, research has shown that the main source of failure in hydraulic and oil-filled systems is due to particulate contamination. Oil analysis helps minimize maintenance costs and improve machine uptime.

Tailored to the needs of the manufacturing industry

ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Solutions were developed in collaboration with automotive manufacturers and suppliers. They had specific requirements for high-performance particle identification and characterization systems that are easy and intuitive to use.

As a result, ZEISS solutions are easy to use, can be deployed in multiple locations and in any manufacturing or industrial environment, and can be applied by users who are not microscopy experts.

ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Solutions work with established industry standards:

Technical cleanliness of components

Oil cleanliness

Cleanliness of medical devices in the manufacturing process

VDA 19.1

ISO 4406

VDI 2083, part 21

VDA 19.2 (Illig Value)

ISO 4007


ISO 16232

DIN 51455



SAE AS 4059


In order to create cleanliness reports with all relevant data in one work step ZEISS microscopes and HYDAC extraction instruments are able to exchange data in a seamless workflow into one report for more productivity.
Learn all about how ZEISS integrates data from HYDAC devices into reporting in our magazine. A success story of technical cleanliness for the automotive industry.

Possible contamination sources and applications

The graphic shows particles in a ball bearing.

Particles between moving parts, e.g. ball bearing

The graphic shows particles of an injector gland, in which particles may be present due to lack of technical cleanliness.

Particles in injection nozzles, e.g. from engines

Graphic shows particles in oil and lubricants.

Particles in oil and lubricants

The graphic shows a circuit board with particles on it due to lack of technical cleanliness.

Particles between electrical contacts, e.g. printed circuit board

The graphic shows particles in syringes

Particles in syringes and implants

50 percent faster with ZEISS One-Scan Technology

More efficient with innovative ZEISS software solution

In addition to the quantification of particles and the measurement of their size, the standards for technical cleanliness also require a differentiation between metallic-glossy and non-glossy particles. Conventional methods can only make this distinction by scanning the filter membrane twice, each time with different polarizer and analyzer orientations. With the award-winning ZEISS One-Scan Technology, this is now possible with just one scan - reducing the time-to-result by up to 50 percent. In March 2021, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) awarded ZEISS with its One-Scan Technology first place in the REINER! Fraunhofer Purity Technology Award.

The evaluation with ZEISS ZEN core Technical Cleanliness Analysis includes:

  • A fully automatic evaluation
  • Information on size, length, area and coordinates of the artifacts
  • The distinction between metallic shiny and non-metallic shiny particles can be made with a single scan of the filter membrane
  • Artifacts with a division into size classes, as a point cloud with product fingerprint
The graphic shows a monitor displaying the technical cleanliness evaluation.

Maximum productivity. Realized by technical cleanliness analysis

ZEISS software accelerates classification of particles with machine learning

Technical cleanliness is part of the ZEN core software portfolio from the industrial microscopy sector. To optimize particle classification, ZEISS now offers ZEISS ZEN core users the Technical Cleanliness Analysis („TCA“) solution with three pre-trained modules based on machine learning. This module offers the functionality to classify particles based on measured parameters of an analyzed image. Samples are analyzed via three pre-trained machine learning models which can be additionally trained by users & customers. Samples are analyzed via gray scale determination and the pre-trained Machine Learning model for object classification runs in the background in the new TCA job templates, while the type classification is checked in parallel, based on the existing particle measurement results. This additional check of the type classification via machine learning algorithms „looks at” the particle results obtained with the classical analysis for size, shape, intensity and type classification, among others, and combines the various features into a large number of uncorrelated decision trees. The results are evaluated individually for each decision tree using the classification trained to the object classification model. The result is an automatic prediction of the particle type.

Increase productivity with ZEISS Technical Cleanliness object classification:

Up to 50% reduction of misscalssification of dark metallic parts and up to 25 % time savings

Particle Image with and without object classification in comaprison: e.g. with 10 samples this means a potential time saving of 3.5 hours/day.

Check technical cleanliness thanks to exceeding standards

The ZEISS portfolio enables combined particle detection and classification in a highly efficient workflow that not only finds particles, but also classifies them according to the origin of the contamination.

With ZEISS, you can combine data from light and electron microscopes in a single work process to obtain additional information. In this way, obtain well-founded insights into the cause of contamination.

The graphic shows equipment for cleanliness testing. The purpose of this test is to achieve technical cleanliness.

Comprehensive technical cleanliness thanks to ZEISS

Light microscopy systems

Recognize potential contamination hazards

Itemize particles by quantity, size distribution and morphology, and distinguish metallic from non-metallic particles and fibers down to 2 μm. Create cleanliness reports according to industry standards.

Correlative particle analysis

Establish advanced analysis workflows

Characterize process-critical particles and identify critical particlesusing correlative microscopy, which combines your data from both light and electron microscopes in a single workflow.

Electron Microscopy & EDS Systems

Locate sources of contamination

Measure the morphological properties of particles and use fully automated elemental analysis to classify particles by chemical composition. ZEISS SmartPI, the particle analysis software for electron microscopes, automates the detection, analysis, and classification of particles, combining microscope control, image processing and elemental analysis into a single application.

Light and Electron Microscopes from ZEISS for Technical Cleanliness

The graphic shows particles in a ball bearing.

ZEISS SteREO Discovery.V8

The graphic shows particles of an injector gland, in which particles may be present due to lack of technical cleanliness.

ZEISS Axio Zoom.V16

Graphic shows particles in oil and lubricants.

ZEISS Axio Imager 2

The graphic shows a circuit board with particles on it due to lack of technical cleanliness.

ZEISS Axioscope 7

The graphic shows particles in syringes


The graphic shows particles in syringes

ZEISS Sigma 300

Do you need more information about ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Solutions?

Fill out the form below to download our Technical Cleanliness brochure.

Enter a new era of technical cleanliness with ZEISS

Your benefits of industrial metrology solutions from ZEISS:

  • Faster analyses and decisions with the latest metrology
  • For technical cleanliness in production, electrical engineering, the automotive industry and many more
  • Particle measurement according to established industry standards (e.g. VDA 19.1, ISO 16232)
  • Contamination of residual dirt according to established cleanliness tests
  • Testing and cleanliness analysis according to standardized extraction procedures
  • Comprehensive range of measurement services: from maintenance, servicing and spare parts to software and hardware upgrades, calibration, planning and consulting
  • Support for you and your employees for every metrology challenge through training and education in our ZEISS Metrology Academy

Compatible ZEISS Solutions

Download more information


pages: 7
file size: 2599 kB

TCA Technical Paper Battery Particle Contamin EN

TCA Technical Paper Battery Particle Contamin EN
pages: 4
file size: 1558 kB

Technical Cleanliness Application Medical Products

Technical Cleanliness Application Medical Products
pages: 6
file size: 2340 kB

Technical Cleanliness Solutions Poster, EN

Technical Cleanliness Solutions Poster, EN
pages: 1
file size: 262 kB


pages: 7
file size: 16465 kB

ZEISS IQS, Mic and TCA, Success Story, INNIO Group, EN, PDF

ZEISS IQS, Mic and TCA, Success Story, INNIO Group, EN, PDF
pages: 7
file size: 16467 kB

ZEISS Technical Cleanliness OnePager EN

ZEISS Technical Cleanliness OnePager EN
pages: 1
file size: 1364 kB

ZEISS TechnicalClean SmartPI Flyer EN

ZEISS TechnicalClean SmartPI Flyer EN
pages: 1
file size: 1147 kB

ZEISS TechnSaub SmartPI Flyer DE

ZEISS TechnSaub SmartPI Flyer DE
pages: 1
file size: 1373 kB