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Industries & Applications
  • Automotive Exterior
  • Paints & Coatings

RoboTAMS – Automated Total Appearance Measurement System

  • The new standard for paint appearance measurement
  • Non-contact measurements
  • TAMS measurement sensor integrates fully into an inline inspection process

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Measuring automotive paint finishes

The Rhopoint TAMS provides measurement data that closely correlates to human perception, is easier to understand and communicate.

For maximum impact, an automotive paint finish must instantly produce an appealing visual sensation for the customer. This can only be achieved if the overall surface finish displays both high quality and harmony.

Rhopoint TAMS™ has become an industry standard way of quantifying appearance quality inspired by a four-year collaboration between Rhopoint, Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG.

This innovative new technology models the human perception of surface appearance quality, providing new parameters that revolutionise the understanding and communication of visual appearance information.

Improved correlation and easy communication gives Rhopoint TAMS™ a major advantage over existing methods that produce complex results relying on the user to interpret the values into a real-life visual experience.

TAMS technology provides opportunities to:

Improve surface finish

Establish improved quality criteria

Remove subjectivity in visual assessment

RoboTAMS Automated Total Appearance Measurement System

TAMS measurement sensor integrates fully into an inline inspection process.

Fast measurement time

Larger field of view

Integration into any SPC

Contactless measurements

Communicates via Ethernet protocol

All measurements made with RoboTAMS are compatible with measurements made with the Rhopoint TAMS™.

RoboTAMS is designed for top coat evaluation as part of the production line or offline measurement cell. The sensor is able to able to capture high resolution maps of surfaces and has the possibility to measure e-coat and raw materials.

When viewing a vehicle surface, the eye naturally adjusts focus several times. Focusing on the environment, it looks at images of reflected objects observing distortion and clarity. Focusing on the surface the eye observes waviness, texture and defects.

Movement by the viewer during observation causes the reflected environment to move across the surface. This natural action increases the perception of waviness.

The brain processes this information and formulates sensations of quality and harmony.

TAMS technology defines:

Car quality


One single value rates the total appearance quality of a surface. 100% indicates a smooth finish with perfect image forming characteristics.

TAMS quality is calculated using waviness and sharpness values predicting the visual rating of the customer.

Car Harmony


Based on extensive human perception research by AUDI AG, this value indicates the acceptability of adjacent car parts. It is calculated using Waviness and Dimension parameters.

A value of >1.0 indicates parts are not similar and if viewed together will detract from overall visual quality.

TAMS Perception

Data from the TAMS vision system is processed using perception algorithms derived from extensive human perception studies.



Sharpness quantifies the accuracy of images reflected in the surface, 100% indicates a perfect reflection.

At close distances (<0.5m) SHARPNESS measures how well surface reflects fine details. At showroom viewing distance (1.5m) SHARPNESS quantifies haze and clarity.

Sharpness Close
Close Distance view of an unsharp surface: S=65%
Showroom Distance view of an unsharp surface
Sharpness Close
Close Distance view of a sharp surface: S=98%
Showroom Distance view of a sharp surface


Contrast is related to the colour of the surface; white and metallic surfaces have low contrast, a deep black measures 100%. Contrast quantifies the visual impact of orange peel and haze effects both being more visible on high contrast dark colours.

Contrast reflection
Reflection in a White surface
Contrast reflection black
Reflection in a Black surface


Indicates the dominant structure size perceived at showroom viewing distance. Typical values are between 1–6mm, the dominant structure size is important in determining the harmony between adjacent panels/parts.

Wavy buildings
Small structure dominant surface: D=1.2mm
Large structure
Large structure dominant surface: D=6.5mm


Correlated to human perception, waviness quantifies the visible impact of surface waves to an observer at showroom distance (1.5m). The waviness of a surface is critical for determining appearance quality. Low waviness surfaces tend to be preferred by the viewer.

Flat surface: W=0
Wavy surface
Wavy surface

TAMS Vision

To achieve close correlation with human perception TAMS emulates the human evaluation of a reflective surface, changing its imaging system focus from surface to reflected image.

sharpness and contrast
The image transfer qualities of the surface are measured and used to calculate sharpness and contrast.
Waviness vision
Waviness is calculated by quantifying distortion in a reflected image.
Vision surface topography
Surface topography is analysed to identify the Dominant structure.
RoboTAMS in production


UnitsS (%)
Minimum (No visible reflection)0
Maximum (Perfect mirror)100
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.5 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueOptical Transfer Function
UnitsW (W units)
Maximum (typical)30
Repeatability0.2 (SD)
Reproducibility1 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueReflected Image Line Deformation Analysis
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
UnitsQ (%)
Maximum (typical)100
Repeatability0.8 (SD)
Reproducibility1 (SD)
AlgorithmCalculated using Sharpness & Waviness
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
UnitsC (%)
Minimum (Perfect Diffuse White)0
Maximum (Perfect Black)100
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.3 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueOptical Transfer Function
UnitsD (mm)
Maximum (typical)8
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.4 (SD)
Measurement TechniquePhase Measurement Deflectometry
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
UnitsH (H units)
Maximum (typical)8.9
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.4 (SD)
AlgorithmCalculated using Waviness & Dimension
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
Instrument Information
Fully enclosed unit with integrated capture and analysisYes
Measurement Area50 x 60mm FOV (field of view)
Compatible resultswith Rhopoint TAMS™
Capture Time<2 Seconds
Spatial resolution32um / pixel
Results outputCSV
Positioning error detectionYes
Calibration station for instrument check and focus settingYes
Inbuild optical component contamination reduction systemYes
Power and Connectivity
ConnectionLAN Ethernet
Flexible connection optionsYes
Power24 Volts (max current 3 Amps)
Range of robot mounting optionsYes
Free extended warranty

Free extended 2 year warranty: Requires registration at www.rhopointinstruments.com/help-services/forms-feedback/instrument-registration/ within 28 days of purchase. Without registration, 1 year standard warranty applies.

Free light source warranty

Guaranteed for the life of the instrument.

Calibration and service

Fast and economic service via our global network of accredited calibration and service centres. Please visit www.rhopointinstruments.com/help-services/calibration-servicing/ for detailed information.




Application Notes & White Papers

Answers to common questions about our instruments and measurements

Why measure gloss?

Gloss is an aspect of the visual perception of objects that is as important as colour when considering the psychological impact of products on a

Read More »

What is RSpec?

RSpec is the peak reflectance measured over a very narrow angular band in the specular direction (+/-) 0.0991º. RSpec is very sensitive to any texture

Read More »

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