Rhopoint TAMS™

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For maximum impact, the surface quality of an automotive paint finish must instantly produce an appealing visual sensation for the customer. A high-quality paint finish is not only described by color but also brilliance (“gloss”) and smoothness, often referred to as DOI (Distinctness of Image). This can only be achieved if the overall surface finish displays both high QUALITY and HARMONY.

Rhopoint TAMS™ is a new 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 revolutionize the understanding and communication of visual appearance information.

Color management and appearance is essential in many areas of today’s automotive manufacturing environment, and requires the ability to measure subtle differences in color and appearance. The measuring methods used for characterizing the visual impression have been highly complex and mainly the domain of experts. To obtain a quick and uncomplicated statements concerning the visual quality of a surface, we worked with a team of experts from the automotive industry to develop a new measuring device which reproduces human perception – the Rhopoint TAMS™ (Total Appearance Measurement System).

Rhopoint TAMS is an innovative measuring system for characterizing the visual quality of functional and decorative surfaces, and uses four parameters to produce a comprehensive description of the visual sensation: Contrast, image sharpness, waviness, and dominant structure size (dimension).

Rhopoint TAMS imitates the functions of the human eye and mapping the mechanisms that take place in the brain using double focus image technology and imaging and computing systems at a high-tech level. The Rhopoint TAMS records the images at different focus levels and computes the characteristics with the aid of perception algorithms.


Measurements that closely correlate to human perception are 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.

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.

Rhopoint TAMS™ technology provides opportunities to IMPROVE SURFACE FINISH, establish improved QUALITY CRITERIA and REMOVE SUBJECTIVITY IN VISUAL ASSESSMENT.


One single value rates the total appearance quality of a surface. 100% indicates a smooth finish with perfect image forming characteristics. Rhopoint TAMS™ quality is calculated using waviness and sharpness values predicting the visual rating of the customer.

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.


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

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.

Reflection in a White surface:

Reflection in a White surface C= 40% C= 40%

Reflection in a Black surface:

Reflection in a Black surface C= 100% C= 100%

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.

Close Distance view of an unsharp surface:

Close Distance view of an unsharp surface: S= 65% S= 65%

Close Distance view of a sharp surface:

Close Distance view of an unsharp surface: S= 98% S= 98%

Showroom Distance view of an unsharp surface:

Showroom Distance view of an unsharp surface: S= 65% S= 65%

Showroom Distance view of a sharp surface:

Showroom Distance view of an unsharp surface: S= 98% S= 98%

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 W= 0

Wavy Surface:

W= 19.6 W= 19.6

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.

Small structure dominant surface:

Short wave Dominant surface: D= 1.2mm D= 1.2mm

Large structure dominant surface:

Short wave Dominant surface: D= 1.2mm D= 6.5mm


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

The image transfer qualities of the surface are measured and used to calculate sharpness and contrast.

Waviness is calculated by quantifying distortion in a reflected image.

Surface topography is analysed to identify the Dominant structure.


Rhopoint TAMS™ is able to capture surface data for mid gloss and high gloss surfaces offering the possibility of measuring all surfaces throughout the automotive manufacturing process – steel and aluminium, E-Coat as well as filler, base coat and top coat.


ModelRhopoint TAMS
UnitsS (%)
Minimum (No visible reflection)0
Maximum (Perfect mirror)100
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.5 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueOptical Transfer Function
UnitsC (%)
Minimum (Perfect Diffuse White)0
Maximum (Perfect Black)100
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.3 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueOptical Transfer Function
UnitsW (W units)
Typical Maximum3
Repeatability0.2 (SD)
Reproducibility1 (SD)
Measurement TechniqueReflected Image Line Deformation Analysis
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
UnitsD (mm)
Maximum (typical)8
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.4 (SD)
Measurement TechniquePhase Measurement Deflectometry
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
UnitsQ (%)
Maximum (typical)100
Repeatability0.2 (SD)
Reproducibility0.8 (SD)
AlgorithmCalculated using Sharpness & Waviness
CorrelationVolkswagen AG Quality Perception Studies
UnitsH (H units)
Maximum (typical)8.9
Repeatability0.1 (SD)
Reproducibility0.2 (SD)
AlgorithmCalculated using Waviness and Dimension
CorrelationAUDI AG MDS Perception analysis
Menu Interface5 Capacitive Sense buttons
Measurement OperationTactile button, capacitive sensor, push&start auto measurement system
Measurement Time4 Second Image Capture
4 Second Processing
Colour ScreenFull colour IPS screen
PowerRemoveable rechargeable
lithium polymer batteries
OperationUp to 5 hours/charge
Memory>10,000 readings
8GB internal
8GB SD card
Data TransferSD Card, USB, Ethernet
Optical SystemVariable Focus Machine Vision
Spatial Resolution (surface)34μm/pixel
Field of View (surface)25x16mm
Processor SpecificationARM A8 Dual core + Digital
Signal Processor
Production IntegrationRFID TAG Reader (optional)
Dimensions / Weight172x136x56mm / 950g
Additional SensorsAccelerometer, Orientation,
4 x Pressure (measurement)
ConstructionAluminium instrument case

Included Accessories


2 x Removable & Rechargeable Batteries
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AC Adapter
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Calibration Plate
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Carry Case
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Cleaning Cloth
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Spare Measurement Baffle
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