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Friendlier, Faster Information Collection

Bruce Morey
By Bruce Morey Senior Technical Editor, SME Media

The equipment and software that had been slated for the IMTS Quality Assurance pavilion is aimed at faster data collection

The RS-SQUARED does not use reference markers in the traditional way because the Absolute Arm does the referencing for it, according to the manufacturer.

Manufacturers are featuring some of the latest equipment and software for metrology, quality assurance, and collecting information for process control. If there were an overall theme, it would be an improved user experience and higher throughput. Highlights include automation, software engineered for a better experience, and more ways of collecting and distributing it for a better, smarter manufacturing experience.

Automation and Choice in Metrology

Hexagon’s Integrated Solutions team is featuring high-speed inline capabilities, alongside laser tracker-based robotic measurement and control systems. One of the systems Hexagon is featuring is its Leica Absolute Tracker AT960, based on 6DoF laser technology in a portable and easy-to-use form factor, according to the company.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, R.I. had also planned on featuring several other automated measuring solutions, including the TIGO SF, the OPTIV M 3.2.2 and the GLOBAL S coordinate measuring machine (CMM), delivering measurements tailored to operators’ workflows and addressing production requirements, including throughput, precision, and multi-purpose and shop-floor capabilities. Each of these featured automated measuring solutions are outfitted with the latest collaborative systems to make the CMM operator’s tasks simpler and more efficient, according to Hexagon.

New to the Absolute Arm range is the RS-SQUARED Area Scanner. Built on a platform of advanced structured light scanning technology, the RS-SQUARED Area Scanner is a 3D scanner compatible with all current generation Absolute Arm 7-Axis systems.

SmartScan and PrimeScan systems from the AICON range of products are another highlight. The SmartScan is designed for 3D optical scanning. Built on a platform of speed, accuracy, portability and flexibility, the SmartScan digitizes complex, small-to-medium sized components. The PrimeScan has blue-light technology for industrial applications and offers fixed configurations with different resolutions and measuring fields.

Rounding out the hardware offerings is the Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600, a direct scanning laser tracker. Based on the established Wave-Form Digitizer technology behind some high-end surveying tools, the ATS600 is powered by the Scanning Absolute Distance Meter, a metrology-grade iteration of this technical principle that can locate a point to within 300 µm from up to 60 m away.

Measurement and Metrology in Machine Tools

Blum-Novotest Inc., Erlanger, Ky., a supplier of measuring and testing technology, had planned to feature its new visualization and evaluation software LC-VISION, several solutions for determining the quality of machine tool spindles, and the latest applications in the field of DIGILOG tool and workpiece measurement.

DIGILOG tool and workpiece measurement creates thousands of measured values in one second.

A highlight is the new visualization and evaluation software LC-VISION. Developed for Blum’s laser measuring systems, it enables live visualization and analysis of the values recorded during the measuring process directly on the machine control. The software is used, for example, in combination with the other new option, SpindleControl. With the help of this application, DIGILOG laser measuring systems can record the condition of the spindle at different speeds and indicate at an early stage any bearing damage and resulting machining inaccuracies, for example.

This data can also be used for preventive maintenance, ensuring that a spindle can be overhauled in time before total failure and unscheduled machine downtime occur. The function is also used in real-life scenarios to minimize the warm-up times of machines in high-precision machining. By using SpindleControl, the user can determine when the machine has reached a thermally stable state and machining can commence. Even vibration analysis based on spindle rpm/range is possible. The data can be used to identify irregularities that indicate, for example, bearing damage.

Another Blum-Novotest highlight is the “technology cycle 3D ToolControl,” based on LC-VISION. If, for example, the new option is used to monitor a ball nose mill for wear, the longest and shortest cutting edge at various pressure angles can be visualized in LC-VISION.

Structured Light Scanning

During the COVID-19 crisis, Capture 3D has seen companies turn to 3D measurement technology more than ever, according to Johan Gout, COO. “Through this, we’ve found great importance in being able to offer accessible and versatile solutions that meet our customers’ needs whatever they may be—while maintaining uncompromised quality and reliability,” he said. Capture 3D is the official U.S. partner for GOM GmbH/Zeiss.

Capture 3D had planned to feature the ATOS Q—a new addition to the ATOS 3D scanning family powered by bright blue LED structured light with interchangeable measuring volumes. Its compact design is offered as a solution for dimensional inspection, reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, CFD/FEA analysis, digital assembly, and other manufacturing processes. It is available in 8 million points-per-second (PPS) or 12 million PPS models.

Engineered to capture millions of points per scan (PPS) with certified accuracy, the ATOS Q is available as a manual, semi-automated, or fully automated solution

Automated robotic solutions are another highlight, including the new GOM ScanCobot, ATOS ScanBox, and the PAMM (Precision Aerospace Measuring Machine). These solutions help companies accelerate throughput and streamline production by automating the measurement process.

Capture 3D’s new GOM Inspect Suite software has been updated with industry-specific dimensional analysis features. Additions include an online training center that helps users understand how to effectively use the software at their convenience. The Virtual Measuring Room, a software module for automated configurations, features “Smart Teach,” a function that automatically syncs changes made in CAD data with the robotic measurement positions. The software also contains a Virtual Clamping module, allowing users to simulate clamped parts without physically clamping anything. With this software, all users—including those with industry-specific applications—can experience a more efficient 3D measurement process, according to Capture 3D.

The L.S. Starrett Co. offers a range of metrology products designed to solve measuring problems in the lab and on the shop floor.

Icon-Based Language for Metrology

The L.S. Starrett Co., Athol, Mass., had planned to highlight a range of advanced metrology products that showcase precision, flexibility, and ease-of-use. Starrett’s metrology solutions include its advanced Force Measurement Line, Multi-Sensor CNC Vision Systems, Precision Electronic Hand Tools including new digital tools, the latest wireless data collection solutions and real-time Inline Laser Measurement Systems.

With a user-friendly operator interface, these products allow a common icon-based language across all metrology systems. This makes for fast learning and operation of the equipment, allowing operators to minimize measuring time and maximize productivity, according to Starrett. Having this common software architecture allows the same operator to be as efficient and productive with a Starrett Force Measurement system as they are on a Starrett Multi-Sensor Vision System, the company stated.

Instant Measurement System

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The Instant Measurement System is a next-generation optical comparator that measures up to 99 dimensions on up to 99 parts in seconds, according to the manufacturer. The operator places parts on the stage, pushes one button, and in 3 seconds has the parts fully inspected. The unit is portable, shop-floor ready and automatically records results to create inspection reports. It now includes a height indicator allowing for height measurement.
Keyence Corp. of America
888-539-3623 /

Mobile Surface Measurement System

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The portable MarSurf M 310 with built-in 4.3" (109.2-mm), high-resolution touch screen brings features previously available only in PC-based systems to a mobile unit. It offers automatic creation of measuring reports in PDF, bar code/data-matrix scanner integration, and letter-size report printing. An optional portable printer is available. The battery provides 1,200+ measurements per charge; an integrated memory allows 500,000+ measurement results to be stored; and a Micro SD card slot allows additional memory of up to 160 million results. A free MarWin Roughness Viewer allows measurements to be transferred to a PC archive or for use in quality documentation reports.
Mahr Inc.
800-343-2050 /

GOM Inspect Suite 2020 Software

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The new GOM Inspect Suite 2020 debuts in August. This software combines photogrammetry, 3D scanning, inspection, and advanced custom packages into a single platform. The sensor driver workspace allows for the integration of GOM and Zeiss 3D measurement technologies, while the inspection workspace includes GOM Inspect’s free comprehensive functionalities, such as mesh editing, dimensional analysis, data import, reporting, and industry-specific analysis tools. Within the GOM Inspect Suite, users can choose to select a free 30-day trial of GOM Inspect Professional, which features parametric inspection, template creation, and more advanced features.
Capture 3D
714-546-7278 /

Air Gage Readout

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The Micro IIi Air Gage Readout from Western Gage provides fast, accurate measurements of tapered internal and external diameters, according to the manufacturer. The air gage instrument features include a built-in microprocessor, digital and analog displays, RS-232 serial data outputs, and auto calibration with master gages. Taper angles and datum diameters are displayed with resolutions to 5 μ" or 0.1 μm. Applications include measurement of machine tool spindle tapers, toolholders and medical implant tapers. Western also designs and manufactures custom air gages for precision ID and OD match fittings, inspecting flatness, concentricity, perpendicularity, and parallelism.
Western Gage Corp.
805-445-1410 /

Digital Readout Systems

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The L.S. Starrett Co. is now offering shop-hardened MetLogix Mx200 Digital Readouts (DROs) for its line of optical comparators. The DROs’ EdgeLogic feature enables gesture-driven control of start and end measurement commands, minimizing the need to interact with the DROs directly. Measurement results can be exported via RS232 (serial) output to an external PC application. Starrett is also offering the new MetLogix Mx100, a more simplified “basic-features” version of the Mx200 DRO.
The L.S. Starrett Co.
978-249-3551 /

Robot Cutting Tool Inspection

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The Robot AutoInspect Cutting Tool Inspection System has a collaborative robot that picks up a cutting tool and places it in front of the 560C Video Tool Analyzer. The 560C is programmed to automatically inspect various features like angles, radii, and distances on the cutting tool. The inspected data can then be saved to a spreadsheet. Programming for the AutoInspect System is fast and easy, and once the programming is complete, users can walk away and let it run, according to the manufacturer.
Winslow Engineering Inc.
920-921-6404 /

Adaptive Tool Monitoring System

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Caron Engineering has updated its Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control system, TMAC version 3.0. TMAC is a real-time tool wear detection system that uses high-precision, multi-range sensors to determine if a tool is worn or broken. TMAC 3.0 has been redesigned with an intuitive, streamlined user interface that offers numerous configurations for viewing tool monitoring and sensor data. The TMAC system processor now houses its own web server, making the HMI (human-machine interface) browser-based, which enables real-time monitoring from any network connected device.
Caron Engineering Inc.
207-646-6071 /

Fringe Probe for REVO Five-Axis Measurement

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The RFP fringe probe, for use with the REVO five-axis measurement system on CMMs, adds non-contact structured light inspection to the existing product range. The RFP projects a fringe pattern onto the part surface without requiring reference markers or coatings, and the probe’s camera captures the variation in fringe pattern to build a point cloud of 3D surface data. Software tools deliver inspection results, provide path planning and generate DMIS part programs from CAD, while the RFP digitizer app guides users around parts without models, collecting data as part of a reverse engineering process.
Renishaw Inc.
847-286-9953 /

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