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AdvancedManufacturing.org


metrologically significant information,” he said. Since less knowledge is needed at the data capture stage, it is easier to automate. The ShapeGrabber Ai series of automated laser scan- ners is ideal where high accuracy coupled with repeat- ability of results is vital for the job. The ShapeGrabber scanner is designed so that no special fixturing or physi- cal registration of the part is needed. An operator places the part in the cabinet lets it digitally capture the detailed part shape. Alignment, registration and measurement are handled automatically in software. Aubrey said while some ShapeGrabber systems can be robotically fed, the majority are used in quality rooms since they get measurement data faster than a CMM. The systems report baseline accuracies in the 15 to 30-


New Perceptron AutoScan Collaborative RoboGauge showing the operating (green), warning (amber) and protection (red) modes.


also achieve their accuracy independent of the motion control equipment’s accuracy and repeatability. The device needs to be durable, as well, also making structured light systems ideal. “When a metrology device is integrated with a robot, it must be able to endure [that robot’s high] velocity and accelerations/decelerations,” he said. Demarest has seen automated metrology grow as a


market. While automated ATOS systems are used in many different industries, the two largest industries up to now have been automotive and aerospace. In automotive, many of these systems are used for inspecting sheetmetal parts and assemblies. In aerospace, the most common inspec- tion is turbine engine airfoils. What about optical metrology in general? “Noncontact systems will continue to grab more and


more market share because they are able to provide more complete part information than tactile systems,” he said, and along with that will be even more automated instal- lations. “This will lower the cost of entry for automated solutions.” ShapeGrabber CEO Pierre Aubrey agrees that optical


systems like his firm’s ShapeGrabber 3D laser scanners work well for automation. “They reduce the need for the operator to know intimate details of the part or metrology. With 3D scanning, you capture all of the data, not just the


µm range. A new 3D laser scanhead has the best accuracy and resolution the firm has produced to date.


Processes and adaptation The ideal applications for laser scanners are parts with


complex surfaces, such as injection molded plastics, stamp- ings, or castings like turbine blades. Business in orthopedic implants, such as knee and hip replacements, is growing. “The challenge in that field is getting the manufacturer


to change their measurement processes,” he said. Their QC methods have been developed over a long period of time assuming measurements would be made with older, often 2D technologies. And in the highly regulated medical indus- try, change is a challenge all its own. An important trend in robotics is safe collaboration with humans, a trend that Perceptron is adapting to with its AutoScan Collaborative RoboGauge. “Metrology is having an increasing role in assembly and manufacturing,” Percep- tron’s Jeff Boomer said, adding that people want to auto- mate metrology, in part because “it has been too remote from manufacturing, with a feedback loop that is too long.” Providing an adaptive solution, RoboGauge brings


automated 3D scanning to the plant floor, by combining one of its Helix scanners with a FANUC robot, integrated with a collaborative robot safety solution. The important point of the RoboGauge is it eliminates the need for a safety enclosure. Its perimeter is monitored using laser scanners that use diffused reflections of emitted infra- red lasers to create a two-dimensional programmable detection safety field. The RoboGauge Cell includes a rigid machine base for holding both robot and part fix- ture with translucent side panels that light up to provide visual color status indication.


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Fall 2016


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