Cirrus Aircraft produces the world’s top two best-selling piston-engine general aviation aircraft, the Cirrus SR 22 and SR22T, with an unmatched integrity in design, quality, and engineering. Using an analytical approach, Cirrus embraces industry best-practices when it comes to analysis and modeling. Using this methodology, they are able to understand the structural characteristics of materials and components and then build a computer model. This process begins by predicting the characteristics of composite structures, using analysis, and then validating the collected data with the computer models. This process is an expensive one – but demonstrates Cirrus’ commitment to quality and safety. This analytic approach continues with the development of the Cirrus Vision SF50, a single engine, low-wing, Personal Jet. The Vision SF50 is designed to fill a significant niche between piston aircraft and Light Business Jets. Like every Cirrus aircraft, the Vision will also incorporate the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) which can safely lower the entire plane to the ground in case of an emergency.
The challenge was to eliminate the need for racks of hard-tooling for the new Vision SF50 Jet project, Cirrus significantly invested in converting a 6-axis manufacturing robot into a CNC milling machine. This robot, a KUKA KR-100 HA L80 (High Accuracy), uses a vision camera to locate and align to a part and then drill any required holes and trim off any excess flashing to define final part shape. The KUKA has a working radius of 9-feet and is mounted on a 40-foot linear axis rail, just long enough to accommodate the 38-foot long wing of the SF50 Vision. The fuselage cabin structure is 5.1 feet wide, 4.1 feet tall, and 30.9 feet long. Smaller parts, parts as small as 6-inches x 4-inches x 2-inches, can also be cut by the robot while being held in place by a vacuum table. Larger parts, however, utilize dedicated holding fixtures. Cirrus needed a solution to validate the setup of the robot and to ensure its true position accuracy. They were seeking technology that would allow the real-time validation of trim paths and drill accuracies without potentially inducing defects to a physical part through trial and error. Accuracy was the number one priority.
Cirrus uses a 12-foot FaroArm with a Laser Line Probe along with a a bridge-style fixed CMM for many projects. However, due to the size and accuracy demands of this project, neither provided the ideal solution for mapping the KUKA robot. To properly map the robot for their trim and drill needs, Cirrus integrated a FARO Laser Tracker into their processes. The Laser Tracker has a large working volume (230-foot diameter) and automatic SMR (Spherically Mounted Retroreflectors) tracking — making it the ideal tool for mapping the robot. The large working volume alleviates the need to leapfrog (Move Device Position) a smaller volume measurement arm, which can quickly degrade the overall accuracy below the acceptable limits afterseveral iterations. Being able to measure any point in the robot cell with the Tracker has proven to be critical to the process. During setup and mapping, the Tracker was dedicated full time, for eight weeks, to the robot cell. Using FARO’s SDK (Software Developers Kit), Cirrus was able to have the robot program tell the Tracker when it was in position and command the Tracker to take a measurement. The true position is then compared to nominal and a compensation table is generated. Based on that compensation table, positional refinements occur and move the robot into the correct location. As a result, after a successful setup and mapping process, accurate hole locations and trim profiles can now be achieved before the first part is ever cut.
Currently, the Tracker is used several times a week to inspect aircraft sub-assemblies and hard tooling. The large working volume, superior accuracy and versatility make the Laser Tracker the only practical tool for many of the large parts Cirrus fabricates. The FARO Laser Tracker allowed Cirrus to make measurements in real time while manipulating the robot, instead of cutting a part or drilling a hole before measuring it and making adjustments based on the data. The Tracker also allowed Cirrus to keep its traditional CMMs focused on their existing production parts.
The overall results stands testament to the quality of the Laser Tracker as Cirrus was able to use the FARO Laser Tracker to realize a 60% reduction in tooling costs by minimizing the quantity and complexity of trim and drill fixtures. This, paired with the agility of the robotic system to rapidly accommodate design changes, will lead to an overall reduction of time and cost for the entire SF50 Vision program as it nears FAA certification. The FARO Laser Tracker Vantage proved to be the comprehensive solution that Cirrus was seeking, as the ideal tool for Robot Calibration, Tool Design, Fabrication, Validation, and Adjustment.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” says Robert Pelton, with the Altamonte Springs Police Department, whose crime scene pictures now come in 3D!
Traditional scene analysis is a lengthy process, requiring hundreds of pictures, measurements and sketches. The new 3D scanners, made by FARO, can capture the entire scene in a fraction of the time.
Orlando Florida’s NBC news affiliate, WESH Channel 2, aired a story on the 12.02.2015 at 6 p.m. EST featuring our FARO X330 laser scanner and FARO Freestyle3D. The segment was titled “Local police using 3D Crime Scene Technology” and is to promote new technology that is helping law enforcement personnel solve crimes. To see the story, click the link above.
FARO Technologies, Inc. , the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging, and realization technology, announces the acquisition of ARAS 360 Technologies Inc., a global leader in the development of accident and crime reconstruction, simulation and animation software.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Kamloops, British Columbia, ARAS produces a full suite of accident and crime reconstruction software tools that offer advanced graphics, advanced analytical tools, and the ability to work with large point cloud data sets from 3D laser scanners. The company’s newest product, Reality, is a 64-bit crash and crime software solution that was launched in November 2014. Reality provides customers with an intuitive and user-friendly interface enabling them to quickly generate precision diagrams with stunning details and graphic realism.
“The acquisition of ARAS 360 will help FARO create a complementary suite of integrated 3D documentation product offerings for our law enforcement customers,” stated Jay Freeland, our President and CEO. “By adding the ARAS products to our portfolio, along with the product offerings of the CAD Zone which we acquired last year, customers can now document and analyze any crime or accident scene with the most intuitive and powerful drawing, simulation and animation tools in the market.”
For more information about FARO’s 3D scanning solutions visit our FARO GB Website!
FARO Technologies Inc., the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology, was elected “Milestone of the Industry” by Vogel Business Media in the category of measurement and testing technology.
Vogel Business Media (VBM), a worldwide major specialist media publisher that focusses on the markets Automation, Automobile, Electronics, Production, Mechanical Engineering, Design Engineering among others celebrates its 120th birthday. In order to share this success, VBM honors based on this long lasting experience within the industry markets important players of the industry for their achievements in innovation and technological development.
The award “Milestone of the Industry” for FARO is based on FARO’s innovation started in 1984 with the development of the first measurement arm used for orthopedic applications and in 1994 to be the first measurement company in the world that developed measurement arms which worked like a fixed co-ordinate measuring machine but would provide mobility, flexibility, wide range measurements with a high accuracy to the users. This innovation was considered a milestone of the industry for its revolutionary contribution to the industrial history. It changed and simplified the way that quality, surfaces and dimensions of products, etc. could be measured. This achievement was followed by a number of outstanding innovations that make FARO a trusted partner in the industry today.
FARO’s success is proven through numerous recognitions and awards. The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D FARO has already prevailed twice with regards to the Hardware Product of the year award at the Construction Computing award contest, 2012 and recently in November 2014. The Focus3D impressed due to its extremely powerful and accurate three-dimensional measurement method, which offers numerous advantages compared with conventional measurement systems.
Geospatial World, considered the world’s largest geospatial technical resource portal, confirmed this vote for the Focus3D in 2014 with the Technology Innovation Award acknowledging that it sets new standards with regards to performance and ease-of-use.
“FARO is very proud to be considered a milestone for the industrial development.”, said Jay Freeland, President and CEO of FARO Technologies Inc., “With our recently introduced new FARO® Scanner Freestyle3D, we will do our utmost to keep this innovation pace and leadership position.” The Freestyle3D is the latest addition to the FARO 3D laser scanning portfolio and provides customers with the same intuitive feel and ease-of-use in a handheld device, enabling users to maneuver and scan in tight and hard-to-reach areas such as car interiors, under tables and behind objects making it ideal for crime scene data collection or architectural preservation and restoration activities.