FARO has recently launched the Tracer M Laser Projector. This new solution allows users to reduce the expensive delays associated with the alignment and assembly of large components, help improve process precision, and negate the need for physical templates and hard tooling.
The Tracer M uses Advanced Trajectory Control (ATC) to deliver fast projection. ATC provides superior dynamic accuracy and a rapid refresh rate which minimizes flicker. Photogrammetric targets are used to enable the best fit alignment of the projected image onto the surface or object, thereby allowing the projected image to be consistent with the CAD model.
For larger assemblies and for use in space-constrained areas, multiple Tracer M projectors can be controlled from a single workstation to provide large-scale virtual templates in one coordinate system. The risk of human error and costly scrap during assembly is significantly reduced, in addition, manufacturers are able to avoid the time and expense associated with using large, heavy templates.
FARO measurement technologies have been selected by leading automotive companies to support their production processes in different areas such as research and development, pre-production, production and digital factory & facility management.
In this brief blog post we will give you an overview of the research and development applications, the core of innovation processes and the backbone on which the success of a company in today’s hyper-competitive market depends on.
Clay Studios – CNC Cutter Paths
If the creative act of determining and defining a car‘s form takes place prior to the physical production, clay studios must be used to generate data for CAD and CAM software, and CNC cutter paths for model machining.
Clay studios were one of the first in the automotive industry to implement scanning technology into their day-to-day processes to convert the physical model into CAD, which can then be used as a reference for all further developments.
The configurable FARO optical scanning solutions can easily be moved around the workshop and used to scan the entire surface of the model, quickly collecting all the necessary data for successive processing. Scanned data are also used to generate CNC cutter paths to allow subsequent machining or for reverse engineering.
Using virtual models, designers and bodywork specialists can analyse and compare different design options. Single parts as well as entire sub-assemblies can be assessed in terms of geometry, dimensions and form all in the digital domain.
FARO’s 3D portable measuring systems allow development engineers to move physical samples into the CAD realm to build virtual models for dimensional analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA). Virtual design testing can also be completed for failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) analysis.
Crash testing is performed to determine the dimensional impact on a vehicle or on some specific components when crashing an object at a given speed. Quality can be a matter of life or death and minimizing the impact of accidents e.g. with the aid of improved safety systems can be decisive for passenger survival.
FARO systems allow users to measure the entire vehicle before and after the crash. A comparison of the two sets of scanned data can then be performed by engineers to analyse and evaluate the dimensional impact of the crash.
Tests may be part of a R&D development cycle as the manufacturers look for ways to improve the quality of passive safety systems such as crumple zones, roll pillars and seat belts. But tests can also be carried out by test centres with the aim of providing objective assessments of component and car safety for OEMs or verifying and certifying that vehicles and parts meet regulatory requirements.
The FARO hardware and software are part of an efficient workflow in order to produce deformation reports or safety certificates with minimal effort.
Benchmarking – Analysis of Competitive Vehicles
The term “benchmarking” has been used to describe the process where one OEM evaluates the products of competitors such as entire vehicles, parts and assemblies. Automakers continue to look for any advantage they can find to stay ahead of their competition.
Rather than taking a select number of measurements on a given part, FARO solutions ensure complete part coverage with the possibility to digitize the entire object surface and generate a 3D CAD model.
FARO’s optical measurement systems allow users to seamlessly scan across diverse surface materials regardless of contrast, reflectivity or part complexity, and to capture intricate components in fine detail. The scan data enables an optimal understanding of the dimensional characteristics of the competitor’s products to be obtained. No time intensive pre-programming for single part capturing is needed.
Despite the availability of design data, companies are still using solid models in original size to analyse the characteristics of vehicles and individual components. The aim of Cubing is to bring parts and components together and evaluate how they fit each other. Once parts are mounted on a structure that replicate and simulate a real configuration, they can be measured and their reciprocal alignment checked and documented.
The solid model is based on a flexible frame with adjustable fixings, allowing a quick configuration of the car parts and components. Cubing inspection with the FARO solutions enables users to detect production issues early on in the development process of a vehicle so that problematic parts can be easily identified. This procedure is also particularly helpful for supplier support.
The process of manufacturing special aftermarket accessories or customized components can benefit by using the FARO measurement systems as an ideal solution for reverse engineering the source vehicles. Design elements to be modified can be scanned using the FARO optical solutions in order to generate the CAD models that will then form the basis of the design activity.
Prototypes can be created, via traditional methods or 3D Printing and then attached to the source item and further checked by using the FARO solution to ensure that they match the CAD design drawings. Further modifications can be made to the physical prototype directly to improve the fit or enhance the design and then measured again to incorporate any changes into the CAD drawing.
Using the FARO augmented reality technology, digitally designed components can be easily compared, in the virtual domain, to real parts or physical mockups for the first design review and to check the fit.
The next generation of automated probes offer advanced in-process inspection for integration and infrastructure at minimal costs.
The FARO Factory Array Imager is a scanner with extremely high accuracy for contactless measurements which, with its blue-light technology measurement, within seconds computes several million 3D coordinates on component surfaces – regardless of colour, texture, reflectance or ambient light.
Structured light and stereo recordings open up new possibilities in 3D measurement & inspection and reverse engineering. The new optical 3D measurement system by FARO, the FARO Factory Array Imager, combines the two processes and complements them with high-performance 3D processing.
The combination of flexibility, portability, speed and accuracy makes the compact and light FARO Factory Array Imager an ideal but cost-effective solution for 3D data capture or reverse engineering of components or modules in many different industries, such as automotive, aviation and space flight, and mechanical and plant engineering.
The FARO Factory Array 3D Imager is a metrology-grade, non-contact scanner, which utilizes blue light technology to capture millions of high-resolution 3D coordinate measurements in seconds.
Ideal for the production environment and easily deployed within manual or automated manufacturing workflows, Array Imager delivers fast and consistent measurements, independent of the operator, for quality inspection and reverse engineering applications on parts, assemblies, and tools.
Cobalt’s versatility supports a variety of deployment options including rotary stage, industrial robot inspection cells and multiple imager arrays.
Technical key features that support challenging applications include, among other, the following:
> Multiple Imager Arrays: Expand field of view with flexible configurations of multiple Array units operating simultaneously
> On-Board Processing: Delivers fast, reliable performance and ease of integration
> Stereo Cameras: Enable high accuracy, stability and self-monitoring
> Enhanced Stereo Mode: Maximizes coverage area in each scan and shortens inspection time
> Interchangeable Lenses: Provide flexibility for multiple fields of view
The most significant benefits of the new FARO Factory Array 3D Imager:
> Increase productivity by automating measurement workflows
> Multiply productivity with multiple imager arrays
> Real-time 3D data for statistical process control (SPC)
> Measurement accuracy ensured by self-monitoring
> Easy to configure and integrate
> Easy set-up and transport
Do you want to learn more about the FARO Factory Array 3D Imager?
Please click here for more information or contact us by phone 00800-3276-7253
During the next few weeks, we will post more details about the key features of the new FARO Factory Array 3D Imager!
Due to the sheer size of aircraft and their need for careful, aircraft manufacturing has always been difficult.
In the past, large structures such as wings or fuselages were difficult to make alike because there was no good way to measure them. With the advent of the laser tracker, precise, rapid, reproducible measuring over long distances finally became a reality.
A laser tracker can be set up anywhere, in a design studio or factory, and its vast operating range is large enough to capture the wing of the biggest planes ever conceived! Operation of the laser tracker is also simple, making it the perfect tool for tackling the ‘aircraft-sized problems’ of the aerospace industry.
Click here to download the full white paper and more!
This turnkey package is aided greatly by an advanced FARO ScanArm that uses laser and tactile measurement techniques to obtain detailed and high accurate 3D representations of tubes, enabling precise and rapid reverse-engineering. The resulting programs can then be downloaded to British Airways’ new bending machines within minutes.
The all-inclusive Unison solution is based on a semi-manual bender with CNC control and a fully CNC all-electric model, both machines are used extensively throughout the global aerospace industry and able to support a wide range of MRO activities.
The loss of revenue resulting from the grounding of modern aircraft can be astronomical, making fast-turnaround MRO capabilities vital to economic performance.
Unison’s renowned tube bending capability, together with the multiple advantages gained through FARO’s precise measurement and reverse engineering competence will help meet the long-term challenging needs of this vital repair and maintenance workshop.
Unison’s complete measure/program/manufacture MRO package will enable a quick and cost-effective repair of fluid lines on aircraft by reverse engineering parts and then accurately re-creating them in the workshop.
Under the terms of the order from British Airways, Unison is responsible for all aspects of bending machine integration and associated equipment connectivity. As Unison’s Managing Director, Alan Pickering, points out, “This turnkey solution demands tight integration of hardware and software resources to create a seamless production environment for efficient on-demand manufacture of specialist precision parts.
“As FARO is a global leader within the field of portable, precise measurement and is a trusted Unison ‘partner’, we were delighted to include the company’s advanced ScanArm and software as part of this turnkey package. The synergy between the ScanArm’s excellent reverse-engineering capability and Unison’s advanced tube bending machines, results in the perfect all-inclusive package.”
With versatile contact and non-contact measuring capabilities, the innovative ScanArm is ideal for performing rapid reverse-engineering tasks. In addition the popular FARO instrument can utilise CAD overlays to check geometries against design or CAD comparison and evaluate deviations in surface form, ensuring that all inspected parts are manufactured to exact tolerances.
Unison’s proven expertise within the aerospace sector and FARO’s accurate, reliable ScanArm are both guaranteeing a comprehensive package offering for British Airways.
For more information on the FARO ScanArm click here!
One major aspect of automotive and aerospace manufacturing has long been that the critical nature of the final products they build requires their parts and sub-components to be free of defects.
However, the need for manufacturers to keep costs down and efficiency up in order to remain competitive in the marketplace has a negative effect on the manufacturers’ ability to ensure totally defect-free parts.
A check fixture is a device that allows production parts to be inspected by comparing the part to the geometry and features of the fixture. If the part and check fixture fit together, the part is “good”.These check fixtures, used in conjunction with hand tools, have provided a balance between the need to keep costs down and part integrity.
Given that check fixtures are extremely expensive and require a large time investment, it is not surprising that firms are now turning to the latest technology to help them eliminate check fixtures from their processes. Portable CMMs offer the ideal solution for keeping costs down and ensuring defect-free parts. Portable CMMs come in many forms, the most common of which are laser trackers, articulating arms and hand-held 3D Laser Scanners.
The choice of technology is based on the parts being measured and the information you need from the parts, and provides a cheaper alternative to the expense of check fixture. Portable CMMs eliminate the need for storage, maintenance and rework costs for check fixtures not currently in use.
Click here to download the full white paper to read more!
FARO UK is happy to announce that we will be participating at this year’s Aero Engineering 2014!
Now in its 6th year, the ‘Aero Engineering Show’ 2014 will host 200+ specialist aerospace-related exhibitors displaying solutions ranging from materials processing technologies to digital design & manufacturing solutions, from test & measurement to process engineering…and much more.
Aero Engineering gives you the unique opportunity to see the leading technology suppliers & supply chain partners/services supporting current & future aerospace engineering supply chain programmes.
At the event we will show you how you can both save time and improve quality by using our portable 3D measurement equipment such as the FARO Gage, FARO Laser Tracker, FaroArm and the brand new FARO Edge ScanArm HD.
Date: 11-12th November
Stand: G38, Hall 5
Location: NEC, Birmingham
For more information visit the official Aero Engineering website or email firstname.lastname@example.org