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.
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 intelligent and comprehensive CNC solutions stand out across the line in a broad range of industries because the machines are designed to guarantee highly dynamic chipping in consistent quality. The increasingly broad range of variations and the resulting quick succession of product cycles present a huge technical challenge when it comes to reliable and flexible processes. Reichenbacher Hamual GmbH relies on vertical integration and the outstanding develop ment skills within their company, which provides them with decisive competitive advantages.
To continue optimizing their production processes and facilitate perfect coordination between speed and precise processing as well as consistent quality with utmost flexibility, Reichenbacher Hamuel GmbH has chosen FARO portable measurement technology. The first FARO Laser Tracker Vantage was purchased in 2013 in order to keep up with the increasing demands in machine assembly. Increasingly large and precise processing machines had to be installed quickly and properly, as well as configured both in house and at customer locations – a routine task for the FARO Laser Tracker.
With this instrument, it was for the first time possible to uncover weak points related to construction and manufacture in all dimensions during assembly and to counteract them accordingly. During the assembly of the machine – some of which were up to 25 meters long – the adjustment of the axles is carried out with the aid of the Laser Tracker. The live display of 3D coordinates.and the levelling function of the Laser Tracker are essential features for the measurement, configuration and subsequent documentation processes.
But the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage can be used in even more ways:
Through the synchronisation of the tracker’s position measurements using the machine control panel, the actuator can be tested and compensated as needed.
The geometric requirements that the customers demand can now be tested and documented independent of machine-specific transmitters. FARO measurement software CAM2 Measure 10 makes this process very easy and intuitive, which also significantly simplifies company communication with customers and suppliers. Linear compensation has thus become an integral part of machine assembly.
Last but not least, the Laser Tracker is still a mobile 3D-coordinate measurement device. For this reason, the Laser Tracker is regularly used to measure large-scale components as they arrive from external suppliers, and for classic quality assurance in production.
Small-scale components, complex milling and cast components, and drive components have been efficiently measured by a FARO Prime measurement arm since 2014. The measurement arm and Laser Tracker complement each other perfectly. In the meantime, the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage is valued by various divisions. This is why the decision was made to purchase an additional FARO Laser Tracker in 2014. The two Laser Tracker Vantage devices now share the workload. One is kept at the Reichenbacher Hamuel GmbH headquarters in Dörfles-Esbach, Germany, while the other is used across the globe for international projects.
EKO MEĐIMURJE d.d. uses the FARO devices for quality control in manufacturing. In particular, using the FARO Laser Tracker ION is used for parts alignment and saves 5 hours of production time per day on a capital intensive SHW milling machine. Many articles have been written highlighting the revolution from bricks and mortar businesses to online shopping, but this is a story of a company that developed a brick that saves mortar, and then reinvented itself to become a metal products manufacturer with a global client base. It’s a story of Croatian innovation.
The common thread in the activities of EKO MEĐIMURJE d.d. is making things better by making them simpler – that’s why they created interlocking oversized house bricks, which save clay, mortar and brick-laying effort. Besides the brick-making plant, the company also has a retail home and garden centre. But when the real estate crisis hit Europe, EKO MEĐIMURJE d.d. wasn’t caught off-guard.
Having developed their own engineering capabilities to update their brick plants, they already had relationships in other industries and an active development department working on new ideas in the area of metal work and machining. Today, EKO has renowned global players like Liebherr, Caterpillar, Wirtgen and Komatsu on their customer list.
Zoran Zdolec, Manager of electrical facilities at EKO MEĐIMURJE, explains “We use ProEngineer CAD software to design the product in accordance with the customers requirements. Then we use modern metal forming tools to create all the parts.” EKO recently invested in two FARO devices, a Laser Tracker ION and a FaroArm Fusion accompanied by FARO CAM2 Measure 10 software and three weeks of training with Filip Donlic from Teximp d.o.o.– the FARO reseller for Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. “Thanks to this investment EKO now has the latest in measuring tools for quality control and product documentation.”
Besides the documentation and quality control uses, EKO made one ROI calculation that really contributed to the investment decision. EKO has a SHW milling machine that is used for large parts. The milling head was equipped with a Renishaw measuring head. When parts were being aligned prior to machining using the Renishaw head, the machine is at a standstill and this process could take up to two hours for a very large part.
Filip Donlic was visiting the factory and saw that there is enough room on the machine table to begin alignment of a second part while the first part is still being milled. He recommended a FARO Laser Tracker ION for this process. “By overlapping the process of parts alignment and part milling, EKO is now saving around five hours of production time per day on this capital-intensive machine,” explains Donlic with satisfaction.
The FARO ION is now used to ensure that each part is perfectly aligned with the machine axis while another part is being finished. Once the milling head is free, the Renishaw can be used to collect a couple of reference points, but this only takes few minutes.
The SHW machine operators are not metrologists, and they work in pairs in three shifts. So the solution had to be very simple to learn and to use: Donlic created an in-software app in CAM2 Measure 10. Now operators can simply follow the on-screen instructions and reference points on the edges of the piece until the app approves the position that has been set.
EKO also uses a FaroArm Fusion for general quality control tasks on its own or in conjunction with the Laser Tracker ION when checking large parts or on parts where features obscure the laser line of sight.
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.
Machined parts have long been reserved for industrial markets. However, they have recently started being used in the construction industry to meet the demands of architects who are continually pushing the boundaries in both their architectural designs and their choice of materials. As a result, building professionals must find different ways of working, breaking their habit of making on-site adjustments, which would be impossible (as machine tools are not portable) or extremely costly for these kinds of parts. Cambium – an industrial company that has diversified into the construction industry – has understood this change perfectly, as Thomas Mermillod, Head of Research and Development at the company, explains: “It is essential for the parts to fit together well, which means it is necessary to have a very precise knowledge of the topography of the site and to position the first pieces with a high degree of accuracy. With the Focus3D laser scanner and FARO Laser Tracker, we are able to meet this challenge.” While new construction is not simple, renovation projects are even more complicated as the geometrical layout of the site is generally notprecisely known.
Cambium was recently faced with this situation when it participated in the renovation of the concert hall in the Maison de la Radio in Paris. Cambium was selected to manufacture and install the wooden panels of the 140 m2 acoustic reflector hanging from the ceiling in the hall. The company made 200 wooden panels, each one unique, with curved shapes and grooves of different shapes and widths. As sound quality is crucial for the reputation of a concert hall, it was imperative to respect every detail of the requirements set out by the acoustics experts (the Japanese firm Nagata Acoustics). “Without the Laser Tracker, we would not have been able to complete this project. We used the tracker to check the panels after manufacture and particularly when positioning the first panel, as this first element is crucial for the arrangement of all the parts of the structure. This long-range tool is very convenient to use: the camera was located on the ground and guided us as we positioned the panels 12 m above ground level. The tool’s range is also ideal for largescale projects, so we were able to work for an entire day without changing its position,” said Thomas Mermillod.
Cambium has been using the FARO Laser Tracker for eight years. The company uses it for the two main tasks for which laser trackers are employed – control and alignment aid. Initially, Cambium also used the tracker for scanning sites and buildings, which was a bit tedious because this required a point-by-point survey. As the Focus v laser scanner automatically creates a point cloud, things have become much easier. The tool proved to be invaluable in the renovation of the concert hall in the Maison de la Radio. It allowed Cambium to create a plan of the architecturally complex hall, which has almost no flat areas (vertical or horizontal) or angles, but many curves. “Another very important aspect of the FARO product range is that it is very easy to use the laser tracker and laser scanner within the same reference framework and using the same software (PolyWorks, in our case),” concludes Thomas Mermillod.
Every minute of every day, in countless towns and cities around the world – including London, Hong Kong, Wellington, New York City, Vancouver and Las Vegas – Alexander Dennis buses carry more than 25,000 passengers. Travellers depend on high quality, reliable and comfortable Alexander Dennis buses as they go about their daily journeys. Routes are covered in conditions ranging from the extremes of tropical heat and humidity of the Far East to the dry heat of the Arizona desert and the intense cold of the Northern winters.
As a supplier of innovative, cost effective products ADL has earned a world-wide reputation for the quality of the company’s vehicles. To help preserve and further develop its stringent quality standards, ADL pursues a policy of continuous improvement. The scrupulous quality standards applied throughout the entire ADL operation are reflected in the company’s principle UK chassis manufacturing centre. Each chassis manufactured in the impressive Guilford plant undergoes meticulous dimensional inspection. As the chassis is a vehicle’s largest structural component, any small inaccuracy or miss-alignment at a given position can be significantly exaggerated in other locations.
Having identified chassis fabrication and inspection as an area where potential efficiencies and quality improvements could be made, Steve Nunn of ADL Guilford searched for a technology that would deliver the required, ease and speed of use and further improve the accuracy capability of the company’s chassis fabrication department. Having considered the alternatives, a Laser Tracker Vantage was purchased from FARO UK.
The FARO Laser Tracker is an extremely accurate, portable coordinate measuring machine that enables users to build products, optimise processes, and deliver solutions by measuring quickly, simply and precisely. Use of the FARO Laser Tracker allows the production of more competitive products, it accelerates improvement initiatives, and delivers high-performing products. With its high accuracy, large measurement range, and advanced features such as MultiView cameras, SmartFind target detection, TruADM, innovative packaging, and a water and dust resistant IP52 rating, the FARO Vantage provides a complete laser tracking solution.
Customers around the world now trust the FARO Laser Tracker to solve their everyday measurement challenges and to resolve their most complex inspection problems. Companies are making considerable saving by completing jobs faster, reducing downtime, eliminating costly scrap, and obtaining accurate, consistent and reportable measurement data.
The F-35 program brings together the world’s most experienced aerospace industry leaders, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Pratt and Whitney. The global team also includes more than 1,400 suppliers from 46 U.S. states and companies from 10 other countries around the world. This landmark project combines team expertise with sophisticated manufacturing, engineering and technological capabilities.
Among the mix is one of our own. A FARO Laser Tracker Vanatge, which is used in order to ensure precision during the construction and alignment of the F-35 wings. Misalignments can cause machine downtime and significantly decrease machine performance; however, portable CMM’s such as our FARO Laser trackers and FARO measuring arms can help to mitigate these issues.
If you would like to watch the full video, where you can catch a glimpse of our FARO Laser Tracker Vantage at work on the F-35 production line click here. Or for more details about our other FARO products then visit our website.