To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the motor car in 2036, FARO along with other key stakeholders have formed a private partnership named ARENA2036. The main objective of ARENA2036 is to prepare the the way for the automotive production of the future in order.
The factory of the future must be able to optimise itself in order to be more flexible and agile than the current rigid production lines. FARO innovation manager, Dr. Denis Wohfeld is organising the Digital Shadow project which involves an updated actual model of reality that can enable the planning and simulation of the factory of the future. He believes that this can be done by having sensors that scan the shop floor and also access the IT systems from the whole network and hardware installations. This will allow the data to flow together to form one model, a virtual representation of the entire factory.
In order for the factory to evolve with Industry 4.0, expert measuring and imaging technology to support the reshaping of production processes and working environments is required. FARO offers a wide variety of high precision solutions including tactile measuring arms and laser scan technology for the non-contact recording of objects. In addition to the measuring technology, FARO also offers various software solutions that provide a platform for integrated communication between all measuring systems as well as interfaces to all common software applications. This allows users to record measured data very quickly in multi-sensory mode, helping organisations to cut costs for system integration.
The technology that FARO provides can strengthen companies at wage-intensive locations and therefore secure jobs. Moreover, by relieving employees of monotonous routine tasks that can be hazardous to their health, freedom is created for areas of work that requires their creativity such as product development.
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, 3D Systems and Canon 3D Printing, will be co-hosting a Scan2Print event on Thursday 4th May 2017.
Taking place at the Canon Open Experience Centre, Uxbridge. the free event’s program will focus on the exciting opportunities delivered by the latest 3D Printing and 3D Scanning technologies, to enhance the efficiency of product design processes.
Real life customer examples will illustrate how informed manufacturers, engineers, and product designers are combining 3D Scanning and 3DPrinting to achieve record levels of productivity, efficiencies, and cost-reductions.
FARO’s advanced 3D solutions enables fully digital workflows by capturing real world geometry for the purposes of empowering design. The company’s advanced technologies allow innovations to be realised, faster design cycles to be completed, and not least, they enable users to become more competitive.
Date: 4th May 2017
Time: 9:30am – 2pm
Location: Canon Open Experience Centre, Uxbridge
Click here to view the Agenda.
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.
FARO are delighted to announce the launch of the new Vantage Laser Tracker product line. The new FARO® Laser Tracker Vantage product family sets a new price/performance standard for addressing challenges in large-scale metrology including, but not limited to, assembly alignment, part and assembly inspection, machine installation and alignment, and reverse engineering.
The FARO Vantage product family consists of two high performance models, the VantageE with an operating range of 25 meters and the VantageS with an operating range of 80 meters. Both compact models offer industry leading portability with an integrated master control unit (MCU), hot swappable batteries that eliminate the need for AC power and cabling, and industrial grade Wi-Fi for reliable, wireless communications. This set of advanced features, along with a single carrying case, enables easy transport between job sites and/or locations within the factory by a single user.
The FARO VantageS and VantageE Laser Trackers are extremely accurate, portable coordinate measuring machines that enable you to build products, optimize processes, and deliver solutions by measuring quickly, simply and precisely. These Laser Trackers optimize workflow productivity management for large-scale metrology applications including, but not limited to, assembly alignment, part and assembly inspection, machine installation and alignment, and reverse engineering.
You can also view the full Press Release Here.
Rugby UK, 21st November 2016 – FARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FARO): FARO UK are celebrating the successful debuts of two advanced new products at the FARO UK Laser Technology Event
FARO UK recently hosted a successful Laser Technology Event at the company’s impressive new, Rugby based headquarters. Visitors to the well-attended event were able to witness impressive demonstrations of the latest FARO technologies that are intended for large-volume surface inspection and large scale laser-guided assembly and production.
New FARO laser innovations on display included the FARO VectorRI imaging laser radar, featuring the world’s only LIDAR with High Speed Imaging technology (HSI). The advanced VectorRI is an ultra-high speed, large-volume, non-contact 3D measurement solution with high-resolution 3D imaging and projection guidance for both manual and automated manufacturing processes.
In addition, the new FARO TracerM laser projector, intended for laser-guided assembly and production, was also demonstrated. Eliminating physical templates, the innovative new FARO product allows operators to quickly and accurately position components with absolute confidence.
Attendees from industries such as civil engineering, automotive and both rail and aerospace manufacturing were extremely impressed by the precise, large-volume capabilities of FARO’s advanced new technologies. FARO staff are now busy following-up the many leads generated at the event and performing on-site demonstration of the company’s new products.
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 company GTR has built a business that is now firmly established as a leading composite part supplier to the demanding motorsport market.
With regards to ease of use and impressive accuracy, GTR preferred the quality of the point clouds created by the Edge ScanArm HD when scanning.
So the FARO Edge ScanArm has helped GTR to perform a range of non-contact 3D inspection routines and to accurately capture complex and free-form surface data as a detailed 3D point cloud.
When asked about ways to improve racing cars’ performance, Colin Chapman, the founder of the iconic Lotus brand replied. “Simplify, then add lightness”. If he was alive today the innovative designer would be fascinated to see the practical application of his tongue in cheek advice, with the widespread adoption of composites throughout the world of motorsport.
The extraordinary strength to weight ratio of composite materials has enabled F1 and other series to design cars that use semi-monocoque chassis, wings, spoilers, and other parts, made from composites materials that are significantly lighter and stronger. This results in cars that are both faster and safer.
Motorsport’s transition to the use of composites as a preferred material has been aided by a small number of highly specialised companies that have the required levels of composite design and production expertise.
One such concern is GTR, the company’s founders, John Biddlecombe and Simon Kingdon-Butcher, have built a business that is now firmly established as a leading composite part supplier to the demanding motorsport market. In addition GTR now supplies the aerospace, defence, marine and automotive markets.
As many composite parts are manufactured to demanding dimensional tolerances to ensure engineering reliability and best possible aerodynamic characteristics, they present a range of problems to the metrology industry. Not only must measuring equipment exhibit the required levels of accuracy and repeatability, the dynamic nature and the continuous evolution of designs within the F1 and the aerospace market demands speed of inspection and instant data capture
Troy Hull, GTR Quality Manager explained. “Our knowledge of the use of composite within motorsport is second to none. We manufacture everything from chassis, suspension, wing assemblies and bodywork to the smallest of fairings. Now, the vast experience we have gained in this most demanding of areas has enabled GTR to gain contracts for the manufacture of composite components, mouldings and assemblies for other challenging sectors such as the defence, aerospace, automotive and gas and oil industries.
“In addition to the quality of our work, a major factor in GTR’s success is our ability to react quickly to our customers’ needs. Having invested in the best available design systems including Catia V5 and Siemens NX CAD, we are able to rapidly take all projects from concept to fully designed products tooling and on to manufacture. Our first-class production facilities, such as our 3.0M diameter autoclave, one of the five we have on site, and state-of-the-art clean rooms also add to the speed of our service.
“In accordance with our policy of providing our customers with premium quality components as quickly as possible, we recently searched for a measuring technology that would both enhance our accuracy capability and further increase our inspection throughput speed.
“Having looked at several other alternatives, we purchased an Edge ScanArm HD from FARO. In addition to its ease of use and impressive accuracy, we preferred the quality of the point clouds created by the Edge ScanArm HD when scanning. Compared to other systems, the FARO product also performed much better when scanning across a range of materials with different colours and reflective properties.
“Following a short training course, four of our operators were able to quickly understand the Edge ScanArm’s basic operation. Then, as it is so easy to use, they gained further knowledge in everyday use. All are now extremely proficient in the Edge ScanArm’s use.
“We use the FARO Edge ScanArm HD to perform a range of non-contact 3D inspection routines and to accurately capture complex and free-form surface data as a detailed 3D point cloud. We scan a wide variety of components, including items such as 5 meter aerospace wings and F1 gearbox components, down to the smallest of parts. Through the use of our ScanArm we are able to undertake first article inspection and to precisely digitise previously difficult to inspect features such as flush and gap. In addition to being quick and accurate, as FARO laser scanning is so easy to perform, we are able to verifying the most awkward of features and to include their dimensions in 3D documentation and comprehensive, easy to understand inspection reports.
“We also use the FARO Edge ScanArm HD to check components’ complex geometries against design or CAD comparison to ensure that their surface forms remain within tolerance. Additionally, on the rare occasion that no CAD files or drawings exist, we sometimes need to reverse engineer parts. The ScanArm allows us to perform a rapid scanning routine and to digitise a part and create a fully surfaced accurate CAD model for future use.
“Our Edge ScanArm HD has lived-up to each of the promises made by FARO. It has further enhanced our inspection precision levels, speeded-up our measuring routines and vastly improved our component data capture capability.”
The FARO Edge ScanArm HD combines the flexibility and the functionalities of a FARO Edge measuring Arm with the high-definition Laser Line Probe HD creating a powerful contact/non-contact portable measurement system that is ideal for challenging application requirements. It delivers rapid point cloud collection with extreme resolution and high accuracy without the need for any special coatings or target placement – all in a compact and easy-to-use system.
The systems extra wide scan stripe and fast frame rate boosts productivity by increasing coverage and reducing scanning time. Intricate components can be captured in fine detail as a result of the 2,000 actual points per scanline and the new blue laser featuring noise reduction technology. Users are able to dramatically reduce required training time with the new crosshair feature and existing LED Rangefinder functionality, which provides real-time scanning feedback.
The Edge ScanArm HD is a most affordable, high performance contact/non-contact measurement system and is ideal for a wide range of situations, including product development, inspection, and quality control and offers capabilities such as point cloud comparison with CAD, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, and 3D modelling of free-from surfaces.
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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.
Stampinox S.r.l., a leading company in the hot-forged special fasteners sector, is located in Merone, Italy, halfway between Como and Lecco. It manufactures fasteners with no dimension limits and with diameters as small as M6 (metric system) or ¼” (imperial system), in alloy and stainless steels, titanium, duplex, super duplex and special alloys and materials.
Highly qualified personnel carry out control activities using inspection and testing systems and up-to-date procedures. The use of control instruments capable of preventing the waste of materials and time is also fundamental. “In recent years,” Stefano Marelli explains, “many of our clients have started requesting fasteners with increasingly strict tolerances to be used on parts with shapes and dimensions that are very difficult to measure. With traditional measurement instruments, it was extremely laborious to check measurements and concentricity, planarity and linearity rations on elements that are so small and, at times, also difficult to reach. We also tried out other types of solutions, such as mechanical sensors and probes, but we were never completely satisfied”.
Stampinox therefore decided to acquire a more technologically advanced instrument, the FARO Edge portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM). Stefano Marelli explained: “We have found the FARO Edge to be the ideal instrument to meet our needs. It is capable of easily checking product quality using 3D inspections and measurements, dimensional analysis and CAD comparisons. It is also much more flexible than other 3D measurement devices: it can be used in the metrology room as well as on-machine right in the workshop. This last feature is particularly useful and convenient, since it enables us to speed up in-process as well as end-of-process controls. That saves us precious time.”
The FARO Edge measurement arm uses next-generation technology to guarantee top-of-the-line performance and reliability. Users will also find the device even simpler to use due to its integrated computer touchscreen. Stefano Marelli continued: “It was quite straightforward to begin using the measurement arm at our company. The FARO technicians who worked alongside us during the initial period of training and support helped us to appreciate how easy it is to use. It is no coincidence that the FARO Edge is used not only by measurement personnel, but also by other non-specialist staff.”
Today, about one year since it was purchased, the FARO Edge has become an indispensable tool in the Stampinox workshop. Stefano Marelli stated: “When it comes to verifying tolerances in particular, this instrument provides extremely high levels of repeatability and accuracy, fully in line with the objectives we had set for ourselves. However, it is especially the measurement acquisition speed that has left us absolutely satisfied: with the FARO device, the speed of control operations has increased considerably, typically by around 20-30%.” To sum up, as confirmed by Stefano Marelli, this device has turned out to be an important and crucial investment for Stampinox: “The FARO Edge has allowed us to take a significant step forward, as it enables us to sell complex products that we previously had the technical capability of manufacturing, but were not able to measure adequately.”