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.
After 112 years, the Natural History Museum, London have decided to remove the iconic Dippy the Diplodocus. The specimen will be replaced with the real skeleton of a blue whale that was found on an Irish beach in 1891. Dippy will now embark on a UK tour around 8 venues.
The FARO Focus was used by the team to capture the surface detail of the whole specimen while it was in a mounted position. The task was particularly difficult as the specimen was made up of many different components therefore multiple scans had to be taken from different angles. It took approximately two hours to scan the whole skeleton. The scan data will give scientists the opportunity to learn more about the skeleton and help conservators to move the dinosaur safely around the country.
In addition to this, the FARO ScanArm HD was used to scan the real bones belonging to the blue whale. The reason behind scanning the blue whale was that the Natural History Museum needs to have a digital representation of it should anything unanticipated happen to the real skeleton. The skeleton of the blue whale is one of a kind and almost invaluable. Consequently, the Natural History Museum needs to have as much information about it as possible as this would help them to repair or reconstruct it if it was ever damaged. This project is the first of a huge project that is planned between FARO and the Natural History Museum.
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.
At this year’s Intergeo in Hamburg, FARO® presented numerous new and enhanced products to its architecture, engineering and construction customers. Intergeo attendees were able to see first-hand the Laser Scanner FocusS Laser Scanner, the Freestyle3D Objects Handheld Scanner, SCENE, PointSense Software and the newly announced Mobil Mapping Solution, the Road Scanner C.
Generating the most interest and enthusiasm was the new Laser Scanner FocusS which was the highlight at the FARO booth and was visualized on a big screen multiple times. The FocusS is the most recent member of FARO’s popular laser scanner product line, which compliments the functionality of its latest Focus3D predecessors, adding several customer-centric features. An extended scanning range (150 m and 300 m), an extended operating temperature (-20° C to +55° C), the industry standard Ingress Protection (IP) rating classification IP54, an innovative accessory bay and a built-in compensation routine all provide AEC professionals with enhanced versatility and efficiency in the field. With a larger and luminous touch-screen the FocusS offers easy operation and its weight is more than 20% lighter in comparison to the previous generation models.
For precise scanning of mid-range measurement volume, FARO presented the new powerful Freestyle3D Objects Handheld Scanner as an Early Adopter Product to trade show visitors. Primarily designed for the Product Design market, the device also provides AEC professionals with a solution for 3D capturing medium-size MEP components and historical artifacts such as relics and sculptures. With a scanning range of 0.3 to 0.8 meter, the FARO Freestyle3D Objects captures scan data quickly in detailed colour and is suitable for different ambitious measurement tasks.
With the releases of FARO SCENE 6.2, customers could gain an insight into how the new on-site compensation tool is supported software based. Next to gaining information on the workflow of verifying and adjusting the scanner’s compensation parameters, customers learned how to generate a comprehensive compensation document automatically.
Trade show visitors that have been searching for solutions to efficiently process their laser scanning data, were able to see the introduction of the new PointSense Software programs. FARO has introduced new powerful tools for the modeling and alignment of building and plant components based on point cloud data, such as the new SmartSnap command in PointSense for AutoCAD and the extraction of MEP pipes in PointSense for Revit®.
Finally, attendees were amazed with the introduction of the new Road Scanner C, FARO’s first mobile mapping application, addressing customers in the infrastructure field with a state-of-the-art documentation solution. Realized as a joint project with the partner SITECO, FARO® will concentrate on the hardware sale.
Intergeo proved to be an extremely successful event for FARO which included three days on the trade show floor filled with positive customer feedback, numerous new contacts and insightful ideas for future product developments.
FARO’s Super 6DoF package combines all the capabilities of 3D Measurement Arm and Laser Tracker technology to create an integrated 3D measurement system that is the industry’s only 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF)* solution that completely eliminates line-of-sight challenges and significantly expands measurement range while maintaining superior accuracy.
Benefits to Existing Users:
If you already use a Laser Tracker, adding the FaroArm will eliminate line-of-sight restrictions and will provide fast, high-resolution 3D scanning to easily measure difficult to reach features and surfaces.
If you already use a FaroArm, adding the Laser Tracker will expand the Arm’s working volume so it can be quickly positioned with greater accuracy.
The Super 6DoF package provides greater capability and value with a turnkey bundle that includes two separate portable coordinate measurement machines (PCMM) and leading 6DoF capabilities.
*6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF): A specific parameter count for the number of degrees of freedom an object has in three-dimensional space.
BuildIT Software & Solutions Ltd. is a leader in process-configurable 3D metrology software solutions with hardware agnostic interfaces.
By adding BuildIT Software to its metrology portfolio, FARO customers now have even greater software options for use in a variety of 3D metrology manufacturing applications to reduce inspection and assembly times and increase productivity.
BuildIT Software delivers an ideal solution for large-volume metrology and configurable in-process metrology. Rooted in the Aerospace industry, the software has optimized workflows for jig and tool building, real-time assembly, and alignment work.
BuildIT’s highly-configurable and flexible workflow automation capabilities are perfect for your specific automation needs. From building a repeatable process for use with a portable metrology device, to creating a process for an in-line metrology solution, BuildIT’s automation suite is there for you. Process creation can be as simple as recording your measurement process as you perform it, or extremely complex and powerful, using our advanced process editor. It is designed to be configurable to your workflow, whether that is a small shop floor or a huge in-line factory.
Rugby, United Kingdom, 9 June, 2016 – FARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:FARO), 3D technologies open up chances for industrial production, which have by no means been exploited to the full so far. Be it the mapping of existing facilities and buildings, measures for quality assurance or intelligent production planning and control – 3D technologies help to increase productivity and efficiency in all of these areas.
Experts and interested parties from all over Europe will be discussing future potential and practical experiences at the next FARO 3D Conference, which will take place on 3rd and 4th November 2016 at the Kraftwerk Rottweil. This networking event offers exclusive insight into the latest developments of the world’s leading provider of measurement and imaging technology. With talks, workshops and presentations, FARO wants to introduce the entire bandwidth of application possibilities of its hard and software products.
The conference participants can discover for themselves with the help of numerous hands-on training activities, just how simply and precisely 3D objects can be scanned and how quickly the data can be processed. Experienced users of the 3D technologies will highlight some best-practice examples and provide valuable tips and tricks for getting the most from the FARO product portfolio.
FARO specialists Dr. Bernd-Dietmar Becker, Chief Technology Strategist and Oliver Bürkler, Director Product Management, will take a look at the factory of the future in their visionary plenary lecture. “We provide the participants with an exciting overview of the latest product ideas from the FARO lab”, says Dr. Bernd Dietmar Becker, “and offer them a platform for discussing visionary ideas and strategies with experts and opinion leaders from the 3D arena.”
A ‘Call for Papers’ has been issued by the company so that interested parties can help to shape the 3D conference. The conference will be held in English.
More information can be found here.
As part of its services to clients especially those in the gas and electricity sector, ARGON offers measuring solutions to determine when maintenance of its devices is necessary. Careful decisions regarding maintenance have to be as cost effective as possible.
Before going over to the FARO Edge ScanArm and FARO Laser Tracker, ARGON saw that the previous hardware that was offered didn´t meet ARGON´s requirements according to Stijn De Leener, Finance, HR and Administration at ARGON: “The previous devices were too difficult to handle for our engineers and especially for the clients. In addition, the point cloud was too small for our line of work and the accuracy needed improvement since the more accurate you can be, the better informed your decisions can be. Because of this we made the switch to the FARO Edge ScanArm and this in combination with the FARO Laser Line Probe has brought spectacular results.”
3D CORROSION SCANNING WITH THE FARO EDGE SCANARM
As part of its pipeline integrity management, a main independent operator of both the natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure in Belgium monitors corrosion on its gas transport pipelines with the help of ARGON and the FARO ScanArm. 3D scanning increases the accuracy of the corrosion measurements, leading to better informed decisions and lower repair costs. Quantification of this corrosion is not easy since pipes are curved and corroded spots have complex shapes. Traditional measurement methods like calipers are often unusable and very conservative, giving less accurate values of the corrosion state. Using the FARO ScanArm, ARGON is able to make a 3D copy of a corroded area.