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.
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.
What is reverse engineering?
Reverse engineering allows the duplication of an existing product, without having the plans, documents or technical details of the product.
In a classical production procedure, the creator creates a detailed plan, in which the production properties of a product are explained. After that, the product goes into production and is built according to that plan.
Reverse engineering follows a reversed method. First, engineers identify the components of a system, as well as finding out how they all relate to one another in order for the system to work. The object is decomposed to ascertain the inner structure, the function of all parts and the way they operate. The making of a duplicate comprises of discovering the physical dimensions, the functionalities and the material qualities of an object.
After that, the moment has arrived to construct a representation of the system analysis with the aid of a computer. The next final entails the reproduction of the original system with extreme accuracy, following the previously laid out plan.
Why do we need reverse engineering?
This is a classical scenario in which reverse engineering is warranted: A company has a machine, but one of the components has broken down, so it needs to be replaced. However, the manufacturer has ceased production of that machine and all of its parts; they don’t supply spare pieces anymore. The owner of the machine can set up a procedure of reverse engineering of the broken piece, rather than having to buy a new machine.
Reverse engineering allows for shorter delays in product development, because this method can rapidly deliver a replacement for a faulty piece, that can be used in a prototype as equipment or in the production process.
However, reverse engineering has a whole array of uses:
How are objects measured in a reverse engineering procedure?
To recreate an object, you have to ascertain the physical dimensions precisely. If you don’t have extremely accurate object measurements, it is possible that the recreated object won’t work because it is not an exact copy of the original.
It is possible to make these very precise measurements manually, with the help of a marking gauge, a micrometre, or other instruments of that type. In modern reverse engineering however, a tridimensional measuring machine is able to determine the geometrics of an object faster and more accurately than any manual measuring device is capable of.
A tridimensional measuring machine measures on three axels, X, Y and Z, and uses a coordinated system in three dimensions. Every axel has a basis, which determines the position of a point on that axel.
Tridimensional measuring machines use feelers to register a point as soon as the instrument comes in contact with the surface of the object that needs to be measured. Each point is measured individually, until the tridimensional measuring machine has collected enough data to allow the software to determine the length, angles and other geometric information of the object. The machine reads the data that enters through the feelers in function of the instructions that the operator has provided. The XYZ-coordinates of each point are then used to ascertain the size and position. A tridimensional measuring machine can measure the dimensions in two different ways: on the hand through direct contact with the object, on the other hand with the help of a laser scanner. The cloud of gathered points is then converted to recreate the surface of the object. This data print is then sent to a computer programme in order for it to be refined, analysed and expanded.
A solution for the digitalisation of a high resolution Arm for reverse engineering: the Design ScanArm combined with Geomagic software.
In order to answer to the needs of the market while designing a product, FARO has developed the Design ScanArm, a new measuring arm combined with a 3D scanner. This innovation is a digital, portable 3D solution made for 3D modelling in designing and the entire managing process, which lasts for the entire product life span.
The FARO Design ScanArm uses modern blue laser technology with an increased digitalisation speed in order to obtain point clouds with a high resolution and to be able to digitalise existing materials without problems, without having to use sprays and other such materials. The apparatus is very light and easy to move, so it can be placed in a lab or study room with ease. The Design ScanArm has a simplified user interface which allows for an easy use, even for users with limited experience or competence in 3D digitalisation.
Due to the combination of the FARO 3D digitalisation and the possibilities of the modelling software by Geomagic, the Design ScanArm offers a key solution that allows its users to digitalise, recreate and modify existing models or test prototypes quickly and with ease. This solution enables users to quickly transfer digitalised data to computer models, that can still be modified. Once the data is received, you can use the modelling functions in different ways, without having to use any other application.
Reverse engineering is an important discipline that can contribute immensely to the life span of machines by enabling the proprietor of the machine to manufacture spare parts at will, even when these are not in production anymore. Reverse engineering also allows for new pieces to be added, to add additional functions or to eliminate errors.
The simplest, fastest, and easiest-to-use tool to measure and create products in the context of a recreating procedure, is a light-weight, portable tridimensional measuring machine. This tool allows you to measure objects with or without contact. The combination of these advantages that the FARO Design ScanArm offers, gives operators a fast and efficient solution in the present work environment and gives them a competitive advantage.