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3D Scanning Resolves Quality vs Cycle Time Conundrum

3D Scanning Resolves Quality vs Cycle Time Conundrum

3D Scanning Resolves Quality vs Cycle Time Conundrum

Scanning probe technology is set to have an even more dramatic effect on the industry. Article by Renishaw.

Take a trip back in time, just a quarter of a century ago, and we’d find the automotive sector taking its first tentative steps into on-machine probing. Migration to touch-trigger probe technology went on to have a profound effect on manufacturing efficiency and productivity. Today, scanning probe technology is set to have an even more dramatic effect on the industry.

From Touching to Scanning

Traditionally speaking, touch-trigger probes have predominantly been used for part set-up. While typically only gathering a limited number of data points, they nevertheless made part setting 10 times faster than previous manual methods. Early adopters were quick to realise the advantages of collecting more data to further enhance production processes.

Gathering more data from on-machine probing quickly led to the concept of automated in-process measurement, to help control part-to-part variation. It also enabled the verification of critical features—position, diameters etc. —helping to reduce offline inspection bottlenecks.

Enter 3D scanning probe technology. For automotive manufacturers, whether they be producing combustion engine, hybrid or electric vehicles, it means new capabilities in the accurate and efficient measurement and inspection of complex forms or features—with minimal impact on machine cycle times.

Comparing Technologies

The basic structure of both touch-trigger and 3D scanning probes is compared in Figure 1, respectively, illustrating Renishaw’s OMP60 and OSP60 analogue machine tool probes.

The former incorporates a spring-loaded kinematic mounting of rods and balls to hold the stylus mount. As the push-force on the stylus increases, so does the resistance measured through the kinematics’ circuit. A trigger threshold is reached and trigger signal generated.

The 3D scanning probe is built on Renishaw’s SPRINT technology. In this case, two concentric rings are employed, one fixed to the probe body, the other to the stylus mount. Continuous capacitance measurements between the ring circuits enable the position of the moving stylus tip to be accurately recorded at all times.

More Data. More Speed.

In short, depending on the number of touch-trigger points taken and the machine in question, scanning can be up to ten times faster than touch-trigger. To better quantify its data gathering and speed advantage though, consider its use in a real rough-surface application.

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