Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division launched LightRunner, an advanced positioning tool that transforms automated 3D optical measurement by eliminating mapping time during the setup and measurement of parts. 3D optical measurement systems enable manufacturers to rapidly capture rich data sets from large surfaces and assembly features for defect detection and process control, making them essential in industries including automotive and aerospace. Until now such systems typically required a lengthy mapping process during setup, with each new part referenced by the placement of markers before automated measurement could begin.
This approach is time-consuming, so Hexagon has developed LightRunner’s patented pattern projection technique and advanced software algorithms to improve productivity and shorten cycle times by removing mapping and robot stabilisation time. LightRunner automatically projects millions of reference points on to a part’s surface to provide constant absolute positioning for high-speed, non-contact, 3D optical measurement systems, providing confidence in the results without the need for CMM correlations. The LightRunner solution also accelerates initial part programming and eliminates the need to store reference panels or the use of reference frames on the fixtures, reducing operator workload and minimising training requirements for shop-floor users.
Fernando Funtowicz, Senior Product Manager, explained: “Manufacturers are increasingly turning to fully-automated 3D optical measurement systems to help them digitally transform production, gain greater insight into their processes and build on their investments to develop faster, more accurate techniques that drive productivity. LightRunner removes some of the major challenges of implementing automated 3D optical measurement, enabling more manufacturers to benefit from the rich data capture it offers. This system has a major effect on the utilisation and productivity of automated optical measurement and enables better process control without the need to buy new tooling, fixtures or robots.”
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