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Portable 3D Metrology: Combating Common Challenges In Large Parts And Assemblies

Portable 3D Metrology: Combating Common Challenges in Large Parts and Assemblies

When it comes to metrology, here’s how customers can boost confidence, accelerate delivery timelines, and reduce scrap and rework rates all at once. Article by Jim Cassady and Jutta Mayer, FARO Technologies.

In the world of manufacturing, dimensional control is fundamental to successful part assembly. It determines part-to-part variation, establishes part-to-CAD comparison to check whether specs are met, and ensures proper final fit. Beyond getting part geometries right, however, there are additional reasons for maintaining standards in accordance with design specifications.

Investing in precision equipment for measuring and aligning components helps ensure that everything fits the first time around without any unnecessary rework, saving time, and other resources for a company. Further, more serious consequences such as equipment failure or production delays can be avoided when alignment, measurements, and inspections are conducted properly and at appropriate phases of production.

A ‘Greater’ Need for Precision

For industries such as aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, heavy equipment manufacturing, and many others that handle large components and assemblies, measurement and alignment tasks are a considerable challenge in the overall production process. On the surface, these challenges may not seem too different from what most manufacturers typically encounter. Yet, the difficulties, as well as the consequences of missed specifications, are magnified owing to the size of the objects being built.

Manufacturers that handle large workpieces would candidly share that as product size increases and part geometry grows more complex, it becomes harder for them to perform measurements and inspections accurately. Conventional hand tools such as rules, gauges, calipers, micrometers, squares, and protractors are effective up to a point, but they are also demanding in terms of time and operator skill, often making them prone to human error.

The use of large, fixed coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) in quality labs is impractical as many workpieces cannot be moved to the lab for measurement and inspection. For example, if a ship is dry-docked for a limited time for retrofitting purposes, transporting parts that would fit on a CMM into a quality lab would not be practical. In addition, fixed CMMs are limited in terms of the size of the parts they can inspect and become costly in large working volumes.

Portable 3D Technology to the Rescue

Portable 3D coordinate measurement devices have long become the choice solution among manufacturers for large-volume measurement, as they combine accuracy with flexibility. Compared to conventional hand tools, portable 3D technology offers manufacturers a much higher level of precision, efficiency, and productivity all at once. Unlike fixed CMMs, these solutions require much less capital investment at the onset and are robust enough to perform even in a non-controlled environment, such as on the production floor, in a dry-dock or hangar.

The resulting ability to deploy measurement devices right where the manufacturing process takes place accelerates execution timelines and allows manufacturers to deliver quality products with greater confidence. What this means for large-part manufacturers is that, instead of settling for hand tools or a bulky fixed CMM set-up, they can opt for alternatives that offer the right mix of performance, cost, and flexibility.

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API And COORD3 Partners For Industrial 3D Metrology Solutions

API and COORD3 Partners For Industrial 3D Metrology Solutions

Automated Precision Europe GmbH (API) has further improved their distribution channels by entering a new partnership in Italy for its Radian Laser Tracker system products and accessories. In addition to their long-time partner Microservice S.r.l., API Radian products will now also be sold by COORD3 in Italy with immediate effect. COORD3, with its expertise in 3D coordinate measuring technology, provides ideal conditions for successful consulting and support of interested parties and customers.

Fulvio Valenziano, Regional Manager at COORD3, summarises the basis of the cooperation: “Best in class technology from the inventor of laser tracking, now through COORD3, is brought even closer to the Italian customer base.”

“Combining the measurement system know-how of COORD3 with API’s innovative product portfolio complements each other perfectly. Aligning the global API network close to every customer through local presence is part of our proven ‘globallylocal’ customer orientation,” added Jan-Hendrik Lott, General Manager of API in Europe.

API offers innovative mobile 3D measurement technology solutions through on-site measurement services, calibration of Laser Trackers, and an attractive rental program for immediate availability. Thanks to a Virtual Showroom, online demos of the products are available at short notice for customers in Italy and around the world.

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Creaform Releases Optical CMM Scanner MetraSCAN BLACK

Creaform Releases Optical CMM Scanner MetraSCAN BLACK

Creaform has released its latest version of the MetraSCAN 3D lineup, the company’s advanced optical CMM scanner designed specifically to perform metrology-grade 3D measurements and inspections. As the fastest and most accurate portable optical CMM scanner, the MetraSCAN BLACK can be seamlessly integrated in any quality control, quality assurance, inspection, MRO, or reverse engineering workflow and operated by users of any skill level in any type of environment.

The MetraSCAN BLACK dimensional metrology system has been developed to measure complex parts and assemblies from an array of industries and manufacturing processes, such as automobile, aeronautics, power generation, heavy industry, metal casting, metal forging, sheet metal, plastic injection, composites, etc.

 

Featuring unmatched performance and speed for optimized 3D measurements

  • 4X faster: Featuring 15 blue laser crosses for larger scanning area that take up to 1,800,000 measurements per second and live meshing, ultimately cutting down the time between acquisition and workable files.
  • 4X resolution: MetraSCAN BLACK features a measurement resolution of 0.025 mm (0.0009 in) to generate highly detailed scans of any object.
  • More accurate and traceable measurements: High accuracy of 0.025mm, based on VDI/VDE 2634 part 3 standard and tested in a ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, ensures complete reliability and full traceability to international standards.
  • Shop floor accuracy: The MetraSCAN BLACK features a unique and patented dynamic referencing that compensates for surroundings instabilities.
  • Maximum versatility: Masters complex, shiny and highly detailed parts
  • No warm-up time: Operators can be up-and-running in minutes.
  • Touch probing capability:  When paired with the HandyPROBE, the MetraSCAN BLACK lets users harness the power of both 3D scanning and probing for a complete, streamlined inspection process.
  • Available in BLACK and BLACK|Elite: Customers can choose from two models based on their needs: speed, part complexity, accuracy, etc.

“Today’s manufacturers are facing tremendous challenges. They are under increased pressure to accelerate their time to market in order to remain competitive on the global scale. Product quality issues impact scrap rate, production ramp-up, production rate, and downtime, ultimately affecting production costs and overall profitability. Manufacturers need to rely on innovative 3D measurement technologies, like the MetraSCAN 3D, in order to refine their product development and quality control processes,” explained Guillaume Bull, Product Manager at Creaform.

“This new version of the MetraSCAN 3D takes dimensional measurement speed, accuracy and versatility to a whole new level. We believe manufacturers will appreciate its performance within their workflows.”

 

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FARO Launches Latest 3D Portable Gage CMM

FARO Launches Latest 3D Portable Gage CMM

FARO Technologies, Inc. has released its most affordable and accurate 3D portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM): The FARO Gage. Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses performing high-accuracy tasks, the Gage is the most intuitive, ergonomic, and versatile articulated portable FaroArm, enabling machine shops to perform their most demanding 3D inspections in record time.

The all-in-one-solution also reduces calibration costs and minimizes clutter, replacing traditional hand tools such as calipers, micrometers, and height gauges, while providing 20 percent more reach than the previous-generation Gage arm. Lightweight and portable but with the precision of a lab instrument and the ruggedness of a shop floor device, the Gage sets up in seconds, reduces inspection time, and delivers quality results with exceptional flexibility, resulting in increased speed and productivity.

“When it comes to measurement equipment value; accuracy, portability, speed and affordability matter,” said Michael Carris, Ph.D., Vice President of Product Marketing at FARO. “Too often machine shops rely on expensive and hard-to-use fixed CMMs that take up valuable floor space or a multitude of hand tools that slow down the process. The Gage eliminates these inefficiencies. As a result, inspection bottlenecks are greatly reduced, measurement accuracy is improved, and operator variability is significantly minimized.”

As the United States and the world begin emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the value proposition for such a product could not be clearer. While global industry is presently suppressed, economists predict a robust recovery by Q3 and Q4. That means that many machine shops now operating at half speed will rapidly ramp up production. Demand will surge and products will require fast-tracked release.

The FARO Gage achieves this aim by improving efficiency and productivity like never before. That efficiency begins with setup. A universal quick mount ensures compatibility with a variety of mounting options that allows it to be set it up anywhere, including on-machine. A simple 2-button design, 6-point articulation and built-in counterbalance deliver exceptional ease of use and fatigue-free operation. Its compact design makes the product lightweight and easy to transport. The Gage is compatible with FARO’s full line of metrology software, including CAM2 Probing, the simple contact measurement solution. The result is an advanced metrology device that delivers unparalleled performance.

“Small and medium size operations can now take full advantage of 3D measurement technology,” Carris added. “For machine shops, quality problems, imprecise measurement, scrapped parts, extended wait times and customers part rejections all contribute to unnecessary expenses that become more critical during these trying economic times. The FARO Gage allows for more streamlined processes, significant waste reduction, and quick return on investment. Backed by FARO’s 40-year history of superior portable measurement experience, Gage allows more companies to benefit from lean manufacturing practices and will be employing the new industry standard in compact performance and affordability.”

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Creating A Digital Workflow: Reverse Engineering Farm Equipment With 3D Scanning

Creating a Digital Workflow: Reverse Engineering Farm Equipment with 3D Scanning

Here’s how one company was able to streamline its reverse engineering process and carve out a competitive advantage in their market. Article by Andrei Vakulenko, Artec 3D.

There are multiple reasons a manufacturer would need to reverse engineer an existing object. From recreating an original item to enhancing designs to creating entirely new products, the process of reverse engineering can help manufacturers improve their production processes and enhance product effectiveness. In fact, the ability to break down an object to see how it was created can often be a capability that entire businesses or specific services are based around – this was certainly the case for Taylor Attachments.

Taylor Attachments is a UK company that custom-designs and produces tractor headstock conversion brackets. These include attachments for farm handlers and loaders used for mounting everything from buckets to forks, grapples, saws, carriers, bale stabbers, grabbers, hitches, backhoes, tillers, yard scrapers, and more. Clients of Taylor Attachments also send them legacy equipment—equipment that is outdated, obsolete, or no longer in production—which Taylor’s specialists precisely measure and reproduce using the latest materials and technologies.

READ: A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time

In the past, this reverse engineering process was 100 percent manual, which meant a long seven to 12 hours of making sketches using rulers, callipers, pens, and pencils to trace out each machine part and component on cardboard and paper, before creating mock-up prototypes for testing. The entire process entailed cross-referencing and double-checking that would take anywhere from seven days up to two to three weeks (and was prone to human error as well). In total, it required one to three  weeks to create design specs for each part, throwing a huge delay into their production workflow if a prototype did not fit right away. Although spending up to three weeks per part may seem like an extended amount of time, it is the current industry average, and a timeline that many still struggle with today.

While Taylor might not have much competition in this area, many similar businesses are still using the old process described above, or a similar workflow, for their in-house manufacturing of replacement headstocks. With the help of the latest technology, Taylor saw the potential to move ahead of other businesses and carve out a competitive advantage in their market.

“The requirement to manufacture more of these products from varying sources meant that we were going to tie up far too many man hours along with encountering possible inaccuracies to make it viable,” said Mark Taylor, president of Taylor Attachments.

Upgrade Needed

The team at Taylor Attachments knew that this arduous process—requiring lots of fine-tuning before each product was ready to be shipped to the client’s doorstep—needed upgrading. Taylor had already made the transition to 3D CAD software, using SOLIDWORKS from Dassault Systemes. In researching new ways to improve their reverse engineering process, the Taylor Attachments team was introduced to Europac 3D, a company that specialises in everything 3D, including software, printers, and structured white-light scanners. Europac 3D helped Taylor Attachments make the call to extend its 3D workflow by adding 3D scanner technology from Artec 3D to accelerate its design cycles and increase the accuracy of its projects. Europac 3D recommended the Artec Eva, a 3D scanner used for capturing medium-sized objects such as an alloy wheel or a motorcycle exhaust system quickly and precisely.

READ: Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

When Taylor Attachments first implemented the Artec Eva into their reverse engineering workflow, they noticed improvements right away. The 3D scanning process works by flashing a grid pattern of light over an object, where it becomes distorted across the object’s surface topography. The distorted pattern is then reflected back to the scanner, where it is measured. Each flash of light provides XYZ points or polygons. As the object is scanned from various angles, the data from the multiple flashes are fused together using mathematical algorithms to create a digital model. So, instead of manually measuring and drawing parts, the Taylor Attachments team gained the ability to scan and create an exact digital 3D model of each part. With all of Taylor’s replacement headstocks being designed in-house and sold both nationwide and abroad to leaders in agriculture and industry, minimising their turnaround time so dramatically has made an immense difference—both the volume of work they’ve been able to take on and manage, as well as maintaining the utmost levels of quality that they’ve been famous for.

“Eva has literally saved us days if not weeks of work, and that’s no exaggeration,” said Taylor. “Previously we were spending all that time creating prototypes to test, then that many more hours on alterations to reach the level of perfect, compared to now achieving perfection the first time, and every time, with Eva.”

Streamlined Workflow

The new integrated workflow created using Artec Eva and SOLIDWORKS has completely overhauled Taylor Attachments’ manual processes. Aside from just the time savings with 3D scanning, there were other bottlenecks with syncing the manual measuring process to the 3D CAD work, including difficulties building relationships with other profiles on the same part, especially if there were no common features to link to. This hurdle has been easily dealt with via 3D scanning.

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Taylor says, “Now with Eva, it takes only about 20 minutes to scan an entire headstock, then another 20 minutes to post process everything in Artec Studio, and after that the 3D model from Studio is sent over to our in-house design team. What they do is use the Xtract3D add-in for SOLIDWORKS to create a beautiful, highly-precise 3D model that’s 100 percent ready for production.”

After this process, the model is immediately sent over to one of Taylor Attachments’ laser cutting partners, all of whom work to the highest standards. For each individual project, everything from start to finish takes less than 24 hours, a drastic difference compared to the seven days to 2-3 weeks it took before 3D scanning was implemented in their reverse engineering process.

For Taylor Attachments, the addition of 3D scanning into their reverse engineering work has been invaluable for the improvements it has brought in terms of a streamlined workflow and greater efficiency. What used to be a long, laborious, manual process is now something they can complete in less than a day’s time. Taylor Attachments left their old process behind and have welcomed in the new era of reverse engineering. 3D scanning is setting new standards for these applications, replacing antiquated, labour-intensive and error-prone techniques. In the words of Taylor, “There’s simply no going back for us.”

 

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FARO Sees Bright Prospects In Automotive Manufacturing Industry

FARO Sees Bright Prospects in Automotive Manufacturing Industry

Yoshihiro Iida from FARO talks about the growing measurement and inspection needs in Thailand’s automotive manufacturing industry. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Yoshihiro Iida

FARO is one of the leading providers of 3D measurement, imaging, and realization technologies. Headquartered in Florida, USA, the company develops and manufactures solutions that enable high-precision 3D capture, measurement and analysis across a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, engineering and public safety.

For the Asia Pacific region, FARO set up its headquarters in Singapore in 2005. The next year, the company established a sales office and customer support services in Thailand.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

“We have been here for more than 10 years now, serving Thailand customers for 3D measurement solutions,” says Yoshihiro Iida, senior regional marketing manager for Japan, South Korea, SEA, and ANZ, for FARO, during an interview at the recent METALEX 2019 exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand. According to Iida, this is mainly due to the inspection needs driven by the huge automotive manufacturing industry in Thailand, in addition to the overall metalworking and mould making industries.

For the automotive industry, parts are now getting more complicated, especially their geometries. “Previously, many people used hand tools, such as callipers. This made the inspection processes very difficult, and it was also highly dependent on the person’s skills,” says Iida. “With parts getting more complicated, there is now an increase in needs for inspections.”

READ: A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time

So, these manufacturers tend to use 3D measurement machines, such as the fixed CMM. “But with fixed CMMs, the investment tends to be high, and it is also more difficult to set up,” says Iida. “FARO offers portable measurement solutions, which allows manufacturers to do the measurement onsite. This makes inspections easier and reduces time spent on inspection processes.”

Bright Outlook Despite Automotive Manufacturing Woes

Thailand’s automotive market reached 1,007,552 units in 2019, according to data from Toyota Motor Thailand and Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). The figure is down by three percent compared to the previous year, mainly due to the continuing downbeat economic sentiment brought about by the US-China trade war.

READ: Complete Measurement Solution for Consistent Quality Management

This is the fourth time in the history of the Thai automotive market to hit over one million-unit level, even though the market showed a sharp decline in the latter half of last year, especially from September. For 2020, FTI is having a conservative outlook for car production, with forecast output of 2 million units.

Nevertheless, this trend has not dampened demand for inspection systems. “For automotive manufacturing, inspection doesn’t stop. They continue to develop cars, as such they still have a need,” says Iida. “They are dealing with more complicated parts now, so they are seeing greater demand for inspection.”

Challenges

A lot of companies are still having inspection challenges, according to Iida. “Let’s say for inspection purposes, a lot of people still use hand tools, especially the small businesses. But this method requires specialised skills which usually only the senior employees or senior engineers possess. For new staff or junior engineers—while they may be able to carry out the inspections, accuracy can sometimes be affected as it depends on the skills of the engineers,” explains Iida.

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Investing in fixed CMMs can enable manufacturers to measure and inspect parts. “But aside from the heavy investment for a fixed CMM, and it can also take time and a specific skill set to set up the machine and parts for measurement,” he says.

The parts or objects need to be in the inspection room, before setting them up for measurement in the fixed CMM. However, the problem here is that when the parts being measured are too big for the CMM or have complicated geometries. “It is not easy,” says Iida. “If the part is small, you can easily carry it and bring it to the inspection room for measurement. But imagine the big parts or the heavy moulds — these cannot be carried easily to the inspection room. You would also need to consider safety issue. Sometimes, if the parts are too big, such as heavy machinery or equipment, it can take up to one hour or two hours to complete a task.”

READ: FARO Offers New Capabilities With CAM2 2020 Software

On the other hand, he notes that the company’s portable measurement solutions and devices can be brought on site, and users can measure immediately. “You don’t need to carry your parts or objects to the inspection room. We can measure on site. Imagine how much time and effort you can save,” says Iida.

In addition, with the increasing number of younger engineers joining the industry, it would also require significant investment to train them to have specialised skills. “Contrastingly, the FARO measurement solutions are easy to use. Even junior employees will be able to use them immediately inspection,” says Iida. “We will also them deal with inspection, so that they can focus on other important things.”

FARO Innovations and Trends

Among the recent inspection innovations from the company is the FARO 8-Axis Quantum FaroArm. According to Iida, this solution can help reduce installation time by 40 percent.

“The FaroArm can measure complicated shapes or parts with an integrated 360 deg rotating platform, easing the entire process,” says Iida.

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One of the trends in the metalworking industry right now is digitalisation. A lot of companies are adopting digital approaches, according to Iida, but he notes that unless you have data, you cannot go into a data-driven strategy.

“Let’s say, your company has some existing parts, but you don’t see or possess the design data. In that case, the FARO measurement solutions can help users reverse engineer existing parts by scanning and creating a CAD data. Once you have data, you can re-use them. We can help digitise things, and that is the step towards Industry 4.0, towards a smarter manufacturing environment.”

Outlook

Iida says the automotive manufacturing industry may remain uncertain for now due to the US-China trade war. “But we still see growing demand for inspection for automotive parts, and also 3D modelling, for digitalisation,” he says. “As long as there is a need for reliability and quality measurements, FARO is going to be there.”

 

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FARO Offers New Capabilities With CAM2 2020 Software

FARO Offers New Capabilities With CAM2 2020 Software

FARO Technologies Incorporated has released its latest CAM2 2020 Software. The release includes a variety of performance and user interface improvements, new features and a new subscription licensing option. Users can now achieve greater control over their full manufacturing process at a lower up-front cost in this latest iteration of the metrology software platform.

The new subscription model empowers users to benefit from CAM2 with a lower initial investment. It offers scalability through a flexible licensing model and ensures users always have access to the latest and most up to date version of CAM2.

“FARO CAM2 is a powerful, intuitive and application-focused 3D measurement platform designed to help users efficiently fulfil their quality assurance and inspection tasks. We’re pleased to offer a software experience developed directly from our customers’ feedback, based on the metrology needs they encounter every day,” said Michael Carris, Vice President of Product Marketing. “What’s more, this release strengthens the relationship between quality assurance and production operations with new capabilities that ensure even greater process control.”

FARO CAM2 2020 is helping users get the most from their manufacturing processes, with an intuitive, streamlined and application-focused platform. Through a continuous improvement process, user feedback and requirements are continually collected, integrated and deployed. FARO CAM2 2020 is the culmination of these efforts, which lead to a variety of new features, including an enhanced measurement experience and an updated statistical process control tool that assists users in identifying production data trends that may indicate when a process is moving out of a specified parameter. Being able to predict this kind of error reduces wasted time, scrap and rework, and helps keep production capacity at full strength. As part of an established line-up of smart features, this release represents a fully realised solution for the everyday production tasks of the customer.

 

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Creaform Moves Offices In Singapore

Creaform Moves Offices In Singapore

Creaform has moved to AMETEK’s new offices in Singapore near Changi International Airport for easy access for both international and local customers in the APAC region.

Featuring state-of-the-art facilities, including a modern showroom to present the brand-new HandySCAN BLACK, the company’s metrology-grade portable 3D scanner for all phases of the manufacturing process, and the Go!SCAN SPARK, the latest professional-grade 3D scanner for product design that unmatched speed and ease of use. Creaform solutions will also be available for customised demos.

Creaform’s Singapore offices feature classrooms for a wide array of customer training, helping manufacturers remain competitive on a global scale.

“Singapore is a strategic location for Creaform,” explained Patrice Parent, APAC Territory Manager at Creaform. “It is the ideal logistics and service hub to cater to manufacturers in South East Asia. Our staff is attuned to the distinct needs and challenges of companies in the region. We are proud to offer relevant metrology and 3D scanning expertise to our APAC clientele.”

Creaform’s Singapore office is located at 20 Changi Business Park Central 2, #04-03, Singapore 486031.

 

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Creaform Adds Academia 50 3D Scanner To Its Educational Solution Suite

Creaform Adds Academia 50 3D Scanner To Its Educational Solution Suite

Creaform has added the ACADEMIA 50 3D scanner to its ACADEMIA educational solution suite. This professional-grade, portable 3D scanner is the ideal solution for teachers looking to show students the benefit of handheld 3D scanners and their use in real-life applications, such as reverse engineering, industrial design and quality control.

Easy to set up and use by teachers and students of all levels, ACADEMIA 50 uses structured white light technology to scan objects made of any material, surface type or colour. Its technical specifications highlight its performance levels, with an accuracy of up to 0.250 mm (0.010 in) and a measurement resolution of up to 0.250 mm (0.010 in).

ACADEMIA 3D scanners are part of a turnkey educational solution that includes: 50 free seats of scan-to-CAD and inspection software to show students how to address any conventional or innovative engineering workflow, five-year ACADEMIA Customer Care Plan and self-training documentation. Creaform offers teachers a free Creaform ACADEMIA Sample Kit that gives academics didactic material to enhance their curricula.

“This latest addition to our ACADEMIA educational solution suite attests to Creaform’s commitment to the educational sector by offering the designers and engineers of tomorrow the tools they need to help them excel in their careers,” said François Leclerc, Marketing Program Manager at Creaform. “We offer a complete education solution that does not sacrifice on quality or performance — all at a cost the educational institutions can afford.”

 

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A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time

A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time

Utilising FARO’s QuantumM FaroArm, Kyokuyo was able to improve its manufacturing efficiency by shortening processes and reducing manpower needs. Article by Kayoko Muranaka, FARO Technologies.

Figure 1: The FaroArm is lightweight and easy to handle, even for women who are more petite.

Figure 1: The FaroArm is lightweight and easy to handle, even for women who are more petite.

From construction machinery to railroad vehicles, and even an ATM chassis, parts produced by Kyokuyo Metal Industrial Co. Ltd (Kyokuyo) are incorporated into various devices that play integral parts of our lives. In recent times, a surge in demand for construction machinery and railway infrastructure, due to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has led to an increase in business for Kyokuyo.

The company’s main production base in Yachiyo is equipped with a turret punch press, laser beam machines, and various sheet metal processing machines. The factory focuses on cutting and bending works for plates of varying thicknesses. Besides machining, Kyokuyo’s integrated production system also includes pre- and post-machining processes—such as material arrangement, welding, painting, assembly, finished products inspection, and packing. In order to maintain the quality of products while hastening the production process, regardless of work volume, Kyokuyo focused on reducing total lead time by utilising 3D measurement instruments.

A Perfect Opportunity for Introducing 3D Measurement Technology

Measurement results collected by the FaroArm are clearly presented in easy-to-read visuals on the FARO CAM2 Software.

Figure 2: Measurement results collected by the FaroArm are clearly presented in easy-to-read visuals on the FARO CAM2 Software.

Recently, Kyokuyo took on new business from a major construction machinery manufacturer and it became clear that highly accurate inspection would be necessary in order to meet the stringent quality control standards of the client.

Kyokuyo produces a large variety of parts in low quantities, and in many different shapes and sizes. In the past, the company’s Quality Assurance Department used hand tools such as calipers, micrometers, and height gauges to inspect finished parts. However, substantial amount of time and effort were required for this process, at times requiring up to two people to carry out the inspection of just one part.

Working with the new construction machinery customer created an opportunity for Kyokuyo to introduce 3D measurement technology to its processes.

“We had three main criteria for evaluating various 3D measurement instruments — weight, operability, and aftersales support,” shared Mr. Daisuke Matsumoto, Chief of the Quality Assurance Department.

Kyokuyo decided to purchase the latest FARO QuantumM FaroArm when it was released. The new QuantumM FaroArm boasted superior functions while meeting Matsumoto’s three main evaluation criteria.

Matsumoto revealed, “We had tried out many different 3D measurement instruments, and eventually chose the QuantumM FaroArm as our best option. The FaroArm’s in-built counterbalance system provides effortless, stress-free usage. Coupled with its lightweight and ergonomic design, which surpasses that of products in the same category, the FaroArm was very easy to operate — even with one hand. The meticulous service and support we received from FARO’s representatives also affirmed our decision to purchase the FaroArm.”

Now, with the FaroArm, Kyokuyo’s operators can carry out the finished product inspections more efficiently and with much less effort. Additionally, the FARO CAM2 Measure 10 software can be programmed to allow for sequential measurement of fixed points, increasing the efficiency of inspection processes.

Amazingly Lightweight, Easy to Use, and Accurate

Figure 3: Complex geometric tolerance can be easily measured, and anyone can simply repeat the procedure by creating a measurement program.

Figure 3: Complex geometric tolerance can be easily measured, and anyone can simply repeat the procedure by creating a measurement program.

Misaki Fujiwara, the key personnel conducting these measurement tasks, shared her appreciation for the FaroArm, “Other 3D measurement instruments did not feature a counterbalance system, so I had to use both hands to hold those tools. Comparatively, the FaroArm is much lighter and easier to use, allowing ladies like me to measure and inspect parts with just one hand — as not a lot of arm power is needed. These are very helpful features.”

However, the lightweight feature would have been pointless if the FaroArm did not offer the stringent accuracy required by Kyokuyo’s client.

Reflecting on his previous experience with hand tools, Hideaki Shinsato from the quality assurance department said, “When we were using hand tools for our inspection tasks, the measurement process was tedious, and the accuracy of results was also highly dependent on each personnel’s competency.”

The introduction of FaroArm eradicated such concerns. The quality assurance team gained greater confidence in their measurement results. In addition, they could now also offer objective measurement data to inform the staff on the shop floor of the exact improvements required. With this, the reliability of their quality assurance also increased substantially.

Significant Reduction of Time and Manpower

The FaroArm did not just increase the quality of Kyokuyo’s products. Since using the FaroArm, the company has dramatically reduced their total lead time from design to delivery. Inspection tasks that used to take an hour and two personnel to complete now takes only five minutes and just one personnel, regardless of the size of the object inspected.

With a large variety of parts that require inspection, reducing the number of personnel needed for one task allows simultaneous work on other tasks, thereby increasing productivity significantly.

“We’ve observed unquestionable improvements in accuracy and efficiency,” concluded Matsumoto. “We’re impressed with the quality of FARO’s products and going forward, we’re keen to introduce a laser tracker as we have some projects that require the measurement of larger parts. We believe we can broaden the scope of our business if we cater for both contact and non-contact inspection.”

 

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