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Making The Most Of CMM Assets

Making the Most of CMM Assets

Real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness. Here’s how the metalworking sector, through advances in metrology solutions, can create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

In today’s business climate, it is of paramount importance to reach consistently high levels of productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness.

For this reason, metalworking companies are harnessing new data-driven technologies to enhance and automate their design, production and inspection processes. And the change is taking place beyond sectors that are traditionally highly sensitive to quality, such as aerospace and automotive.

As today’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and their associated sensors and software become much faster and more sophisticated at collecting and exchanging accurate inspection data, real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness.

Many manufacturers have already equipped their CMMs with multisensor technology that allows them to perform contact and optical non-contact inspection interchangeably, while quickly and efficiently capturing data that can be checked for accuracy against original CAD data.

Measurement data collection and analysis is supported by the Q-DAS statistical analysis software, which can be used to visualise measurement data in real-time and monitor them statistically. Q-DAS’s statistical process control (SPC) function systematically informs the CMM operator of any violations of SPC alarm criteria, enabling operators to take corrective action in the manufacturing process before generating expensive scrap. At the same time the software’s high flexibility allows users to adapt the recording and visualisation of data to specific tasks.

Using Real-time Analysis to Improve Performance

But now, manufacturers are going a step further to increase their productivity by addressing the challenges of improving machine utilisation, throughput and uptime. This is leading them to adopt asset management solutions, such as the HxGN SFx Asset Management software, to monitor the status of one or several CMMs in real-time. The growing use of asset management software is partly due to greater automation, which requires operators and managers to keep a close check on the performance of unattended machines. By using asset management to efficiently monitor the status of CMMs remotely, manufacturers can maximise machine usage.

Asset management can help the metalworking sector raise productivity across multiple applications, such as the measurement of rotor or stator lamination stacks. Rotor or stator lamination stacks are composed of individual electrical steel laminations and are typically inspected in pallets using image-processing (vision) sensors. Hexagon’s OPTIV multisensor and optical CMMs come equipped with a vision sensor as a standard and are commonly used to simplify the measurement of large or palletised flat parts such as rotor or stator laminations close to the shop floor. Equipped with handle workpiece palletising, the Hexagon OPTIV enables a fast and automated inspection process, even for large batches of small serial parts such as clutch discs and fine-blanked parts.

Because speed and accuracy are of the essence when inspecting rotor or stator lamination stacks, operators often need to manage multiple CMMs that are running pallet measurement routines unattended.

The OPTIV’s extended measurement range enables prepared interchangeable pallets to be supplied semi-automatically by a palletising robot, reducing standstill times and increasing inspection throughput.

Hexagon’s Inspect software, meanwhile, makes it simple for operators to set up one pallet and then prepare and launch the next on a separate CMM. Asset management software offers a simple dashboard view of machine availability, which allows operators to save additional time by identifying which CMM has spare capacity.

The right asset management tool also helps manufacturers optimise maintenance schedules and plan for a more efficient use of manufacturing resources. As a result, quality departments can shift from managing assets as a cost centre to creating value by optimising equipment profitability.

If, for example, a manufacturer needs to increase production to fulfil new orders for a customer, information from asset management systems makes it easy to identify where spare inspection capacity lies either locally or at another site.

Raising Your Equipment’s Overall Effectiveness

Successful asset management, however, depends on having instant access to actionable insights. Notifications about the performance and status of metrology assets, for example, need to be available in real-time. And all alerts should be readily customisable so that operators and managers receive the information that is pertinent to their role and in a format that is easy to access, understand and use.

For this reason, Hexagon has ensured its HxGN SFx Asset Management platform provides a simple, accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing via a centralised, user-friendly dashboard. It works equally well whether the machines being monitored are on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. And in addition to a having a dashboard view of each CMM’s uptime and downtime, it’s possible for operators to see how each machine is being used, all while working remotely on a mobile phone or a PC.

Having real-time insight into CMM performance not only enables operators and managers to schedule work efficiently and respond immediately to operator errors. They can also use data analysis to understand and manage the productivity of their assets over the long term and to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) either for a single CMM or for several CMMs, across multiple sites and over various periods of time. OEE is calculated using data for quality, which is based on a CMM’s success in completing measurement processes during the scheduled time, performance and availability. Gaining a thorough understanding of a CMM’s OEE makes it easier for manufacturers to reduce spending on maintenance while achieving better overall performance and efficiency.

Getting the Right Data with Versatile, Multisensor Systems

Any analysis is only as good as the data it relies on, which is why Hexagon is investing in ensuring all its systems deliver accurate, real-time, relevant data to where it is most needed. The HxGN SFx Asset Management solution is an important part of this strategy, but it is not the only element.

When it comes to inspection, the choice of CMM, sensors and supporting software for a given application clearly plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and quantity of data that manufacturers gather, and at what speed.

Multisensor CMMs have grown popular because of their versatility when capturing data at the varying levels of detail and speed required by different applications and materials.

Having the Vision to Improve Processes

Vision sensors remain a key inspection tool in the metalworking sector because they are adept at quickly and automatically measuring large volumes of intricate metal parts. Designed to capture surface detail swiftly, vision systems are particularly useful when dealing with high production rates.

A vision sensor with a high-resolution digital CMOS colour camera and a programmable motorised zoom lens, for example, can offer variable illumination in the form of a coaxial LED top light, LED back light and multi-segment LED ring light to provide high contrast illumination of complex surfaces and edges, all while quickly capturing data that informs the entire manufacturing process. Hexagon further enhanced vision sensor speed and performances when it launched a Large Field Of View vision sensor for its OPTIV CMMs. The new vision sensor provided a field of view that is approximately four times larger than the standard vision sensor on today’s OPTIV CMMs.

When it comes to using multisensor systems to measure metal workpieces, Hexagon’s OPTIV Dual Z helps increases batch measurement throughput by enabling optical and tactile sensors operating in restricted measuring volumes to automatically reach more measuring positions within a single measurement cycle.

Whether a manufacturer’s applications best suit a vision sensor, a laser sensor or a touch probe, Hexagon is focused on providing data-based solutions that easily integrate with existing and future systems to create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy.




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Hexagon Launches Entry-Level Optical CMM For The Asia-Pacific Region

Hexagon Launches Entry-Level Optical CMM For The Asia-Pacific Region

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched Captura, an entry-level optical coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that offers an intuitive and cost-effective solution for multisensor measurement of small to medium parts.

Captura supports measurements using vision sensors, laser sensors and confocal sensors, and is designed to offer good price to performance ratio for the entry-level market. The basic machine is supplied with a vision sensor and can be expanded with additional sensors. The dynamic machine concept offers high positioning accuracy, fast measuring point acquisition, and high-performance vision capturing. Captura CMMs run the Metus metrology software, a Hexagon-developed package for 2.5D multisensor measurement. Metus has its roots Hexagon’s flagship PC-DMIS metrology software, and delivers the highest standard of precision measurement in an easy-to-use software package.

“Multisensor and optical CMMs are ideal for manufacturers who are working with very small or fragile parts, or with materials that can’t be measured with touch probes – for example in the electronics sector,” said Kah Khoon Goh, Business Development Director Asia-Pacific.

“As manufacturing in the Asia-Pacific region diversifies, we’re seeing more manufacturers selecting this kind of system. Together with the user-friendly Metus software, Captura has been designed to meet the specific requirements of entry-level users without compromising on overall performance.”

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Halcyon’s Vargas Talks Trends, Opportunities In Philippine Metalworking Industry

Halcyon’s Vargas Talks Trends, Opportunities in Philippine Metalworking Industry

Franklin Vargas of Halcyon Technology (Philippines) Inc. talks about the opportunities, manufacturing challenges, and markets driving the growth of the metalworking industries in the Philippines. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Franklin Vargas

Halcyon Technology (Philippines) Inc. is a partnership company between a Filipino firm—Philippines First Diamond Metal, led by Hamilcar Azarias—and Thailand-based Halcyon Technology Public Co. Ltd. The company opened its manufacturing facility in the Philippines on January 1, 2011, but the inauguration was on November 11, 2011—that was when full operations started. Located at Laguna Technopark, Halcyon’s Philippine plant was the second manufacturing facility for Thai-based Halcyon Technology.

Initially, the company focused on hard-disk drives (HDD)—almost 98 percent of its products were delivered to the Nidec Group—Nidec Subic, Nidec Philippines, and Nidec Precision. Moving forward, there was a need to address demand from other industries, so the company expanded its customer base to automotive, aerospace, electronics, general machining, and industrial machineries. At present, about 60 percent of the company’s output goes to the HDD industries, while the rest is being distributed to other industries.

Halcyon main product is polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools, including PCD drills, reamers, endmills, forms, and inserts. Other products include carbide cutting tools. It also offers custom-made solid carbide. The company was given a pioneer status for PCD manufacturing by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Our machines range from lathe and milling machines (CNC), cylindrical grinder, surface grinder, CNC grinder, 5-axis and 6-axis machines, EDM wire-cut machine, sand blast, and bandsaw machines.

Franklin Vargas is the general manager of Halcyon Technology. He is also the president of the Metro Manila Chapter of the Metalworking Industries Association of the Philippines (MIAP). In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Vargas talks about the opportunities, manufacturing challenges, and markets driving the growth of the metalworking industries in the Philippines. He also discusses the initiatives and programmes of the Metro Manila Chapter of MIAP.


Franklin Vargas (FV): Over the past three to four years, there were a lot of companies that opened their facilities here in the country, including Shimano and Zama. So, last year was a really good year. Our main target is the manufacturers because of our customized solutions.

But this year, there was a decline; it is really a tough year. Our biggest customer, which produces spindle motor for HDD, reduced their orders. But it’s because of technology. Before, every member of the family can have a laptop, and one laptop equals one HDD. Now, there’s only one laptop for whole the family, but there are more smartphones or tablets. So, the culprit is technology. Interestingly, some of the latest smartphones have a camera that slides up and down. These are driven by precision motors—and these products are being produced by one of our customers.

Even though the culprit for the slowdown is technology, I think it is also the one that will help the industry go through this difficult year.


FV: The biggest challenge here is having the relationship with your customers. For us, it is the local companies and manufacturers. We have been battling with big, foreign brands to really prove ourselves, since we are a local company. You know, there’s always this mentality that foreign brands are better. That’s why we have to prove ourselves.

From a manufacturing perspective, the challenge is manpower. For the Filipinos, the mentality is to go overseas for better pay. Sourcing of manpower, for example for CNC machines, we can go anywhere and get a CNC machinist, because almost everybody has CNC machines. But for our products, the problem is finding a skilled person. We have to spend a considerable time for training. That’s our dilemma—coping up with the training period.


FV: It is costing and delivery time. They want to have cheaper products at a faster delivery time. And that is actually an opportunity for us. That is mostly the reason why they shift from other suppliers to us, because our manufacturing is here, and we can provide them their needs immediately. Since we are the manufacturer, there are no middlemen involved, therefore, our costing can be flexible for them.


FV: One of the biggest industries here is HDD. Another thing is automotive, which is steadily growing. Meanwhile, one of the things we are discussing at MIAP is how to help our farmers. One really good industry here is agriculture. But the problem is that farmers do not have the support they need, the mechanization they need. That is actually one of the purposes of MIAP—to help farmers cope up with the international industry. Right now, we are using carabaos (water buffaloes) in farming. In countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, they have a lot of machines.

I think we really need to help the agriculture industry. We have a lot of plans; the only challenge is government support.


FV: I can say that for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), they are still using the conventional systems and tools. I think the problem is the cost of the machine—which can range from around PhP3 million to PhP5 million (US$60,000 to US$100,000). I think that’s one of the main issues.

But we need to level up, and there are some organizations that are helping these SMEs by providing them loans. So far, some of the local companies, our customers, are now using 4-axis, 6-axis machines.


FV: The construction industry is booming, with the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme. Metal fabrication will be the one benefitting from this trend. In the manufacturing side, it will be almost the same as this year. Last year, Japan announced they will get out of China because of the US-China trade war.

Based on the feedback of our mother company, the Philippines is one of the countries being considered for manufacturing because our salaries are still lower compared to Thailand. Therefore, it is promising.


FV: MIAP aims to help members to cope up with the trends and developments in the metalworking industry. Right now, the Metro Manila Chapter has more than 70 members—composed of SMEs, traders, and manufacturers. In Manila, our aim is to help the jobbers, backyard machining. In other chapters, for instance in General Santos, Cebu, or Iloilo, their primary goal is the mechanization of the agriculture sector.


FV: My goal is to strengthen the collaboration between members. That is why I am promoting more communication, to be able to better help the members with their current needs.

Through our collaboration with MIRDC (Metal Industry Research and Development Centre), we also have seminars and workshops for the improvement of the workforce. Another contribution from MIAP is to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Since TESDA is the one doing certification, for example in CNC machining and programming, we help them with the structure, how to analyse and grade the different levels of skills for CNC machinists; for instance, NC1, NC2, etc. We contribute to that structure.


Check these articles out:

A Guide to Machining Better Castings Through Optical Metrology

The Role of IoT Technology in the Metal Fabricating Industry

Renishaw Shares Outlook On Vietnam And Philippines

Why You Need ERP in the Metalworking Industry

VDW Discusses Trends Shaping Metalworking Industry

New Demands, New Solutions



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Complete Measurement Solution For Consistent Quality Management

Complete Measurement Solution for Consistent Quality Management

A large part of quality management work is always centred around the idea of balancing consistency with efficiency and productivity. Article by Jane Lee, FARO Singapore.

Highly portable, the FaroArm allows measurements to be taken anywhere on the shop floor.

Quality management is a vital ingredient for business success. Regardless of the industry, product, or service, an organization must maintain a level of excellence in order to flourish. A large part of quality management work is centred around the idea of balancing consistency with efficiency and productivity. For this reason, quality assurance managers place great value on comprehensive solutions that can address all their needs, and which they can implement throughout a facility or across various sites.

The search for a suitable supplier is not always straightforward, but for Thailand-based MRP Engineering Co. Ltd (MRP), their journey to identifying a trusted partner was relatively smooth. Established in 1991, MRP is a machine shop that provides a comprehensive range of machining and fabrication services—such as welding, hard facing, sandblasting, painting, turning, milling, shaping, grinding, drilling, boring, simulation assembly, and machine installation. The company offers made-to-order products and turn-key projects, and provides repair services for all kinds of machinery.

Today, ISO-certified MRP is the proud owner of several portable coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), which they purchased to cope with new customer demands. Prior to that, the team had relied on handheld tools such as vernier calipers, micrometers, bore gages, height gages, tapper gages, and dial gages.

Commenting on the search process that had taken place a few years ago, Krissarakorn Thainoi, QA Division Manager and Assistant QM Representative at MRP, said, “It was quite clear back then that our existing tools were becoming insufficient for our measurement needs. We were using hand tools to measure various dimensions of a workpiece, such as height, length, plane, size, perpendicularity, runout, and straightness. The hand tools were not sufficient when our customers started requiring tighter tolerances from us. We also felt a general need to increase our capabilities to support geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T).”

The Search for a Suitable Solution

Quality management across MRP’s full suite of services became a complex affair, as it involved multiple stages of production and various applications across its 320,000m2 factory. To maintain consistency throughout the organization, the team was keen to have one solution that could adequately address all their measurement needs.

“Our measurement needs are quite varied and spread across the incoming, in-process, assembly, and final stages of production,” said Thainoi. “Application-wise, the measurement work usually involves inspection, alignment, dimensional calculations, calibration, and installation. In addition, our team also requires support in the reverse engineering and design phases of production.”

The objects that MRP work with typically measure 1m to 4m in length and weigh anywhere between 20kg and 50 tonnes. For assemblies and turn-key projects, measurement distances range from 20m to 30m. The implicit challenge for the QA team is that the solution they select must be flexible yet accurate enough to handle various types of measurements.

Driven by a sincere desire to improve, the team at MRP scoured the web to find the most suitable solutions available on the market. Their search eventually narrowed and MRP requested for a product demonstration with FARO in 2010, which then led to them progressively investing in FARO solutions over the next five years—an 8-ft FaroArm Platinum in 2011, a FARO Laser Tracker ION in 2013, and an 8-ft FaroArm Prime in 2015.

A New Chapter: Quicker Measurements of Better Accuracy

Since implementing FARO’s solutions, MRP has enjoyed a number of benefits and seen improvements in quality and efficiency levels. Thainoi said, “Our team now achieves higher levels of accuracy and repeatability. We can confidently tell our customers that measurements are within tolerance levels of 20 microns and 2mm. This change in technology has increased our product quality and consistency across the board. In addition, measurement times have decreased as it’s easier and quicker to acquire data with the FaroArm.”

The FaroArm is an articulated arm—one of the most common portable CMM devices available—equipped with several articulating joints, which allows it to determine and record the location of a probe in 3D space, and to report the results through software. Resembling the form of a human arm, the articulated arm ascertains the position of a probe with the proprietary glass discs called encoders in each joint, and these encoders calculate the probe’s position as the arm moves freely throughout its workspace.

The portability afforded by the FaroArm also meant that MRP could deploy the measurement tool anywhere on the shop floor, right where production takes place. This is especially useful for the team when working on large, bulky objects that are labour-intensive to move, and difficult to position. Thainoi added, “In fact, we used to spend a lot of time in setting parts up ‘correctly’ for measurement on a machine. With FARO, we’ve managed to gain 50% time-savings, cutting measurement times down from four hours to a mere two hours.”

With turn-key projects and large assemblies, MRP makes use of the FARO Laser Tracker ION to conduct inspections and alignment checks. With a spherical working volume of 110m, the ION captures measurements with an accuracy of up to 0.015mm.

Laser trackers like the ION offer extremely accurate measurements over long ranges, as they are designed to handle larger working volumes. Each time it takes a measurement, the device establishes the precise location of a target in spherical space by measuring two angles and a distance. It does so by sending a laser beam to a retro-reflective target, which must be held against the object being measured. The return beam reenters the laser tracker where the distance to the target can be determined using interferometry or phase shift analysis.

Winning Formula: Strong Product and Great Support

Today, the FARO devices have become such an integral part of MRP’s production process that the team uses them every day of the week. From Mondays to Saturdays, the team performs measurements the entire day, for up to 10 hours each time. The devices are in use even on Sundays—for 4-hour shifts—and on public holidays as well.

“We’ve been using FARO solutions for 7 years now and they work well, providing us with exactly what we needed to satisfy our customers,” concluded Thainoi. “FARO stood out from everyone else that we were considering—about seven other companies—mainly because of the rapport we felt with the sales team right from the start. The sincerity, warmth, and genuine desire to help was very evident, and we look forward to a lasting partnership with FARO in the years ahead.”


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Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

FARO: 3D Metrology Software

FARO Announces Retirement Of Founder And CEO, Dr. Simon Raab

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Hexagon Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Philippine Metrology Market

Hexagon Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Philippine Metrology Market

Taveesak Srisuntisuk of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence speaks about the metalworking trends and opportunities for growth in the Philippines. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, part of Hexagon AB, helps industrial manufacturers develop the disruptive technologies of today and the life-changing products of tomorrow. A leading provider of metrology and manufacturing solutions, Hexagon’s expertise in sensing, thinking and acting—the collection, analysis and active use of measurement data—gives its customers the confidence to increase production speed and accelerate productivity while enhancing product quality.

At the recent PDMEX 2019 event, Taveesak Srisuntisuk, General Manager of the AEC and Pacific Region for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, speaks about the metalworking trends and opportunities for growth in the Philippines.

Tell us about your activities in the Philippines.

Taveesak Srisuntisuk (TS): We are a provider of 3D measuring machines—all kinds of three-dimension measuring machines, not only the traditional CMM that uses tactile probes. We also have vision measuring machine, multisensor measuring machine, portable measuring arms with laser tracker, white light scanner systems, and so on.

We are in the quality control business, but we are more and more getting involved into manufacturing because we also have hardware for the machine tools, software for design, CAD/CAM, and so on. We can see that quality control still has a very good opportunity for improvement here. In other countries, we are already well known when it comes to quality. Quality also can increase productivity—and here, we can see the same direction.

Which industries here are you seeing strong growth?

TS: We have been in the Philippine market for many years. In fact, I have been taking care of the Philippine market since 2010. And yes, we see the market growing, but maybe not as much as its peers in Southeast Asia. There are a variety of industries here—mould and die, electronics, aerospace, and automotive. While we don’t see any specific industry that is growing rapidly at the moment, we can see growth especially in the mould and die, and electronics markets.

With the trade war happening between China and the United States, we are seeing some comments that the Philippines is also getting opportunities from Chinese investments here.

Are you seeing smart factory adoption in the Philippine metalworking industry?

TS: Not a lot of customers are mentioning these things. In Southeast Asia, the countries that talk more about smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0 are Singapore and Malaysia. But we definitely need to speak to the customers, we need to show them that Hexagon is one of the companies that are involved in this trend. All our devices support the smart factory trend.


How do you help customers move toward smarter manufacturing?

TS: We offer our customers smart solutions so that if they decided to do something tomorrow, their processes will be smarter. We always ensure that our software, hardware and products will help customers in transforming their production processes.

Tell us some of the products being highlighted here.

TS: Our devices can be integrated into a smart factory environment. We are showcasing our traditional CMMs, we have two CMMs here: one is with the scanning, and the other is with the traditional tactile probe. We have the portable measuring arm, a vision machine, as well as a new product, which we are showcasing here first time—the laser tracker with scanner.

How do you encourage small- and medium-sized job shops to adopt high-end solutions?

TS: Even if they are job shops, they are providing a service to somebody. And they have to ensure that their manufactured parts are good. The trend now is towards digitalization. Even the job shops, they can reduce a lot of work by investing not in high-end systems yet, but in entry level solutions.

However, in this market, you also have multinational companies such as Nidec Philippines, Hyundai Philippines, and so on. These are the companies that we are supporting in many countries as well. So, both customer sides—multinational companies and job shops—we are all supporting here in the Philippines.

What advice would you give customers when it comes to selecting measurement solutions?

TS: For the measuring machine, the most important is the accuracy they need. If they need more than 20 microns, they can use portable arm scanners. If they have a lot of work related to geometry, then maybe a CMM can help them. If there’s a lot of 3D, or CAD/CAM design and so on, a scanner solution would be the best.

We need to know their requirements—only then can we offer the right solutions for them. We have many kinds of 3D measuring machines to offer, but we have to know their applications, what they need, before we can ascertain the correct solutions.

Finally, what is your outlook for the metalworking industry next year?

TS: It’s very difficult to forecast because now, in Southeast Asia, even if we are becoming one community—AEC or ASEAN Economic Community—but we are still competing against each other. The governments are trying to showcase their benefits and bringing the foreign investments in their countries.

I can say that the Philippines is one of the markets we are seeing growth, especially now that the government is becoming more stable, leading to the market becoming more attractive for investments. We just hope that the country will really sustain its good growth.


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Hexagon Intros Modular Metrology Fixtures to Online Shop

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence Division To Set Up New Canadian HQ In Toronto

Overcoming Challenges In Production With Multisensor Measuring Machines

Hexagon Production Software Portfolio Merges Virtual and Real Manufacturing at EMO 2019



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Top 10 Fast Fab And Metrology Articles For 2019

Top 10 Fast Fab And Metrology Articles For 2019

As we move into 2020, we take a look back at the most popular Fast Fabrication and Metrology articles for 2019. For your enjoyment, here is the list of the top 10 most read Fast fabrication and metrology articles over the past year.

Top Fast Fabrication articles in 2019:

  1. Increasing Integration Of Storage And Sawing Technology
  2. How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity
  3. TRUMPF Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Vietnam
  4. Moving Towards A Smart Machinery Eco-System
  5. One Technology—Many Benefits
  6. Tapping On Additive Manufacturing
  7. LVD Discusses Punching Technology Advancements
  8. Behringer Talks Asia Market, Latest Sawing Technology
  9. Fiber Laser Welding Cuts Costs And Improves Results
  10. Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

Top Metrology articles in 2019:

  1. Why CMMs Are Manufacturing’s Evolutionary Winners
  2. Importance Of Process Control
  3. Renishaw Shares Outlook On Vietnam And Philippines
  4. Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation
  5. Interview With Jun Chie, Vice President & General Manager At Keysight
  6. Marposs Optimistic of the Philippine Metalworking Industry
  7. Optimising Aerospace Parts Manufacturing
  8. The E-Mobility Roadmap: Speeding Up Tool Development With A High-Accuracy CMM
  9. A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time
  10. Precision For Guaranteed Stability Using 3D Scanners



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Sandvik And Renishaw Collaborate To Qualify New AM Materials

NIMS Partners With OMIC To Develop Metrology Standards And Certification

Global Semiconductor Equipment Sales Forecast—2020 Rebound, 2021 Record High

3D Goes Long-Range With The First Scanning Laser Tracker




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E-mobility, Additive Manufacturing Driving Growth In Metrology Sector

E-mobility, Additive Manufacturing Driving Growth in Metrology Sector

Daesuk Chung of ZEISS sat down with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News to talk about the latest technology and manufacturing trends driving the metrology sector. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Daesuk Chung is the regional sales manager for Asia Pacific, industrial metrology business group, at ZEISS. At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 event in Germany, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News sat down with Chung to talk about the latest technology and manufacturing trends driving the metrology sector.

Tell us some of the technologies you are showcasing at the event.

Daesuk Chung (DC): We are actually celebrating the 100th year anniversary of our business division—IQS (Industrial Quality Solutions)—this year commemorating 100 years of the first measuring technology presented by ZEISS in an industry fair. At this year’s show, we have four different categories in our booth: first is the quality lab with our flexible bridge-type CMM solution PRISMO and new sensors.

Next, we have solutions for productivity, which is getting more and more important. We are presenting some concepts on how customers can reduce their cycle time in order to enhance their productivity. We have new machines designed for measuring—but we now understand that you need flexible solutions on the shop floor. We already have special machines designed for shop floors—but very often they have some limits in terms of measuring volumes, for instance, or there is not enough choice of different models; depending on the tolerance and measuring volume, customers have certain preferences. With our new concept and design, customers will have that flexibility.

Then, we have two sectors where we are showing our new strategic initiatives. In the past, we are only focused on bringing new products—we are a hardware-oriented company. We are now trying to be more of a solutions provider. You will see our offerings related to e-mobility solutions.

And that is a trend. Due to issues like climate change, and the Dieselgate scandal a few years ago, all of the car manufacturers now, especially in Germany, are strongly pursuing the concept of new-energy vehicles. Fuel cell cars, electric vehicles, for instance.

We are now collaborating with a lot of customers already who are manufacturing components for electrical engines, for instance. So far, not many metrology manufacturers have sufficient knowledge or experience about NEV market, but we do have from many reference projects in recent years. So, we are now showing concepts for those customers who are now entering that market; we are showing them examples and strategies in dealing with those special components.

Finally, additive manufacturing is another big trend in our industry, especially in the aerospace and medical sectors, where there is a need to bring customised products or solutions. These sectors are driving the need for additive manufacturing. But again, it’s a totally new process, and many manufacturers who are entering this segment don’t have enough experience. We are now capable of analysing the whole manufacturing processes and can suggest our customers what kind of solutions they need for whatever application they have. We have these solutions because of our wide range of portfolio and knowledge about every single step of manufacturing process.

With the e-mobility trend, how have the market requirements changed?

DC: On the one hand, many manufacturers and customers feel very unsure of the market situation in the coming years. Nobody can really predict how the market will change. Many people know that it will come, except for the real market size of electrical vehicles, for instance, and what will happen to conventional technology.

It does not mean that the number of cars with the combustion engines will not increase, the technology will stay and production will increase, but nobody can really predict.

At the moment, it is difficult to make any kind of forecast or prediction. But it will definitely come, many governments around the world started adapting regulations to put a lot of pressure on the industry, as well as introducing subsidies making the electric vehicles more attractive. Existing car OEMs who are only relying on combustion engines are now starting to enter into the NEV market, and they are all looking for new suppliers and technologies.

How different are the technology requirements?

DC: The way how they use the quality assurance tools, like the CMMS, is not different. But the truth is, we are now dealing with completely different components, so the parts that are built for the assembly of combustion engine and electric engine are completely different. While the machine usage is the same, there are more aspects that you have to consider. For instance, the hairpins inside the stator, which are very significant components of electric engines having a flexible structure and being coated with a sensitive lacquer layer and therefore create challenges for reliable tactile inspection. An automated ZEISS coordinate measuring machine, equipped with confocal light or laser triangulation optical sensor, is one option to accurately measure the shape and lacquer thickness. Another more manual, flexible tool is a standalone ZEISS optical fringe projection sensor or a ZEISS handheld laser scanner

In those kinds of special applications, you need a special sensor, a special software, or a special knowledge to solve those issues. That’s the basic concept of how we approach the customers.

From your perspective, what are the opportunities for growth in asia, and specifically, southeast asia?

DC: We are seeing that the positive economic growth in the past 10 years will now be unachievable, so everybody is a little bit worried about it, considering the trade war between China and the US; and the smaller trade war between Japan and South Korea in terms of the semiconductor segment. But for the Southeast Asian market, I am seeing big opportunities because with the trade war between China and the US, many companies who are producing their products in China are now planning now to move their production to some Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam, for example, is often being mentioned as the best alternative relocation site from China.

There are also other markets who are benefitting from this. That is why I am quite positive now of the business in Southeast Asia.

Are there industry segments that you expect to see high growth potential in the southeast asian market?

DC: The automotive sector, where we are quite strong already. We have countries like Thailand, where the market is still quite big; Vietnam brought its own brand—VinFast—this year, and we are also getting a lot of benefits from that.

In general, the automotive sector is one segment in which I expect a lot of growth in the future. But it is not the only sector that will have that potential; the aerospace sector is also quite growing, especially the MRO, where I see a big growth potential.

Medical is another sector that shouldn’t be neglected; still, maybe it is not as big as of the moment in Southeast Asia, but I expect strong growth in the coming years.

How will the additive manufacturing sector impact the metrology segment?

DC: The aerospace and medical industries—these are the two sectors that will have a big impact on additive manufacturing, because you need individual and flexible parts and manufacturing process to produce them. If we just take an example from the medical technology side, there is a growing demand for artificial implants due to ageing population in many industrial countries. Additive manufacturing can provide cost effective solution for individually customised solutions. In line with that is the growing demand for quality control of those parts produced on 3D printers. Many people only think about dimensional checks or digitise the surface freeform with a 3D scanner. But in reality, you have to start from the material itself—you have to do the internal inspection; you even have to control the quality of the metal powder. You have to use high-quality microscopes to analyse the real sizes of the powders, or the content of the powders, etc.; they all have to be inspected in detail. That is why we see a very big potential for additive manufacturing. I am very confident that we will get a lot of benefits from the developments in this sector.


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Optimising Aerospace Parts Manufacturing

Optimising Aerospace Parts Manufacturing

How does the aerospace industry manage to optimise its manufacturing processes and produce more parts of the highest quality in less time? Simon Côté, product manager at Creaform, explains.

The aerospace industry is known for manufacturing parts with critical dimensions and tight tolerances, all of which must undergo high-demanding inspections. Given the scale of the controls to be carried out on these parts, it is hardly surprising that quality people prefer to turn to coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). After all, this highly accurate measuring instrument has their full confidence.

However, directing all inspections to the CMM may cause other non-negligible problems: CMMs are hyper-loaded, generating bottlenecks during inspections, slowing down the manufacturing processes, and causing production and delivery delays.

Is it possible to unload the CMMs so that they are fully available for the final quality controls? How can we improve manufacturing processes to produce more parts faster and, above all, of better quality? And in the event of a quality issue occurring during production, is it possible to identify the root cause more quickly in order to minimise the delays that could impact schedules and production deliveries?

This article aims to explain how important players in the aerospace industry have managed to unload their CMMs and improve their manufacturing processes without ever neglecting the quality of parts with critical dimensions and tight tolerances, such as castings, gears, pump covers, stators, and bearing housings. Solutions developed by the aerospace industry can serve as a guide for other industries because, after all, the entire industrial sector aims to optimise its manufacturing processes and produce more parts of better quality in less time.


Bottlenecks at the CMMs

Aerospace companies, and many other industries, require that manufactured parts be inspected with the CMM, because they have full confidence in the accuracy of its measurements. This exclusive trust, however, creates certain challenges.

Indeed, the CMM is a highly accurate metrology tool that is often used to inspect non-critical dimensions, leaving little availability for final inspections and important dimensions. Therefore, quality controls are delayed due to these bottlenecks at the CMMs. Moreover, the CMM is a measuring instrument that requires a specialised workforce to build and execute the programming. If the company does not have the human resources to do the inspection programs, the parts will accumulate as they wait to be inspected. Therefore, buying more CMMs will not solve the bottleneck issue; what is needed is the specialised manpower to operate them.

But that is not easy to find these days.

Quality problem detected at the end of the manufacturing process

Too often, manufacturing companies wait until the end of the manufacturing process to perform quality controls on manufactured parts. Moreover, not only critical dimensions are inspected at the CMM, but also all other dimensions, which lengthens the process, often resulting in delivery delays.

So, what happens if a quality problem is detected only at the end of the manufacturing process? The quality assurance team must then go through the whole process to investigate and find the root cause. This analysis may generate downtime and production delays, which will impact the part delivery and customer satisfaction.


Incorporate an alternative measurement method to detect quality problems faster

Rather than inspecting all dimensions at the CMM, which requires long programming time and involves qualified resources, the aerospace industry uses a faster and simpler alternative measurement method to inspect less critical dimensions. One example of this alternative method is a metrology-grade 3D scanner called the HandySCAN BLACK.

The HandySCAN BLACK 3D scanner excels due to its scan quality, accuracy, and measurement reliability. Certified to ISO 17025 and compliant with the German standard VDI/VDE 2634 Part 3, the accuracy of the HandySCAN BLACK is 25μm. Using a safety factor of 5x, for instance (i.e., five times more accurate than the smallest tolerance to be measured), the aerospace industry uses the HandySCAN BLACK for inspecting features with tolerances starting at 125μm (5x 25μm) or more.

With its 11 blue laser crosses, combined with new high-resolution cameras and custom optical components, the HandySCAN BLACK can perform up to 1,300,000 measurements per second in addition to generating an automatic and instant mesh. This means that, unlike a cloud file, the generated mesh is already lightened and processed, which reduces the need for data filtering and lessens the variability on data processing. Thus, the aerospace industry regains the same confidence it has in the CMM, because the data obtained with the HandySCAN BLACK are consistent and repeatable.

Moreover, since the HandySCAN BLACK is a portable device, it can be moved to any stage of the manufacturing process to perform an intermediate check without having to move parts. For example, it allows a pump to be inspected before machining to ensure that there is enough material and after machining to validate that the dimensions are accurate. The HandySCAN BLACK can also be used to check the dimensions of gears before and after their heat treatment. Only a portable metrology tool enables quality and production teams to perform these intermediate checks quickly and easily during the manufacturing process.


Unload the CMMs for the final quality controls

CMMs will always be the preferred measuring instruments for final inspections. However, these highly accurate devices must be available to perform the final quality controls. In other words, they must not be loaded down by all kinds of intermediate controls during the manufacturing process or by various investigations while troubleshooting production issues.

This is precisely what the HandySCAN BLACK is doing for the aerospace industry: unloading the CMMs by diverting less critical inspections to an alternative measurement tool. An in-house survey quantified that 50 percent to 90 percent of the dimensions could be measured with the scanner, allowing the CMMs to be available and used to their full potential and full accuracy for critical dimensions with tighter tolerances.

Improve manufacturing process

The more the parts are inspected during their manufacturing process, the less tedious the final inspection will be. Indeed, if the parts—whether pumps, gears, or casting—have already been inspected before and after their machining and before and after their heat treatment, the risk of detecting unexpected problems is lessened.

The final inspection on the CMM, now widely available, will only serve to control the critical dimensions, as all other features will have already been validated during the manufacturing process. These intermediate checks, performed during production, not only accelerate the manufacturing process, but also improve the quality of parts while producing parts in higher quantity. The same in-house survey quantified that intermediate checks with the HandySCAN BLACK improved the manufacturing process by 30 percent, either by producing 30 percent more parts during the same production time or producing the same number of parts 30 percent more quickly.

Find the root cause in quality assurance

Finally, the HandySCAN BLACK helps identify the root cause of quality issues that arise during production. Since it is accurate, fast, and portable, it can find the source of problems faster in order to minimise delays that could impact schedules and production deliveries.


The aerospace industry values the CMM for quality controls because of its high accuracy and repeatability. However, aerospace companies agree that the performance of portable scanners, such as the HandySCAN BLACK, positions this alternative method as a must to optimise its manufacturing processes. This fast, portable, metrology-grade measurement tool is increasingly proving itself to be an indispensable tool for performing quality controls during the manufacturing process in order to unload the CMMs and detect problems more quickly.


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Hexagon Touch Probe Transforms Thickness Measurement On Machine Tools

Hexagon Touch Probe Transforms Thickness Measurement on Machine Tools

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence has launched an on-machine ultrasonic solution that transforms the measurement of wall thickness for larger parts.

Inspecting the thickness of a part’s walls is typically a time-consuming manual process that takes place off the machine tool, resulting in downtime. The new RWP20.50-G-UTP touch probe from Hexagon transforms the procedure by using ultrasound to automatically measure wall thickness within the machine tool installation.

“The RWP20.50-G-UTP ultrasonic touch probe now makes it possible to perform a whole new range of thickness measurement applications directly on the machine tool. Designed with ease-of-use in mind, the RWP20.50-G-UTP’s not only automates and speeds up inspection processes, its software also makes it simple to view and use captured data. And because it works in a similar way to other Hexagon probes with radio-wave transmission, it reduces the training requirement for machine operators,” said Maximilian Macha, Head of Product Management for Machine Tool Measurement in the company.

Integrating Hexagon’s proven, innovative radio-wave technology, the RWP20.50-G-UTP operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency range. Like other probes from the company, the RWP20.50-G-UTP has a robust, modular design and can be converted into a dimensional or temperature probe simply by changing the measuring unit. And unlike other ultrasonic solutions, the RWP20.50-G-UTP works without any coupling fluids, which simplifies operations and keeps parts cleaner.

Supported by dedicated thickness measurement software, the RWP20.50-G-UTP is compatible with the control software for Siemens, Heidenhain and Fanuc tooling machines, making it easy to capture and visualise measurement data directly on the shop floor and to export it for use in other programs.


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Hexagon Intros Modular Metrology Fixtures To Online Shop

Hexagon Intros Modular Metrology Fixtures to Online Shop

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has added a range of measuring machine fixturing systems to its online shop for customers in EMEA. A variety of Swift-Fix part-holding elements that help quality professionals save time, reduce potential measurement errors and increase repeatability are now available for immediate purchase.

Swift-Fix’s flexibility reduces setup time by enabling users to put several parts on one base plate and run separate measurement routines in succession. Alphanumerical labelling on the base plates makes it easy to record a fixture and quickly set it up again as required. Adaptable to changing application needs, Swift-Fix offers a variety of clamping methods and standoffs to minimise contact between the fixture and the part and maximise accessibility from all sides.

Swift-Fix elements available on the online shop include base plates, standoffs, spring clamps, universal joints, vices and more. The modular Swift-Fix range simplifies part setup and can be used with portable measuring arms or coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) for tactile or optical measurement. The fixturing components are available either individually or as a part of bronze, silver, or gold kits, each designed for different levels of application complexity.

Customers will be able to easily identify and order the right fixturing systems for their applications with the shop’s sophisticated search filter function. Customers can make simple bulk purchases via CSV file uploads, and track and trace orders through the UPS portal. Goods dispatch is fast with average delivery within 48 hours across Europe. The shop accepts payment by all major credit cards or on account with payment via invoice.

“The Swift-Fix range of part-holding systems is a great source of convenience for manufacturers, minimising set up times during inspection. It’s only fitting then that this range of components should now be readily available on the online store, so that our customers can save even more time with quick and convenient order and delivery of these invaluable measuring accessories,” said Micha Neininger, Head of Accessories Business Unit at Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division.

The Swift-Fix range of metrology part-holding and fixturing systems is now available on Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division’s online shop, which is ready for business in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


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