Creaform introduces a different approach to quality control—automated 3D scanning solutions, which eliminates the limitations of traditional CMM.
In today’s hypercompetitive market, manufacturing companies face a multitude of challenges on their production lines. Many of those are connected to the quality control process, which aims to ensure the quality of the products being manufactured and sent out to the clients.
A solution often brought forward to tackle this task is the use of a coordinate measurement machine (CMM). However, traditional CMMs come with their own set of issues such as delays in productivity, difficulties in recruitment and challenges in measuring complex parts, to name a few. And in such a high-speed environment, the smallest productivity slowdowns, added expenses or simple mistakes can take its financial toll on a business, and can translate into loss of contracts and customers’ trust.
How to Detect Assembly Problems Earlier, Reduce Scrap and Down Time
While traditional CMM can be very precise, its complexity of use and limited speed can delay important information-based decisions. As only a few experts and professionals can execute these tasks and the measurements are taken outside the production line, it can create significant delays in applying corrective measures, which can generate scraps and down time.
A different approach to quality control aims at addressing these specific challenges—automated 3D scanning solutions.
Is Automation an Option to Increase Productivity?
Over the past few years, global manufacturing industries have come up with increasingly complex parts and assembly designs to address hypercompetitive markets. However, the diversity of such intricate components requires more advanced quality control processes.
What causes bottlenecks?
Too often, quality control inspections are performed in a room isolated from the production floor where temperature and humidity variations and vibrations are limited. Quality control experts must take samples from the production floor to the quality control lab to perform dimensional inspection with a traditional CMM. These part movements have several major negative impacts. For one, it requires a considerable amount of time and effort to move the parts back and forth from the production line to the lab, often creating unmanageable bottlenecks at the various measurement stations and extended delays in decision-making.
Inspection on the production line
To mitigate these issues and along with the increasing implementation of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are requiring that quality control inspections be conducted right on, or very near the production line to maximise efficiency and streamline communication throughout their entire manufacturing processes.
As a result, there has never been a greater need to perform dimensional inspections within the production cycle using automated near-line or in-line metrology solutions.
However, if inspections are carried out on production lines, the inspection pace must follow the production pace to avoid affecting productivity. A stop of production due to inspection bottlenecks cost a lot of money. Therefore, the return on investment of an automated quality control solution is very high.
Solution: Automated 3D scanning
Thanks to new technology and advances in science, manufacturers are using next-generation 3D scanning solutions with unprecedented data acquisition speeds of up to 1.5M measurements/second and faster mesh generations. A mix of high-performance cameras and computer components helps to increase data acquisition and processing speeds. In other words, 3D scanning measuring machines provide a solution that can scan parts continuously, faster than ever. Scanners can even adjust their settings during the scan process to optimise surface acquisition according to different textures and colors. This is a major enhancement since we can scan shiny black and matte white surfaces on the same part.
Increasing Automated Inspection Productivity
By using automated 3D scanners, quality control teams can perform more inspections per hour. Problems, defects, and irregularities can be detected earlier for immediate or future actions. In addition, equipment maintenance and corrective measures in the manufacturing process can be identified and planned ahead. With the possibility to be connected directly with production databases, the information can be automatically synchronised to save even more time.
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