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Manufacturers To Spend US$2.6bn On Simulation Software By 2030

Manufacturers to Spend US$2.6bn on Simulation Software by 2030

Simulation software acts as an insurance policy against costly mistakes because it enables manufacturers to understand how a product or component will behave before it’s put into use or how it will affect the production line. Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research forecasts that manufacturer’s spend on simulation software will surpass US$2.6 billion in 2030. Spending will accelerate over the forecast period (growing by CAGR 7.1% between 2022 and 2030) as the user base of simulation software expands in aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, and the consumer-packaged goods sectors.

“In the past, manufacturers would create prototypes and test under certain conditions. Simulation software provides more flexibility by enabling manufacturers to examine how, for example, components in aircrafts and automobiles respond to heat and vibration, or how to optimize the layout of a printed circuit board in an electronic device. Also, manufacturers’ production lines are moving from batch to continuous manufacturing, so they need the ability to anticipate and alleviate bottlenecks relating to switchovers,” explains Michael Larner, Principal Analyst, Industrial & Manufacturing at ABI Research.

Simulation software solutions from the likes of Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and Hexagon help manufacturers not only to create robust products but also expand usage of simulation software by specialists as well as individuals in product development and on the factory floor. Simulating software now supports a wide number of decision makers, such as plant managers, systems engineers, and maintenance teams.

However, vendors of simulation software for industrial applications face some challenges. “There is also a persistent tribal knowledge within some facilities where staff is hostile to change and so suppliers will need to overcome their lack of trust in simulation results. Suppliers will also need to work with their customers to understand the performance parameters and the acceptable tradeoffs in different verticals so that findings are based on reality and users trust the results,” Larner concludes.

 

Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, and Plex Systems, the leader in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions, has announced a new strategic partnership.  The global partnership will enable Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Plex to co-sell Plex MES to Hexagon manufacturing customers, helping them to take control of the plant floor through full visibility and connectivity and realise the promise of Industry 4.0.

“There’s no question that more connected, data-driven approaches to manufacturing are central to bringing better products to market faster and more cost-effectively with confidence.” said Paolo Guglielmini, president of the Manufacturing Intelligence division at Hexagon.

“Plex brings valuable experience to our customers, and its impressive open MES solution augments our technologies offering a path to ramp up shop floor efficiency by bringing together data from siloed processes to solve manufacturing problems faster and more collaboratively.”

Hexagon and Plex share a common vision for smart manufacturing, offering manufacturers an incremental path to achieve greater automation and Industry 4.0 adoption. Using Plex’s robust Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with integrated quality control, Hexagon customers will be able to augment their workflows by streaming quality measurements, engineering data and other manufacturing information into Plex’s MES creating a digital system of record in real-time.  Manufacturers will benefit from enhanced visibility and control over their inventory and manufacturing processes, while gaining deeper insight, traceability and opportunities for continuous innovation by combining Plex and Hexagon’s digital solutions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Hexagon, an organisation that is just as dedicated to delivering smart manufacturing solutions as we are and with a global scale,” said Bill Berutti, CEO at Plex. “Smart manufacturing isn’t something that will happen years down the road … it’s real, it’s imperative and it’s happening now.”

Hexagon and Plex will partner in opportunities, initially in Europe and India, where Hexagon prospects and customers have MES needs. The combination of Hexagon and Plex for these manufacturers provides a fully digitalised solution from plant measurement and metrology to managing end-to-end production.

“Smart manufacturers are seeking continuous product and process improvements to ensure that quality is measured, enforced and managed in a closed-loop across design, production and inspection,” said Reid Paquin, research director, at IDC. “This new partnership will enable manufacturers to do just that and on a global level.”

 

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Freedom To Measure With Volvo

Freedom To Measure With Volvo

An automotive production plant for Volvo has boosted its productivity and efficiency with advanced measurement systems. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.  

With some 2400 employees, Volvo Car Body Components (VCBC) in Olofström is an automotive production plant that produces millions of car body parts every year. From hoods and roofs to doors and subassemblies, the facility is dedicated to pressing sheet metal into vital car components that are shipped whole or partially assembled to Volvo car factories around the world for final assembly and finishing.

The earliest production stages of the car design process at Volvo rely heavily on the development of the sheet metal stamping tools designed and manufactured by the Tool and Die team at Olofström. The team is first responsible for producing tool prototypes, and with up with up to 80 tools needed for a vehicle project this can be a four-to-five-month task. Each project typically runs for a year, and the remainder of the time is dedicated to producing the final tooling that will be used to press hundreds of thousands of car body components.

In 2018, the team decided it was time to introduce a modern metrology solution to their tool prototyping and production with the goal of improving productivity. They identified several key steps in their design, production and validation process that could potentially benefit from the introduction of advanced measurement devices. Having a large and well-equipped quality room already in place, the team was already familiar with a wide range of metrology hardware. One of their key considerations was identifying a solution that would be as at home on the shop floor as it was in the quality room.

Improving the Initial Casting

The first step in producing a designed prototype or final tool is the precision milling of a casted block of raw material. Casting is not a precise process, and the casted part is typically delivered with a lot of excess raw material that must be subsequently milled down to the correct size and shape.

A key step in setting up a casted part for milling is ensuring there is no collision between the milling machine and part as they are both moved into position. Such a collision can result in expensive and time-consuming damage to the CNC milling machine. Therefore, the operator must introduce a safety factor when setting things up – positioning the machine far enough away from the material that they are sure no collision will occur. Doing this by eye is not easy, and often means that the milling machine spends a significant amount of time at the beginning of its program milling nothing.

“When you can optimise the milling program to the actual size of the material, that’s the big time saving, because it doesn’t matter if the machine goes through the air or through the material, it’s the same speed,” said Kim Tingstedt, Tool and Die Operator at VCBC Olofström.

This optimisation was already being performed, but with the comprehensive data provided by a scanner, things could be much easier. This casting scan data can be used in other ways to improve production. Tool castings are extremely heavy and difficult to move, so any possibility to make them lighter improves their usability and reduces the amount of raw material required to make them. This means they have to be as small as possible – but not too small; if not enough material is left between the outside of the tool and the inside of its precision mould, it won’t be strong enough to withstand repeated high-power stamping.

Using scan data taken after casting, the casting of subsequent prototypes and final tools can be refined to ensure the minimum weight and raw material usage is achieved without diminishing the structural integrity of the tool. This also has the benefit of allowing the milling machine to begin its work closer to the final part shape with each iteration, compounding the time savings at every step.

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Hexagon Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre Opens In Singapore

Hexagon Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre Opens In Singapore

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has opened the doors of its new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Singapore  – fitted with a wide array of advanced hardware and software technologies aimed at enabling an autonomous future.

Hexagon’s flagship facility in Southeast Asia will showcase an unparalleled portfolio of smart digital manufacturing technologies and autonomous connected ecosystems. This includes Hexagon’s latest advanced Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) solutions for design engineering; Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software for production applications; precision metrology, superior sensors, automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, data management and analytics solutions.

The centre, currently resourced with more than two dozen people, is committed to strengthening and accelerating the development of smart manufacturing and autonomous solutions by improving design quality and production efficiencies.

Lim Boon Choon, President for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, and India said that, “This centre marks our on-going drive to bring Hexagon’s smart solutions into this region for the benefit of businesses here. It offers an environment for innovators, design engineers and manufacturers to test proof their inventions for quality, safety and productivity with access to our latest offerings which are a part of Hexagon’s Smart Solution portfolio.

“We are the only provider in the world with the end-to-end connected capabilities – from design, production, quality assurance, data analysis, digital twin, shop floor connectivity, to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

“Hexagon’s Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre allows us to move closer towards creating an autonomous future where business, industry and humanity sustainably thrive,” enthused Lim.

He hinted at exciting updates on the horizon. “More of Hexagon’s revolutionary smart technologies including the latest advanced non-contact sensors fitted on-machine, on coordinate measuring machines (CMM) as well as on Laser Trackers, to elevate quality and precision to the highest level possible will soon be featured at the centre. This is a pioneering achievement, one that the industry has not seen to-date.”

Meanwhile, Paolo Guglielmini, President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division said, “As a global leader of advanced technologies and smart manufacturing, Singapore is a strategic location for Hexagon’s innovation centre in the ASEAN region.”

Industry research points to a shifting tide towards autonomous smart manufacturing in the next five years in Southeast Asia, especially with many industries and governments pushing for digitalisation.

The region has also seen the rapid rise of new innovations and start-ups and unfolding of 5G technologies which are expected to spur the growth of many industries from electronics to semiconductors, medical technology, eMobility, clean energy and more.

Lim highlighted that the aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical technology as well as energy industries would stand to especially benefit from this facility.

The new Innovation Centre offers design and production engineers the very best environment to learn, experiment, interact, and facilitate deeper learning and knowledge transfer in areas such as reverse engineering, additive manufacturing, shop-floor automated inspection and digitalisation of operations.

Solutions at the Hexagon’s Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre include:

  • Advanced CAE solutions for design engineering, for simulation such as Cradle and [virtual manufacturing / manufacturing process simulation] tools such as the Simufact portfolio
  • CAM software for production solutions like NCSIMUL and VISI Reverse
  • Asset management and connected shopfloor digital solutions like SFx Asset Management,
  • Quality analysis solutions such as Q-DAS, VGSTUDIO Max and Laser Trackers
  • Statistical Process Control to collect data for analytics.

 

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Hexagon And Authentise Partner To Deliver First Open End-To-End Software Solution For AM

Hexagon And Authentise Partner To Deliver First Open End-To-End Software Solution For AM

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Authentise have partnered to extend the Additive Manufacturing (AM) control loop from the machine level to connect the end-to-end value chain from design, manufacturing operations and quality assurance to make additive manufacturing more predictable, repeatable and traceable.

Data from shopfloor manufacturing operations, engineering data from the design phase, materials properties and quality data from validation and inspection processes hold the key to automating serial production improvements and enabling design improvements. However, the technical challenge of connecting these silos and applying these data have inhibited the ability to consistently apply AM to new designs. New solutions delivered through the partnership will apply Statistical Process Control (SPC) with Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to mitigate waste and quality issues during the design phase and improve the repeatability of additive manufacturing processes within a site or between global locations.

Through the partnership, Hexagon and Authentise will build solutions to industrialise AM technology by digitising every step of the workflow from part design through production to final product and quality assurance utilising their unique stack of technology capabilities to connect the digital thread of a part and trace its pedigree. This is made possible by a shared commitment to open architectures that integrate data and automate workflows between Hexagon´s best-of-breed applications for AM and the third-party equipment and software manufacturers chose to use.

Mathieu Pérennou, Global Business Development Director Additive Manufacturing, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division says, “Together with Authentise, we are building a next-generation framework for our customers to manage flexible, fully digitised production workflows in private cloud environments. For manufacturers, AM is a complex and changing market with many excellent tools, printers and materials to apply. We believe our open and flexible systems will enable us to respond quickly to customer’s needs and integrate with their unique environments. This will connect the data flow and help streamline their workflows in all stages of the AM process – before, during and after production and support their specific standards or compliance needs.”

Authentise is a key partner in Hexagon´s open AM ecosystem, having built an open manufacturing execution system tailored to the specific needs of additive manufacturing methods. This growing ecosystem provides a broad solution portfolio that allows Hexagon to build solutions tailored to the specific needs of customers from different industries and any level of complexity – from achieving high volume production of precision metal gears to first-time-right production of bespoke aerospace parts from composites.

Andre Wegner, CEO, Authentise says, “We are excited to combine Hexagon’s solutions with our open workflow management engine to offer a unique end-to-end solution platform. Integrating data from Hexagon’s best-of-breed software and sensors helps deliver a seamless experience for users, automation across their process, and unlocks the ability to learn from data. This partnership represents a step change for the industry – together we’re delivering the integrated digital thread for additive manufacturing that customers have sought for so long.”

 

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HMI Introduces New CMM Solution For Precise Inspection Of Delicate Electronic Parts

HMI Introduces New CMM Solution For Precise Inspection Of Delicate Electronic Parts

High-volume inspection of smartphone camera lenses simplified with low-force probing and optical scanning capabilities in one coordinate measuring machine (CMM)

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched a new coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that overcomes challenges common to the measurement of delicate components, such as smartphone camera lens assemblies, to help manufacturers perform quality inspections up to four to six times faster than conventional methods with uncompromising sub-micron accuracy.

Continued demand for high-value products that are precisely assembled from delicate materials, such as smartphones and wearable technology, requires electronics manufacturers to inspect large volumes of fragile and miniaturized components with high precision. For example, the plastic lens barrel of a smartphone could have a part diameter of 7 mm and the tolerance to which they are produced could be as small as 1-2 microns. The precise geometrical shape of these components is of great importance because misalignment would lead to distorted camera images and severely affect the customers’ experience of the product. For many applications, quality sampling is sufficient, but every part of a lens assembly must be inspected to ensure perfect quality.

With a first term length-measurement accuracy of .28 microns, the Leitz PMM Gold – with a “P” for precision – is the most accurate metrology machine ever produced by Hexagon. The new machine’s optical inspection takes about five minutes to inspect a lens barrel from start to finish, doesn’t require human intervention beyond the positioning of parts, and does not contact fragile components during measurement. In addition to supporting faster measurement processes, its non-contact probes are especially sensitive to deviations in geometry, which can be critical to validating the quality of precision components. For example, up to seven different material layers are required to produce a single smartphone camera lens, so even minor variances in surface quality can drastically alter results.

By contrast, the profilometers traditionally used for the inspection of delicate electronics parts such as smartphone camera lenses, often deform components during measurement and require a commitment of 20 to 30 minutes per part for inspection due to stringent part-positioning requirements. While highly accurate, an additional limitation of the profilometer is that it can only be used for final quality inspection, whereas non-contact inspection can be introduced at each phase of assembly where it is required.

Svenja Schadek, product manager, commented, “As the world’s largest CMM provider, Hexagon has significant experience across product teams in responding to the needs of manufacturers as they navigate new challenges to productivity and quality. Through combined R&D effort, we developed a CMM that features very high accuracy and a smaller footprint so that our customers could bring the latest consumer products to market faster, with greater confidence in their manufacturing processes by employing rigorous, high-sample-rate inspection.”

The ability to easily switch between optical and low-force tactile inspection tools is a strength of the Leitz PMM Gold, as an accurate measurement of components with deep crevices or detailed features can be difficult to achieve without the use of style. Low-force tactile probing capabilities provided by the new CMM ensure that delicate surfaces remain intact, while an optical sensor supports the performance of rapid inspection without contacting parts. The CMM’s fully automatic sensor-exchange system enables users to easily switch between these probe and sensor heads and delivers seamless transitions when measuring a mixture of different part features.

Designed especially for ultra-high precision manufacturing, the Leitz PMM Gold is 30 percent smaller than competing machines, which saves valuable floor space. Available globally from today, the CMM’s unique capabilities are also ideally suited to the high-accuracy inspection of precision gears for electric vehicles, as well as other precision components and the calibration of gauges and master parts.

 

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Hexagon Launches Next Generation, Entry-Level Multisensor CMM

Hexagon Launches Next Generation, Entry-Level Multisensor CMM

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released a new multisensor coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that facilitates smart manufacturing by providing a cost-effective entry point into automated measurement. Fully compatible with a range of Hexagon smart technologies, the OPTIV Lite 3.2.2 is designed to deliver a smooth transition from manual to automatic quality methods for greater inspection accuracy, reliability, and efficiency. In addition, the CMM offers connectivity to end-to-end manufacturing solutions for process and product improvements traditionally beyond the scope of entry-level machines.

OPTIV Lite 3.2.2 is purpose-built for quick and precise non-contact and tactile measurement of small parts across a range of industries, including electronics, e-Mobility, precision engineering, and medical. Offering complete traceability of measurement results and a simplified interface for ease-of-use, OPTIV Lite 3.2.2 is ideal for manufacturers looking to seamlessly adopt automated inspection procedures or meet expanding production demands.

OPTIV Lite 3.2.2 is optimised for reliable inspection close to production environments, with its rugged mechanical design, high machine dynamics, and capabilities for precise measurement in a wide temperature range. This lightweight machine offers a small factory footprint and excellent accuracy with its 6x motorised zoom lens with high resolution digital colour camera. Application flexibility can be enhanced with the optional touch-trigger probe HP-TM and the HR-MP probe changer rack that can hold up to three probe modules. Further options include a laser triangulation sensor and a rotary indexing table.

PC-DMIS metrology software comes as standard with OPTIV Lite 3.2.2, and users can increase operational simplicity with Inspect, a stand-alone application that allows production-level operators to easily execute measurement routines using a standard, user-friendly interface. Users can monitor system status remotely using HxGN SFx | Asset Management, enabling quality teams to optimise CMM performance and minimise downtime.

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Hexagon Enhances Its Smart Manufacturing Solutions Portfolio With Acquisition Of D.P. Technology Corp

Hexagon Enhances Its Smart Manufacturing Solutions Portfolio With Acquisition Of D.P. Technology Corp

Hexagon AB, a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire D.P. Technology Corp. (“D.P. Technology”), a leading developer and supplier of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology. 

The ESPRIT CAM System, its flagship solution, is the smart manufacturing solution for any machining application. Supporting any class of CNC machine via a common interface and workflow, it provides high-performance CNC machine programming, optimisation, and simulation for a broad range of precision manufacturing applications.

Well known for its machine-optimised, edit-free G-code (toolpath), ESPRIT leverages a digital twin simulation platform to model the finished part, tools, and CNC machine. AI-based algorithms eliminate manual data input and provide machine operators with greater assurance of what will happen on the shop floor. The result – simplified programming, increased tool life and utilisation, reduced cycle times and improved productivity. 

“D.P. Technology is an innovator with a strong focus on building smarter, data-driven manufacturing solutions. When combined with our production software portfolio, it cements our market-leading position in CAM, particularly around CNC manufacturing processes, and accelerates the development of our Smart Manufacturing portfolio,” says Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. 

“Additionally, the D.P. Technology team has built excellent working relationships with leading machine tool providers and other manufacturing technology experts, which will prove invaluable in our open and interoperable manufacturing ecosystem approach.” 

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Hexagon Unveils Enhanced Quality Solutions To Drive The Autonomous Future Of CMMs

Hexagon Unveils Enhanced Quality Solutions To Drive The Autonomous Future Of CMMs

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released several technologies that enable manufacturers to enhance quality processes, coordinate measuring machine (CMM) capabilities, and inspection efficiency.

As the demand for greater levels of inspection automation increase globally, Hexagon’s solutions deliver a number of smart options that help CMM operators shift focus from manual, repetitive work to more value-added tasks, all while maintaining quality throughput.

TEMPO enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

TEMPO enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

EYE-D enables production-level users to operate CMMs with ease by automatically recognising a workpiece, aligning it, and executing the right inspection routine. TEMPO, the automated CMM part loading and unloading system, enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing, enabling operators to quickly access metrology software in a handheld tablet-format from anywhere around the CMM, avoiding the need to switch between computer and jogbox. Included in the solutions is a wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE, enabling users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing.

“The journey to greater manufacturing automation doesn’t necessarily require a single, costly transformation of technologies and processes. At Hexagon, we are creating solutions that enable manufacturers to make incremental changes that deliver cumulative productivity gains,” said Ingo Lindner, Director Product Line Management Bridge CMMs, Manufacturing Intelligence division, Hexagon.

A wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE enables users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

A wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE enables users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

“Hexagon’s new productivity-enhancing CMM technologies are the first step for manufacturers on the transformation journey towards the smart factory and greater inspection autonomy. Whether manufacturers are looking to increase throughput, reduce measurement cycles, or drive more efficient workflows, these solutions offer options to increase quality professionals’ confidence that they are making manufacturing smarter.”

PULSE and EYE-D are now available for the NAFTA, EMEA and APAC regions, with TEMPO and dCC coming later in the year.

 

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Hexagon Brings Asset Performance Management Solution To Laser Tracker Portfolio

Hexagon Brings Asset Performance Management Solution To Laser Tracker Portfolio

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released a new system software for Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 and AT930 systems. The update, which delivers notable usability improvements to current and future users, is available immediately and allows for integration of these systems within the HxGN SFx | Asset Management platform. New systems shipping with this update will also benefit from a renewed hardware branding concept aligned with the graphic redesign of the Absolute Tracker system software.

SFx Asset Management allows for complete fleet management of manufacturing inspection systems, including remote monitoring based on real-time data streaming. With a centralised, user-friendly dashboard that’s easy to access and use, the platform delivers an accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing, whether on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. The integration of the flagship Absolute Tracker systems within this platform will give users an easy way to oversee and increase the productivity of their advanced tracker-based large-volume and automated inspection and production setups.

Alongside this system software release, all AT960 and AT930 are now rated with ISO 10360-10 compliant system specifications. The ISO 10360-10 standard has been developed to allow users to make reliable comparisons between laser tracker systems and will soon represent the industry standard for evaluating laser tracker accuracy performance.

“Metrologists from Hexagon’s Absolute Tracker research and development team in Switzerland provided expert technical input to the ISO committee as this standard for evaluating laser tracker accuracy was developed,” says Matthias Saure, Absolute Tracker Product Manager, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Soon users will be able to call on this as a reliable measure for comparing the performance of various trackers – something that has been much needed in the world of laser trackers – and we’re very proud to be able to say that the Absolute Tracker is the first laser tracker system to get onboard with what will very soon be an industry standard.”

The new system software update also delivers a number of new upgrades to the usability of the AT960 and AT930 systems. These include newly modifiable motor parameters to allow customised protection against vibration effects as well as improved functionality of the integrated Overview Camera, which will now offer picture quality at three times the previous resolution and multiple zoom levels. Changes also allow for control of some power and connectivity configuration functions direct from the AT Controller with no PC connected.

 

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