skip to Main Content
Benefits Of Improved Multisensor Measurement

Benefits Of Improved Multisensor Measurement

Multisensor systems have evolved considerably over the years as the component technologies for motion control, optics, lighting and cameras have improved. Tim Sladden, Quality Vision International, tells us more.

Multisensor coordinate measuring machines that combine vision, touch and laser sensors have been used in manufacturing quality control for nearly 20 years. Many still recall the early days of multisensor systems when the primary sensor worked well, but the additional sensors – sometimes added almost as an afterthought, offered limited capability and poor accuracy.

Today’s multisensor systems have advanced to the point that all sensors now offer full capability and accuracy. Limitations inherent in earlier designs have been removed through more careful integration of the sensors with the measuring axes.

Improvements in the metrology software are the greatest enabler of comprehensive multisensor capability. Measuring software has evolved in ways that allow each sensor to be truly integrated and measure with consistent uncertainty at all times.

Along the way the economic benefits of multisensor measurement systems have become clear: reduced capital and calibration expenses, shorter learning cycles, added flexibility and convenience, and most important – lower overall uncertainty in the measurements.

Figure 1

Manufacturing Processes Improved

To highlight the full range of capabilities of today’s multisensor measuring systems, let’s look at three types of parts and how their manufacturing processes have been improved by using multisensor measurement.

In Figure 1, we see a femoral implant being measured with a calliper. This is not that simple orthopaedic implants are among the most complex-shaped devices being machined today – there is simply no way to measure the critical dimensions and form of these parts with a single sensor system.

For starters, the highly polished surfaces of knee implants are extremely sensitive. Even casual contact by a tool or gauge could damage the surface finish, causing friction that could lead to improper fit and ultimately pain in the patient receiving the implant. To measure these parts, a variety of non-contact or minimally invasive tools – vision optics, lasers or very light contact probing force – are needed.

More importantly, femoral implants consist of a series of curves controlled by profile tolerances, each of which is simultaneously constrained by the material condition of one or more datum features. These geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) conventions enable the designer to specify the form of the part exactly, but make verifying the part a challenge. To properly measure this part, the measurement points must be collected, and then fitted to the CAD model in their entirety in order to ensure all material conditions are properly evaluated. Data from tactile, scanning, laser and optical sensors needs to be integrated with the CAD model, and powerful software is needed to perform the GD&T evaluation.

Modern System

Enter the modern multisensor system. A system with telecentric optics, through-the-lens laser, and a micro-scanning probe can measure the outside dimensions, profiles and curves without damaging the part, and compare the data directly to the CAD model.

The manufacturer of this part faced high re-work and scrap rates, in spite of careful machining, polishing and measurement. Compounding the issue were disputes about dimensional conformance between different measurement techniques.

Multisensor measurement solved the first problem, by accurately measuring the critical features without damaging the part. True multisensor software enabled the data to be fitted to the CAD model and applied the GD&T standards properly.

This combination enabled the manufacturer to eliminate disputes about measurement accuracy between different gages, and ultimately reduce the number of finishing steps needed to produce the part to customer specs. All of which reduced scrap and re-work costs substantially.

Our next example is a large casting with a variety of machined surfaces, mounting holes and bearing ways on each of its four sides. This part has more than 50 discrete dimensions that must be controlled to ensure fit and function within the assembly it is part of. Many of these dimensions relate to datums on opposite or adjacent sides of the part. Ideally, the part would be measured in one set-up, without having to re-stage the part to enable measurement of all its surfaces.

While access and tolerance issues make a tactile scanning star probe (Figure 2) the ideal sensor for the bearing tracks, other features such as the small blind holes on the adjacent face are best measured using video, while surface flatness measurements on the mating surfaces are best made using a laser. The custom made flip fixture in this photo automatically indexes the part to present each side to the sensor array for measurement. This casting is a component in a complex assembly that relies on machined-in precision for the reliability of the overall mechanism. Thus, measurement is critical to the overall quality of the end-product.

For the maker of this part, multisensor measurement offered a number of benefits. Most significant was the time savings of being able to confirm all dimensions on one system, rather than having to program, stage and measure on several different systems, then combine and compare the data to determine if the part met spec. Another significant benefit is that the multisensor system offered the same uncertainty regardless of the sensor used.

In our third example, we see another complex machined casting – in this case, hydraulic transmission housing. This part presents a challenge to measure in a single set-up. Not only are there dimensions along the outer stems and top flange, there are dimensions on the seal surface and spline more than six inches deep inside the part. To access all these features in one orientation, long working distance optics and a LWD laser are needed to reach features at the bottom, as well as scanning probe capability to measure inside dimensions on the stems and interior profile.

Once again, the combination of scanning probe, laser and video measurement makes quick work of measuring this complex part. The laser quickly gathers a large pattern of data from the mating surface on the top flange. Flatness on this seal surface is critical. The scanning probe measures the interior profile in several locations, as well as the inside diameters of the in-flow and out-flow stems to calculate interior volume and flow rate characteristics. The long working distance laser also reaches to the boss on the inside of the spline for a flatness measurement, and long working distance optics quickly measure the gear teeth and ball bearing positions in the ball spline.

Each of these three examples illustrates the value inherent in a high quality multisensor measurement:

In all cases, it was possible to measure the entire part on one measuring system – saving the cost of buying and maintaining multiple measuring systems, and eliminating the differences in uncertainty between differing measurement technologies.

The range of sensors available enabled the key dimensions to be measured using the best sensor type for the feature without compromising efficiency or accuracy. Deployable and long working distance sensors help eliminate interference between sensors and minimise offsets that use up valuable measuring range.

 

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

READ MORE IN OUR LATEST ISSUE

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

 

Hexagon Advanced Positioning System For Automated 3D Optical Measurement

Hexagon Advanced Positioning System For Automated 3D Optical Measurement

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division launched LightRunner, an advanced positioning tool that transforms automated 3D optical measurement by eliminating mapping time during the setup and measurement of parts. 3D optical measurement systems enable manufacturers to rapidly capture rich data sets from large surfaces and assembly features for defect detection and process control, making them essential in industries including automotive and aerospace. Until now such systems typically required a lengthy mapping process during setup, with each new part referenced by the placement of markers before automated measurement could begin.

This approach is time-consuming, so Hexagon has developed LightRunner’s patented pattern projection technique and advanced software algorithms to improve productivity and shorten cycle times by removing mapping and robot stabilisation time. LightRunner automatically projects millions of reference points on to a part’s surface to provide constant absolute positioning for high-speed, non-contact, 3D optical measurement systems, providing confidence in the results without the need for CMM correlations. The LightRunner solution also accelerates initial part programming and eliminates the need to store reference panels or the use of reference frames on the fixtures, reducing operator workload and minimising training requirements for shop-floor users.

Fernando Funtowicz, Senior Product Manager, explained: “Manufacturers are increasingly turning to fully-automated 3D optical measurement systems to help them digitally transform production, gain greater insight into their processes and build on their investments to develop faster, more accurate techniques that drive productivity. LightRunner removes some of the major challenges of implementing automated 3D optical measurement, enabling more manufacturers to benefit from the rich data capture it offers. This system has a major effect on the utilisation and productivity of automated optical measurement and enables better process control without the need to buy new tooling, fixtures or robots.”

 

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

READ MORE IN OUR LATEST ISSUE

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

 

3D Scanning Streamlines Production Process

3D Scanning Streamlines Production Process

Tolerances on blade manufacturing tightened as OEMs drove to differentiate themselves by offering high performance lawn and garden products. To achieve customer goals, Blount International knew they had to incorporate more automation into their quality inspection process.  Article by Mark Thomas, Marketing Director, OGP.

As a leading manufacturer of equipment, accessories and replacement parts for the lawn and garden market, Blount International was looking to improve their profitability and exceed their customer delivery expectations. They were faced with the problem of how to economically produce a variety of nearly 1,900 different OEM lawnmower blades. The large selection of blades required by their OEM customers meant short production runs and multiple tooling changes each day. Their goal was to improve product quality while controlling costs and meeting shipment commitments.

Tolerances on blade manufacturing tightened as OEMs drove to differentiate themselves by offering high performance lawn and garden products. To achieve customer goals, Blount knew they had to incorporate more automation into their quality inspection process.

The Need For 3D Metrology Scanner

The company had always used traditional methods of measurement such as hand callipers and height gages to verify the conformance of its mower blades to customer specifications. The company’s Engineering Manager, Brian Brunk, believed that complex product features could be measured more efficiently with a 3D metrology scanner that can quickly and accurately verify part dimensions, regardless of shape complexity.

A ShapeGrabber 3D scanner from OGP was selected because of the ability to provide fast, accurate, noncontact measurements of nearly any material or shape without the need for special tools or fixtures. The scanner was also large enough to handle the largest Blount product offering.

Compared to conventional tactile CMM techniques, measuring one point at a time, 3D scanners capture millions of surface points on even the most complex geometry parts, and can quickly compare the results to a CAD design. Deviations from the CAD design are easily identified, making tooling acceptance decisions fast and accurate – meaning part production can start sooner, and with higher confidence.

Beneficial To Entire Production Process

Graphical models of ShapeGrabber measurements make part quality decisions easy without tying up other measuring systems. Melissa Rice, Continuous Improvement Coordinator at Blount detailed their process with the ShapeGrabber system: “Before we release a new die for production, we do a capability study to prove the accuracy of the die and qualify the tooling. ShapeGrabber provides the ability to do that through automation rather than manual inspection. ShapeGrabber has assisted us in improving our first-pass yield. When we can produce a quality part the first time, the entire production process benefits.”

For in-process inspection, the ShapeGrabber system has been proven to be easy-to-use and highly automated. After an initial scan, the same scanning parameters may be used for subsequent parts, delivering consistent results irrespective of operator skill or experience. Ease-of-use is manifested daily as dozens of production personnel routinely use the scanner, each having just minimal training.

Culture Of Quality

An unexpected benefit of the ShapeGrabber scanner system has also been reported: it is supporting a “culture of quality” at Blount. Employees are taking more ownership of the products and their quality. “The 3D scanner has engaged the people who use it more than they were engaged before. Now, we see employees taking more ownership of the products and their quality throughout the manufacturing organisation,” remarked Mr. Brunk.

 

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

READ MORE IN OUR LATEST ISSUE

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

 

Importance Of Process Control

Importance Of Process Control

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr Lim Boon Choon, President of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, APAC, regarding current trends in metrology.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding metrology in metalworking?

Metrology continues to be important to assure quality in the final products, but customers are beginning to see the importance of process control, not just quality control.  By process control, I mean getting metrology into the production area as well, and not just the quality room.  By installing hardware and software in the production area, customers can check critical dimensions directly during the production process and ensure that the products are within specifications.  This will help to ensure that there is less chance of products getting into the metrology room a few hours later and finding that the products do not meet the requirements and must be scrapped or re-worked.

Another trend is the use of non-contact scanning.  Customers are coming up with very highly polished materials or mixture of different materials that may be sensitive to scratch marks.  Non-contact scanning prevents scratches and speeds up the inspection very quickly.

The third trend is the increasing use of additive manufacturing as a complement to traditional manufacturing.

  1. How has Hexagon kept up with these trends?

Over the years, Hexagon has developed or acquired various technologies that allowed us to implement in-line, next-to-the-line, or off-line inspection.  We help customers build quality into their process from Design and Engineering, to Production and to final inspection.  Increasingly, we also provide automated inspection systems that allows customers to use metrology in the shop floor to control the process and reduce scraps and rework.

For example, our AICON TubeInspect solution is a unique equipment for customers producing tubes.  They can place their tubes in our system which measures the bending angles within a second and calculates the correct bending parameters to be sent back to the tube bending machine.  This kind of close loop process helps customers to get their tubes right quickly and saves a lot of time and cost of rework.

We also have software like NC-SIMUL that simulates the machining process, Hexagon production software for finding the best cutting strategy, SIMUFACT for CAE simulation of additive manufacturing, Q-DAS and eMMA to monitor the manufacturing process and manage the relationship between parts, shop floor and portable CMM that allows us to measure the parts directly in the production area.

Another example of our products being shop floor ready is that we designed our CMM to have in-built message lights (Global S CMM), and pulse sensors that monitor vibration, humidity, temperature in real time.

Hexagon is now helping customers to optimise product innovation at various stages like Design, planning, production, quality assurance and post Production, and also our ability to link and integrate all data through our Smart Factory solutions and Assets Management system.

  1. What are the main challenges faced by the metrology industry?

With the market going for more innovative products that may be highly customized, manufacturers are faced with high mix low volume situations.  They need solutions that are easy to implement, robust and well connected to their manufacturing systems.

Many customers know that they need information to make good decisions, but there is a general lack of understanding of what can be done to tap in the information from various equipment (connectivity problem), and how to get actionable data; not just data, but actionable data.

  1. How can they be overcome?

It boils down to leadership.  Leaders have to be bold, have vision and courage to change.  Start small and scale up quickly.

Rethink quality.  Quality is not just in the quality room but should be built into the products right from how we design the product, how we ensure the design is strong, can be produced cost effectively, and the equipment and software are suitable to produce the product consistently.  Look into process control, and not just quality control in the Quality room.

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

With the push towards Industry 4.0, and especially with government encouragement and funding, I think manufacturers will want to implement more and more smart systems – automated solutions on the shop floor and monitored with software that gives them smart diagnostics and even artificial intelligence built in to identify problems early.  Process control and non-contact scanning will also be increasingly prevalent.

 

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

READ MORE IN OUR LATEST ISSUE

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

ZEISS Acquires GOM To Furthers Its Goal Of Technological Leadership In Industrial Metrology And Quality Assurance

ZEISS Acquires GOM To Furthers Its Goal of Technological Leadership in Industrial Metrology and Quality Assurance

ZEISS is expanding the industrial metrology and quality assurance portfolio of its Industrial Quality & Research segment by acquiring GOM, a leading provider of hardware and software for automated 3D coordinate measuring technology. Both ZEISS and GOM have enjoyed strong growth in the past years and proved successful on the market. The aim is to further strengthen this leading technological position together, especially in the area of optical digitisation systems. The combination of existing products and solutions as well as joint innovations in the future will lay the foundation for shaping and entering new markets.

“Our growth strategy expressly mentions the targeted acquisition of highly innovative solutions, technologies and companies, which can reach their full potential as part of the ZEISS Group,” said Dr. Michael Kaschke, President & CEO of ZEISS. “By acquiring GOM and thereby expanding our solutions portfolio, we are bolstering the leading position of our Industrial Quality & Research segment and will be able to offer even better solutions for our customers. This is entirely in keeping with our corporate strategy, which is focused on our customers’ success.”

Combining the ZEISS product portfolio with the optical 3D measuring technology from GOM has the potential to create new opportunities and expand market access for Industrial Quality & Research. GOM offers cutting-edge solutions for surface digitisation, which will strengthen ZEISS in this area. Dr. Jochen Peter, Member of the ZEISS Executive Board and Head of the Industrial Quality & Research segment, explained: “With this acquisition, we are pursuing our goal of achieving a leading position in the area of surface measurement and digitisation. Customers and users in both areas will benefit from the strengths of GOM and ZEISS in the areas of software and hardware.”

“Being part of the ZEISS Group will open up new opportunities for GOM in the future, which will also positively impact the site in Braunschweig and our business partners. By pooling ZEISS and GOM’s process and solutions know-how, we can tap into new customer segments and applications,” said Dr. Detlef Winter, Managing Director of GOM.

READ MORE IN OUR LATEST ISSUE

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

FARO BuildIT 2019 Software Optimises Manufacturing And Assembly Workflows

FARO BuildIT 2019 Software Optimises Manufacturing And Assembly Workflows

FARO has released its advanced BuildIT 2019 software suite which represents the evolution of the BuildIT platform. It offers three individual products, each specifically designed for the most challenging quality inspection, manufacturing and assembly or construction applications. Each product includes the most flexible and intuitive user interface in the industry.

While the BuildIT 2019 solution suite is tightly integrated with FARO hardware products, it also enables consistent, high-quality outcomes for non-FARO hardware products.

BuildIT Metrology 2019

BuildIT Metrology 2019 elevates the standard for workflow optimisation and productivity for alignment, inspection, and build applications by incorporating key customer learnings from the previous generation that include:

  • Point cloud alignment and registration up to 10 times faster and file size reduction for analyses by up to 70 percent
  • Improved robustness of GD&T evaluation using feature-specific extraction settings for analysis
  • Dynamic reporting that automatically pre-populates analysis reports and reduces report preparation time
  • Advanced automation capabilities for creating repeatable, guided, automated workflows

BuildIT Projector 2019

BuildIT Projector 2019 allows manufacturers to plan and operate imaging laser projection and verification workflows to improve the quality and speed of assembly processes. Together with the FARO Tracer Imaging Laser Projector, it is a core component of the first and only all-in-one solution for laser-assisted templating and verification.

Included standard in the first generation were groundbreaking features as In-Process VerificationFeature-Based Alignment, and Foreign Object & Debris Detection. BuildIT Projector 2019 enhances these features to create a completely new, operator-friendly paradigm that includes:

  • Report generation that clearly identifies completed tasks and the results of In-Process Verification.
  • Automatic re-alignment of the laser projector where BuildIT Projector detects that the base part has moved
  • A more intuitive user experience through a variety of enhancements, including setup and operation through a joystick controller

BuildIT Construction 2019

The previous generation version of BuildIT was the first consolidated software and hardware solution designed from the ground up as an end-to-end, fully integrated Building Lifecycle Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) management tool. BuildIT 2019 offers a unique set of value added enhancements that include:

  • A comprehensive Tank Analysis Package to determine and identify critical issues in the plant facility that support faster modification and renovation
  • Significant reduction in on-site cycle time from laser scan projection data preparation to 3D visualisation
  • Streamlined raw scan import process with the Scan Import feature that automatically detects targets and facilitates faster alignment with the software
  • Numerous other workflow efficiency improvements that include file size reduction, faster rendering and clipping box functionality

“We are in the business of making best-in-class software that enables best-in-class solutions,” stated Vito Marone, Senior Director 3D Solutions. “The entire BuildIT suite is leveraged from our cutting-edge 3D metrology capability derived from 20 years of proven expertise in delivering best-in-class measurement solutions to the manufacturing industry. As such, BuildIT 2019 is central for both our customers and users of other hardware products to derive the highest level of performance that the hardware itself supports.”

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Hendrie Viktor, Regional Director at ZEISS Southeast Asia regarding current trends in the manufacturing and metrology industry.

1) Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry in Asia?

In an attempt to soften the effects of globalisation, productivity and quality gain drives are most evident. Competing with neighbouring companies are no longer enough to secure one’s business interests. Through globalisation and commoditisation to some degree, the bar on price and quality has been raised exponentially. As a result, some manufacturing industries were adversely affected by consolidation. In my opinion, Asia in particular has been subjected to this harshly but responded well over the past decade—a great example are the quality gains on “Made in China” over the last few years. The relentless expectations on price competitiveness and quality standards has reached a point where traditional, incremental cost and quality gains are no longer enough and reaping the benefits of smart manufacturing or industry 4.0 is crucial.

2) To keep up with these manufacturing trends, what are the newest developments or technological advancements in ZEISS’s metrology solutions?

We address our customer’s ever-increasing productivity and quality requirements through solutions that enable manufacturers to inspect or measure faster and more frequently than before. Gone are the days of random sampling in a quality lab. In-process inspection and shop floor metrology have brought significant time savings and quality gains. Multi-purpose measuring instruments have replaced the need for multiple set-up’s, and workflow solutions have brought insights into manufacturing processes and quality that were previously unseen.

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions has been and still is at the forefront of the inspection and dimensional metrology transformation and plan to keep it this way moving forward. We continue to make significant investments, at least 10 percent of our revenue, into R&D annually in order to continue to deliver market-shaping innovations.

3) With increasing digitalisation of the manufacturing sector, what are the main challenges faced by the metrology industry?

Firstly, the sudden shift can be overwhelming and we’ve seen countless processes being digitalised for the sake of it—with huge amounts of digital data being collected, but not put to good use. Determining where, when and how frequently digital data needs to be collected as well as how it will be put to valuable use is crucial but it remains a great challenge for many since skill shortages in the field of digitalisation exists. There is also data and platform incompatibility, or rather standardisation hurdles to overcome as suppliers mostly develop their own Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms. Lastly, data handling and security still deters many companies from taking that leap.

4) How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

Relevant education and continued learning will go a long way towards addressing hesitation and will help ensure digitalisation efforts pay off. I see the need for industry and universities or technical schools to work hand in hand. That will stimulate the need for faster adoption. Alliances between machine manufacturers can address platform and standardisation issues to unlock IIoT benefits. Such an example can be seen in the recently founded ADAMOS alliance, of which ZEISS is a founding member of.

5) Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next five to 10 years?

With the pace of today’s change, it would be difficult to even predict this with some degree of certainty. I think the value-add from productivity and quality gains through digitalisation and new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing is going to be tremendous that consolidation is going to happen on a much broader scale. I see low volume, high mix through flexible manufacturing becoming a norm and thus bringing manufacturing closer to the end user, further reducing non-value-added costs. This will call for a very different approach to metrology.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

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

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

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched a laser tracker line, the Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600. This new product introduces a new concept in metrology-grade laser trackers, with targetless 3D scanning possible for the first time, directly from the laser tracker. The ATS600 can scan a surface with metrological accuracy from a distance of up to 60 metres with no need for targets, sprays, reflectors or probes.

Following in the footsteps of the Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL that was released in 2017, the ATS600 delivers as much accuracy as is needed by targeted metrology applications, with its focus more on measurement usability and processing speed. Previously difficult to reach areas are simply measured without even the need for tracker repositioning, while surfaces that would previously have taken hours to manually scan can now be digitised in minutes.

“We’re always very focused on usability and productivity throughout our research and development process, and so large-scale scanning is a very interesting concept for us,” said Matthias Saure, Laser Tracker Product Manager at Hexagon. “Like the LAS-XL before it, the ATS600 introduces a fundamental change to the scale in which we think about non-contact scanning. We know that users are increasingly interested in digitising parts as a way to absolutely ensure production quality, and we think the ATS600 is a product that can really take digitisation into new places of industrial production and play a key role in expanding the role of quality assurance.”

The system works by identifying a scan area within its field of view and then creating a sequentially measured grid of data points that define that surface, with accuracy to within as little as 300 microns. Measurement point density is fully customisable, so that users can choose the ideal balance between detail and process speed for their specific application. The Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600 is unique in delivering this functionality at metrology-grade accuracy and alongside easy integration within established metrology workflows – the ATS600 is compatible with all major metrology software platforms as has been designed to sit comfortably within a wider metrology toolkit.

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

Digital Transformation Of The 3D Measurement Industry

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Quah Beng Chieh, Head of Marketing (Asia Pacific) at FARO Technologies regarding FARO’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in 2019.

1. Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

FARO is well-attuned to the industry’s trends and demands, and we continually invest efforts into developing new 3D measurement technology to cater to our customers’ needs. In 2018, FARO launched several cutting-edge measurement solutions that were developed with our customers’ challenges in mind. The 8-Axis Quantum FaroArm, the world’s only eight-axis portable metrology arm solution, seamlessly integrates with any FaroArm to enable operators to rotate a part in real-time, relative to the arm. When used in conjunction with the newly launched Prizm Laser Line Probe, which scans objects in high-resolution 3D color, users can speed up and simplify the inspection of dimensional and surface character quality issues for molded parts due to the Prizm’s true-to-life functionality. Another significant product launch is the introduction of the 6Probe for the FARO 6DoF Laser Tracker — a fully integrated hand-held probe for easily probing hidden, hard-to-reach features. Together, the patented FARO Super 6DoF and 6Probe total solution addresses a wide range of large scale metrology applications across a variety of manufacturing focused industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, heavy equipment and shipbuilding. All these have contributed to significant revenue growth on over 2018, despite a poor economic environment.

 

2. What are your expectations on the regional economy in 2019?

According to a report by Grand View Research, the 3D metrology market is gaining importance due to an increasing demand for improved products and services across end-use sectors such as industrial, automotive, and power generation. This rise in demand can be attributed to growing adherence to international quality standards across the entire industry domain which has also encouraged greater demand for metrology equipment and services. Likewise, we are also expecting the Asia Pacific 3D metrology market to grow significantly due to continued economic growth in emerging countries like China, India and Southeast Asia.

 

3. What business trends in Asia capture your interest for growth next year?

The 3D measurement industry is constantly evolving due to increasingly complex market needs and requirements, and thus requires constant innovation to ensure a steady introduction of varied solutions. Digital transformation of the manufacturing industry continues to gain prominence, urging manufacturers to look for solutions that will allow them to digitise information and digitalise processes in order to improve their organisation’s response to market changes. Solutions with advanced technology that empower customers to tap on data-driven collaborations for improved productivity are also expected to rise to prominence in the market.

In addition to solutions that enable manufacturers to efficiently digitise product designs and relevant 3D measurement data, FARO will also continue to introduce solutions like the FARO Visual Inspect — which offers companies new opportunities for enhanced collaboration across departments and production processes. Using complex 3D data previously unavailable in a production line, and an augmented reality function that is suitable for all working environments, 3D measurement technology like the Visual Inspect can help manufacturers streamline their processes to be more flexible and nimble, while taking into account increasing cost pressures.

 

4.What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out in 2019?

Over the last decade, manufacturers’ measurement needs have grown to become increasingly complex as the designs of their products have become more complicated. This will likely continue to be true as manufacturers push boundaries in the product development process. Effectively, we expect that customers will require even more innovative, advanced technologies that meet their sophisticated measurement needs.

Manufacturers’ preferences are also shifting from off-line quality inspection to near-line or in-line measurement techniques in order to enable higher sampling rates and shorter inspection times. This will drive growth in the integration of CMMs and optical scanners with assembly lines for greater effectiveness, efficiency, and improved quality control.

 

5. What potential and opportunity do you see in the industry next year?

The manufacturing industry is ever-evolving. Customers today are much more aware of what they want and need, demanding improved efficiency and innovative products, and this trend is catalysed by the accelerated development in technology. Organisations, regardless of their size and shape, can survive and grow if they adapt quickly and stay abreast of the current manufacturing industry trends. To better equip our customers to do just that, FARO is actively working to offer solutions with advanced technology that allow them to enjoy greater efficiency and convenience. As the economy continues to grow in Asia, companies will seek to expand their operations, optimise to reduce cost, and expand capabilities to capture new markets. We expect a rise in manufacturers’ demand for measurement and imaging solutions to tackle their evolving metrology needs, and our team will be ready to respond by educating users across Asia, about our solutions and how their businesses can benefit from incorporating our technology.

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Wong Seng Yeow, Business Development Manager at TRUMPF regarding current trends in the metrology and manufacturing industry.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry?

The manufacturing industry has evolved significantly over time – from steam engines to mass production with electricity, then automation and in recent years Industry 4.0. The latest trend may be described as the digital networking of manufacturing technology with big data and analytics, autonomous robots, Internet of Things, etc. Sometimes known as the fourth industrial revolution, it signifies the combination of traditional industrial practices with digital technology.

A key driving force for Industry 4.0 applications is the increased transparency and flexibility for the manufacturing industry. In the model of a Smart Factory production line, companies may analyse and respond optimally to fluctuations in production capacity and factory utilisation. Flexible production layouts allow them to deal with increasingly individualised products and reduced batch sizes, coupled with the possibility of reducing costs through increase in the degree of automation and improved efficiency. Another advantage is production stability through the adoption of predictive maintenance. Self-monitoring and regular evaluation of machines helps in preventive maintenance which leads to increased productivity and quality.  In cases of machine breakdowns, remote servicing may be done at significantly lower cost.

In a nutshell, the trend toward Industry 4.0 enables digitally managed product assembly, inventory management, resources management and service maintenance. Ideally, human intervention will be considerably reduced as processes will be largely managed and performed with artificial intelligence.

  1. With increasing digitalisation, how has TRUMPF kept up with these trends to remain competitive?

Amidst challenging business environment, TRUMPF has always managed to rise above its competition by upholding one of the company’s guiding principles “Courage to transform”. From the development of plasma cutters to EUV laser, this notion has played an integral role in empowering the company to take courageous, transformative decisions over the past decades. In the same vein, it sets the right framework for an effective digital transformation.

Over the years, digitalisation has already permeated many areas of our business. An example of this trend is the conceptualisation of TruConnect, TRUMPF Machine Tool’s advanced range of solutions for connected sheet metal fabrication, comprising of hardware, software and services. The suite of products lays the foundation for production facilities to streamline control with minimal human intervention. Within TruConnect, key products such as TruTops Fab software are testaments to TRUMPF’s dedication to commercialise solutions based on its digital ambition. They are our answers to customers’ rising expectations of quality as they struggle with diminishing batch sizes, fast delivery times and low prices.

  1. What are the main challenges faced by this industry in Asia?

Key challenges for digitalisation of the manufacturing industry in Asia include inadequate infrastructural readiness, awareness and knowledge competency.

In mature markets such as Europe, the knowledge and infrastructure required to reap the benefits of technology are present. However, in regions such as Southeast Asia, the extent of adoption of new technologies is limited as information technology infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped in emerging markets such as Myanmar.

Digitalization might still be a foreign topic to some companies as well as the potential advantages that follows, such as achieving operational transparency through data analytics. To the less-informed, digital transformation is a process which translates into unsavoury repercussions such as job displacement.

The unwillingness to embrace digitalisation also stems from the fact that employees are not sufficiently trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge. Without fully appreciating the advantages of digitalisation, decision makers will not be willing to incur cost to train employees with the required skillset means placing additional strain on their tight budgets.

  1. How can they be overcome?

Adoption of Industry 4.0 applications in Asia can be successfully implemented when the government, local companies and key industry leaders such as TRUMPF work together.

On the part of local manufacturing companies, it is first important to implement the digital strategy from top down. Decision makers should proactively analyse the process, tools and benefits of digitalisation. It is also crucial to address the unfounded insecurity of employees who have concerns about being replaced by new technology. In this regard, companies may seize the chance to train its labour force to be digitally-skilled, thereby enabling them to handle higher level processes. With a supportive workforce, companies can achieve a smooth end-to-end integration of their data and operational process.

As a market leader in the manufacturing industry, TRUMPF intends to continue empowering manufacturing companies in their digitalisation journey by offering solutions and services which suit their various needs. For instance, TRUMPF is committed to develop the South East Asian industry by educating manufacturers in the region on digitalisation through the TruConnect solution. Advance production-planning softwares and Smart Factory consultancy services are designed to support customers in their digitalisation journey through a step-by-step approach – first assessing existing manufacturing layout, identifying bottlenecks and challenges, then proposing technology solutions to optimise manufacturing processes and operations. That said, digitalisation should not be perceived as a one-time process but as a continuous transformation which should be sustained.

Naturally, TRUMPF also works closely with government agencies such as the Singapore Economic Development Board to develop the market infrastructure and constantly nurture companies in the region.

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

Over the next years, market condition will be increasingly difficult as companies compete not only on price but on efficiency as well. In such a market environment, a company’s success will depend on its courage to transform. As digitalisation allows the creation of new businesses and growth opportunities, a shift in dynamics can be expected as the industry consolidates – only players who are able to successfully digitalise will survive and thrive.

The future of manufacturing lies in transparency and connectivity. For TRUMPF, the majority of sales is still expected to come from machinery, but software and digital services will play an increasingly significant role. With an eye on growing our market share, we will continue to be the leading provider of new digital solutions in the manufacturing industry.

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Back To Top