New CMM laser sensor technology and automation software from Hexagon

New developments from Hexagon include a hot off the press ‘no compromise’ high-accuracy, high-speed laser scanner and a new platform to accelerate autonomous quality assurance for Industry 4.0. PES reports.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced the HP-L-10.10, a ‘genre-busting’ new laser sensor for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) that offers manufacturers the ability to perform non-contact dimensional measurements at comparable accuracy to tactile probing and inspect almost any surface in a fraction of the time.

Manufacturers using CMMs for critical part measurements have become accustomed to trading speed for accuracy. The HP-L-10.10 sensor utilises Hexagon’s latest cross-platform laser line scanning technology to offer similar repeatability a performance compared to tactile measurements executed on the same CMM.

Furthermore, it can measure 600,000 individual points per second with a probing form error of just 8μm, rapidly capturing a complete high-resolution digital representation of a part that is valid for both surface and detailed feature inspection. While laser scanning has been possible on CMMs, the HP-L-10.10 is seven times faster than its predecessor and introduces a more high-precision scanning concept.

The new sensor employs Hexagon’s SHINE (Systematic High-Intelligence Noise Elimination) technology, making it possible to scan almost any part surface or finish at maximum speed and accuracy without user intervention.

“We believe this laser-line scanner is game-changing because it offers speed, flexibility and accuracy without sacrificing one crucial inspection need for another,” says Patryk Wroclawski, product manager non-contact & laser triangulation.

“The HP-L-10.10 redefines what can be achieved with a single piece of equipment, so that our customers can utilise comprehensive measurement data for actions beyond final part quality, whether that be within new product development or continuous improvement initiatives.”

The HP-L-10.10 complements Hexagon’s extensive offering of sensor solutions for CMMs, providing manufacturers greater flexibility projects with confidence that their CMM investment can take on the broadest range of measurement applications from larger sheet-metal parts to intricate electric vehicle components. Available for the Global S productivity line and Global Advantage CMMs.

Working closely with PC-DMIS

Developed in close collaboration with the device, Hexagon’s PC-DMIS inspection software enables users to automatically produce efficient laser-scanning paths by automatically generating the tips, scans and motions needed for measurement. The software can capture a single point cloud with variable point density within one motion that is valid for both surface and detailed feature inspection. Users can easily visualise surface imperfections, fully exploiting the scanner’s multi-faceted capabilities to identify perceived quality issues to feed continuous process improvement.

When measuring large parts or remotely programming the CMM, the user’s experience is greatly enhanced by an integrated Overview Camera (OVC), that provides a clear view of the work area with visible guides on the part that indicate the measurement range.

The visible guides help to warn the quality technician when the measurement range is exceeded, allowing for easier routine creation and inspection through PC-DMIS software. The Overview Camera also improves productivity and collaboration during inspection, for example photographing a part surface that is out of tolerance so that the operator and production colleagues can quickly locate the problem.

The HP-L-10.10 laser-line scanner is now available worldwide. Visit Hexagon’s new Can I Measure It? microsite (link below) for resources explaining how measurement challenges are overcome with effective strategies and the best use of CMM and sensor technologies. 

Open robotic control software simplifies industrial automation

Also new from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, which supplies smart manufacturing technologies to giants from Volkswagen to Boeing – is HxGN Robotic Automation, pioneering robotic programming and control software that enables non-specialist quality professionals to program industrial robots to perform fully automated quality inspection.

The platform enables manufacturers to equip greenfield factories or retrofit existing production lines with autonomous optical inspection cells, accelerating time to market by eliminating historic bottlenecks while providing more complete data direct from the production line as products are made.

HxGN Robotic Automation enables manufacturers to accelerate adoption of Industry 4.0 by intelligently devising optimal inspection routines in a single step – a task that would typically demand significant time and attention from both a metrology and robotics professional.

With HxGN Robotic Automation, manufacturers can now develop the programme offline, away from the production line in a digital reality, and deploy a robust programme to the robotic cell. The software is already used by market leaders such as Škoda Auto to enhance its manufacturing production lines.

Martin Jehlička, chief of measurement centre at Škoda Auto explains: “We have reduced the time required to programme robotic inspection from several days to just four hours using the new software, so we can be ready and waiting to inspect a new vehicle as soon as we want to begin production.

“Robotic automation and Hexagon’s high-speed laser scanning systems have already halved the inspection time for parts and sub-assemblies, and installing these automated inspection cells on the production line is fundamental to our Industry 4.0 strategy of making data available and actionable so quality trends can be identified quickly, or in some cases automatically corrected.”

Quality at the heart of production

Built on open design principles, the software interfaces with any new or existing industrial robots and is flexible so that quality professionals can employ the most appropriate metrology sensors to help rapidly futureproof factories with real-time, inline metrology.

By enabling real-time measurement data to be automatically captured at source and used to optimise production in real-time, the technology embeds quality assurance in the heart of production to enable faster, self-correcting manufacturing and free up staff time for other tasks, such as data analysis.

The technology allows users to multiply their efforts in improving quality assurance across a manufacturing line, driving consistent quality and consolidating metrology data throughout manufacturing lines. Robust offline programming makes it possible to repurpose or hone metrology cells with minimal production downtime, maintaining more agile manufacturing operations and enabling new cell-based manufacturing models that are based on achieving product customisation and speed without sacrificing the efficiencies associated with volume production.

With growing demand for vertical integration to consolidate quality control across diverse supply lines, the new software can work with everything from small to extra-large part sizes and from simple single fixed robot cells to complex cells with multiple sensors and robots on rails and tables.

The resulting metrology data will also help improve design simulations by enabling manufacturers to predict the as-manufactured performance of products at design stage, for example by anticipating residual stresses that could be caused during casting. Rich, real-time, in-line metrology data could fuel future machine learning systems to optimise designs, parts and production processes and create increasingly autonomous self-correcting production lines.

Stephen Graham, president of metrology and production software at Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, affirms: “Automating inspection is vital to enable OEMs to consolidate quality across increasingly diverse, complex products and processes.

“Truly smart manufacturing needs swift, accurate and accessible measurement data, but many robotic inspection systems are costly, complex, closed systems that are incompatible with manufacturer’s chosen tools and inaccessible to non-specialists. HxGN Robotic Automation is built around openness, so that manufacturers can swiftly and seamlessly futureproof entire manufacturing lines for robotic inspection.”

HxGN Robotic Automation supports Hexagon laser trackers, Leica T-Scan and AS1 scanners and directly interfaces with Fanuc and KUKA robots while built-in postprocessors enable the robot controller to work with a wide range of third-party robots. Future versions will support the HxGN SLS Structured Light Scanner and third-party sensors.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
www.hexagonmi.com

HxGN Robotic Automation
www.hexagonmi.com/products/robotics-and-automation/hxgn-robotic-automation

Hexagon ‘Can I measure it microsite
https://go.hexagonmi.com/can-i-measure-it

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