Creaform Connect: 3D Measurement Solutions Summit
Virtual tradeshow and conference provides an international opportunity to experience Creaform’s innovations at work
Creaform, a worldwide leader in 3D measurement solutions has announced Creaform Connect: 3D Measurement Solutions Summit, a new virtual tradeshow and conference. Starting with two live days on Nov. 17 and 18, forward-thinking manufacturers, education institutions and businesses can explore Creaform’s latest innovations and engineering services at the event.
Attendees from a wide array of industries, including automotive, aerospace, metalworking and more will learn how Creaform’s solutions address multiple challenges from product lifecycle management and quality control to reverse engineering, Industry 4.0, NDT, MRO and beyond.
Recently launched products like the new 3D scanner MetraSCAN BLACK and new automated quality control solutions of the R-Series lineup will be featured along with educational offerings that prepare engineers and designers for tomorrow’s workplace. Discover the most versatile dimensional metrology solutions and services in the market through this virtual summit:
Recently launched innovations: experience a new standard in portable and automated metrology through videos, technical specifications, best-practices, case-studies and more.
Demonstrations of every solution: dynamic, interactive virtual booths that showcase 3D technology and services as well as provide opportunities to ask questions about customised applications.
A dozen conference presentations: talks on a wide range of applications and industries will provide additional learning opportunities and access to leading experts.
Assistance in multiple languages: Creaform’s global team will offer live support via one-on-one chats, group discussions and video calls in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and on-demand support in additional languages.
Live and on-demand content: Dual format options let attendees interact and experience information at their own pace and convenience.
“2020 changed the tradeshow landscape, but it did not stop the pace of Creaform’s innovations,” says Creaform president Fanny Truchon. “This year, Creaform launched the fastest, most accurate 3D portable scanner on the market, a versatile line of automated solutions, new and enhanced options for non-destructive testing and more.
“We are always searching for new ways to connect and share our technology and insights with the businesses we can provide the most value and impact to internationally,” adds Marc-Antoine Schneider, head of sales at Creaform. “Through Creaform Connect, we will share our 3D solutions with leaders throughout the manufacturing and transportation industries and beyond.
Following two days of live programming, the virtual tradeshow and conference will continue on demand through December 2020.
Creaform develops, manufactures, and sells 3D portable and automated measurement technologies and specialises in engineering services. The company offers innovative solutions for applications such as 3D scanning, reverse engineering, quality control, non-destructive testing, product development and numerical simulation (FEA/CFD). Its products and services cater to a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, heavy industries, healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, power generation, research and education.
FARO Launches Latest 3D portable CMM
Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, the FARO Gage boasts unmatched affordability, speed, performance and accuracy
FARO Technologies, Inc, the global leader for 3D measurement, imaging and realisation solutions for 3D Metrology, AEC, and Public Safety Analytics, has announced the release of its most affordable and accurate 3D portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM), the FARO Gage.
Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses performing high-accuracy tasks, the Gage is the most intuitive, ergonomic, and versatile articulated portable FaroArm®, enabling machine shops to perform their most demanding 3D inspections in record time.
The all-in-one-solution also reduces calibration costs and minimises clutter, replacing traditional hand tools such as calipers, micrometres, and height gauges, while providing 20 percent more reach than the previous-generation Gage arm. Lightweight and portable but with the precision of a lab instrument and the ruggedness of a shop floor device, the Gage sets up in seconds, reduces inspection time, and delivers quality results with exceptional flexibility, resulting in increased speed and productivity.
“When it comes to measurement equipment value, accuracy, portability, speed and affordability matter,” says Michael Carris, Ph.D, vice president of product marketing at FARO. “Too often machine shops rely on expensive and hard-to-use fixed CMMs that take up valuable floor space or a multitude of hand tools that slow down the process. The Gage eliminates these inefficiencies. As a result, inspection bottlenecks are greatly reduced, measurement accuracy is improved, and operator variability is significantly minimised.”
As the United States and the world begin emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the value proposition for such a product could not be clearer. While global industry is presently suppressed, economists predict a robust recovery by Q3 and Q4. That means that many machine shops now operating at half speed will rapidly ramp up production. Demand will surge and products will require fast-tracked release.
The FARO Gage achieves this aim by improving efficiency and productivity as never before.
That efficiency begins with setup. A universal quick mount ensures compatibility with a variety of mounting options that allows it to be set it up anywhere, including on-machine. A simple 2-button design, 6-point articulation and built-in counterbalance deliver exceptional ease of use and fatigue-free operation. Its compact design makes the product lightweight and easy to transport. The Gage is compatible with FARO’s full line of metrology software, including CAM2 Probing, the simple contact measurement solution. The result is an advanced metrology device that delivers unparalleled performance.
“Small and medium size operations can now take full advantage of 3D measurement technology,” adds Michael Carris. “For machine shops, quality problems, imprecise measurement, scrapped parts, extended wait times and customers part rejections all contribute to unnecessary expenses that become more critical during these trying economic times. The FARO Gage allows for more streamlined processes, significant waste reduction, and quick return on investment. Backed by FARO’s 40-year history of superior portable measurement experience, the Gage allows more companies to benefit from lean manufacturing practices and will be employing the new industry standard in compact performance and affordability.”
For more information, contact:
True north for metrology solutions
Following the great success of last year’s event, FARO, Optimax, Bruker Alicona, Aberlink, Heidenhain, Manchester Metrology and the NPL have joined together to stage an even larger Northern Metrology networking event. Given the positive reaction of last year’s event visitors, once again the venue will be the home of Manchester City FC, the spectacular Etihad Stadium.
Given the increasing complexity and challenging precision standards of today’s components, the importance of accurate measurement has never been greater. The global metrology industry continuously responds to the rising demands for ever more accurate and easier to use products. By harnessing advanced technologies, the industry’s prolific R&D departments regularly develops and launches advanced new metrology instruments and software, in addition to providing effective new measuring services.
The forthcoming Northern Metrology networking provides visitors with the ideal opportunity to witness practical demonstrations of many of the metrology industry’s latest innovations and to discuss their specific measurement problems with industry experts. Due to the diverse range of products being demonstrated at last year’s event, many attendees were able to find cost-effective answers to their most vexing measuring problems.
Throughout the day there will be featured presentations identifying key metrology news and solutions for your industry. If feasible, attendees are encouraged to bring parts along so that they can be scanned and measured on the day. Visitors are also able to take advantage of free Manchester City stadium tours (spaces are limited, therefore please register interest upon registration).
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester City Football Club
When: 18th September 2019
Register here for FREE: https://measure-anything.faro-europe.com
FARO new technology days
FARO has announced the locations and dates for its latest technology days and they are as follows:
Dublin, 8th November 2018
Belfast, 9th November 2018
Southampton, 13th November 2018
Huddersfield, 15th November 2018
FARO R&D teams have been hard at work producing a range of innovative new factory metrology solutions and both existing and prospective customers now have the unique opportunity to witness demonstrations of new, state-of-the art 3D measurement and laser projection technologies at a series of technology days. These informative roadshows will allow FARO’s experts to explain how quality assurance, manufacturing and production processes can be optimised with the help of the company’s advanced new technologies.
Seamlessly integrating a FaroArm® with an eighth-axis, the new FARO 8-Axis FaroArm system will be put through its paces, showing the speed and ergonomics it can offer within a manufacturing environment. The eighth axis is a fully rotational axis that is seamlessly integrated into the portable Quantum FaroArm offering a comprehensive, contact/non-contact metrology solution, which allows users to significantly speed up and simplify their measurement and scanning activities.
The new FARO PrizmTM Laser Line Probe (LLP), that is designed to operate as a compact, tightly integrated solution with the FaroArm, will also be demonstrated. This is the first LLP available in the market that includes the ability to scan in high-resolution and 3D colour.
The latest additions to the FARO Factory Metrology measurement portfolio, the FARO VantageS6 and VantageE6 Laser Trackers, are large-scale, high-accuracy measurement solutions that deliver 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) measurement capabilities via the optional 6Probe, which enables access to hidden areas and small features will also be present.
Also new to the FARO Factory Metrology solutions product family is the TracerSI Laser Projector. Experts will illustrate how the Tracer has the ability to guide an assembly process sequence, accurately locate and orient components, and perform in-process verification, thus increasing manufacturing efficiencies.
FARO staff will be presenting FARO Visual InspectTM, an easy-to-use iPad verification solution for streamlining manufacturing processes. It allows intuitive viewing of complex 3D data of parts / assemblies and Quick-Check Comparison. Visual Inspect AR adds innovative Augmented Reality to the base package.
The company’s new technology days will give customers the opportunity to discover, compare and test all of the latest FARO solutions. Attendees are invited to bring their own parts and related CAD files to the demonstration sessions so that FARO experts are able to prove the new technologies’ advanced measurement and analysis capabilities.
Find the nearest technology day located to you: https://technology-days.faro-europe.com/en/
Carfulan Group announces technology event
An extensive range of complementary manufacturing technologies, including one that is revolutionising the production of metal and ceramic parts, is to be brought together for the very first time by one of the UK’s most innovative companies.
The Carfulan Group is throwing open the doors of its Derbyshire headquarters this December for the ‘Manufacturing Performance Network,’ where its five businesses will give live demonstrations of leading production performance solutions. Among them will be an XJet machine, that utilises ground-breaking NanoParticle Jetting™ (NPJ) technology capable of 3D-printing geometrically complex ceramic and metal components quickly, safely and with unmatched quality.
It will be the first time the machine has been on display in the UK, after XJ3D, the Carfulan Group’s newest company, became the first appointed worldwide partner of Israel-based XJet. Across OGP UK, SYS Systems, ZOLLER UK, VICIVISION UK and XJ3D, the Carfulan Group’s unique business model allows it to work with leading UK manufacturers in multi-sensor metrology, turned-part measurement, additive manufacturing and tool pre-setting and inspection. It empowers its customers to improve their business processes and achieve end-product excellence.
Anyone interested in attending the Manufacturing Performance Network can register to do so now, but organisers are urging people to move quickly as demand is expected to be high.
OGP UK’s multi-sensor metrology systems can gauge the characteristics of even the most complex parts in real time and without human error, leading to better quality, reduced scrap and allowing products to be brought into the marketplace faster.
ZOLLER UK is a specialist in intuitive tool pre-setting, inspection and management systems, helping businesses to ensure tools are of the right quality to create accurate and conforming parts prior to machining. This not only reduces down time but also increases tool life, saves on tool costs and eliminates waste.
As a UK Stratasys platinum partner, SYS Systems supplies, installs and supports the full Stratasys product range. With rapid prototyping capabilities backed up by intelligent software and a vast array of material and colour options, bespoke Stratasys systems are facilitating the on-site production of ever-more realistic models, tooling aids and end-use parts.
VICIVISION UK is a leading supplier of high-performance optical and non-contact measuring machines for cylindrical parts such as shafts, valves, screws and threaded inserts. Optical measurement works by collecting data through video camera technology, performing automated data collection through a combination of advanced hardware and intuitive software.
XJet’s patented NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) technology, represented by XJ3D, enables users to produce intricate metal or ceramic parts with the same ease and versatility afforded by inkjet printing. It does this via a unique liquid dispersion technique, where liquid suspensions containing solid nanoparticles of selected build and support materials are jetted onto a build tray to create incredibly dense and detailed models.
By eliminating the hazardous and hard-to-handle powders that are prevalent in other technologies, NPJ is introducing a growing number of metal and ceramic materials to meet the requirements of a multitude of precision applications.
The Carfulan Group’s Manufacturing Performance Network takes place from December 4th-6th at its Innovation Centre in Foston, near Derby.
Anyone wishing to secure their free place can do so now by visiting:
Free ZEISS Webinar: Unlock the power of your quality data Wednesday 12th September, 09:30 – 10:00
On the road to Industry 4.0, measurement and inspection technology is increasingly being used as a control tool in manufacturing. However, as a part of this new role, the technology needs to capture quality data quickly and flexibly at different sites: in the measuring room, at-line and in-line. The technology also needs to merge and evaluate the data, making it available to persons and machines for control input. That’s where the ZEISS Quality Network comes in.
ZEISS quality data management software provides dynamic graphic reports, with the ability to combine quality data from multiple measuring systems. With the new digital solutions from ZEISS, users can also remotely monitor the condition of machines via their smartphone, reducing any potential downtime thanks to the predictive maintenance features.
For anyone who wants to learn more, ZEISS will be holding a free webinar “Unlock the power of your quality data”, on Wednesday 12th September between 09:30 – 10:00. Online registration is now open at www.zeiss.co.uk/quality-data-webinar
The company will be answering the following questions during the session:
• How can you collect your quality data effectively?
• How can you display your real-time data in a user-friendly way?
• How can you access your data anytime, anywhere?
• How can you use this data to increase your productivity?
Highlights of the webinar include an overview of the ZEISS quality data management software and how this provides you with dynamic graphic reports with the ability to combine quality data from multiple measuring systems. What’s more, understand how you can use ZEISS Digital Solutions to remotely monitor the condition of your machines to reduce any potential downtime.
Join us for this free webinar if you’re looking to better understand the power of your quality data and how it can drive your business decisions in the future.
Places for the webinar can be booked online at www.zeiss.co.uk/quality-data-webinar
Carl Zeiss Ltd
Tel: 01223 401500
Offline tool pre-setting solution delivers huge time and cost savings
A specialist die castings manufacturer has reduced factory down time by an incredible two hours a day thanks to an investment in offline tool pre-setting.
Since purchasing a smile420 machine from ZOLLER UK, MRT Castings estimates a 15-minute time saving on each of up to eight daily tool set ups, dramatically increasing its productivity.
The Hampshire-based firm, that for 60 years has produced components for technology companies across the world, has also reported a significant increase in tool accuracy, meaning its parts are coming off the production line right first time, every time.
Managing director Phil Rawnson says: “The smile420 has made an instant impact. Prior to installing it we were setting the tools on a machine and a typical set-up might have anywhere between 15 and 40 tools. We were loading every one into the machine, measuring them on there, taking the readings and putting those into the controls of the machine.
“With the ZOLLER we can be pre-setting all of our tools while the previous job is running, and all of that work can be done offline. Then, when it comes to the changeover, we can load all the tools into the magazine. By the end of its first week the ZOLLER machine was already being used for every set up on the shop floor.”
Traditional on-machine tool setting, even with expensive lasers, not only wastes time but is unreliable and cannot validate critical tool features prior to machining, increasing the risk of crashes and failures. Valuable minutes are lost every time a spindle stops turning, negatively impacting profit margins.
Irrespective of the CNC machine controller being used, ZOLLER tool pre-setters and inspection systems can interface with it, making transferring tool data automatically, reliably and securely a straightforward process, perfect for the demands of Industry 4.0.
Phil Rawnson adds: “We have a connectivity solution from the ZOLLER through our DNC software going straight into our CNC machines, so that we can actually send that data file straight from the ZOLLER into the CNC machine. What the ZOLLER tool pre-setter gives us is the opportunity to reduce the down time in a set up and also increase the accuracy. It’s also giving us the productivity by optimising those set up times.”
Precisely measured and inspected tools work to their optimum level, meaning they not only last longer but also drive up part finish quality, dramatically reducing scrap. A ‘right first time’ guarantee saves a manufacturer valuable time and money and gives customers complete confidence in the reliability of a supplier’s methods.
Phil Rawnson concludes: “When we started talking to the ZOLLER guys they instantly tried to understand our application. They really got under the skin of what we were looking for. The machine is going to pay for itself very quickly and therefore it was an easy judgement call for us in terms of making that investment.”
Blum celebrates major anniversaries in style with LC50 breakthrough
One of the world’s leading ‘in-machine’ measurement specialists is celebrating two big birthdays in 2018, with its UK operation 18 years-old and its German parent reaching half a century.
Blum-Novotest, which employs eight people at its offices in East Staffordshire, is marking the double anniversary in style after securing three new orders for its recently launched LC50, the next generation of laser measurement and the latest addition to its hugely successful DIGILOG family.
Customers involved in automotive, F1 and aerospace have already invested in the new technology, which uses premium laser optics, a new design shutter protection system and HPC nozzle to provide ‘ultra-reliable’ in-machine measurement data.
Bosses at the firm expect this new product to generate over £500,000 of additional orders over the next two years, with the main interest coming from manufacturers supplying high value parts.
David Mold, who founded the UK subsidiary in 2000, says: “We started out as a one-man engineering office when founder Günther Blum combined his studies in aerospace engineering with design work for machine tool manufacturers, eventually leading to him starting his own company in Schmalegg, near Ravensburg in South West Germany.
“The company has come a long way in 50 years and is now seen as a market leader, employing close on 550 people across 16 different world-wide operations. In order to mark the celebrations, we took a number of customers over to Blum Tech-Talk, a major event that gave them the opportunity to see how our probes and systems are built and the scale of our manufacturing facilities.
“Interest in our measuring capabilities is growing in the UK and we expect to double turnover this year, with more companies choosing to measure the accuracy of the spindle and the part whilst positioned in the machine.
“LC50 was a big boost for us and we were delighted to see construction work has started on a new assembly building in Germany, giving us double the capacity. This is great news for local customers keen to get their hands on our products quickly.”
Blum-Novotest is one of the global leaders in production metrology, offering laser control, tool setting probes, workpiece probes, roughness gauges, bore gauges and DIGILOG touch probes.
Its UK operation originally started life in a small office in Lichfield, but as the firm’s reputation grew in aerospace and automotive, sales started to increase rapidly and a move to bespoke offices and a state-of-the-art demonstration room in Burton-upon-Trent followed in 2015.
Today, the company delivers its solutions to some of the world’s largest aerospace primes, car manufacturers and a host of CNC machine tool suppliers, including the Engineering Technology Group, Whitehouse Machine Tools and Yeovil Machine Tools.
Key appointment at leading UK measurement specialist
Measurement Solutions, the UK partner for Creaform 3D portable metrology and Metrologic Group inspection software, has announced the appointment of Andrew Tagg as its new business development director.
Following the recent news that the business is undergoing re-structuring to better meet the needs of the industrial measurement market, Andrew Tagg has been appointed to take responsibility for business development and strategic growth of Measurement Solutions in the coming years. With over 10 years sales experience within the portable metrology and 3D scanning sectors, Andrew will provide the company with an injection of business and sales experience.
Starting his career as a design engineer, he soon moved to FARO Technologies and quickly developed through the ranks to regional sales manager, establishing the UK salesforce as easily the leading supplier of portable measuring arms. After 10 years of developing sales in the UK, he was also given responsibility for sales in several European territories, including Scandinavia, Benelux and the Spanish market. In 2015, following a re-structuring of the FARO business into vertical market sectors, Andrew was promoted to sales director EMEA for 3D Documentation Technologies, including scanning applications such as architecture, cultural heritage, mining and accident & crime scenes. At the end of 2016, his success was rewarded with promotion to global sales director for Faro’s Product Design sector, managing worldwide sales of scanning technologies for reverse engineering, product design and CADCAM modelling.
AndrewTagg has been well known throughout the UK metrology sector for many years and is respected by both his work colleagues and competitors alike. A focused individual who takes great pride in team-leading and achieving performance objectives, ultimately resulting in rapid sales growth, he brings with him a strong reputation for recruiting and mentoring young, energetic sales teams, which will certainly benefit the recent re-structuring of the Measurement Solutions business.
Iain Caville, managing director and founder of the company is excited by this new appointment: “Having Andy on board sends a strong message out to the market and also to our current and future technology partners, such as Creaform and Metrologic Group, that Measurement Solutions means business. I have admired Andy’s work ethic and desire to succeed for many years and I can’t describe how pleased and eager I am to have him as part of my team. I have been working on future growth plans for the company for several months and Andy is a key strategic decision that will now enable this to happen.”
Andy Tagg will work alongside Jason Bridge and David Harper, who have been key members of the Measurement Solutions team for over 10 years, creating a formidable management team to take the business forwards in the coming years.
Norbar celebrates its 75th anniversary at Cologne International Hardware Show
Celebrating 75 years in the industry, Norbar Torque Tools is heading to the Cologne International Hardware Show from the 4th to 7th March, with its largest range of torque wrenches, torque multipliers and torque measurement devices on display. The stand has also been specially designed with graphics featuring a timeline of the business’ milestones.
The headline product on the stand will be the Torque Wrench Calibrator, designed to perform accurate calibrations of Click, Cam, Dial and Electronic torque wrench designs in accordance to the newly revised ISO 6789-2:2017. In addition, it also allows torque wenches to be calibrated or tested in accordance to BS EN 26789:2003.
Other products on display include the popular EvoTorque 2, which uses the very latest in joint sensing technology, a patented motor design and market leading control software to produce exactly the right amount of torque required to tighten a specific joint. In addition, visitors to the stand will be able to explore the PTS, which replaces the PT-72 in the PneuTorque range, and houses an efficient air motor, purpose built to improve performance and precision.
Norbar’s Right Angled Gearbox, which enables the benefits of Norbar’s pneumatic and electric torque tools to be brought to a host of applications from which they are currently excluded due to space restrictions, will also feature on the stand. The Right Angled Gearbox provides most ET, PTS and PTM tools with a 90° angle of operation. There will also be a selection of measuring devices, such as the TruCheck, the TST and the ProTest, with expert engineers on hand to offer demonstrations.
Philip Brodey, sales director at Norbar Torque Tools comments: “The Cologne International Hardware Show is the biggest exhibition for the tool and fastener market and, with this year marking our 75th year in the industry, we are very much looking forward to exhibiting a number of the great products and solutions we have innovated thanks to the expertise we have garnered during this time.”
Norbar Torque Tools Ltd is the world’s leading torque tools specialist. Norbar specialises in the manufacture and worldwide distribution of torque tools for torque tightening, measurement and calibration. The primary office and factory location is in Banbury, Oxfordshire and there are also Norbar sales, service and calibration facilities in Australia, USA, Singapore, China and India. Other countries are served through a network of distributors.
Mantis inspection equipment ensures quality for handmade shoe manufacturer
The Cheaney Shoe brand represents the finest British craftsmanship, producing premium footwear handcrafted from start to finish in the original 1886 Northampton factory. From cutting the leather to stitching and final polishing, the entire process is conducted using the same methods developed by Cheaney from the very beginning. Cheaney has a highly skilled and experienced workforce and retains a strong reputation as one of the top English shoemakers chosen by discerning buyers across the world.
The first stage of the manufacturing process of the shoes is the cutting out, ‘clicking’, of the quality leather. Cheaney works with the best tanneries in Europe to secure the finest leather for its shoes, but as a natural material even the finest leather can have wire and vein marks that need to be picked up early in the manufacturing process to avoid having rejects later in the process.
In the past this was performed with the human eye, but they have now invested in equipment to enhance the human eye inspection with a Mantis Compact microscope to ensure that they can pick up these faults as soon as the leather has been cut out. Lesley Tartaglia, clicking room examiner, inspects thousands of sections per week to ensure that they are of the highest quality as they continue the 8-week process and 200 hand or hand tooled operations involved in making a pair of Cheaney shoes.
The Mantis Compact is bench mounted and allows Lesley Tartaglia to inspect the individual pieces of leather with a comfortable viewing position. The ergonomic design allows the user to wear glasses and have freedom of head movement, reduced eye fatigue, a long working distance and most importantly allows better hand to eye coordination which is crucial when inspecting large volumes of sections each week.
Cheaney Shoes purchased the Mantis Compact from Optimax Imaging Inspection and Measurement and found it invaluable to be able to bring samples of the leather to its showroom in the Midlands. This allowed them to try a number of different solutions to see which would work best for the application. Optimax always takes the time to understand each customers application so it can offer the best solutions available to them and UKAS accreditation ensures the highest possible quality and accuracy.
Alex Bateman, factory manager at Cheaney Shoes, concludes: ‘’We have already seen a return on our investment. We were hoping that the Mantis Compact would pay for itself by reducing the number of rejects within a year when we first purchased the equipment, but we are currently seeing a vast improvement of 25 percent of rejects that are now being picked up at this crucial first stage. It is now a key piece of kit in the clicking room to ensure that we continue to manufacture shoes to the highest quality standards that people expect when they purchase a Cheaney shoe.’’
Optimax Imaging Inspection & Measurement Ltd
Tel: 01858 436940
Metrology specialist announces restructuring
Measurement Solutions, the UK partner for Creaform 3D portable metrology and Metrologic Group inspection software, has announced plans to re-structure its business activities in response to the changing demands of customers and the 3D measurement and scanning market here in the UK.
Originally founded in 1998 as a solution provider for users of co-ordinate measuring machines (CMM’s), Measurement Solutions has grown to be one of the UK’s leading independent providers of CMM services and solutions as well as 3D scanning technologies. However, with manufacturing industry progressively moving away from traditional fixed CMM solutions towards portable metrology systems, in particular hand-held scanning technologies, and the implementation of automated inspection using industrial robots, the company has announced a radical re-structuring of its activities. Above all, these changes will provide customers with a more responsive and technically capable sales and support experience.
The measurement and inspection market has seen massive changes in recent years. Iain Caville, company founder and managing director, comments “Throughout the last two decades, the metrology landscape has remained somewhat stagnant, with CMM’s and portable arms being the only viable technologies available for inspection and QC. This gave users little choice when it came to metrology solutions, with the same companies dominating the supply of measuring equipment. However, recently we have seen the emergence of radically new and innovative technologies such as optical measurement and 3D scanning from exciting new enterprises, such as Creaform. These new technologies have opened the eyes of anybody involved in measurement and inspection as to new ways of acquiring quality measurement data.”
Dedicated technology teams
The new business structure will see the formation of two separate technology teams, each dedicated to different market application and product requirements. The new Portable Metrology Division, headed by Jason Bridge, who has over 20 years sales experience within the metrology and 3D measurement sector, will focus primarily on portable measurement solutions, providing an array of 3D measurement and scanning systems for a wide range of applications. Activities will focus exclusively on sales and support of portable measuring systems for industrial applications, such as the market-leading HandySCAN3D and MetraSCAN3D solutions from Creaform, providing customers with a wide range of metrology, inspection, product design, and reverse engineering solutions, with the flexibility to operate with all types of CAD and inspection software.
To fully complement these activities, David Harper will head the new Metrology Integration Division to focus heavily on providing software solutions to make full use of customer’s 3D measuring systems. This will include not only traditional CMM applications and services, but will also be dedicated to providing quality control solutions through the integration of proven metrology software within the emerging automated measurement market using industrial robots. With over 30 years’ experience in CNC CMM applications, David Harper brings a wealth of automated inspection knowledge to this relatively new market sector.
Iain Caville continues “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for our future business development. For many years we have been tremendously successful in providing customers with class-leading measurement and scanning technologies. Our portable scanning solutions are easily the fastest selling systems throughout the World, and we now recognise the additional need to create a dedicated team of engineers to deal with the growing market in inspection using industrial robotics and to better address our customers’ needs to better implement existing measuring systems.”
The new Metrology Integration Division will provide the latest CAD based inspection software for traditional measuring devices, such as CMM’s, portable measuring arms, laser trackers and portable 3D scanners. Utilising the class-leading Metrolog X4 suite of software, any make or model of measuring device can be brought right up to date to deal with today’s measurement and inspection demands, in most cases irrespective of age or condition. The software has direct interfaces to most CMM controller systems, so users have the possibility to upgrade a machine without having to change controller hardware, enabling them to continue using their legacy software for existing parts and to fully utilise the new software for future programs. In addition, the new team can also offer complete CMM retrofits, including CNC controller hardware, hand-box controls, probing systems, etc., and being ISO17025 accredited can also provide UKAS certification according to the latest standards.
The main reason for the restructure however, is to address the growing demand for integrating metrology solutions with industrial robots. In this case, the Metrology Integration Division will approach the robotics sector from a completely different perspective than has been seen so far in the market, effectively treating a robot inspection cell just like a CMM. A typical robotic inspection cell consists of an industrial robot, a measuring device (such as a laser or structured light scanner) attached to the robot, software to program the robot movements, and metrology software to analyse the results. Current solutions are exclusively offered either by a robot supplier or by a measuring device manufacturer, offering the end-user with little or no flexibility to adapt or select alternative robots and/or measuring technologies. In addition, these also require the customer to learn and implement multiple software packages for each step of the process.
The new approach offered by Measurement Solutions is to focus on the implementation of Metrolog X4 i-Robot as a single integration software that can connect all robots and all measuring devices into a common cohesive solution. Metrolog X4 i-Robot is a dedicated 3D inspection and metrology software that is the only software solution able to provide off-line and real-time robot programming, metrological analysis and PLC integration, all-in-one software package. The key advantage of this approach is that the user has complete freedom to combine any make of robot with any make of measuring device. There is no limitation to the flexibility offered, as users can select the best combination of robot and measuring device to suit their specific application needs and support requirements, and can easily exchange or upgrade measuring technologies if required in the future.
Metrolog X4 i-Robot builds on the already proven 3D inspection software that has been developed over 30 years by Metrologic Group. With thousands of licences in use throughout the world at many leading manufacturing organisations, such as Boeing, Airbus, BAE Systems, BMW, Nissan, VW Group and many of their major supply chain partners. The software is the only solution that can fully address any combination of measurement system and device configurations, with direct interfaces to all makes of CMM, robots and probing & scanning devices. The key benefits are flexibility and standardisation, as the software enables users to fully utilise any measuring device using one common software platform, removing the need for additional training and a dependency on specialist inspection personnel.
“We want our customers to be able to take full control of their measuring processes, and not have to compromise and adapt the process due to limitations imposed on them by the robot or measuring device provider,” says David Harper. “With the X4 i-Robot solution, the customer is free to choose any combination of robot and measuring device. For example, they may have a preferred robot integrator or scanning system provider who they wish to work with, or even have existing robots or scanners available that they would like to utilise for this purpose. We can combine all devices into a fully automated solution, which can even be programmed by the user just like a traditional CMM, without the need for intervention or dependency on third party programming companies.”
Iain Caville concludes: “This is just the first step in re-inventing our relationship with the market and our existing and future client base. We have more exciting developments coming in 2018 that are sure to provide our customers with more opportunities to fully integrate the latest measuring technologies into their current and future manufacturing processes.”