Manufacturing applications where only multi-sensor metrology can deliver
Discover the difference with multi-sensor metrology technology
One of the beauties of multi-sensor metrology technology is that, regardless of the part being measured, the best tools for the job are always automatically deployed in one routine.
Using a combination of world-class video optics, industry leading lasers and probes, one fully capable multi-sensor system has the ability to measure complex dimensional forms and surface relationships that are often impossible to capture via conventional single-sensor systems.
Traditional metrology platforms and manual measurement methods – along with the inefficiencies, fixturing costs, large factory footprint and unreliability often associated with them –are incompatible with Industry 4.0.
Instead, with micron precision, a single multi-sensor machine can quickly and reliably gather detailed data and gauge the characteristics of even the most demanding components and features.
Any issues associated with non-tolerance can be identified and addressed immediately, leading to less scrap, minimal rework and dramatically increased throughput.
In highly regulated industries, where parts are becoming smaller and tolerances tighter, it is more and more critical for businesses to be able to guarantee right-first-time products for their customers.
In many cases that can only be achieved by OGP UK’s multi-sensor metrology solutions, as these examples prove…
- Curve appeal – Orthopaedic implants such as prosthetic hip ball joints are notoriously difficult to measure accurately due to their complex and customised geometries to fit individual patients’ bone structures. The complex 3D curves – as well as specular or diffuse surfaces – pose unique challenges, especially in measuring all surfaces from a single direction, meaning certain types of sensors are unsuitable.
OGP UK laser measurement technology makes the task simple. With a hip joint, for example, laser sensors would project light towards its curved surface, collect the reflected and scattered light as data points, and automatically calculate the offset from the measured point between the laser and the part in a 3D axes to generate a dimension.
Advanced metrology software like ZONE3 continuously calculates the distance between the laser and the part’s surface while the laser beam passes across it, and keeps the laser within its specified capture range. This range allows for precise point positions to be collected quickly and efficiently.
Due to their non-contact nature, laser sensors avoid potential damage to the part surface or contamination of sterile parts.
- Small is beautiful – As parts get smaller and more complex, dimensional measurement is required to check features that include diameters, pitches, widths, thicknesses, angles and form positions. Even with advanced video measurement systems, that sometimes requires more than one set-up and the process is therefore inefficient.
The powerful illumination capabilities typical of OGP’s Vantage range is critical for the successful measurement of such components.
Surface illumination is provided by SmartRing™, OGP’s patented vector light that gives total control of lighting angles, making it easy to pick out important features for repeatable and accurate optical probing. It also allows operators the opportunity to take crisp and clear component images.
- Delicacies – OGP UK works with many businesses which produce highly specialised components for applications within medical, science, aerospace, automotive, defence and industrial. Often, these parts are too small to easily handle, have inaccessible features or are made from deformable materials such as paper, micro film or soft rubber.
In such cases, video optics are the ideal solution for collecting accurate measurements without touching the component.
Optical measurement can quickly measure edges directly and can also be much faster than tactile systems, since large numbers of data points can be gathered simultaneously by video.
- Life through a lens – OGP UK works with experts in adaptive focus lens technologies in eyewear, whose aim is to address poor vision across the globe. Due to their transparent, translucent and uniquely curved nature, lenses are challenging to measure using traditional techniques.
OGP’s chromatic white light sensor technology analyses the optical spectrum of reflected light to measure surface height changes to nanometre resolutions, making the process a straightforward one.
Other applications where white light interferometry would be beneficial include contoured surfaces, such as turbine blades or orthopaedic medical devices, where many measurement points are needed to accurately define irregular shapes.
- Safety first – Multi-sensor metrology technology excels in the highly regulated aerospace sector, where parts are safety critical and mistakes cannot afford to be made.
It has proved game-changing for applications such as the inspection of cooling holes on turbine blades and vanes, which are an essential feature for improving component efficiency and reducing fuel consumption and emissions in modern jet engines.
The combination of superior optical, laser and tactile sensors is required to assess the small dimensions, narrow distribution and diverse inclination angles of the cooling holes, which often lie in a heavily curved section of the turbine blade where probe access is difficult.
- Reverse manufacturing – Reverse engineering refers to the process of starting with a final product and working backwards to arrive at a design specification. This method is used for legacy parts or competitor analysis, for example, when no original drawings or measurements exist.
Any data gathered must be highly precise and repeatable – and with OGP solutions it is.
At the touch of a button, OGP’s automatic edge sensor tool improves the effectiveness of any optical comparator by eliminating the variation caused by different operators manually aligning edges to the screen centre line.
That means any shape can be recreated very easily, removing the need for manual CMM probing methods and operator subjectivity.
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