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Smart Manufacturing has been defined as the notion of orchestrating physical and digital processes within factories and across other supply chain functions to optimize current and future supply and demand requirements. This is accomplished by transforming and improving ways in which people, process and technology operate to deliver the critical information needed to impact decision quality, efficiency, cost and agility. The role of integrated metrology in Smart Manufacturing is critical to providing process intellect, enabling closed-loop feedback, thus allowing manufacturing systems to adapt appropriately in ensuring optimized production.
The big change that integrated metrology brings is that of inspection process automation alongside the increasing role of advanced sensors. This month we were awash on the news desk with both product and application stories highlighting how the metrology equipment supply industry has risen to the challenge of integrated metrology. The much talked about theory of smart manufacturing is now a physical reality with manufacturing entities taking-up the challenge and installing automated metrology systems in increasing numbers.
To enable integrated metrology, inspection technologies are being matched with industrial robots, to either manipulate the sensor around the part or to load/unload inspection system with parts. Industrial robots are becoming integral to integrated metrology for many part inspection application. In addition to the many industrial robot stories featured this month we also saw robotic drones becoming an integrated participant in the carrying and manipulation of scanning sensors to perform automated inspection tasks inside of the factory.
With the issue of labour shortages impacting the manufacturing sector it comes as no surprise to read that N.A. robot sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels. The A3 organization, who report the robot statistics stated “While companies have long realized that automation increases efficiencies, expands production and empowers human employees to do more valuable tasks, the pandemic helped even more industries realize those benefits.” Another recent report by the International Federation of Robots announced that the global installed base of industrial robots has now surpassed 3 million units with an estimated 13% further growth predicted in 2021.
While it’s too early to gauge how physical exhibition events are performing, post pandemic, as aids to the introduction to potential prospects of these new integrated metrology solutions, the first indications from recent trade-shows are that traffic is significantly down from pre-COVID levels and that disappointment prevails in the exhibitor communities. Interestingly many of the visitor numbers being published by organizers are now being ’rounded’ while some are no longer reporting actual visitors but participants, which include all of those involved in manning the exhibits and engaging with visitors, which in itself tells a story.
Over 90 articles were published in the month and we highlight below in this month’s magazine selected published articles from the month. The complete library of October articles can be accessed by clicking here.
As usual I welcome your comments, news and views along with suggested guest articles for publication – my inbox is always open.
Drone-Integrated Metrology Takes Flight at Lockheed Martin
The F-35 Lightning II is an all-weather stealth combat aircraft. it is critical that the ‘as built’ metrology is confirmed as ‘near perfect’ to the design. Currently, inspection is done by hand at Lockheed Martin’s production facility. Gantries are assembled above the craft and workers use handheld scanners extended at arm’s length … read more
Metrology Grade 3D Scanner Provides Freedom-to-Measure
API has announced the introduction of its next generation of iScan3D Laser Scanner featuring improved optics and blue crossed laser lines for fast and accurate metrology grade point cloud creation. iScan3D is the third-generation version of API’s metrology-grade scanner, that integrates with its Radian Tracker … read more
DWFritz Launches Rotational Metrology Platform
DWFritz Metrology has announced the launch of its ZeroTouch Rotational Metrology Platform (ZTR). ZeroTouch ZTR is a non-contact, micron-level, high-speed metrology and inspection platform designed to simultaneously capture and measure multiple part features for rotors. stators, brake disks, and other parts that fit within the cylindrical envelope … read more
GelSight Mobile Series 2 Offers Compact and Ergonomic Tactile Measurement
GelSight has introduced the latest version of its GelSight Mobile probe, the Series 2. This new generation of GelSight’s mobile device offers a sleek form-factor that is one-third lighter and less than half the volume of its predecessor, allowing it to scan surfaces in tighter spaces, while maintaining accuracy, speed, and field of view … read more
Mahr Showcases Cylindrical CMM With Multisensor Technology
At the EMO 2021 expo Mahr introduced its new Cylindrical Coordinate Measuring Machine (cCMM). The Mar4D PLQ has been specifically developed for the measurement, close to production, of rotationally symmetrical workpieces. The Mar4D PLQ represents a state-of-the-art multisensor solution incorporating both optical and tactile measurement sensors in a single setup … read more
3D Adhesive Bead Inspection Laser Sensor
Increasing demands for product quality and, as a result, high-quality adhesive bonds are becoming ever more important in the automotive industry. With RTVision.3d from QUISS, it is now possible not only to measure the width, position, and continuity of the bead application but also its height. This provides insights into … read more
Vision Sensor with Built-in AI
The IV3 series of vision sensors with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) from Keyence provides flexibility for mistake and error-proofing in manufacturing. All settings, including illumination intensity, flash method, and exposure time, are automatically configured by the AI. The ideal imaging conditions can be derived for any environment or target conditions to …. read more
Xposure Photometry Offers Fast Inline 3D Surface Scanning
Xposure:Photometry, developed by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), is a fast inline 3D surface scanner realised by a high-speed smart camera. It is designed for optical inline surface inspection tasks common in many industrial manufacturing processes. Conventional 2D scanning methods cannot distinguish between pseudo defects – dirt on the surface … read more
3D Sensor Scans Transparent Objects
A new measurement method for 3D shape acquisition has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF). With their ‘MWIR-3D sensor’, they can scan objects three-dimensionally, regardless of whether they are made of transparent plastic or glass. Even objects with shiny metallic or … read more
Ground-Breaking 3D Sensors For High-Precision Glass Inspection Launched
SmartRay has launched a new 3D sensor for glass inspection adding significant value to the production process through improved quality and accuracy. The new ECCO 95.025G is an economic and compact sensor, developed to meet the challenges of scanning transparent and highly reflective surfaces. Historically, 3D glass scanning using laser triangulation … read more
3D Scanning Cell Accommodates Custom Configurations
Creaform has announced the latest additions to its R-Series robotic inspection lineup, including a new MetraSCAN-R BLACK | Elite HD with improved performance as well as a new edition of VXelements designed for long-term support (LTS). This state-of-the-art set of solutions also includes a new version of VXscan-R module specially … read more
Reliable 3D Measurement Ensures High-Quality Injection-Molded Components
Reflective and glossy surfaces often enable the creation of high-quality and individual designs. As such, the demand for products with reflective surfaces is increasing continuously. These include housing parts for electronic devices, displays, rear-view mirrors, or deflection mirrors in head-up displays, as well as car exterior components such as B pillars … read more
Quality Inspection With Robot and 3D Scanner
When inspecting components, the combination of a KUKA KR CYBERTECH robot and two scanners achieves a new level of quality. The Smart Component Tester (SCoT) from Berghof Testing performs the optical inspection of components from automobile manufacturers not with industrial cameras and images as is usually the case but with a 3D scanner that functions … read more
Comau Develops Fully Automated Flexible Cobotic Gap and Flush Verification System
Comau has positively responded to the ‘Stellantis Factory Booster Day’ challenge by developing a fully automated gap and flush verification system to measure potential defects on multiple, dissimilar parts while the car is moving along the final assembly conveyor. Featuring a RACER-5 collaborative robot integrated with an Edixia vision system … read more
Vision Guided Robot Solution Combines 3D-Vision with Machine Learning
Manufacturers around the world are gearing up to adopt Industry 4.0. Robotics connected remotely to computer systems equipped with machine learning algorithms, such as Solomon′s suite of AI-based machine vision solutions, can increase productivity by enhancing the monitoring of advanced manufacture processes. Solmotion is a system that automatically recognizes the product’s … read more
ISO Organization Publishes ‘Smart Manufacturing’ White Paper
For the last two and a half centuries manufacturing has been an important component of our global society. Manufacturing has evolved though paradigm changes, commonly known as ‘industrial revolutions’. These four revolutions (the first three are considered to be steam and water power, electricity, and automation) have had a great … read more
Nissan Unveil Production Facility Incorporating Intelligent Factory Initiative
Nissan has unveiled a production line at its Tochigi Plant featuring the Nissan Intelligent Factory Initiative. This unique initiative supports the manufacture of next-generation vehicles using innovative technologies and contributes to the realization of carbon neutrality. Nissan also announced a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at its production … read more
Drones In The Factory Of The Future
The road to electrification requires industrial transformation at all levels. For this to happen, innovation is key. In Seat’s Martorell’s Workshop 9, a drone flies above the production lines. It’s the testing phase of a pioneering new project between SEAT S.A. and the Eurecat centre to explore the possibility of … read more
Implementing AI Into Manufacturing Processes Provides Competitive Advantage
Implementing AI in manufacturing processes now is a competitive advantage, but in five years, it may be a necessity for a manufacturer’s survival. Here’s what you should know. Artificial intelligence is popping up in industries from marketing to healthcare. The manufacturing sector is no exception; the application of AI is growing … read more
Twyn Augmented Reality Based Mobile Visual Inspection
Before components from suppliers get into production, incoming goods control must check and ensure the components’ quality. With Twyn, the German deep tech start-up Visometry has introduced a novel augmented reality based mobile inspection system to check components in real time. Visometry, the Germany based start-up known for its VisionLib … read more
Manufacturing With Machines That Learn From Defects
Increasing automation and the latest regulatory compliance requirements for fasteners have led manufacturers to reevaluate the 100% inspection and sorting concept, which in the production process is a key part to guarantee a reliable supply of high-quality products to customers. Like any sizable or complex manufacturing project, the production of mechanical … read more
In-Line Production Inspection Using Digital Holography
Over the past decade, digital holography has evolved into one of the fastest and at the same time most accurate methods for recording the surface topography of components in the production line. A survey article by Fraunhofer IPM scientists in the journal ‘Light: Advanced Manufacturing’ describes how this came about. … read more
Measuring System Part of Continuous Improvement for Tube Fabricator
Continuous improvement is nothing new. The idea of making improvements is as old as manufacturing itself, and continuous improvement is a fact of life in any competitive industry. Whether it’s a matter of ironing out the wrinkles in an existing process, responding to customer input, or working to stay ahead … read more
Robot Orders In N.A. Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels
North American robot orders in the second quarter of 2021 were up 67% over the same period in 2020, showing a return to pre-COVID 19 pandemic demand for automation as manufacturers and other North American companies return to business. According to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), North American companies … read more
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