Inspection Fixtures Go Digital Providing Short Lead Times

Traditionally inspection checking fixtures and CMM and 3D scanner part holding fixtures have been custom-engineered, taking several months for design and manufacturing. Complex fixtures for a car floor panel, hood or door can typically have a 16 weeks lead-time from design to delivery mostly caused by the traditional design to build workflow.

In today’s short product life-cycle environment a 16-week lead-time can represent up to 10% of the vehicles life. Needless to say, improving this lead-time would not only significantly improve the ability of metrology departments to ramp up the production of new car models, but also improve the business case for the entire car.

Following collaboration with large automotive manufacturers and metrology equipment OEMs, Canadian company Vention, were able to accumulate a fact-based perspective on lead-time and cost to complete inspection fixture projects for various car components in the context of a digital manufacturing environment.

Vention has developed the first digital manufacturing platform dedicated to Machine Design. Vention provides a fully-integrated 3D MachineBuilder™ and modular component library that let users design, order, and assemble custom fixture designs directly from a web browser in just a few days.

Vention can technically navigate the design and build process in as fast as 3 days, as opposed to the 16 weeks. On average, users navigate the design process in 10-15 days and complete the shipping and assembly steps in another 10-15 days. This total lead-time of roughly 25 days represents a 4.5X improvement over the traditional workflow.

“We have established the foundation of a new category of CAD software. Our sole focus on machine design combined with tight hardware component integration enabled us to build an array of intelligent and automated features that could never have been possible with traditional CAD software. We are now entering a new phase of development with a greater focus on design automation, large assembly management, and In-CAD industrial automation,” said CTO Max Windisch.

A statistical review of inspection fixture designs created on Vention revealed that part datum and part surface areas are the primary drivers, behaving as per the following linear regression:

Fixture cost = $0.00125/mm x Part surface (mm²) + $255 x Part datum count + $450 (base cost)

For example, a car hood measuring 1250mm x 1000mm and having 8 datum across the part would approximately cost :

$3990 = $0.00125 x (1250mm x 1000mm) + $255 x 8 + $450

The cost measured above is approximately 40% less than for an inspection fixture designed and manufactured using the traditional approach.

The Vention design system provides access to an ever expanding library of user generated designs as a way to accelerate design ideas  before starting your own design process. Powerful search algorithms perform a search of assemblies and hidden sub-assemblies that leverages Vention’s powerful search and indexing technology designed to work in conjunction with Vention’s modular hardware platform.

For more information: vention