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Automated 3D Scanning Cell Delivers Rapid CMM Inspections

Conmed Labmet, based in Mexico, is a leading company specializing in the integration of advanced dimensional measurement and 3D scanning technologies. Through collaborations with renowned international metrology and automation brands, the company has established itself as a trusted partner in the industry. For the past 8 years, Conmed Labmet has been dedicated to designing and integrating cutting-edge measurement cells, combining laser scanning equipment with contact-sensor Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), for various automotive and aeronautical companies.

In a recent breakthrough, Conmed Labmet has successfully implemented an innovative scanning measurement system that is poised to revolutionize long-range inspections. This groundbreaking solution directly competes with traditional horizontal arm and Gantry-style CMMs in the realm of inspecting large parts, including automotive stampings and assemblies, molded parts and mold tools, aeronautical components, and white goods. With this new system, Conmed Labmet envisions a future where efficient and accurate inspection of such components is made possible.

With its numerous advantages, the measuring system presents a compelling proposition. Not only does it offer cost savings, reduced manufacturing and assembly time, but its greatest strength lies in its remarkable adaptability and flexibility across various processes and part sizes. In contrast to traditional fixed size CMMs, which require customers selecting the correct size upfront, months in advance, and incurring huge costs associated with exchanging for a larger model, this system eliminates such limitations as its measuring range is expandable.

An initial installation of the scanning measurement cell has already taken place at CIE, Mexico. The setup utilizes a VENTION automatic Gantry-type structure with a generous measuring range of 4 meters. Complementing the structure is a collaborative robot arm, specifically the Universal Robot UR10e, along with a blue laser light scanner equipped with a dynamic active tracking system and scanning sphere. The measurement software employed is Polyworks, seamlessly synchronized with 3D-Infotech Streamline software which integrates and streamlines the management of measurement programs, bringing together all these cutting-edge technologies in a user-friendly and efficient manner.

Automatic Part Recognition and Program Selection

The system also incorporates a video camera equipped with 3D-Infotech Part-ID software. This feature enables the system to recognize the specific part placed within the measurement volume, automatically selecting the corresponding measurement program. By doing so, it minimizes user responsibility and eliminates potential errors associated with the selection of an incorrect inspection program.

The adoption of this system approach has resulted in a significant increase in measurement productivity. In comparison to the originally installed horizontal arm CMM, which required approximately 40 minutes to measure around 250 inspection dimensions per component and generate the inspection report, the newly installed scanning cell accomplishes the same task in a maximum of 10 minutes. This substantial reduction in inspection time allows for faster provision of necessary information to stabilize and fine-tune stamping presses, as well as to monitor production more efficiently.

The scanning cell is capable of measuring various stamped automotive body parts, such as doors, trunk lids, and vehicle roofs. These parts are mounted on large holding fixtures equipped with adjustable mobile VENTION structures.

Furthermore, a rack measurement system has been implemented, utilizing dual holding fixture plates placed on reversible tables. This setup maximizes the available space within the laboratory and saves time when measuring parts smaller than 1 meter.

Eng. Jesus Marañón Ruiz, the CEO of Conmed Labmet, emphasizes the company’s commitment to developing innovative solutions in automated metrology. He firmly believes that scanning metrology, particularly when utilized in automatic mode, represents the future of coordinate measuring machines. This approach addresses the new challenges posed by high-volume measurements, meeting the current requirements of companies in the industry.

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