Collaborative Robot & Optical Metrology Enable Flexible Shop-Floor Quality Assurance

Alicona Cobots combine a collaborative 6-axis robot and a robust optical 3D measurement sensor to deliver traceable and repeatable high-resolution production measurements. The Alicona Cobot requires no prior knowledge of metrology and make handling, programming, and executing measurements easy. Intuitive hand-guided control for the teach-in of required measurement sequence, automatic measurement evaluation, and a ‘no-enclosure’ safety concept make Cobots ideal for verifying the surface condition and dimensional accuracy of work pieces in existing production environments.

Examples Cobot applications highlight the advantages and capabilities of two new Alicona Cobots solutions. The DiscCobot is used to automatically verify the edges of turbine discs and the highly flexible ToolCobot allows users to measure large cutting tools directly in the machine tool.

DiscCobot: Avoiding sharp edges on turbine disks

The DiscCobot can be used for the quality assurance of turbine discs weighing up to 120kg and, in particular, the Cobot is applied in the standardized evaluation of edge breaks. By verifying minimal radii, it prevents sharp edges that can, in the worst case, compromise aircraft safety.

Operating and programming the Cobot is easy and intuitive. The robot arm, with its attached measuring sensor, is easily and conveniently manipulated by the operator to reach the desired surface position. Two handles with an integrated joystick are mounted on the sensor, making the robot arm easy to move. A smartphone app displays the live view for manual, precise positioning and measurement. Using connected automation software, any series of measurements can be defined at several positions, which the operator then starts with the press of a button. Control and measurement are fully automated, and upon completion the user receives a measurement report with OK or Not OK data.

ToolCobot: Measuring tools directly in the tool machine

Designed for measuring large tools, the ToolCobot is an innovative addition to Alicona’s range of optical edge measuring devices. It is used, in the quality assurance of drills, milling cutters etc. with shanks of up to 1 m in length. In addition, hobs and broaching tools can be measured. The ToolCobot features an HSK interface for easy tool fitting and can be adjusted vertically and horizontally due to its flexible axes, ensuring ergonomic operation. The system is also mounted on wheels for added mobility, meaning the Cobot can easily be moved to wherever it is needed. No re-clamping of components or work pieces from the machine tool to measure as the ToolCobot inspects them directly in the machine. This way, defects and tolerance deviations are detected at an early stage rather than at the end of the production process, preventing faulty components from being produced.

For more information: