Harvesting 3D Scan Data for Dimensional Inspection

In the agri-food sector, the range of treats has been growing for a long time: sweet snacks, chocolate spreads and pastries are becoming more popular all over the world. To produce these delicacies, different kinds of shell nuts are necessary, such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts.

The challenge of harvesting these nuts was taken on by Italian company Monchiero, which manufactures semi-mobile harvesters, vibrating machines for shaking the trees, and other complementary equipment: The company went global in 1965, and has become a respected name in the industry.

Fruit harvesting machines have special forms and dimensions to guarantee maneuverability and safety, even in difficult conditions. For example, the driver cabin must be compact and have a round shape to delicately move through the branches of the trees. Since Monchiero could not find a supplier that could satisfy the demands of its customers, it decided to independently design a machine that could more effectively and efficiently harvest nuts.

Challenges and Selecting Measuring System

Right from the start, assembly of the cabin was difficult. Different components and curved profiles had to be combined and installed precisely, because many of these, once produced, could not be revised. It was immediately evident that it was difficult to measure the window compartments using traditional instruments. They were curved and rounded in several different directions, which meant that using flexometers, protractors and inclinometers were out of the question as they could not detect errors.

Monchiero started to explore the metrology market and looked for a 3D measurement solution that could accurately evaluate large objects like the driver cabin and its components. The measuring system would have to detect issues from sample parts directly during the assembly stage. The company selected Creaform’s 3D scanning solutions and asked for an on-site demonstration. The result was so convincing that Monchiero decided to invest in a Go!SCAN 3D scanner and VXelements 3D scanning software.

Measurement driver cabin with Creaform Go!SCAN

The decisive factor for investing in the 3D scanner was its portability and ease of use: other systems were not as easy and flexible while guaranteeing the same resolution as the Go!SCAN 3D. Furthermore, the VXelements software included in the bundle made it very simple to compare the CAD models and sample parts. Reports could be easily printed with color images according to a color map that indicated the deviation in milimeters from the original. This comparison would have been much more difficult to carry out using other conventional technologies.

After Creaform’s 3D measuring system was used successfully for the driver cabin, Monchiero then used for inspecting other important parts and components of the machine. For example, it became much easier to inspect the camber angles and other inclinations on the wheel axles and supports. This made it possible to intervene on components before assembly, showing suppliers where and what type of corrective measures they had to implement.

Measuring axle camber angle with Go!SCAN 3D

Monchiero also immediately realized how much costs it could save: there were no more lengthy disputes with various suppliers while waiting to see which component was out of tolerance limits. Small companies and technology innovators know well that saved time is very valuable: staff is limited and product deliveries can almost never be delayed. Being fast in decision-making and corrections gave Monchiero a definite competitive edge.

Complete Satisfaction and Confidence in 3D Scanning

Giancarlo Rinero, Product Developer at Monchiero, remarked: “A 3D scanner is a trusted professional tool for small companies, even if it is not used every day. Understanding how a complex object differs from the model is a huge advantage in time and energy savings. The mathematical diagramming of complex assemblies provides certainty that they can actually be put together. We hope that future 3D scanners can become even more compact so that we can digitalize the smallest components. We hope that this technology becomes even more simplified.”

“Creaform demonstrated that it is a reliable partner both in the demo and purchasing stages. Creaform also played a critical role in training and providing best practices. We were always well supported learning how to use and get the most out of our Go!SCAN 3D scanner.”

For more information: www.creaform3d.com