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Heavy Equipment Manufacturer Accurately Captures Geometry In Difficult Conditions

Weldco-Beales has been in business since 1945, making it a decades-old enterprise that has been around for the better part of a century. Any organization that wants to survive that long and thrive needs to continuously adhere to a culture of excellence, constantly finding innovative ways to overcome challenges. This isn’t a fact lost on Mike Aceto, the company’s Senior Engineering Manager.

“People look at our work and think, these people don’t skip steps or cut corners. We’re not afraid to embrace new technology and our customers see that happening right in front of them,” Aceto explained.

Weldco-Beales designs and manufactures attachments for different types of heavy machinery providing everything from truck-mounted cranes, long-reach booms for excavators, to customized solutions for specialized use cases. Clients come to them with all kinds of requirements, and the Weldco team is expected to meet those expectations. A near century-old reputation depends on it.

3D Scanning Measurement Requirement In Difficult Conditions

The team was therefore on the lookout for a professional 3D scanning solution. Weldco-Beales has customers from a variety of industries – construction, forestry, mining, scrap recycling, road maintenance, and more. For the Weldco-Beales team to do their job, they routinely had to take measurements in difficult conditions.

Equipment is often located outdoors, on uneven terrain, confined spaces, or in places high enough that safety becomes a concern. In such use cases, speed and portability are crucial, but the demands on accuracy are no less stringent. The old methods relying on manual measurements, and improvisation with different odds and ends simply weren’t cutting it.

Weldco-Beales turned to Javelin Technologies, A TriMech Company. Javelin is a gold-certified Artec partner in the region, and a company that the Weldco-Beales team had worked with for a number of years. The Javelin team analyzed Weldco-Beales’ needs and made some recommendations, offering them a range of options. Artec Leo checked all the boxes.

The Artec Leo ensures improved accuracy, portability, speed, and safety with a point accuracy of up to 0.1mm, 3D resolution of up to 0.2mm, and data acquisition speeds of up to 35 million points per second.

Leo is a one-of-a-kind, AI-driven 3D scanner that offers a truly mobile scanning experience. It has real time 3D model projection on an inbuilt touch screen, processing while you scan. And with intelligent features like background and base removal, the scanning experience is about as complex as shooting an ordinary video. Leo has a long-lasting inbuilt battery, wireless connectivity that enables you to stream video to a second device, and scan-to-cloud capabilities that make it possible to capture an object in one place and process it in another. It was a solution that would reap immediate rewards for the Weldco-Beales team.

“A 3D scanner is a big purchase that brings immediate value and quick return on investment. We saw the impact on our business right away. And we chose to purchase from Javelin because we value the ongoing relationship we have with them,” Aceto explained. “I especially like that they offer more than one type of technology solution and can help in various ways.”

Built In Screen

With Leo’s 3D point accuracy of up to 0.1 mm, 3D resolution of up to 0.2 mm, and data acquisition speeds of up to 35 million points per second, the Weldco-Beales team would have their accuracy, portability, speed, and safety needs well covered. It made working in tricky places that much easier and safer, and much faster.

“Having the screen built in and not having to carry a separate laptop is a huge advantage for us,” Aceto confirmed. “And not having to worry about a power cord means there’s no tripping hazard.”

In Mere Minutes

The benefits have been transformational. Aceto related how his team worked with tape measure, string, cardboard templates, and photographs to analyze and model the area where a customer wanted to custom-fit new buckets onto a newly modified machine. With Artec Leo, the team can capture in a matter of minutes what might have taken half a day in the past.

It was a process that demanded hours of planning and preparation before even making a first attempt. To create the final 3D models, they had to manually enter the data they’d manually measured into SOLIDWORKS. With Artec Leo, the team can capture in a matter of minutes what might have taken half a day in the past.

“Being able to work fast while still ensuring accuracy and quality has a huge impact,” Aceto said.

For this backhoe that needed a side boom installed, Aceto estimates that it would have taken, at the very least, a few days to complete the project. Instead, scanning took roughly an hour, and processing – about eight.

With Artec Leo, there is little need to strategize on how to approach the measurement of an object, and no trial and error experimentation. Leo’s geometry and texture-based data processing algorithms mean there is also no need to set up targets before scanning. Crucially for reverse engineering projects such as these, the scanner picks up changes in a piece of equipment’s geometry – bends, wear, and breaks – that occur with use and aren’t reflected in the original CAD models.

There is also the flexibility that Artec products offer a company like Weldco-Beales with three manufacturing facilities in different provinces in Canada. Scanning can be done in one location, the scan data can be shared on Artec Cloud, a platform with collaboration features, and used to develop a CAD model at another location. The manufacturing can be completed at yet a third location.

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