Manual Calibration Eliminated with CAD-PRO Laser Projection System

LAP has introduced the DTEC-PRO camera system which makes manual calibration while running the running production process redundant accelerating lay-up processes in composite manufacturing providing time savings during flexible manufacturing such as in the aerospace industry. The modular system design of the DTEC-PRO allows it to be added to any LAP CAD-PRO laser projection system.

For precise projection during composite lay-up, proper calibration of the tool is essential. Reduced setup times and uninterrupted operation during manufacture save valuable time. Specifically for this requirement LAP upgraded the proven CAD-PRO laser projection system with an innovative industrial camera system combined with infrared-based lighting. The system detects the target positions in camera range in real time; the position of the tool is checked continuously, at intervals of five frames per second. Deviations trigger automatic calibration of the CAD-PRO and the projection can be repositioned.

High speed calibration, automatically in running process

“The aerospace industry requires tools used for small to medium parts to be moved to the lamination station on movable carts. DTEC-PRO is the ideal extension for this application”, says Matthias Lange, LAP’s Product Manager in charge. “When moving a new tool into the work area, projection starts without the need of manual calibration. The tool just needs to be in the camera’s field of view and in the projection area of the CAD-PRO system. DTEC-PRO will do the rest. The LAP PRO-SOFT user software detects potential position deviations and initiates automatic calibration when necessary. Even if an individual target cannot be recognized because it is covered or not within the projection area, this is still no problem for DTEC-PRO.”

Every second counts: reduced setup times speed up lay-up

Especially for quick and “on demand” flexible manufacture the system is of major benefit. “DTEC-PRO makes manual calibration redundant. This speeds up the entire lay-up process”, says the Product Manager. “When every second counts, reduced setup times mean an important head start and more efficiency. Uninterrupted operation also contributes to process stability and safety, and these are crucial in ensuring the high quality specifications of parts.”

Modular system design, easy and inexpensive to upgrade

Ralf Müller-Polyzou, Head of Marketing, Product Management & Business Development at LAP, highlights: “A major benefit of the system is the modularity. The camera is not integrated in the CAD-PRO laser projector and allows for versatile positioning within the field of view. For a number of projectors only one camera is needed. Users of LAP laser projection systems can easily and inexpensively use DTEC-PRO on existing installations. The system allows for situation-specific configuration. No hardware needs to be exchanged. Only an update to the new PRO-SOFT 5.1 software is required. All these benefits give the new system an unbeatable cost-performance ratio.”

Laser projectors display precise outlines, templates, patterns or other shapes on virtually all surfaces by projecting laser lines. The laser projection is based on CAD data. Imported data is processed into projection data and then transferred to one or several laser projectors. Projection surface may be flat (2D) or curved (3D).

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