Metrology Integrator Delivers Universal Metrology Automation

3D Infotech has developed several Universal Metrology Automation (UMA) solutions which can quickly validate dimensional conformance on anything from large aerospace castings, molded plastics, and precision machined components to sub-millimeter solder joints connecting a chip to a circuit board.

3D Infotech is a hardware neutral metrology integrator and offer an almost limitless number of system configurations. The company’s two main products are its portable inspection robot and a robotic inspection cell. These metrology solutions use 3D Infotech’s Streamline automation software to intelligently link disparate hardware and software with a common interface and helps make intelligent manufacturing decisions.

The Streamline interface allows users to easily teach new inspection processes. Precise 3D vision from one or more sensors allows PolyWorks inspection software to quickly compare measured results to CAD without any intervention. Inspection results are automatically generated with easy to understand pass/fail alerts and provides detailed part reports. Both products are highly modular allowing the end-user to address measurement challenges unique to their specific application without difficulty and rapidly deploy the solution as requirements grow.

Streamline is also designed to be integrated with back-end resources such as enterprise databases, Product Lifecycle Management tools (PLM), and Quality Management Software (QMS) with many of its customers taking advantage of this Internet of Things (IoT) connection.

Portable UMA Inspection Robot

The fully integrated collaborative robot with a universal interface on a mobile platform allows the user take the metrology solution to the point of measurement without having to waste time setting up or taking the part off to a metrology lab. This UMA system is self-contained with a user-friendly touch screen interface. The ability to use all robot and sensor options and the possible addition of a rotary table makes the system an extremely flexible automated inspection solution.

A collaborative robot eliminates the need for extensive safety guarding and operators can handle parts or review screen data during robot cycles as needed. The UMA rapid inspection cycle times allows increased parts to be measured enabling data-driven decisions providing improved manufacturing yields. In a recent study on a cast part the portable UMA completed 70 part inspections with more repeatable results in the time that a CMM Arm measured just 8.

UMA Inspection Cell

A key differentiation is the scale of the UMA Inspection Cell over the portable version together with the non-intrusive safety guards. Any number of robots can be mounted upside down on the indexing linear rail above the rotary table providing a total of 8 motion axis per robot. Pick and place robotics can also be added to automatically load/unload the part.. The UMA configuration allows for a scaleable large working volume and operates with the Streamline universal interface. The system is equipped with safety area laser scanners providing a collaborative work environment. The above mounted robot provide operators more access around the cell and can interact with the part for handling, defect identification marking, or when teaching a new inspection program.

Universal Metrology Automation Benefits

“Automated production is the primary enabler providing improvements in global economic output irrespective of geographic location. Automation and quality assurance drive process improvement but only recently have they been effectively integrated directly into manufacturing processes to meet the challenge of ever tightening tolerances and increased product complexity. Further automation of metrology has exploded in the USA recently as manufacturers understand the opportunity they have to not only compete but outpace their competition with the superior product and service they offer in the supply chain” states Paul Oberle Director of Business Development at 3D Infotech.

“3D Infotech’s Universal Metrology Automation captures more data in a shorter period of time than traditional CMMs. No area or key feature of a part need go unmeasured with part data immediately available to the manufacturing team” comments Oberle.

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