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November 2020 Metrology News Magazine

Editors Message:

Life is a journey. This year our individual journeys have taken an alternate route, and one not previously planned to be navigated, with many stop-starts, wrong turns and cancelled destinations. The net result being our constant adapting to the unpredictability of our respective 2020 journey, which in hindsight, we would have all preferred to sit out and stay at home – precisely what many ended up doing anyway! While our Linkedin feed brings us images of exhibitions opening-up again in China, and more recently Thailand, our news-desk recently received mixed messaging press releases from event organizers both cancelling and promoting first-half 2021 events. Yes – we are all optimistic that we can get back to the new normal at some point in 2021, whatever it turns out to be. However it is inconceivable that many of us will want to risk ourselves, colleagues and families by attending physical events until such time as the COVID vaccine is rolled and we all have our respective immunity onboard. Are companies prepared to take the risks of sending their staff to events, whether as attendees or to manage and mingle on exhibition booths? Are these industry events so important to our, as yet, unplanned 2021 journeys? We respect that for event organizers it’s their business, and as such have a biased view-point to keep going, but really is it not time to stand-up and do right by the industries they purport to represent?

This is the time of year that most companies are involved in preparing coming year budgets. From predicting revenues, sizing organizations and their associated costs, along with all other incurred costs and planned expenditures including capital investments. While we are all optimists at heart, no one can yet predict the 2021 business climate, and as such any optimism must be tainted with caution, cash management and ‘what-if’ scenarios. In past weeks we reported the financial results of publicly traded companies in the metrology sector along with industry association consumption statistics. The consensus is that the advanced manufacturing equipment sector has seen a business downturn in 2020 of between 15-30%. This is a very sizeable downturn to manage, particularly when no immediate upturn can be predicted over the early months of 2021. We are heading into the holiday period, where many of us will be without family and loved ones around us this year. 2021 is on the horizon and taking as much variability and risk out of our 2021 plans and journeys should be a critical priority. Planning to attend events, that no-one can honestly predict will run, and more importantly if they do run will they be attended in significant numbers, are critical budget costs that surely no one should risk in these still very challenging times.

Despite the gloom November turned out to be a very inspiring month with the launch of many new products into the market, and the unveiling of exciting new technologies that may have a role in transitioning how we measure down the road. We also reported several announcements whereby companies are working together to leverage their respective technologies for enhanced customer solutions. This months also featured interview articles with leading industry experts discussing computed tomography and inline robot inspection. Optical scanning continues its advance into manufacturing measurement with numerous stories published this month showcasing new product introductions and customer application stories.

In November the editorial focus of Metrology News has been portable technology. Its current role in providing support to both design and manufacturing, and how its role might be eradicated or changed with the advent of smart factories, integrated automated measurements and adaptive manufacturing. The ‘Will Portable Metrology Survive Industry 4.0’ article considered the significant characteristics of portable metrology equipment including its ability to be used readily at the ‘point of manufacture’ allowing it to perform critical reactive ‘walk-up and inspect’ roles.

Metrology News published over 100 articles for the second consecutive month and experienced yet another record readership month. We highlight in this month’s newsletter a few of the portable metrology stories published along with a selection of other significant news stories from the month. The complete library of November articles can be accessed by clicking here. December will be a short month and plan to publish around 17th of the month our December Newsletter. Over the holidays we will again be publishing our ‘Year in Review’ where we look back and highlight the most significant articles and stories published during 2020.

As usual I welcome your comments, news and views – my inbox is always open.

Keith Mills – Publishing Editor

Game Changing High-Resolution Variable Density Scanning

Industrial machine vision setup requires customization due to a high variety of products, materials etc. Therefore, fast and robust implementation of machine vision applications is critical for short time-to-market. Integrators of industrial automation lines need machine vision solutions allowing simple integration by an automation engineer (not a machine vision expert) … read more

Will Portable Metrology Survive Industry 4.0?

Portable metrology equipment has seen a meteoric rise in its role supporting the various aspects of manufacturing over the past decade including reverse engineering, prototype part inspection, low volume production measurements, tooling and fixture inspection and alignment and the interrogation of product quality issues etc. One significant characteristic of portable … read more

Digital Manufacturing Explained

Digital manufacturing is the application of computer systems to manufacturing services, supply chains, products and processes. Digital manufacturing technologies link systems and processes across all areas of production to create an integrated approach to manufacturing, from design to production and on to the servicing of the final products. By modelling and … read more

Industrial CT Enhancing Smart Manufacturing

Waygate Technologies (WT) traces its heritage in X-ray technology back to the times of Seifert whose name is still attached to some of their legacy products. Soon after Roentgen’s discovery of X-Rays in 1895, and imaged the bones in his wife’s hand – “I have seen my death” was her … read more

Fully Automated Measurement of Complex Tubular Space Frames

Creaform has installed a second robot-controlled measuring system at Walter Automobiltechnik GmbH (WAT) in Berlin, Germany. WAT is a system supplier of metal assemblies for the automotive industry. It focuses on complex welded assemblies such as motorcycle frames and engine mounts, with a great deal of its work including motorcycle … read more

Absolute and Smart Inline Inspection is a Game Changer

We have witnessed in-line and at-line robotic measurement solutions gathering momentum over the past year with numerous solutions coming to market and supply companies being the subject of acquisitions. Metrology News sat down with ZEISS (Robert Wasilesky Global Key Account Manager – Automated Inspection) to gauge its views on the … read more

Optical Comb Technology Shines New Light on Measurement

XTIA in Japan claims its position as the first company in the world to bring the Nobel Prize winning optical comb technology to industrial measurement applications. XTIA is leveraging its coaxial measurement configuration to measure complex 3D geometries and at very high speeds … read more

CT Scanner “Scans around the Clock”

Waygate Technologies (formerly GE Inspection Technologies), a world leader in industrial inspection solutions, is further expanding its Computed Tomography (CT) product portfolio with the new Phoenix Speed|scan HD. The high-performance microCT system was developed for production environments with high throughput, and can be used in a variety of industries … read more

Precise White Light Scanning Measures Gears Fast

Whereas the initial development stages of optical metrology by Klingelnberg were focused on applications used primarily in the lab, the solution now available is systematically oriented toward series application of cylindrical gear measurement. The primary advantage here is greater efficiency through a reduction in measurement times of up to 40 … read more

High Accuracy In-Motion 3D Part Scanning Sensor

Photoneo has introduces a new technology that fundamentally reshapes the potential of 3D vision. With the MotionCam-3D sensor area reconstruction of 3D scenes in motion gets a new meaning – and users no longer need to compromise between quality and speed. The 3D reconstruction of scenes in motion has posed … read more

Zeiss Unveil Triple Scan Mode Hand Held Scanner

The new T-SCAN hawk hand held scanner from ZEISS is the answer to a broad range of inspection tasks that need to be performed in situ. The portable, stand-alone, laser scanning system comes pre-installed with GOM Inspect Suite inspection software and delivers precise 3D data and high-quality results … read more

Smart 3D Structured Light Scanning Sensor Launches

LMI Technologies (LMI) has announced the official launch of the Gocator 3520 smart 3D snapshot sensor. The latest addition to the LMI series of 5-megapixel 3D snapshot sensors, the introduces an expanded field of view with the same high XY resolutions, short exposure times, and fast data acquisition rates required … read more

Sandvik’s Increasing Focus on Digital Manufacturing Solutions

The smart factory is the heart of Industry 4.0. Sandvik is carrying out a reorganization with the aim of expanding digital technology to make customers even more productive and sustainable. Sandvik Machining Solutions, the business area for metal-cutting processing, has changed its name to Sandvik Manufacturing and Machining Solutions and … read more

Measure Anything Anywhere

With the rise of portable metrology, inspection and quality assurance have spread out to almost all industries.  Mainstream, portable CMM can push metrology and manufacturing industry forward by enabling the use a portable CMM right on the factory floor, in particular for small and medium sized parts, gaining data in … read more

360° Scanning CMM Generates 16 Million Data Points

Keyence has extended the measuring range and increased four fold the resolution of its VL-Series 3D Scanner CMM. The blue structured light scanner offers full 360 degree measurement and claims fully-traceable measurements of ±10 μm accuracy with 2 µm repeatability. High accuracy mode allows the VL-500 3D Scanning CMM to scan … read more

Visual Quality Control: “Yes – There’s Now Even an App for That!”

Perform a visual inspection using commercial, off-the-shelf devices such as iPads and iPhones. Operations teams are looking for easy to deploy computer vision solutions that can scale with their needs. AI technologies have been proven to evolve their ability to accurately identify issues and take action. By easily adding intelligent ‘eyes’ … read more

Best-Fit Assembly Uses Stationary-Mounted Sensors

inos G-Guide automated assembly and robot guidance solutions have been engineered to support the most complex and demanding applications in automotive vehicle assembly. Multiple paint colors, challenging materials and substrates and ever-tightening tolerances all fall within the capability and expertise of the inos systems … read more

Multi-Sensor Portable Arm offers Blended Scanning Speed and Accuracy

A structured light scanner can take a highly-detailed image several metres across in an instant. So when Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence saw customers using its Absolute Arm systems to digitise larger workpieces, but finding the time required frustrating, it knew structured light scanning technology was the answer … read more

Manufacturing to Get Educated with Deep Learning

One of the most hotly discussed topics in the manufacturing world today is Industry 4.0. A broadly defined group of emerging innovations in industrial automation, IoT devices, deep learning, and data exchange, Industry 4.0 is set to deliver a myriad of benefits to the factory floor. Points of view differ … read more

Staying Competitive with Inline Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is often a source of pain for decision-makers in manufacturing companies – a necessary evil that generates high costs without helping to improve the speed of production. This was an issue that Helmut Häckl, managing director of Schabmüller Automobiltechnik, was all too familiar with … read more

Surround Scanner Adds Dynamic Colormap Error Projections

Polyrix is introducing dynamic colormap projection to its range of Surround 3D Scanners . The dynamic colormap projection comes as an upgrade to its patented ‘LiveInspection’ technology, whereby the calculated deviation color map is projected directly onto the inspected part using a surround array of high definition projectors … read more

Perfectly Planned Laser Tracker Target Points

In the same way that the primary survey network established in 2010 on site provided a global coordinate system for civil engineering works and the positioning of the buildings, the ITER metrology team has now developed a vast matrix of reference ‘targets,’ or fixed points, inside the Tokamak Complex for use … read more

Laser Tracker Integral to Mobile 5 Axis Smart Machining Processes

As smart factory processes have improved over the last two decades, machine tool designs and processes have remained largely static. Their accuracies and efficiencies have improved at regular intervals, but many manufacturers have taken an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to out-of-the-box to tool design and functionality … read more

Verisurf Software Improves Performance and Capabilities for FARO Arms

Verisurf Software has supported every FARO portable metrology device since its first industrial articulated arm in 1995, and the first FARO Laser Tracker SI introduced in 2002.  Verisurf continues this commitment of support by announcing enhanced software features for all FARO portable arms. By configuring any new or existing FARO portable … read more

Vision Engineering Expands LVC Video Measurement Range

Vision Engineering has broadened its range of ‘LVC’ automated video measurement systems with the addition of the LVC200, and higher specification ‘Plus’ variants. Ideal for measuring large components or multiple small components, quickly, easily and accurately, the LVC range offers faster measurement, high accuracy levels, and benefits from Vision Engineering’s … read more

Mobile Cobot Measuring Station Launches

GOM has announced the release of its updated GOM ScanCobot, a mobile measuring station comprising a collaborative robot, motorized rotary table and metrology software. Integrated with the optical ATOS 3D scanner the system captures quality information providing a high level of part detail. The collaborative robot is used to move … read more

Formula 1 Bans 3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering

The FIA has issued new rules for the 2021 Formula 1 season which are intended to prevent teams ‘reverse engineering’ another teams designs. Early in the 2020 Formula 1 season the Racing Point team were penalized after it was determined they had used 3D images to reverse engineer brake ducts from … read more

3D Scanning Solution Provides ‘Full Glass’ Container Measurement Data

The recently introduced Tiama XLAB provides glass makers with an inspection tool which delivers complete geometrical knowledge about the glass container being produced. The XLAB solution automatically generating a wealth of data with which tolerances can be defined more exactly and faults identified quickly resulting in more efficient process diagnostics. … read more


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