Pioneer in Advancing Metrology Technology Shares Vision of 4.0

An interview with a Jesús de la Maza Group President of the Innovalia Group who shares his views on the role of metrology as manufacturing progresses towards Industry 4.0.

First of all, we would like to know your vision about the current situation of industrial metrology and the role it plays and can play in the near future.

Many of the techniques that were used in  laboratories are being incorporated into the manufacturing process and this makes industry begin to be more competitive. If we detect a fault when the part is finished, the cost of the error is very large. The deployment of metrology resources, methods and processes is the key for industry to reach the levels of productivity, quality and efficiency required in today’s markets. It can only be improved if it can be measured, and metrology is the practice of this concept. Industrial metrology allows the obtaining of information and knowledge about industrial products and processes, to control, improve and optimize them.

What is your opinion about the introduction of metrology in productive processes and what improvements and difficulties do you see in this process?

If we detect a fault when the part is finished, the cost of the error is very high. However, production could be reduced if we verify in the previous phases. The introduction of metrology equipment into the process is something vital and it will be for companies that use metrology systems to evolve towards Industry 4.0. We are at the beginning of a radical change in the way we capture, analyze and integrate information about industrial manufacturing products and processes; Metrology must be able to offer increasingly integrated solutions in the digital factory.

Due to information and communication technologies, transformation is taking place in all areas of human activity and is crucial for industry. Metrology products and solutions must also be inter-connectable with intelligent processing capacity, to store and process large volumes of data. The key element of this equation is the standardization of digital components and exchange formats, ensuring that equipment can inter-operate with other equipment and systems.
In this sense, having a real contribution to the evolution of the Industry is one of the advantages by the Innovalia Group in order to develop a metrological technology better adapted to the needs of manufacturing companies.

What opinion do you have regarding the large amounts of data handled today in the measurement processes?

It is increasing evident that the work and management with digital parts facilitate and improve the production process. Having a file of our digital parts, we can refer to them, observe failures and compare the result of a production in a realistic way.

Every measurement process 4.0 needs a software with a capacity of concrete data management. Therefore, M3 Software, our measurement software is prepared to analyze large amounts of data and work with IoT sensors allowing to import data with different sensors and different devices.

Will the optical sensors finally prevail or will both methods coexist depending on the characteristics of the measurement?

Innovalia Metrology (Datapixel) has been designing, manufacturing and commercializing its Optiscan sensor for 18 years, as well as solutions for quality control in the manufacture of automotive and aeronautical components. Optical scanners allow the capture and control the dimensions and 3D shapes of various parts, such as automotive metal stamped components, carbon fibre parts or wings of aircraft, mechanized parts of engines, turbine blades or plastic parts.

Scanners have a great international acceptance and that allows manufacturing companies to perform dimensional inspections with micron precision. There is a large number of companies that will continue to capture data through contact, but in our case, Optiscan offers a much more complete capture and in a much shorter time. It is clear that the optical sensors can offer more improvements in production; something we have been betting on for a long time and at this moment, it is becoming recognized by manufacturing industry.

How does Innovalia contemplate the evolution towards the 4th industrial revolution and how does it affect its business strategy?

Innovalia already put value and bet on facilitating technologies when nobody was talking about Industry 4.0.
Each industrial revolution has required the development of tools and methods of metrology that have made it possible.

Industry 1.0 grew out of empiricism and the scientific vision of reality, extending the use of mechanical metrology instruments that allowed the obtaining of objective data from products and processes.

Industry 2.0 involved the introduction of more advanced manufacturing processes such as mass production. In order to increase productivity, more sophisticated measurement technologies were developed allowing greater performance of manufacturing processes.

Industry 3.0 was “The revolution of automation” and the CMM machine concept emerged as an automated element that combined sensors, electronics, mechanics and programmable logic.

Finally, Industry 4.0 offers the leap into digitization and virtualization of manufacturing industry. The combination of Scanning Sensor and Software makes it possible. The integration of these technologies with other digital systems leads us to the digitization of processes. Industry 4.0 is an idea, a concept that must be “landed” on existing processes and products; and of course at Innovalia, we are already investing efforts in contributing to make it a reality.

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