Dimensional Control Systems (DCS) and Metrologic Group, both members of the Sandvik Group, collaborated at the recent IMTS 2022 exhibition to demonstrate how a closed loop quality system could look, by combining their technologies, into an End-to-End Quality Solution bringing reality to the vision of Quality 4.0 and the Digital Twin.
At IMTS, DCS and Metrologic provided visitors the chance to see what a closed-loop manufacturing process looked like in practice, as a microcosm of what occurs at a plant or large enterprise, by seeing the different pieces of how Quality 4.0 can be leveraged to drive information downstream from design as a valuable vision that is often discussed but rarely shown.
Designing Robust CAD Models and GD&T
During the digital design phase, 3DCS, a variation analyst tool integrated into CAD, provides the tools to test, simulate, and create robust designs. The output from these models is a set of optimized GD&T, that is, set up to reduce manufacturing costs in non-critical areas, and honed for areas found critical to quality and at risk of non-conformance. The GD&T output is the driving force of the process, associated to CAD and machine readable for consumption downstream.
Advanced Simulation and Digital Twin of 3D Measurement Process
The GD&T created and optimized in 3DCS was passed to Metrologic’s Silma software, which created a measurement plan from the data. The plan can be programmed offline, keeping production measurement equipment running while programming takes place. The program automatically interprets the GD&T, which can be virtually tested, ensuring that it is error- and collision-free once applied to the manufacturing process. In addition, its collision detection and automatic collision removal tools provide users the ability to visualize, optimize and update in real the entire program probing path. Once complete, the measurement program is sent to Metrolog X4 universal measuring equipment software.
Powerful Metrology Software with Any Device
Regardless of fixed CMM or portable measuring device brand Metrolog X4 can utilize the measurement plan and make it an executable reality. With a plethora of tools for improved performance, Metrolog simplifies the day-to-day measurements and provides unique outputs to view the data before sending it downstream. Metrolog X4 has a new geometric and dimensional tolerances processing engine for handling the most complex cases in record time. X4’s ‘Expert’ system ensures the correct evaluation methodology and results. The PMI and GD&T is now a data set from the part showing it’s conformance to specification.
For applications using an industrial robot to measure, the metrologic i-Robot technology is suitable for all industrial robots providing a production-ready metrology solution that is accurate, reliable and flexible. i-Robot is perfectly suited for all applications requiring flexibility and productivity while providing high metrological accuracy with measurement accuracy fully independent of robot’s positioning. i-Robot synchronizes robotic movements with sensor measurement and the robot trajectory entirely controlled by i-Robot part program.
The outputs, from both Metrolog X4 and I-Robot, provide insight into a part’s conformance to specification, allowing the data to be displayed in different formats making it easy to interpret. Outputs are then read in by a QMS – Quality Management System – to provide a real-time understanding of the programs and access to powerful SPC for problem prediction and root-cause analysis.
Real-time Quality Monitoring, Alerts, Dashboards, and Reports
The DCS QDM SPC Platform reads the data in as it is being generated from the measuring equipment. Metrologic technology seamlessly feeds the system to keep it up to date with minute by minute results, providing real-time insight into overall production quality. Users can view the data as customizable dashboards and SPC reports, or leave it ‘out of mind’ until the system detects the start of a problem where it will alert all stakeholders and provide insight into the heart of the issue. Graphical reports and screens instantly show where problems are, when they began, and where in the manufacturing process. Should an issue that cannot be quickly resolved arise, the measurement data can be quickly sent back to the design group for simulation and analysis, testing a solution to prove out its success before moving forward.
For more information: www.3dcs.com