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Universal 3D Smart Inspection Station Delivers Advanced Scan – CAD Comparison

Many manufacturers are still using hand tools such as calipers, micrometers, or height gages for parts measurement, causing problems with consistency and measurement for complex geometries. 3D scanning provides a more comprehensive inspection report for in-process and final verification for a wide variety of industries.

To automate this process, 3D Infotech has developed the UMA Smart Station, a standardized system integrated with Universal Robots collaborative robots.  Driven by 3D Infotech’s Streamline software, the Universal Metrology Automation (UMA) station allows for the adding of 3D scanners to the end of Universal Robots cobot arms for advanced Scan-to-CAD comparison and inspection capabilities, including GD&T. A recent UMA station customer, Royal Technologies, needed to scan a wide range of parts. “Some operators would miss certain features of the part, resulting in bad parts, now we catch anything that is deviated. To summarize, it has improved speed, quality, and overall performance,” says Trevor Lipsey, launch coordinator at Royal Technologies.

Royal Technologies is more than an injection molding company, they are a problem-solving company and facing unique challenges with all kind of parts and production volumes. Traditional measurement methods are slow and prone to errors. Being able to respond in time and with the right quality is a must, and those two things can be opposing forces in today’s manufacturing environments. The main problems during injection molding are flash and short shots, being able to find them quickly and consistently are key to react quickly and make the adjustments to the process.

3D Infotech engaged with Royal Technologies to find a solution that enabled them to inspect a wide range of parts with speed and reliability. The solution was the UMA Station. One specific requirement was key: They needed to scan parts in matching pairs (left and right or top and bottom) or two at the same time. The solution involved an upside-down Universal Robot’s UR5 and a LMI’s Gocator 3210A snapshot blue-light sensor.

3D Infotech can also mount a projector on the cobot arm, projecting inspection results back onto the part through the company’s Spotlight AR++ software, an augmented reality solution that can project colors maps, inspection results, and visual instructions directly on the part.  Following the automated 3D scanning and inspection of the part, users visually see the results on the physical object rather than viewing a 2D inspection report.  Spotlight AR++ further expands the collaboration between man and machine as the cobot can provide the operator with visual instructions from many points of view.

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