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World’s Largest Non-Contact Robot Measuring Cell Inaugurated

Together with its project partners, ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions, and precision metrology services provider a3Ds, the Siempelkamp Foundry recently presented the world’s largest non-contact robot measuring cell.

As a world first, the new robot measuring cell is the special pride of the world’s leading hand-casting manufacturer. It allows for the fully automated, non-contact and reliable inspection of finished components up to a weight of 240 tons. Even though the robot measuring cell is nearly as large as a tennis court, its measuring accuracy is less than 0.6 mm due to the generation of up to twelve million 3D measuring points.

“With this unique and highly innovative technology we are further advancing our comprehensive digitalization strategy. We are now able to track the entire component geometry of our products, from model to casting mold, all the way to the finished casting, in a digitized manner,” explains Dr. Georg Geier, the foundry’s managing director.

“This system is the most advanced and powerful of its kind and helps us further optimize our casting and production processes through digital technology,” Geier adds. The foundry’s customers also benefit from the new metrology: owing to the millimeter-accurate inspection of components which are several meters long and weigh several tons, the quality of the components increases in terms of sustainability and efficiency in processing and operation.

Innovative Developments From Market Leader

The world’s largest non-contact robot measuring cell was produced by the metrology specialist ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions in collaboration with the automation experts from a3Ds. ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions developed a state-of-the-art scanner for the robot measuring cell having a measuring field of 2,000 mm by 1,600 mm. Groundbreaking technology enables the system to scan complex components, such as ship engines, grounding bowls, or presses in no time at all.

With a total of two measuring rooms, the automation system from a3Ds provides maximum flexibility as well as the greatest possible efficiency. What is impressive is the use of the most advanced robot technology, which allows for the fast and user-friendly production and analysis of a complete ‘digital twin’ of the inspected component on the screen.

Dirk Behring, Managing Director of ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions Germany, sums it up as follows: “For ZEISS, the automated measuring system at the Siempelkamp Foundry is a best-practice example for measuring very large cast components. Here our metrology solutions satisfy the high requirements for effective measuring methods in production and score points for flexibility – especially as a result of the complete digitization of components.”

David Skuratowicz, co-founder and Managing Director of a3Ds, is also proud to have played a key role in the development of the facility and to have successfully implemented this large automated measuring system. He generally sees growth potential for the startup: “The need for these or similar types of facility is bound to increase in many industry sectors. Industrial, optical and automated 3D metrology is becoming ever more important. Here we see the trend toward digitization, efficiency increase, and the optimization and safeguarding of processes in quality management.”

New Digital Metrology Used At The Beginning of Process Chain

In the future not only the finished cast components of the Siempelkamp Foundry will be inspected for complying with the highest quality standards with millimeter precision based on digital technology; already at the beginning of the process chain, the foundry employs 3D metrology from ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions.

With the ZEISS T-SCAN hawk, the foundry has considerably further expanded its possibilities concerning optical laser metrology. The handy scanner can check the dimensions and geometries of wooden models that constitute a positive of the finished cast component with great precision and avoid errors at the very start of component production. “In this way, target and actual values can be mapped very transparently for our customers in the early stage of our production processes. This opens up previously unimagined potentials in terms of construction precision,” elaborates Dirk Howe, Managing Director of the Siempelkamp Foundry. Thanks to the software platform ZEISS Quality Suite, the entire component development can be seamlessly tracked throughout the entire process in the foundry. The foundry’s customers benefit from a wealth of information gained through the digital processes concerning the manufactured components, which can serve them in their further use.

Digitalization offensive succeeds thanks to strong technological partnerships

At the recent presentation of the latest successes of the digitalization strategy of the Siempelkamp Foundry, Dirk Howe expressed his great pride in the developments that have been achieved together with ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions and a3Ds. The commissioning of the technologically groundbreaking robot measuring cell, he said, constitutes the latest success in the Siempelkamp Foundry’s complete concept in order to make its entire process chain more automated and digital. The Siempelkamp Foundry already set benchmarks last year by digitizing its crucible induction furnaces. By optimizing the metrology in the foundry, yet another pioneering achievement has now been implemented.

“In conjunction with our collaboration partners we have developed the world’s first high-tech robot measuring cell for such large and complex components on our own initiative. In this way we are strengthening Germany as a business location for the long haul and at the same time make a notable contribution to more digitalization and automation in Germany’s SMEs. We are pleased to now be offering customers throughout the world solutions of even better quality to improve their competitive edge”, Howe said.

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