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Quality & Inspection—Product Roundup

by Matthew Jaster, Associate Editor

In aerospace/defense, automotive, energy and medical applications precision and reliability is always a top priority. Whether its fighter jets, tactical helicopters, wind turbines, family minivans or medical operating equipment the gears and other components must maintain the highest quality demands. Because of this, quality/inspection products, software and systems are always in flux, continually getting updated to meet the latest technological demands of these various industries. Trade shows including Mach 2012 (April 16-20 in Birmingham, England) and Control 2012 (May 8-11 in Stuttgart, Germany) will feature some of the latest products in quality/inspection for aerospace, automotive and energy applications.

Micura CMM from Carl Zeiss

The Micura CMM from Carl Zeiss offers a measuring range of 500 x 500 x 500 millimeters (the largest measuring range in its class).

Carl Zeiss Offers Smaller Measuring Ranges
The Micura CMM from Carl Zeiss meets user demands for smaller coordinate measuring machines that are as accurate as their larger relatives but offer a price advantage. This measuring machine is considerably more affordable thanks to the smaller measuring range. Nonetheless, with a measuring range of 500 x 500 x 500 millimeters, it is still the largest in this class. The parts in industrial manufacturing, such as artificial hips, gear wheels, optical lens elements and shafts with narrow tolerances, are becoming increasingly compact while the requirements on accuracy are rising. With Micura, the measuring technology needed to complete these jobs is now available. The measuring accuracy of Micura is less than one micrometer. This is enabled by the Vast XT Gold probe which is able to continually scan surfaces at a speed of 200 measured points per second. Vast navigator scanning technology, which is optional for Micura, is a suitable supplement. It adapts the scanning speed to the measuring job: where a simple contour and less precision are required, Micura moves faster. When high precision is needed, Micura moves somewhat slower.

During development of Micura, Carl Zeiss emphasized stability and rigidity. The machine features ceramic guideways, air bearings on four sides and a large bearing base for all moving parts. Furthermore, this CMM has an easy-to-use control panel and a temperature sensor to capture the workpiece temperature. Micura thus combines a number of performance features that were previously unaffordable for small operations and beginners to quality inspection. Several systems are already in operation. Micura will be presented in Europe for the first time at the Control show taking place in Stuttgart in May 2012. For more information, visit www.zeiss.com.

CoreView 6.0 from Hexagon Metrology

CoreView 6.0 features offline programming, native 64-bit support, new measurement capabilities, fast reporting tools along with computation accelerations and higher system throughput.

Hexagon Releases Latest Measuring Software
CoreView 6.0, Hexagon Metrology's latest software for Cognitens white light systems, features offline programming, native 64-bit support, new measurement capabilities, fast reporting tools along with computation accelerations and higher system throughput. Hexagon Metrology recently announced the availability of CoreView 6.0 for the Cognitens WLS400 automated and manual white light measurement systems. The new version includes an offline programming module for the robotic measuring system Cognitens WLS400A. All CoreView modules now use the full memory and CPU resources by running on native 64-bit architecture. This supports larger CAD files, dense point cloud visualization and accelerated result computation. New flush and gap capabilities support measurement of matching parts in their actual assembled position. This adds to previously available methods and delivers relevant information about the behavior of matching parts in their real position. CoreView 6.0 can also indicate the position of studs as they are widely used by the automotive industry, e.g. in the assembly of car bodies. CoreView 6.0 also provides a "Metrology Advisor" function which supports the Cognitens WLS400 user with online guidance and helps to create a more efficient process for measuring points and features. Using the High Definition (HD) mode, the automated system Cognitens WLS400A now recognizes character lines, also known as tornado lines or beauty lines, along the entire length of a car. This function can be added to existing measurement routines, e.g. in automated Cognitens WLS400A closure cells.

The new version's improved Automated Measurement (AM) computation enables a higher system throughput by allowing for a new measurement cycle to begin in parallel to computing the measurement results of the previous run. This ensures that the Cognitens WLS400A cell can continue measuring with minimal interruptions. In addition, CoreView 6.0 offers improved reporting functions. Newly designed callout annotations now include one-click positioning, alignment and distribution of callouts across the area of interest for meaningful presentation of measurement results. CoreView Lite 3-D results viewer is available for download at www.cognitens.com.

Wenzel Exact S

Wenzel's exact S is a desktop CT machine that is compact in design and construction but more powerful and precise than devices from other manufacturers with very low maintenance.

Wenzel Explains Benefits of Industrial CT/Launches Measuring Software
The Wenzel exact S is the latest in a new generation of industrial CT technology from Wenzel Volumetrik. The exact S is a desktop CT machine that is compact in design and construction but more powerful and precise than devices from other manufacturers with very low maintenance. The compact desktop CT exact S offers a solution for the volume measurement of small components. It is compact in size and provides maximum performance in a minimum space. The high resolution allows a detailed analysis of small components ranging from micro measurements to micro material testing. The modular design concept makes it possible to customize the system to suite customer requirements.

"Industrial CT machines, such as those produced by Wenzel, add an even greater degree of dimensional accuracy to its images. A modern CT system can measure and examine both the inside and the outside of a part in extensive detail," says Andy Woodward, president of Wenzel America. "It can measure assemblies to determine why they don't work or go together very well, and it can measure multi-material assemblies, isolate individual components of different densities, and even analyze the material flow in plastic and composite parts."

With CT, engineers can capture the complete part (the shape and dimensions, the density, the material flow, and any porosity, cracks, or inclusions). This data is stored in "Voxels" (a 4-D pixel, as opposed to a regular 2-D pixel). "At Wenzel America we call this the ‘Part DNA.' It is everything that the part is; everything that defines the part or finished assembly.

According to Woodward, if engineers have the Part DNA, they can do everything they need to do, now or later—inspection, NDT, archiving, reverse engineering, and investigation. And if a manufacturer has invested the time, effort, and money required to develop a significant product, such as a new smart phone, the cost to keep its Part DNA on file is insignificant compared to the potential benefits. The engineer also has the option to store this Part DNA for later measurement or for full archiving of everything to do with the part for future protection of the supplier.

Metromec <em>QUARTIS</em>

Metromec QUARTIS is measuring software with an uncluttered, flexible and result orientated workspace that reduces distraction for users.

"What is the cost of a recall to a car company because something doesn't work? What is the cost of loss of market share to a medical device manufacturer or antiperspirant manufacturer if the device does not function properly? Besides potential lawsuits, the loss in reputation and market share could be a financial disaster," Woodward adds. "Industrial Computed Tomography is not too new, but the justification and the reason for its existence (its Part DNA) has not been explained well enough so far to its potential customer base. Rather than believing that CT is just too expensive, the real cost of not using the technology must be fully understood. The return on investment in a relatively expensive machine can be realized in days, not years."

Additionally, Wenzel U.K. Limited will officially launch new measuring software called Metromec QUARTIS at MACH 2012. Metromec QUARTIS is the latest generation of measurement software that develops the Metrosoft CM into the brand new Metromec QUARTIS. This is the first measuring software that incorporates the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. The result is measuring software with an uncluttered, flexible and result orientated workspace that reduces distraction for users so they can spend more time and energy focused on their work. Measurement results can now be generated even faster and easier. Customers will be able to evaluate the new Metrosoft QUARTIS on Wenzel LH CMM's using both the new Renishaw PH20 5 axis probe head and the SP25 analogue scanning system. In addition Wenzel will also exhibit the Wenzel ScanTec Core DS with Metrosoft QUARTIS. An offline booth will also be set up where customers can discuss their CMM measurement applications and see how Metrosoft QUARTIS can vastly improve their workflow. Wenzel U.K. can be found in Hall 5 on stand 5851 at MACH 2012. For more information, visit www.wenzel.com.