Bringing Speed ​​and Accuracy to Stamped Metal Auto Parts – Metrology and Quality News

Non-contact measurement systems can capture the entire surface of sheet metal stamped automotive parts. It offers fast measurement times for all profile features, regardless of surface finish, and it can perform in tough shop conditions.

The automotive industry is facing transformational change and the strategic decisions manufacturers make today will determine which companies will be the leaders of tomorrow. This rate of change is accompanied by a tightening of regulations, particularly in terms of sustainability and efficiency. The industry is facing increased cost pressures and complexity at all levels. Key success factors will come from efficiencies within manufacturers. One of the biggest challenges will be reducing quality inspection times while maintaining high standards of accuracy.

Advanced non-contact measurement can provide a solution

Quality inspection of metal stamped automotive parts presents a unique set of challenges. Parts may consist of unusual profile features such as stamped holes at irregular angles and free-form curves. This level of complexity lends itself to laser scanning, where the entire surface of an object can be captured in a few passes.

Rugged hardware delivers results in the shop

Hexagon’s HP-L-10.10 laser scanner captures up to 600,000 points per second.

No matter how fast you can make a product, it can’t come out until it passes quality control. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division’s GLOBAL S coordinate measuring machine (CMM) has a suite of shop floor capabilities, which means inspection can take place much closer to the production line. You can save a lot of time by bringing metrology to the component, not the other way around.

The CMM performs consistently, giving reliable results in changing temperature conditions thanks to its advanced compensation system. It even comes with gusseted covers for extra protection against the ingress of dust and other small particles. One of the most notable advantages of the solution is that it does not require any specialized training. Operators can run predefined measurement routines quickly and easily with PC-DMIS’ market leading INSPECT software.

Laser speed metrology

Hexagon’s HP-L-10.10 laser scanner captures up to 600,000 points per second and has an extended field of view allowing it to scan a large profile area, achieving extremely high point density, in just a few scans only. This machine has the ability to zoom in and out of different features of a component, so it can scan certain areas in much greater detail while quickly skimming over others. Using flexible stand-off means the hardware can operate efficiently by collecting more of the data you need, faster and with fewer passes. This reduces overall CMM wear and reduces maintenance downtime.

Large surfaces, complex curves and stamped holes at irregular angles are no problem, and as it is a non-contact solution there is no possibility of surface deformation on thin or delicate parts . The long laser line allows for full data capture and the flexibility to reduce sensor distance means users can increase spot resolution on critical areas that need extra attention. Using the variable scan speed feature, quality technicians can reduce the scan speed for more detailed analysis or increase the speed to quickly cover larger part areas with lower dot density.

Using Hexagon’s SHINE technology, the laser can scan almost any material, regardless of surface finish. Shiny or reflective surfaces are no problem. There is no need to prep the surface with spray or markers.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Unique to this sensor is the addition of an Overview Camera (OVC) allowing manufacturers to zoom in on part features and take a picture. The OVC helps manufacturers work smarter by illustrating reports, promotes collaboration between personnel, and saves time explaining specific details, especially on larger components with different feature sets.

Software coordinates high dot density scans

This type of metrology hardware achieves a very high point density and the accompanying software must support these demanding applications. PC-DMIS supports the most sophisticated laser scanning devices, processing high-resolution surface analysis into easy-to-understand reports. It can create color maps that make visual inspection much easier and from there the OVC can capture an image of specific features.

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