When measuring technology increases productivity

    Metrology Equipment

    When measuring technology increases productivity

    When measuring technology increases productivity
    Thursday 7 November 2019 10:09:51 AM54 ViewsClick here for download information on this product

    The Importance of Automation for Networked Manufacturing and Digitization

    Automation is more than the automatic measurement of surface roughness and shape parameters. Automation means simple interaction between administrator and machine operator, intuitive order management, high measuring accuracy as well as simple communication and networking with existing production systems including the connection to an ERP and QM system. Bruker Alicona offers tried and tested solutions. 

    With the trend to increasingly implement quality assurance and thus metrology as an integral part of production, the requirements on measurement systems have also changed. Modern measuring systems must be fully automatable so that they can be operated at any time. In addition, complex components with tight tolerances require measuring systems that deliver robust, traceable and repeatable measurement results. Last but not least, an industry-standard interface technology is needed to enable networking and communication between all systems involved in a production chain. Manufacturers then receive real-time data on production trends and prevent rejects at an early stage – a first part is immediately a good part. 

    Bruker Alicona is one of the first optical metrology supplier to intensively deal with these demands that come along with the implementation of a Smart Manufacturing production concept. Today, they offer tried and tested solutions based on the technology of Focus-Variation. 

    The following is an overview of the automation options available. The range includes “simple” automated measurement up to the realization of Smart Manufacturing. 

    Automatic measurement of dimension, position, shape and roughness
    Automation interfaces enable the automatic and user-independent measurement of micro-precision parts or smallest component features on large surfaces. Measurement of shape (distances, roundness, flatness, shape deviation, positional relationships…) and roughness parameters as well as of cutting edge parameters (radius, contour, angle…) is based on the interaction between an administrator for the teach-in of measurement programs and an operator who starts the measurement using single-button solutions. The teach-in is designed for maximum user-friendliness and can be implemented in only a few steps without programming knowledge. The component to be measured is identified by means of a drop-down menu or barcode. The corresponding measuring program is started automatically, and the machine operator receives a measurement protocol including ok/not ok data. 

    Digital measurement planning
    A CADCAM connection enables the definition of measuring points, measuring directions etc. already in the CAD file of the reference part. Tilting angles, travel ranges in XYZ as well as rotation angles are automatically calculated and synchronized. A simulation provides a preview of the measurement process to be carried out and thus supports reliable measurement planning. The time-consuming definition of measurement positions on the real component becomes obsolete. This is an attractive solution, especially if users have to define and teach in 100 or more measuring positions on components with complex geometries.

    Extended database management
    The measuring programs stored for a single component or a whole batch are automatically recognized by a barcode scanner. Each measurement is thus assigned to the respective order. In addition, information such as end user/customer, operator, machine tool, etc. can be added via freely editable and configurable fields. This enables, among other things, user-specific reports to check, for example, whether production is of constant quality. Also, it ensures that deviations can be detected and corrected at an early stage. 

    Connection to a QM and/or ERP system
    Optionally, Bruker Alicona measuring system provide the connection to the end users´ ERP and QM system. This means that measuring systems can access the nominal values, tolerances and measuring strategies stored in the ERP via DMC or RFT. At the same time, measurement results are fed into the QM system, enabling production managers to access all production data from their global locations and react immediately to negative and positive trends. The networking of measurement data, ERP and QM systems can, in the medium term, also enable the autonomous, user-independent creation of measurement programs. 

    Machine to machine communication
    Modern production facilities which are based on connected, networking machines and measuring technology usually target adaptive production planning and self-optimized production. This requires measurement technology to be integrated directly into manufacturing and to be part of a networked production chain. Measuring sensors detect faulty components, this information is automatically fed into the production cycle and production adapts or corrects itself automatically. Industry standards such as TCP/IP, Modbus TCP or Remoting allow the flexible integration of measuring systems into existing production systems without programming effort. Measuring equipment and machine tools interact fully automatically and carry out pre-defined measuring and testing programs. This also includes workflows such as the automatic clamping and unclamping of components from a machine tool and the equipping of the measuring system with a robot (“Pick & Place”). Even measuring without clamping, e.g. directly in the machine tool, is possible. This works when a measurement sensor is combined with a collaborative robot arm. Here, the sensor is automatically manipulated to the workpiece in a machine tool.

    Intelligent algorithms for automatic segmentation and classification
    A number of expansion options for automatic segmentation and classification of surface features complete the automation options. Intelligent, self-learning algorithms are the basis of a smart method to characterize, segment, analyze and classify surfaces. Subsequently, relevant parameters for surface evaluation are automatically derived and evaluated. Bruker Alicona currently offers solutions for the analysis of grain size distribution on grinding tools and for the evaluation of sandblasted and laser machined surfaces.

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