Tag Archives | Laser Scanning

Laser scanning is the controlled steering of laser beams followed by a distance measurement at every pointing direction. This method, often called 3D object scanning or 3D laser scanning, is used to rapidly capture shapes of objects, buildings and landscapes.

Improve Efficiency with Automated Metrology Integration

What is Metrology?

Simply put, metrology is the scientific study of measurement. Metrology includes the collection, verification, and qualifying of measurements according to established standards. Within the U.S., the National Institute of Standards and Technology is the organization that works with industries to establish measurement standards and protocols. These allow companies to manufacture products with certainty and accountability.

Metrology can be found in any field of science and technology. Industrial metrology is a practical form of metrology that ensures instruments are performing properly, including appropriate maintenance and calibration, to ensure quality control within manufacturing. This type of inline metrology can be found in various activities performed along production and assembly lines including testing, sorting, and inspecting.

Automated Metrology Solutions

The objective of most companies is to manufacture quality products efficiently. The demand for higher quality continues to rise, causing manufacturers to look for better methods to measure and control quality – which is why automated metrology is becoming more and more important!

Generally speaking, automated inline measurement systems consist of three components: a measuring device, automation software, and a machine. When these components are communicating effectively, real-time quality assurance data is generated. Automated inline metrology increases production efficiency, improves quality, and lowers operating costs. For these reasons, manufacturers are evaluating their processes to identify where the automation of measurement activities could prove beneficial. Additionally, since many manufacturing facilities already have automated robotic work cells established, metrological devices and automation software are being created that can readily adapt to a myriad of existing systems.

The software for automated inline metrology allows manufacturers to identify the parameters to be monitored. The system tracks the desired data and takes the appropriate corrective action – all during continuous operation of the manufacturing line! These automated inline metrology systems are used to correct and adjust production processes or remove defective products – resulting in higher repeatability of these processes and a faster feedback loop when issues are detected.

There are many manufacturing scenarios that are good candidates for automated metrology; however, manufacturers generally target manual systems that are time consuming, present ergonomic issues, or simply cannot be performed repeatably. Below are some examples of automated inline metrology solutions that Concept Systems has integrated into manufacturing facilities for various industries.

  • Vision inspection: leading 2D and 3D imagers and FLIR thermal cameras are effective tools to drastically improve quality inspection, fault detection, and condition monitoring. We focus on addressing issues before they become problems. With vision inspection, sorting and classification can be achieved with little to no human interaction – improving overall quality assurance. Click here for a case study where we used vision inspection solutions to solve a sorting issue.
  • Machine vision: we use best in class, off the shelf, industrial rated, 2D and 3D vision products to tackle some of the toughest manufacturing problems. By combining 2D and 3D scanning technologies with a robot platform, our solutions are designed to tackle bin picking, high speed picking, food processing, and material handling. Click here for a case study about an advanced vision-guided work cell.
  • Laser Scanning: the use of 3D scanning creates flexibility in a work cell. 3D scanning allows for part location or inspection, and, if required, provision of a path offset to a robot so it can handle a part that is in a random orientation. Also, by scanning parts we can determine what it is and then execute the corresponding robot program – creating dynamic functionality that requires less input from operators. Click here for more on the benefits of 3D scanning.
  • LengthScanPro: with our expertise in laser scanning and machine vision, we offer profile measurements systems that dynamically adjust your equipment to yield maximum results. Real-time measurements of length, thickness, angles or other key dimensions will allow you to recognize improved quality and maximized profit. Click here for a case study where LengthScanPro was used to address the issue of waste at a wood mill.

The goal of automated inline metrology is repeatable, reliable, and traceable measurements, and automated inline metrology is an ideal solution for many manufacturing scenarios where production is constrained by manual, repetitive, or time-consuming measuring. However, it should be noted that not all measuring activities should be automated – the benefits of automated metrology have to outweigh the total cost of ownership!  Manufacturers should consider each application thoroughly to determine what level, if any, of metrology automation is justified. 

Automated Metrology at Concept Systems

With the technologies available today there are countless robotic and machine vision applications that can help you address your business challenges. From basic picking and sorting to enhanced vision inspection, from custom built end of arm tooling to complete work cell design and integration, our team of expert engineers design and integrate solutions that enhance the efficiency and profitability of your operations.

We’ll dive into your manufacturing process and build a smart, precisely tailored automation solution – effectively integrating metrology and automation solutions to improve throughput and elevate quality. Leverage the advances in technology to improve your manufacturing – contact us today!

Why 3D Scanning Can Benefit Your Business

Concept Systems provides robotic technology solutions to companies so they can cut operation costs, increase productivity, and reduce errors. 3D laser scanning systems are often a part of our automation solutions. These unique, ultra-precise systems perfectly capture 3D shapes in order to inspect and analyze real-world objects or environments, allowing for the measurement and collection of data on the exact shapes and orientations. This collected data is ideal for constructing digital 3D model solutions.
Various industries can utilize 3D scanning systems, from manufacturing and engineering, to design, development, and surveying, to movies, art, and medicine. 3D scanning results in two key things: higher quality products and less costly manufacturing processes. It’s been estimated that 3D scanning can reduce manufacturing costs by 75 percent. At Concept Systems, we provide clients with 3D laser scanner solutions so they can consistently create high-quality products that function properly.
We’ve covered a few of the businesses that can benefit from our 3D scanning solutions, but let us get a little more specific:

The Conceptualization Phase

Individuals who work in design-based businesses always go through this phase of conceptualization and idea generation. Typically done with clay lead or foam lead, 3D scanning takes conceptualizing to a new level. The scanners can be applied during the idea generation phase by digitizing objects and then using them to interpret and enhance concept diagrams.

Design Phase and Process

As mentioned, 3D scanning can be applied at the beginning of the design phase by using a physical object to design a CAD (computer aided design) model. Designers usually need to design around or fit a design to existing objects. You can scan these parts and incorporate them into the design. This results in parts that consistently fit.
3D model scanning systems can benefit the actual design process in the following ways:

  • It increases the effectiveness of working with complex parts and shapes.
  • It assists with the design of products to accommodate other parts.
  • If CAD models are outdated, a 3D scan will provide an updated version.
  • 3D scanners quickly capture all physical measurements of any object.
  • A 3D scanner ensures that the parts fit together on the first try.
  • You can capture engineering optimizations inherent in manufactured parts with 3D scanning.
  • Scanners utilize modern manufacturing on parts that were manufactured before CAD existed.
  • Allows for a comparison between “as-designed” models and “as-built” parts.

Development Phase

When a project moves on to the development phase, user requirements and documentation are followed and the project is measured by predefined criteria. It is in this phase that it is accepted by the client.

Implementation Phase

After development is completed the project can now move on to the implementation phase. This phase is the implementation of the system. It is the development of the actual tested solution. The system is configured and launched for testing. At this point feedback can be used to enhance performance and problems can be worked through. It is not unusual for the product to frequently move back and forth from development to testing. User training takes place in this phase.

Why It’s Time to Consider Using Vision Technology

coffee_robot_3D_modelBecause the use of vision technologies on the plant floor can give you a competitive advantage, here are the key issues to consider when looking for the right vision system.

How viable is vision technology on the plant floor? On the surface, when you look at the technology and the capabilities it seems like vision should be as common as the programmable logic controller (PLC) and the human-machine interface (HMI). If you think about the technology and its ability to “see” the environment and make decisions based on what it sees, the applications are boundless. Despite its clear advantages, the use of vision technology on the plant floor is not as commonplace as most people would imagine. Why is that?

I believe the main reasons are: 1.) The supporting technology behind the camera; and 2.) Camera installations are often viewed as being not very robust. Continue Reading →

How Laser Scanners and Non-Contact Encoders Are Changing Robotic Applications

Painting robots can save time and waste, and the technology is not as far off as you may think.

At the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) show in Chicago earlier this month, I had the opportunity to share with clients and potential clients information about a new automation application that involves some good, solid here-and-now technology as well as some not-quite-ready-for primetime, emerging technology that is rather exciting. The application involves painting robots, coupled with laser scanning and non-contact encoding.

Continue Reading →