News | March 10, 2006

Delcam, Cimcore And Perceptron To Show Point-Cloud Inspection In Moscow

Source: Delcam PLC

Delcam will join forces with Cimcore and Perceptron to show a unique system allowing real-time, point cloud inspection of parts at the Russian Automotive Industry Forum to be held in Moscow from 13th -15th March 2006. The combination of Delcam's PowerINSPECT inspection software, the Cimcore inspection arm and the Perceptron laser head allows faster, more detailed inspection against CAD models by using a laser to collect the data.

The use of a laser for inspection allows rapid collection of huge amounts of data and so is ideal for larger components and the associated tooling. It also avoids any contact with the part that might cause marking of sensitive surfaces. Using PowerINSPECT to analyse data produced from a Perceptron head fitted to a Cimcore arm gives the additional ability to undertake detailed real-time inspection, for example on a production line, so that any errors can be spotted more quickly and corrected at lower cost.

The main application of this approach is expected to be in the inspection of large sheet metal components, such as automotive bodywork. These parts need to be produced to a high level of accuracy, particularly the external panels that must have a high quality finish. It is also essential to ensure that they fit together successfully – an especially important factor when using robots for assembly and welding operations.

The combined Delcam/Cimcore/Perceptron solution is capable of collecting more than 20,000 points each second. It allows far more detailed inspection of both geometric and surface features than would be practical with a physical probe. Fitting the laser to a portable and flexible inspection arm ensures that data can be collected from all areas of the component in a single operation.

PowerINSPECT offers rapid methods for easy analysis of this large volume of data. A filter can be applied to the points so that only those out of tolerance are displayed on the screen or included in the report. Alternatively, the PowerINSPECT coloured dots, which indicate whether the point is in tolerance, above tolerance or below tolerance, can be used to produce what is effectively an instant colour map of the accuracy of the component.

The larger volume of data, together with the speed and ease of interpretation of the results, means that any trends in the measurements can be identified much earlier, possibly even before the parts have moved out of tolerance. Any problem components can be removed from the line before any further work is completed on them.

Subtle defects across the whole of the part, such as a twist or warp in the surface, can be identified more easily with point cloud data than is possible with a series of discrete measurements. Similarly, any drift in accuracy, for example as a result of worn tooling, can be identified before large numbers of defective items have been produced.

All data collected can be used for more detailed off-line analysis and reporting with PowerINSPECT's wide range of editing options. PowerINSPECT's unique file format simplifies data management by allowing all the inspection information to be combined with the original CAD data, the sequence of operations and the inspection reports in a single archive.

SOURCE: Delcam plc