Digitalization of dark and shiny plastic components

Dark and shiny plastic components to be digitized at NIFCO.

NIFCO Germany GmbH develops and produces interior components for the automotive industry. The company’s parts are installed by leading international car manufacturers.

3D measurement technology has been used for dimensional inspection of NIFCO’s components for over 20 years. Initially, measurements were taken with tactile coordinate measuring machines. About 10 years ago, 3D scanning workflows were introduced. The decisive factor for this technology change was that the company required more data as well as the better visual representation of the measurement results. Furthermore, a scan could also be evaluated at a later date if, for example, new features were subsequently added to a part.

NIFCO manufactures plastic components, such as cup and cell phone holders, ashtrays, air vents, roof consoles, and many other automotive interior components. The parts are mostly dark in color and often have varying degrees of shine on their surfaces. In addition, relevant positions, such as RPS points or joint-forming contours, are usually thin-walled or finely structured. This is when many conventional 3D scanners quickly reach their limits.


Simple and fast 3D scanning workflows

The HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite from Creaform impressed the team with its ease of use, accuracy, and scanning speed. The processing speed of the captured data was also crucial. VXelements Software is very powerful, maps the scanned data in real time, and also has sophisticated features, such as Smart Resolution, which automatically generates higher resolution scan data for tiny features to improve quality and detailing.

At its Solingen site, NIFCO scans small and medium-sized components with sizes ranging from 3 cm to 70 cm using the HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite on a turntable. The required accuracy is usually 0.05 mm. The workflow of the 3D measurement is always the same:

  • 3D scanning of the component
  • Clean-up and receipt of final scan data
  • Evaluation with Polyworks Inspektor software
HandySCAN BLACK scanning an automotive exhaust for the Cupra Born vehicle

3D scan of an automotive exhaust pipe for a Cupra Born vehicle

Screenshot of the scan data of an automotive exhaust with scan merger function in VXelements

Scan data with scan merge function in VXelements as well as the final scan

Screenshot of a finished scan of an automotive exhaust in VXelements.

Scan data with scan merge function in VXelements as well as the final scan

“Creaform’s complete 3D measurement solution worked very well from the beginning for all our design and inspection tasks. The HandySCAN BLACK™ | Elite is a powerful and sophisticated system that allows us to perform our scanning workflows with a high degree of operational reliability. The processing times of 3D measurements have been significantly reduced:.The time saving compared to our previous system is about 50%. Our users are all very happy to work with this 3D scanner,” explained Edgar Staben, Head of Metrology at NIFCO’s Solingen site.

NIFCO company logo

Article written by Creaform

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