November 26, 2020
Fully automated measurement of complex tubular space frames for BMW’s all-electric Mini Cooper SE
Creaform, a leading global provider of portable and automated 3D measuring solutions, has installed a second robot-controlled measuring system at Walter Automobiltechnik GmbH (WAT) in Berlin, Germany. WAT is a system supplier of metal assemblies for the automotive industry. It focuses on complex welded assemblies such as motorcycle frames and engine mounts, with a great deal of its work including motorcycle frames, torsion struts and more for the BMW Group.
WAT recently landed the contract for development and series production of the engine mount for BMW’s new fully electric Mini Cooper SE. When the company needed to measure the vehicle’s complex tubular space frame, the decision fell on the MetraSCAN 3D-R, a powerful robot-mounted optical scanner that is Creaform’s automated quality control solution.
The WAT team uses MetraSCAN 3D-R for fully automated measurement of the complex tubular space frames with many connection points for peripheral equipment. 90% of the features were such that they could not be reworked, and they would immediately have caused the production line to stop if they were not made exactly to specification. Due to the high-temperature galvanizing required, the process required that many of these features had to be manually reworked. This means that qualitative safeguarding of the finished parts had to be conducted by carrying out 100% of the measurement of the series production within a given cycle time. A measurement report and 3D scan had to be saved for each frame, for traceability purposes.
Tommy Laukdrej, Head of Quality Assurance at WAT explained this: “We use two automated measuring cells with handling robots from Panasonic and the Creaform system, which consists of the MetraSCAN 3D-R scanner, the C-Track optical camera system, and the VXelements scanning software. We chose Polyworks from Duwe3d as the measurement evaluation software, because we have been using this software with success and complete satisfaction for over 10 years. We are very satisfied with the measurement solution – it is easy to use and covers the largest possible measurement area with a high degree of accuracy. In addition, the measurements are independent of the accuracy of the robot. For WAT, this system is the future of automated quality control and quality assurance. It will definitely be used in new projects with a high degree of automation at WAT!”