Automated 3D Scanning and Inspection of High-Precision Stands

Inspecting high-precision stands, which are used to transport motor vehicle cabs to different production plants, offering deviation reports to customers in real time, and calculating the cost of different repair solutions for better decision-making could only be obtained with an automated 3D measurement system.

Challenges: From one production plant to another factory, how can the vehicle cabs be transported in a safe way and in an automatic loop?

When the cabs, which are the driver's compartment, and the vehicle chassis are manufactured in different plants, manufacturers use stands to transport them—skids on which the cabs are locked with four anchor points. Therefore, high precision is required for both the cabs and the stands in order to hold and maintain the parts securely. Every standing point must be at the right position and must have the right dimension. The quality of the vehicles depends on it.

Knowing that the stands are handled manually by forklifts at the factory and can be damaged easily, how can the manufacturing company be sure that all of the stands meet the specifications?

To limit the scrap rate and maximize production, the service company inspects every stand once in every loop. If problems are detected, an automated line diverts and changes the faulty skids, which impacts the production workflow. When defaults are detected, repairs must be carried out. No stand must leave the factory before the measuring solution has green-lighted it.

What are the consequences of using a checking fixture for measuring the high-precision stands?

When the inspection is performed at a manual station on a checking fixture (with a ±2mm tolerance for instance), the skid just needs to fit in the fixture. If it does not fit, it is considered to be out of tolerance. However, it is impossible to know by how much. Knowing with precision what the real problem is and which side is faulty is almost impossible. In addition, this measuring method cannot indicate the actual position of the four critical standing points.

How can a company offering inspection and repair services be very 100% transparent with its customers?

When a company is paid to make repairs to issues that they find through their own inspection, there could appear to be a conflict of interest: the more defects that are listed, the more repairs that must be performed. The service company could be asked for justification, and the customer can question if the damages are really that bad and if they really require repair. Therefore, there is no better way to show what is being measured and what is being repaired in real time. Customers must have access to quality information regarding their products. With an automated quality control solution, everything becomes transparent.

Quality information showing the deviation in comparison with the CAD drawing.Quality information showing the deviation in comparison with the CAD drawing.

Solution: Accurate, Fast, Versatile, and Simple-to-use Automated 3D Measurement System

With an automated quality control solution, the service company can raise its measurement quality and obtain more accuracy, repeatability, and higher precision on the results, regardless of the environmental instabilities and user experience.

With automatic reading, operators stop writing data on paper by hand and, thus, limit errors related to human fatigue or distraction. With digital documentation, the deviation reports are stored in a cloud service that is available to customers in real time. And with plug-and-play devices and user-friendly interfaces, operators take measurements quickly and reliably.

In addition to its metrology-grade accuracy and operational simplicity, 3D scanning technology is also more versatile than other solutions offered on the market because 3D scanners can be used to measure many different skids with various sizes and shapes. In short, whatever the robot can reach, you can scan.

With the highest measurement rate and easy setup, the scan-to-result process occurs in minutes, saving precious acquisition and analysis time. This way, an industrial service team can shorten its lead time and lower its inspection costs for customers.

Metrology-grade 3D scanners, such as the MetraSCAN 3D-R, as well as software platform VXscan-R, are good examples of this accurate, fast, versatile, and simple-to-use automated 3D scanning solution.

World-leading automated 3D measurement system acquired by PlåtsonWorld-leading automated 3D measurement system acquired by Plåtson.

Benefits: With automated 3D scanning, the inspection of high-precision stands is optimized and different repair solutions can be compared for enhanced decision-making.

Not only is the deviation now known, but also the service company sees how big the error is in order to conduct the proper repair and correction.

Better Inspection: With an automated quality control solution, service companies can secure the accurate measurements required for precision-demanding parts in a very time-efficient way. They can provide their customers with real-time follow-ups and measurement data that is available 24/7.

100% Transparent: Because deviation reports are stored in a cloud service, they are available for customers in real time. Customers know what is measured and what is being repaired. They have access in real time to quality information regarding their products.

Better Decision-Making: When the skids do not match the CAD drawing, the service company looks at the complete lot’s inspection report. The repair decision differs depending on whether there are only a few faulty skids or a complete lot of 2000 skids with a deviation of ±3mm in one direction. They either calculate how much it would cost to repair all of the skids or verify if it is possible to adjust the assembly line in order to handle this deviation. In short, when all the data about each and every skid are available, it is possible to make a better repair decision by calculating the cost of different solutions.

With Creaform’s automated 3D scanning solution, Plåtson measures up to 350 skids per day.With Creaform’s automated 3D scanning solution, Plåtson measures up to 350 skids per day.

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With over 35 years of experience in industrial service, Plåtson has constantly cultivated new approaches and developed new practices to provide its clients with ingenuity and expertise. Located in Oskarshamn, Sweden, Plåtson specializes in creating and streamlining solutions for its customers' production flows and processes. Recently, the company acquired a MetraSCAN 3D-R to raise the quality of their work and obtain higher precision on their measurements.

“I had this vision of a solution with which we could measure the skids in an automated way and have a database where we would keep the quality information about every skid, we could see the deviation between measurements, and we could compare the results with the CAD drawing,“ says Pär Henriksson, site manager of industrial service.

Plåtson’s customers see the benefits of the automated quality control solution as soon as they log into the system. They see the results that they can get from the high-quality deviation reports that are available in real time. With this equipment, they know that Plåtson will choose the right repair method.

Now more competitive than before, Plåtson is very satisfied with its investment since they have already obtained a valuable return on it.