The green box on the right is a quote of the article section referring to VTube-LASER software running on a HEXAGON arm at Albina Company near Portland, Oregan. Read the the full article here.
So the company invested in a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) from Hexagon. In addition to providing a better way to measure parts, the CMM gets the company much closer to the ultimate efficiency goal: first part=good part. First, because Albina’s CMM is a laser-based system, it records the part’s dimensions accurately, thoroughly, and quickly. When using hand tools, the operator measures the critical dimensions, but time is the constraint that prevents taking enough measurements to create a complete 3D model of the part. By making a thorough reading of the part’s dimensions and comparing it to the CAD file, the CMM’s software provides a visual representation of the entire part, end to end, and shows where the part is out of tolerance on a color map. Bends that have nothing in common help to illustrate the variety of Albina’s capabilities. A spiral helix made in large, heavy-wall, rectangular HSS (left) contrasts starkly with the undulating 2D bends made in small-diameter pipe for a chemical processing application (right).
Second, the software feeds this information back to the rolling machine so the initial part can be corrected. It also uses this information to make adjustments to the rolling machine’s program to improve the dimensions of subsequent parts. Third, the Albina staff can use this information to create quality control reports with precise annotations.
The system has other advantages involving accuracy and speed. Because the measurements are based on a noncontact laser system, the results don’t vary among the personnel who use it. Furthermore, essentially all the personnel can use it—the machine operators can take their own measurements and don’t need to wait for quality control personnel or a foreman to determine whether a part is good or not. “It also allows us to do reverse engineering without much trouble,” Smith said. “We can reproduce a part without a drawing.”
VTube-LASER v2.9.18 has several improvements. Two of the improvements are MAJOR enhancements for VTube-LASER.
MAJOR 1 - AUTOMATIC LASER SEPARATION Filter Method
The most important change is the new Automatic Laser Separation filter method that ensures the best scan coverage of varied lengths of straights in a tube. In the UniScan method in previous versions, the laser lines were separated by a programmable fixed distance - like 3mm. However, this fixed distance was not always appropriate for tubes with straight lengths that change from very short to very long.
An example where this could be a problem is a tube with 19 mm of length in straight 1, but then 1000 mm of length in straight 2. For straight 1, it is important to set the separation distance lower. But in straight 2, it is best to set the separation distance much higher. Doing this manually during measurement is cumbersome.
The Automatic Laser Separation filter method solves the problem by looking at the MASTER data length to anticipate the unique laser separation that each straight should use.
RESULTS of an ACTUAL TEST at an HVAC CUSTOMER'S
I tested this new filter at an HVAC customer's facility. Almost all parts for this customer have the issue of widely varying straight lengths. In one tube, for example, the first leg was 15mm long, and the next leg was 1100mm long. For the first leg, VTube-LASER separated the laser lines by 0.6 mm - giving an automatic excellent stripe density of about 20 to 40 stripes. VTube separated the 1100mm length stripes by 28mm - giving it the same laser stripe count as the short straight. The effect was automatic excellent laser stripe placement for both straights even when being used by new operators. The separation filter method worked so well that the VTube-LASER operators didn't even notice the separation distance change until I pointed out the new method.
This is one of those enhancements that I strongly recommend for anyone using the VTube-LASER UniScan (which is 90% of VTube-LASER customers). If you use UniScan, then you should update to version 2.9.18 as soon as possible.
MAJOR 2- CORRECTION DATA MAPPING
The second major enhancement is Correction Data Mapping. We've had several customers ask us to allow VTube-LASER to handle skipping rows of corrections to handle avoidance moves at the bender. We added this new method to handle about any situation your bender setup throws at VTube-LASER. The new method in Bender Setup is very powerful and quite sophisticated.