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.”