See the new CORNER PROFILE MEASUREMENT PROCESS. This new measure process allows you to quickly measure extruded parts like the one shown in the image on the right. This measure process also makes measuring square and rectangular parts much easier. Scan down one side of the part using Corner Profile process, then use MTA (Measured Tube Averaging) to measure the other side of the square part, then average the two measurements together for a complete centerline.
Lackland Air Force Base (near San Antonio, Texas) is the most recent base to purchase a VTube-LASER software system with a FARO ScanArm for use in reverse-engineering tubes pulled from planes for replacement. Other bases that also use VTube-LASER are Hill AFB near Salt Lake City, Utah, and Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, Nevada.
The team at Lackland AFB have completed their VTube-LASER training and are fully prepared for reverse-engineering tubes from USAF planes. It was good to see their enthusiastic response to VTube-LASER, especially considering that they had previously been used to working with the legacy MM5000 arm with Supravision software.
Their new VTube-LASER system uses the 2.5 meter FARO Quantum M ScanArm with blue laser scanner on a portable FARO tripod. VTube-LASER can correct their two HMT (Horn Machine Tools) benders with BendPro controls.
Did you know that you can find the distance from a drilled hole in a solid model to the end of the straight in VTube-STEP? You can also use the collect feature to find the diameter of the drilled hole.
STEP 1 - Import the STEP model. STEP 2 - Collect the hole as a single straight, then rebuild the parametric tube from the collection. The result is the centerline of the hole and the diameter. STEP 3 - Next, collect the straight that the hole is drilled in as a second cylinder and rebuild the parametrics again. When VTube asks it if should fix the negative straight, press "No." STEP 4 - Set the radius to a very small positive value (like 0.0001) and press F2. STEP 5 - Read the length value in the LRA chart. This value is good for any tube orientation - not just tubes that are flat to the world system.
We are excited to announce that BLM USA is now an official partner with Advanced Tubular Technologies (using our VTube-LASER software) and HEXAGON (with the HEXAGON scan arms).
BLM HAS FULL DEMONSTRATION CAPABILITIES The BLM USA showroom has a HEXAGON 8325 Absolute Arm with laser scanner that measures using our VTube-LASER software. This new system is connected to their showroom BLM benders. The BLM bender technicians (Paul Wilt and Steve McKenzie) are fully trained with VTube-LASER and can demonstrate an actual corrections loop process in the showroom on your parts.
WORKING COMMUNICATIONS CONFIRMED To be sure the connection with the VGP3D software was perfect, we tested two different protocols - the BLM CMM protocol and the BLM Supravision Network protocol. The SVNET protocol is our choice for smoothest communication with the bender.
NEW BLM SVNET PROTOCOL in VTube-STEP and VTube-LASER As of version 2.9.20, we added the new BLM SVNET protocol to VTube-STEP and VTube-LASER. It is custom-designed for this new communications connection to the VGP-3D control. You can send new part data from solid models using VTube-STEP, and can perform full corrections loops with VTube-LASER.
NEW DATA SENT: When sending new data to the bender, if the part number being sent does not exist in the BLM VGP3D control, then the BLM control will automatically create a new BLM data file.
CORRECTION DATA SENT: When correcting the bender, the VGP3D software will answer a recall by VTube-LASER, then take in new XYZc bender data automatically. The process is very simple and was confirmed with actual tests on a BLM bender.
Today I tested our VTube-LASER with the new FARO USB driver 184.108.40.206 in the brutal CPU-intense environment of a Goto Meeting web demo. The driver was released in February of 2019. Based on that experience, I was able to percieve that the FARO team has improved the driver scanning speed with this version.
Not only has the driver scanning speed improved, but the switch time from laser to ball and back seems to have been improved as well. I checked the revision notes from FARO, and, sure enough, they've been working on making the speed better.
Installation note: This installation will only work on Windows 7 and newer. It required about 30 minutes to download and install. It requires two reboots. Be sure you set enough time aside to make it through the full install.
Regards, Michael Cone Advanced Tubular Technologies, Inc.
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.