Industrial Metrology 3D Solutions
What is metrology?
The scientific metrology definition is simple: it’s the study of measurement. It has a history that traces all the way back to the French Revolution and the need to have a standardized set of units. Eventually, the decimal-based metric system many countries use today was created.
Concept of industrial metrology – subfields
There are three subfields of industrial metrology: scientific or fundamental, applied and industrial and legal. Legal metrology is the setting of regulations and requirements for methods of measuring. We’ll discuss scientific and applied and industrial metrology in more detail below, but for now let’s stick to the basics.
The concept of metrology is to have a set of standards that anyone can use and understand to create, develop or change processes as modern practices come about while having a familiar language with which to set forth those changes.
Each manufacturer can have his or her own company standards, but they must also adhere to national or industry standards. This is important because regulations breed uniformity. If all air conditioning units were built differently, there would be no way for installers to stay up-to-date on how to install each different product in a household. The wiring could be different. The way the thermostat connected to it could be different.
The same goes for something as simple as ovens. Sure, there are different shapes and sizes, but cakes are baked at the same temperature because of how each company that makes ovens must ensure that their appliances can reach certain temperatures and thus have the requisite hardware for the oven to heat up appropriately.
Scientific or fundamental metrology
Scientific, or fundamental, metrology is a building block. It serves as the basis of how new technologies are developed. Without this foundational practice, our technological advancements would not nearly be as powerful as they are.
Measurements don’t just have to do with the makeup of a product on a production line. People from all types of industries use methods of measurements to adhere to some form of standardization. It helps set frameworks and it encourages new developments based on but better than old practices.
Researchers don’t have to start from scratch because of scientific metrology. Medical students don’t have to reacquaint themselves with the layout of a hospital room once they’ve finished their residencies.
Fundamental metrology means that hospital beds are designed the same, or at least very similar. This means if you transfer hospitals, you don’t need to learn a whole new process. The engineers who build airplanes know that engines need to be a certain size or the plane won’t fly.
Applied or industrial metrology
If fundamental metrology ensures that measurements are upheld and industries are following standards, then industrial metrology maintains the instruments that are used to make measurements.
Making sure those instruments function properly is a crucial means of providing steady outcomes. With industrial metrology systems, though, the user sets the standards.
Let’s look at an example: say a manufacturer is making a new fan. They will want all of their fans to look and function the same way. Suppose the fans the company previously made and sold had a lot of reviews that the main function of the fan — to oscillate at a 180-degree angle — had some problems. Sometimes it wouldn’t turn all the way; sometimes it hitched every time it turned. 3D scanning will provide this manufacturer the ability to capture data on his old product, take it apart digitally and locate the problem. Once the faulty part is found, they can work on fixing it and designing a more robust product.
Without manufacturing each iteration to test the new product, a 3D scan can do it digitally. Once the manufacturer has created a part that will work, they simply have to use the correct measurements to reproduce the physical product from the scan.
Metrology products are very accurate and the scans taken have such high resolutions that multiple scans rarely even need to be taken. Getting measurements and collecting data on the geometric surface of objects has vastly improved with the creation of 3D scanning technology.
Industrial metrology products in the real world
At Capture 3D, we know all about technology trends in 3D metrology. We apply it every day. Our industrial metrology 3D solutions are trusted by industry leaders in a number of verticals. Our 3D scanners are equipped with the most up-to-date hardware and software so that every scan produces exactly what the technician or mechanic sees in front of them.
Maintaining efficient production workflows and improving the overall design of the product you’re developing are just a couple ways industrial metrology products can help you. The laser or sensor uses triangulation to pick up data points from the physical surface of the object and manufacturers can use that data to influence future production.
If you’re going through fewer iterations and streamlining productivity, your whole business will see the improvements. Your products will be on the market sooner than your competition and the quality of the products you’re producing will be much higher.
For some examples of the effectiveness of our solutions in the field, check out these case studies:
- Optical 3D Metrology Supports Certification of Airbus A350- Learn how 3D scanning tools including TRITOP and an ATOS 3D scanner enabled certification of the Airbus A350.
- BMW | Measurement Efficiency in Single Panel Inspection- Read about luxury automaker BMW’s use of automated ATOS scanning.
- Honeywell Turbine Housing Casting Internal and External Inspection for Turbochargers- This case study details Honeywell’s use of ATOS to enable turbine engine component inspections. It also details how ATOS stacks up against CMM scanning.
Purpose of industrial metrology
The concept of metrology might be easy to grasp, but now you might be asking what the purpose is. Why is there a need to have a regulatory means for how things are measured?
Industrial metrology lowers costs, prevents production bottlenecks and provides a smarter way to manufacture. Saving time and reducing expenses is the goal for so many manufacturers, and 3D scanning technology is certainly one of the key methods that manufacturing companies are reaching those goals.
It is necessary to have a set standard of how to measure objects because it creates organization and makes production more efficient. Producing dimensionally identical items makes everything easier. Items are easier to manufacture, the way that those items interface with other surrounding items is simpler, troubleshooting any problems that arise is less costly and time consuming, and supporting the product in the future is much easier. Producing a repeatable, dimensionally accurate part benefits everybody involved with the manufacture of an object.
Shape, weight, height, length, color, texture. These are just a few of the elements that comprise an object that need to adhere to formulated standards. Without metrology systems, production would be all over the place. In short, industrial metrology is important because it enables reproducibility, reliability, and quality.
Capture 3D metrology products
Capture 3D offers a wide array of 3D metrology products to choose from that will best fit your manufacturing needs. We understand that quality control is a big part of how you get your job done. Our products will be your time-saver and the reason your inspection times are so much more efficient.
Maximizing how you develop new and improved products is our goal. Our optical scanning systems and 3D software will give you the high-quality digital scans you need to produce standardized objects. For example, the GOM ScanBox enables automated precision inspection and includes an ATOS 3D scanner, Virtual Measuring Room (VMR) software, built-in safety housing, robot, and rotary stage.
Whether you’re looking for automated inspection, portable scanning systems, or a fully integrated photogrammetry, you’ll find the right industrial 3D scanner in our product line.
All models of our 3D scanning systems are standardized on blue light technology for a more accurate reading of surface data. The metrology product you choose will just depend on the size of objects you’ll be scanning and what level of detail and precision that your specific application requires. For example, if your application requires a relatively low volume of parts to be scanned, a manual version of our systems may be best applied. However, if your application involves scanning higher quantities of similar part styles, then one our fully automated, robotic scanning system would likely be a good fit.
- Improve design, manufacturing, and production workflows
- Immediately solve quality issues - Quickly derive the optimal corrective action
- Lean manufacturing - Eliminate unnecessary repetitive processes, rework, and iterations
- Process optimization - Improve cycle times, productivity, and/or capacity
- Improve product quality - Tighter part quality standards
- Cost avoidance - Resolve unforeseen issues to eliminate making bad parts
- Faster time to market - Increase profits and improve competitive advantage
Want to learn more? Request a demo today!
You can learn more about 3D metrology solutions here. Furthermore, these case studies are a great way to explore how industrial metrology has improved business outcomes across multiple industries and use cases. While no two applications are exactly the same, reviewing case studies can allow you to understand how similar organizations have solved challenges like the ones you face. As a result you can gain insight regarding how to best approach meeting your requirements.
If you’re still not sure which solution is best for your use case, request a demo with one of our 3D scanning experts or reach out to us here with further questions. We’d love to work with you and help you explore your options.