In addition to being slow and expensive, touch-probe devices don’t tell the whole story. We inspect 100% of our part with a 3D scanner and ship with confidence.
Manufacturers have recently learned a great deal about how to expedite the first article inspection process, particularly through the use of 3D scanners. The primary advantage of non-contact 3D scanning is that it captures millions of data points in only a few minutes. And because the entire surface of the part gets inspected, it reduces the chances that additional errors, which weren’t part of the traditional touch-probe inspection protocol, will show up later during the assembly process.
Manufacturers have also learned that 3D laser scanners aren’t created equal. Some 3D scanners are highly automated, yet have poor measurement accuracy. Other systems cycle through parts rapidly but can’t measure reflective or composite surfaces, or the measurable part size is limited.
So when selecting a 3D scanner as a tool for first article inspection, it is vital to make sure the system has the following characteristics:
- It must be both fast AND accurate on any type of surface including composite materials and highly reflective surfaces (this bullet point links to article #1)
- It must be able to accurately measure complex parts that contain compound curves and small features.
- It must have the capacity to measure a wide range of part sizes, at least up to 60″ tall.
- It must be able to automatically cycle through the part inspection process without special setup or preparation of the part.
- It must be able to capture the entire surface of a part and automatically make geometric “point cloud” data available for analysis and reporting.
- It must automatically provide comprehensive analysis of feature locations and deviations from a CAD model, and allow rapid characterization of flaws through geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T).
If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your quality inspection program, contact Metronic Systems to learn how an automated 3D scanner can advance your First Article Inspection capabilities.