Using CAD CAM Connections to Automate Metrology Measurements in Production Environments

For a long time, what has been standard in the tool sector with the EdgeMaster series now also applies for all cross-sector optical Alicona measurement systems for the high-resolution measurement of form and roughness.

“AutomationManager” is automation software that enables fully automated measurement of intricate component geometry during production. Prior knowledge of metrology is no longer required to operate measurement devices effectively.

The software platform, AutomationManager, enables user-independent measurement and evaluation of micro-precision components or micro-structured surfaces on large components possible. The process is based on the interaction between operators in the production area and an administrator who defines the measurement program.

The operator begins the pre-programmed measurements by touching a button, and the components to be measured are selected through a barcode scanner or drop-down menu. Since both measurement and evaluation of roughness and form parameters run automatically, the worker has no influence on the measurement result.

An administrator configuring the measurement series off-line is guided through three phases of the measurement process. The initial phase involves determining the measurement areas on a single reference component that can be a real component as well as the corresponding CAD data set.

CAD CAM Connection

With the help of a CAD CAM connection, the measurement direction, measurement points, etc. can be directly defined in the CAD file. Travel direction in XYZ, tilt angle and also rotation angle are automatically measured and synchronized with the AutomationManager. A simulation helps create a preview of the measurement process that needs to be performed, and thus ensures a safe, secure measurement planning.

In addition, the virtual operation of the Alicona measurement systems includes the entire handling, right from component positioning through to the determination of the measurement area in 3D. This operation enables manufacturers to incorporate the measurement technology already into the design phase, which considerably contributes to the implementation of 3D metrology within the whole production chain.

After the measurement areas are defined, it is specified which parameters have to be evaluated. The administrator then defines a number of areal roughness (Sa, Sq, Sz) and profile-based (Ra, Rq, Rz) parameters to assess the surface state of components as well as dimensional accuracy. It is possible to evaluate many characteristics such as angles, dimensions, flatness, concentricity, distances and also deviations from form and position tolerance.

In the last step, the administrator configures the measurement report as per individual needs and saves the required target values, which include OK or not OK determination. It then the worker’s turn. It often involves an operator who has no prior knowledge of measurement technology in the production area. The operator begins the pre-set measurement programs by simply pressing a button. Measurement positions are automatically controlled and the parameters that were pre-programmed are automatically measured, with no influence from the user, thus allowing repeatable measurements. Towards the end, the worker gets a measurement report that contains OK or not OK data.

CAD CAM Connection

Virtual Planning of a Measurement Series

A CAD CAM connection helps define the measurement points, measurement direction etc. directly in the CAD file of the reference component.

Using the AutomationManager, travel direction in XYZ, tilt angle and rotation angle are automatically measured and synchronized. A simulation helps create a preview of the measurement process that needs to be performed, thus ensuring a safe, secure measurement planning.

A CAD CAM connection helps define the measurement points, measurement direction etc. directly in the CAD file of the reference component.

When the AutomationManager is used along with a rotation unit (here InfiniteFocusG5 with the Advanced Real3D Rotation Unit), a built-in zero-point clamping system makes sure that all components are clamped in a defined position that allow accurate and repeatable measurement.

Full measurement automation, as it is provided by Alicona´s Automation Manager, enables us to meet our customers´ requirements for repeatable measurements of components with tightest tolerances and highest manufacturing accuracy.

Stefan Steimle, Head of Quality Management, Kendrion (Germany)

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Alicona Imaging GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Alicona Imaging GmbH.

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