Faro Technologies Inc. (Lake Mary, FL; www.faro.com) and Delcam Plc (Birmingham, England; www.delcam.com) have teamed their technologies to facilitate inspection of tooling and parts essentially anywhere it is needed by combining the portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) from Faro with the CAD-based inspection software from Delcam. The Faro PowerGAGE provides precise, simple-to-operate inspection operations to be performed by machinists and other shop-floor personnel. The CMM, which has a 48-in. working volume and provides an accuracy of 0.0002 in., can actually be mounted onto the table of a machining center so as to get process information while the part is still being produced (saving a tremendous amount of time not only in not having to move the part to another location for measurement, but also from the standpoint of not needing to refixture the part, which can also result in problems from inaccuracies attendant to that). In order to facilitate the actual measuring procedure, the PowerINSPECT software comes into play. Basically, the CAD model of the part is imported into the system from which there is offline programming of the inspection sequence. The operator is guided as to where and in what order to take points. The resultant measurements are then indicated on the CAD model so that there is the ability to see the as-intended and as-manufactured view of the part or tooling being machined.
Beyond touch-probe measurement, Faro is also expanding its offerings in non-contact scanning of not only large parts or assemblies, but even entire spaces, like factories. The Laser Scanner LS is capable of scanning 120,000 points per second with an accuracy of 3 mm. A new software package for the portable unit, Faro Scene 3.0, allows the resulting image to resemble a black and white photograph, but unlike a static, 2D photographic image, the software creates a 3D image. In addition to permitting the measurement of points in space, it also allows “moving” through the image. What’s more, the image can be exported into CAD systems for additional processing.—GSV