DWFritz Three-dimensional inspection of parts in real time

Editor: Steffen Donath

DWFritz Automation has developed the Zerotouch measuring platform. The system uses multiple non-contact sensor technologies to rapidly measure in three dimensions and in real time.

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The sensors can be configured to the specific GD&T measurements and the part.
The sensors can be configured to the specific GD&T measurements and the part.
(Source: DW Fritz Automation)

“Quality control is critical in production operations,” explains David Mendez, vice president of the Zerotouch business unit at DWFritz Automation. “Preparations, such as programming, as well as the measuring process itself, often take a great amount of time and result in high costs. In addition, inspection tasks requested for manufacturing often collide with other measurement requests such as those from other manufacturing lines, pre-production tests or even R&D.”

The measurement platform developed by DWFritz features a 5-axis architecture that captures millions of data points per second in a single scan to create a dense 3D point cloud. The system enables the rapid measurement of complex part geometries and precise inspection of the most complicated parts with high repeatability.

The system uses a unique planar air bearing design that minimises tolerance stack error. The near-zero friction design provides extremely smooth, high-speed motion of precision stages and improves gage repeatability & reproducibility (GRR). In contrast, tactile probes typically operate at slower speeds as they require physical contact with the part surface. Contact measurements are primarily limited to 2D scans — typically generating sections or contours whereas Zerotouch can generate complete 3D surfaces with an accurate and dense grid of data points. Acquisition of the data points is extremely rapid, at a rate of up to 4 million points/s. In addition, the system combines various technologies such as laser and chromatic confocal sensors with high-resolution cameras with multi-spectral illumination. Further, the user has flexibility in choosing the right sensing technologies to get the most optimal measurement results.

For example, shiny or specular surfaces will require specific sensors such as white light confocal or interferometric sensors. On the other hand, laser profile sensors may be needed for surfaces with “matte” like finishes.

Zerotouch enables 100 % part inspection. In addition, the Zerotouch is characterised by its ease of use. By giving the operator an easy-to-use tool, different types of parts produced on different lines can be quickly inspected. Such capability will enable the rapid qualification of manufacturing lines and speed up production ramp.