Thursday, July 17, 2014

What You Don’t See Could Be Killing Your Quality

  How valuable would it be to look inside a completed product or components?
  What would it mean to your quality?
  What would it do to increase production process efficiency?
Computed Tomography gives hearing instrument manufacturer inside look
A leading hearing aid manufacturer uses the WENZEL Volumetrik exaCTS desktop computed tomography system to do just that. Being able to nondestructively look inside the completed hearing instruments makes quality assurance faster, more precise and more reliable.
Telephones, transistors and tiny tech - Brief history of hearing aids

The development of hearing instruments started with the first stethoscopes and hearing trumpets in the late 1700s and 1800s. 
Hörrohr Stethoskop Meyers 1890-Public Domain
German-engineered stethoscopes from the 1800s.
Ear trumpet-Public Domain
An 18th-century drawing of ear trumpets.
Museum of Medicine Berlin Germany Telephone hearing aids. Creative Commons Copyright.  Photo by SA 2.0.
German engineered hearing aids from the 1920s-1950s. They
include an attachment similar to a telephone server. Photo from
Museum of Medicine, Berlin, Germany.
After the telephone was invented electrically powered hearing aids soon followed utilizing telephony and vacuum tubes. With the transistor, hearing aids began to really shrink and become truly portable.
Bringing us to todays technology, with hearing aids so tiny they can be worn nearly invisibly due to their low weight and small size.

With this increasing miniaturization every component of the hearing aid has become ultra tiny, making 3D scanning even more challenging. Everything from the microphone to the amplifier, loudspeaker is so small that any normal 3D scanning method falls short or destroys the components.  Even determining the integrity and porosity of the minuscule injection-molded plastic case is a problem needing to be solved.  Industrial Computed Tomography offers the best possibility of analyzing the interior and exterior of these small and complex components for defects. 
Computed Tomography - 3D Scanning. Wenzel America exaCT S.
Desktop Computed Tomography exaCT
S System from Wenzel America.
Computed Tomography was this hearing instrument manufacturers solution to all of these measurement problems and then some.
      CT is used to check the quality of ongoing production
      CT machines are part of the support of the start-up production
      They use computed tomography in the development of new hearing instruments
      CT is used in developing new single components to improve quality
      CT is also used to increase quality of the injection molding of plastic parts
Detect defects and deformations during assembly
Finished and functioning hearing aids and small modules are often analyzed for correct assembly and for possible deformations while assembling the parts. At the single component level, the smallest structures and complex features can be 3D scanned. The tolerances are very tight, so the highest precision is required.
Complex parts require exaCT measuring solutions
Because of the complexity and number of types of measurements needed the company went through a very rigorous selection procedure before coming to
Computed Tomography - 3D Scanning. Wenzel America exaCT S.
Desktop Computed Tomography
exaCT S System from Wenzel Amercia.
Wenzel. They ultimately chose the WENZEL Volumetrik exaCT S desktop computed tomography 3D scanning machine for its accuracy, speed, versatility, and power.
The Wenzel 3D scanning machine has a closed and maintenance-free 130 kV x-ray tube with an industrial detector (resolution > 2 Megapixel). The highly accurate and granite-based mechanics of the exaCT S 3D scanning machine have been used successfully in WENZEL CMMs for decades. The exaCT machines achieve a very high precision of less than 5 μm.
Powerful software for exaCT data analysis
Also very important was the selection of the powerful measurement and analysis software, Metrosoft QUARTIS from WENZEL Metromec. The software enables the dimensional analysis of the data generated by the computed tomography 3D scanning machine.
The extensive functionality also includes the measurement of inner structures that cant be accessed by tactile or optical measurement methods. In addition, fully automatic measurement processes for scanning numerous features can be created easily in only one step.
Every part defect visible in one glance in target-actual comparison
The hearing instrument manufacturer uses Metrosoft QUARTIS to enforce a target-actual comparison against CAD data from small plastic components. A report is generated which makes every defect visible at one glance.
The exaCT Analysis module can process varied and complex surface data including 3D scanning of plastic part porosity. The 3D porosity analysis gives information about the size, distribution and place of the blowholes. Easy to use export options ensure the direct data transmission to the external statistic software qs-STAT from Q-DAS.
Wenzel America’s offers powerful 3D Scanning 
Want to see how Wenzel 3D Scanning or exaCT computed tomography machines can increase your quality and throughput? Click here for your Free CT Scan Analysis and Consultation and stay up on metrology innovations that can increase your bottom line as a bonus.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shop Floor Product Measurement at Light Speed Complete Capture of Complex Components for Complete Production Control

Innovation moves at light speed and product quality has never been higher. Shouldn’t your production quality control be just as fast and quality just as high?

Is there a measuring system that can give –

·         Fast results on free-form shapes and contours?
·         Shop floor measurement of turbine blades?
·         Precise quality control of medical device manufacture?
·         Analysis of non-contactable modern automotive designs?

We only know of one. Wenzel’s latest innovation in high-speed 3D scanning services is a combination of two of it’s most advanced measuring technologies – CORE 3D optical high-speed 3D scanning machines plus the PHOENIX structured light projection and image processing sensors. This dynamic duo can capture measurements of complex components directly in production control. The new ‘CORE & PHOENIX’ system solution was presented for the first time in North America at SME’s RAPID 2014.

We interviewed Wenzel America’s President, Andy Woodward about the power of the newly integrated Phoenix and CORE high speed scanning solution.

What brought about the integration of PHOENIX into CORE?

Fast, full-field scanning of surfaces for measurement analysis is becoming more and more popular in industry. There is an increasing demand for very fast measuring results, especially for free form and contours; the logical outcome was to integrate the PHOENIX sensor into the CORE D high-speed optical scanning system. We presented this for the first time in North America at SME’s RAPID 2014.

What are the differences of the CORE + Phoenix integration compared to the standard CORE systems with the double eye sensor?

The CORE basic system remains the same whether you use double eye sensor or PHOENIX. This means you can use the same CORE machine as the foundation for both applications. The main difference between the sensor heads are their methods of capturing points and the software each uses to analyze and report the captured data points.

Can you describe this more precisely?

The double eye sensor system scans complex part geometry or measures features by recording of individual point data similar to a conventional touch-probe CMM, only much faster. (Figure 1)
3D Scanning Services
Figure 1 : Optical multi-axial high-speed scanning system. CORE with the double eye sensor PS006 when measuring a highly polished artificial knee joint. (Source: WENZEL)
The PHOENIX is able to digitize the full surface with its measuring field of 30 to 40 millimeters. (Figure 2) For data capture the PHOENIX uses the measuring principle of phase shift by structured light projection. This means the triangulation of several points whereas the measuring principle of double eye sensor is the triangulation of a single point.
3D Scanning Services
Figure 2: Optical multi-axis high-speed 3D scanning system. CORE + PHOENIX, with the structured light projection and image processing sensor when measuring a turbine blade. (Source: WENZEL)

What accuracies can be achieved and how is the software connected?

Both systems can scan surfaces with very high accuracy. The basic CORE system with double eye sensor has a measuring accuracy MPEp of ±4 μm at nominal value on all surfaces even on polished ones. (Figure 3)
3D Scanning Services
Figure 3: PS006 triangulation sensor for the measurement of a reflective surface
(Source: WENZEL)
The CORE + PHOENIX gives a measuring accuracy MPEp of 8 μm. Which sensor is used depends on the precision level of the given measuring task.
The two sensors are operated with different application software packages. The double eye sensor is supported by OpenDMIS or WIN3DS – PHOENIX can be used with WENZEL PointMaster. Both application software packages are able to analyze and evaluate complex measuring tasks easily.

What are the advantages of CORE + PHOENIX solution?

Principal focus is on high-speed and highly accurate measurement of components in order to ensure a high-speed analysis of production and quality control. This can be done by an Actual – to – Target comparison or by the comparison of single measurements. Using the color map display you can analyze if a component is within the tolerance range or not, and determine if it is a Pass or Fail object.

The standard CORE is suitable for use in production. Is this the same for the combination with CORE + PHOENIX system?

Exactly like the standard CORE D with the double eye sensor, the PHOENIX system can also be used on the shop floor. The ability to use this new system there is necessary in order to ensure an inline quality control of components. The PHOENIX sensor allows extremely fast 3D scanning and evaluation of the components’ surfaces to give process control feedback at light speed. The combination system can be put fully into the production line; the measurements as well as the evaluation can be integrated easily due to the automatic scan path generation.

What are the fields of application?

The typical standard CORE application fields with double-eye sensor are used for turbine blades and different types of components in the automotive and medical industry.
 The PHOENIX + CORE application is used in these industries as well, but now enhanced for use on parts with freeform surfaces.
One example is with the standard CORE system the measurement of a turbine blade is done by using profile sections.
With the PHOENIX + CORE, the entire shape can be analyzed and reported back to the manufacturing processes in quality assurance in a few seconds using target-actual comparison.

How can costs be reduced with this system?

The new 3D scanning services give the end user much greater flexibility for different measuring tasks along with greatly increased speed. A single basic CORE system can be in both configurations. Only switching between sensors is required. This innovative, double duty integration greatly reduces costs.  Couple that with increased the measurement speed and there is inherently less downtime, increasing production and decreasing costs even more.

Want to find out how the CORE + PHOENIX can help your system?

For more information about the CORE series of high speed optical scanning machines contact:
Andy Woodward
President, Wenzel America
Ph: 248.295.4300

About Wenzel America
Wenzel America is a division of Wenzel Group GmbH & Co. KG, a 45-year-old, family-owned, world-leading manufacturer of metrology solutions. Wenzel America is a top supplier of High-Speed Optical Scanning, CT 3D Scanning and traditional CMMs and GMMs. North American aerospace, automotive and medical device manufacturers all depend on Wenzel’s intrinsically accurate granite measuring machines and innovative metrology software and sensor solutions.