Manufacturing pneumatic tires for automobiles is a complex multi-step process, with many components assembled in numerous steps, all of which must be done with precision to ensure that a quality product is delivered to the consumer. The consumer has very high expectation levels regarding tire safety and performance, and several major recalls of unsafe tires have cost manufacturers significant expense and damaged reputations. A complicating factor for tire manufacturers is the vast variety of tire sizes and designs required by vehicle manufacturers, which mandates rapid changeover in all facets of the tire assembly process.
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Many of those who visited the LMI booth brought parts to scan in the live demo stations.
EuroMold has just wrapped up a few days ago, after another successful event for some 55,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibiting companies. The organizers have announced the show will be moved from Frankfurt to Dusseldorf, citing proximity to industrial centers and the state-of-the-art Dusseldorf exhibition center as primary considerations.
Having been involved in the machine vision industry for over 40 years, it has been fascinating to follow the many iterations of laser-based displacement sensing. These changes have included an evolution as it has evolved from analog to digital operation, and from basic capabilities to today’s simple-to-use all-in-one measurement systems. Laser displacement sensors, which measure the distance from a sensor to a surface, superseded traditional displacement sensors, primarily dial indicator gages and LVDTs (linear variable displacement transducers). These traditional sensors were based on technologies that used a mechanical contact on the surface being measured. Contact measurement techniques are very effective and inexpensive for many common applications, but for in-line and high-speed applications, contact sensors have serious limitations. These include limited frequency response, potential damage to finished surfaces, errors due to deformation of soft materials, and errors from tip wear and dirt contamination.
The timber industry has always been cyclical. It is typically the first to be affected by a downturn, and the last to emerge from it. For example, in the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007-2010, much of our lumber investments and interests were transferred to China. Since then, we have seen a slow but sure increase in housing starts and lumber prices. Most predictions indicate the next super-cycle peak is yet to come, which means new opportunities and next generation technology will continue to push the wood industry forward.
When looking to purchase an inspection solution for quality control, there are many options and factors to consider. In terms of 3D inspection, solutions can range from various combinations of 3D components where all the parts are purchased separately and assembled by the user, to 3D smart sensors that come in all-in-one pre-calibrated packages, as illustrated below.
Quality control is especially important in the automotive industry as people’s lives are put at risk when vehicles are not manufactured correctly. Not meeting quality standards can threaten an automaker’s reputation, ultimately damaging the brand and the business. Consequently, implementing a good inspection system in the manufacturing process is essential.
Inspection for automotive assembly applications has its own set of challenges. Automotive assembly lines typically have hundreds of inspection points. These inspection points include in-process monitoring, individual subassembly monitoring, and critical inspection of many points on the assembled bodies in white. Many inspection points must be monitored to ensure that components fit properly and connecting features are aligned correctly during the installation process. During final assembly, vehicles need to be inspected for proper geometry. Having a proper inspection solution in place provides confidence that consistent product quality levels are met during in-process and at final product assembly.
LMI Technologies acquires German company GFMesstechnik GmbH, a leading structured light supplier in 3D metrology
- Acquisition of 100 percent of the shares
- Expansion into new markets – life sciences, coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and surface metrology
- Strong presence in Germany
- Additional access to a world-wide reseller network
- Integration of its precision calibration and measurement know-how
This past May, LMI participated in the Control 2014 trade fair in Stuttgart, Germany. It was great to connect with so many interesting people and learn about their successes and challenges when implementing quality assurance programs into their own facilities. We were thrilled to feature our latest structured-light products and demonstrated how we can help improve the quality control process.
Working in the machine vision industry for 28 years, I am still amazed by how vast the world of 3D scanning really is and the untapped potential this technology has to offer. With technical advancements in 3D scanning and the adoption of consumer-based 3D scanners on the rise, the industry continues to evolve.
Vancouver, Canada, November 12, 2013 – LMI Technologies (LMI), a leading developer of 3D scanning, measurement, and data visualization technologies, announces the official release of the new Gocator snapshot sensor product line. The Gocator 3100 series is the latest addition to the Gocator all-in-one 3D smart sensors. It simplifies automated non-contact inspection using blue LED projection and stereo scanning technology. The Gocator 3100 series is an industrial scanning solution that delivers 3D point cloud acquisition, measurement, and control decision capabilities in a single package. The first model available in this product line is the Gocator 3110, the industry’s first all-in-one 3D smart snapshot sensor.