By: Jérome-Alexandre Lavoie
How do you measure the efficiency of a pipeline inspection process? Do you look at a single portion of a process or at the overall solution? In my opinion, the answer is complex. Increasing efficiency of a single step does not necessarily make the complete process shorter! In fact, some choices, sometimes made from an economic point of view, can have a major impact on projects’ efficiency. For instance, choosing the wrong technology can increase the calculation time before getting usable results so much that you won’t even use the device in your projects.
As the Pipecheck product manager, I have noticed that customers want integrated solutions for their applications. This is why we work hard to manufacture 3D measuring and scanning devices combined with powerful analysis devices and software. What the industry needs pushed us toward the development of even more sophisticated solutions to enhanced end-users efficiency. In short, we focus on three major aspects: Scan – Analyze – Report.
How do you measure efficiency? At Creaform, we create it!
Stay tuned for the next Pipecheck release announcement… It’s coming soon to change your assessment capabilities.
Imagine getting to work and your boss says: « We no longer need Internet at our desks. From now on, we’ll get what we need from the library. » That may sound absurd, but ask Generation X: They do remember that time when Internet wasn’t part of the normal workflow. (And it is not that long ago!) Technically, it is possible to do without, but working with it makes our lives much simpler, and our work is accomplished much faster. Just like Internet has become an essential tool in our day-to-day tasks, so will 3D scanning in any manufacturing process in a few years from now.
This is a trend that Daniel Brown, Creaform’s HandySCAN 3D product manager, has identified over the last years. Being in the 3D scanning industry for close to a decade, Daniel Brown attended this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, IL., to educate people about 3D scanning technologies.
« The manufacturing world realizes that sooner or later, 3D scanning will have to become one of the standard steps in the manufacturing of their product. Funny to think that a few years ago, 3D scanning was still the new weird thing that you observe from a distance, like a kind of witchcraft! » Now, people are educated and many types of industries have integrated 3D to their product development process. The automotive, aerospace and heavy industries are only a few. In the last years, 3D has also become an essential tool for the assessment of pipeline corrosion and mechanical damage or for hail damage on aircrafts.
From the reverse engineering of parts in the designing process to the inspection on the production line, 3D solutions add accuracy and simplicity to the whole process.
The biggest gain for manufacturers is that time to market has been considerably reduced, making it a major inconvenient for manufacturers that don’t integrate such a technology. In other words: You don’t plan on making the big leap? You’re out.
Understanding the importance of 3D scanning is one thing. Educating the crowd and keeping the industry in the loop is the next step. This is why Creaform attended IMTS in September, a major venue for manufacturers across the globe. Leading show of its kind in America, IMTS has brought together a little over 114,000 visitors this year. Over 2,000 exhibitors displayed their products and productivity solutions at McCormick Place in Chicago, covering 1.2 million net square feet of show floor. For Creaform, and as a major league player in the metrology industry, this is a no brainer: attending this venue is essential to get the pulse of the manufacturing industry and to to provide the visitors with educational content about 3D metrology solutions.
According to Stéphane Auclair, Vice-President, Marketing, Creaform has built a solid credibility over the years: « When our company launched its first handheld 3D scanner in 2005, we had a very disruptive and different approach to 3D scanning and therefore felt we had to scream to make ourselves heard. But now that we have a place of among the other big players in the industry, people are looking for us. We come through the main entrance with great confidence, and we’re proud to refer to ourselves as a 3D metrology solution company that provides its clients with highly performant, portable and easy-to-use 3D scanners and software! »
Nowadays, the demand is oriented toward automated scanning solutions ─ robot-mounted scanning solutions, for example. The latter allows a repetitive inspection of the parts directly on the production lines. Accordingly, the market is evolving to respond to that demand and so is Creaform, with his MetraSCAN-R. This specific market has already lots to offer and will evolve and grow over the years, along with scanning technologies that will also gain accuracy and speed! Thanks to its TRUaccuracy technologies that allow to measure parts with high accuracy regardless of the conditions of the environment or of the precision of the robots, Creaform is without any doubt very well positioned.
3D scanning technology reduces costs and speeds up product development with new technology advancements. As the 3D scanning technologies improves just as fast as the demand grows, R&D webzine analyzes this cutting-edge innovative technology and its outstanding achievements. Daniel Brown, HandySCAN 3D product manager at Creaform opens the door on the evolving world of 3D.
Environmental topics and issues are becoming more present, both in the day-to-day life and in the industrial realm. Increasing efforts are being made towards a “green shift,” whether for new technologies or optimizations made to existing ones. The project we carried out at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) in the US is a good example of that new paradigm. Siemens, one of the world’s largest providers of products, solutions and services in the energy technology field, asked us to complete a quite unique mandate.
This project consisted in scanning sections of the blade from a wind turbine, which was about 53 meters long. We additionally had to scan the position of 250 sensors measuring pressure and speed, distributed all along the blade. Data from this project was used for Computational Fluid Dynamics purposes. We used the MetraSCAN 3D, in order to obtain the 3D image from the blade sections, and the HandyPROBE, in order to obtain the sensor’s 3D position.
The mandate came with several challenges, which our teams of technical experts all very efficiently solved.
Scanning a large-scale object such as this one requires several steps, including the creation of a precise referential. Using a laser tracker was necessary for this project, in order to link both sides of the blade and maintain sufficient precision across the 53 meters. To do so, we distributed reference points (nests) on the part and recorded their position with the tracker. Then, we placed reflective targets on the nests, viewed by the C-Track, and we imported the .txt file including the center position of the tracker in VXelements. The software recognizes these positions, and our scans are then automatically linked into a global reference, offering the accuracy of the laser tracker.
The need for renewable energy is ever increasing, and we hope to work on many other such projects. This way, Creaform will be able to contribute to a larger environmental effort, and help engineers and designers to create and manufacture more efficient green equipment.
Quality Digest Live’s recent Tech Corner presented an excellent overview of the Go!SCAN 20, our new next-generation white-light scanner for designers and engineers that work in product development. Now available in color!
Want to learn more? View Dirk Duscharme’s product highlight here. Another great job by to Dirk and the entire Quality Digest Live team!
The Creaform team gives a great overview of reverse engineering in this month’s issue of Quality Magazine. If you are looking to learn more about the history, methods, workflows and applications of reverse engineering, this article is for you!
Nova Bus recently needed to inspect the actual state of a vehicle rear chassis and compare it to the mounting points of the radiator. The ultimate goal? Assessing the extent of deformations the chassis underwent during installation. Find out how the HandyPROBE and MetraSCAN 70 helped Nova Bus get the measurements they needed-right on the production floor!
Quality Digest Live’s recent Tech Corner profiled our metrology-grade, ultra-fast HandySCAN 700. With its 0.03 mm accuracy and ability to collect 480 000 per second, the HandySCAN 700 scans direct to mesh, without the need of any point clouds—you can just scan something and it’s done. Check out Dirk Duscharme’s compelling product feature and demo here. A great thanks to Dirk and the entire Quality Digest Live team!
Check out this YouTube video filmed during a recent press conference in Detroit:
Organized by SME, a manufacturers’ association, the press conference aimed at introducing two important upcoming events : Rapid, and The Big M. Both taking place at the Cobo center in Motown between June 9 and 12, these events sound very promising for anyone interested in cutting-edge technology.
For the occasion, an interesting stunt was performed by our Michigan-based reseller, CamLogic: the Spirit of Detroit, the iconic statue representing the city, was scanned live during the conference! The goal was to obtain a model of the statue, then use it to 3D print miniature versions.
Showcasing the possibilities of both 3D scanning and 3D printing for the manufacturing industry, some of these statuettes made out of different materials (nylon, ABS plastic, metal) will be presented at Rapid and The Big M.
The statue was scanned using our HandySCAN 700. We can’t wait to receive our very own version of the 3D printed Spirit of Detroit!
When it comes to cars, what comes to mind when you think about Sweden is mostly the good old, reliable, sensible Volvo. But are the exciting, luxury, sporty vehicles only reserved to the fiery Italians or car-obsessed Germans? Not quite. Meet Christian von Koenigsegg, the Swede who founded Koenigsegg Automotive.
Since he was a little boy, Christian had a vision: to produce the ultimate, most perfect super car, which he calls “hypercars”. Creating his company at the tender age of 22, he finally carried out this mission in 2002, when he began producing the CC8 model. Even today, Koenigsegg cars often find themselves breaking speed records and are highly acclaimed among experts and connoisseurs alike.
The company still makes their cars to order, each one a sleek, handcrafted machine of speed and performance. The average price of these beauties? About $1 million each.
Through the process of designing and perfecting these engineering marvels, it comes as no surprise that Koenigsegg is always seeking to leverage the best technologies available. In this video, you can see Christian discuss how 3D scanning and 3D printing is used within the state-of-the-art car manufacturer’s workflow.
(Featuring Creaform HandySCAN 3D, which makes a guest appearance at 1min. 45sec.!)
This blog is definitely about innovation - about new technologies, new methodologies, new projects and new outcomes.
Through this blog, we will reach to the whole Creaform community and share info about the 3D world – our world.