New Min/Max Tool for Automatic Part Alignment – Application Note

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s new “Min/Max” software tool is the perfect solution for automatically aligning a part using a rotary stage. The tool can be setup to rotate the part and find the position that either minimizes or maximizes a dimension.

Common examples include the following:

Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application.
Rotary stage and workholding for turnkey runout measurement application.
In this case, the Min/Max tool is used to align the flats on the part perfectly horizontally, completely automatically

 

Automatic alignment of a turbine blade fir tree
Automatic alignment of a turbine blade fir tree

 

With this new Min/Max tool, it’s extremely easy to setup an automated routine for the alignment of any kind of part. Also, results are extremely repeatable. This advanced tool uses high-order interpolation for very accurate subsampling. This means that the position of best alignment can be found very accurately, at any orientation (not just at the sampled orientations).

This new tool is completely integrated with all of the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s other tools so that all of its results can easily be recoded, transmitted, databased, sent to Excel™ or any other data capture application, put in a report, etc…

This new Min/Max tool further increases the wide range of applications that can easily and reliably be solved using the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator.

Click to view this application note as a downloadable .pdf.

6-Point Iterative Alignment – Application Note

6-Point Iterative Alignment on the VisionGauge® 700 Series 5-Axis Inspection & Measurement System

 

To be able to report the absolute location of a feature (such as cooling holes) on a part, a measurement system needs to know the location of the datums relative to which these locations are expressed. Five-axis parts use a six-point datum structure to set the position along the three Cartesian axes as well as the rotation about each of these three axes.

There are two different approaches to establish these datums. The first approach consists in using a fixture that physically comes into contact with the six datum points. And because the fixture is generally designed to easily line up with the un-rotated Cartesian axes (along the fixture’s straight edges, for example or using locator holes, tooling balls or other appropriately-designed simple features), it is quite simple to “zero out” the system’s 5 axes of motion (i.e. X, Y, Z, A and B). So with this first approach, the fixture physically sets the location of the datums in space.

With the second approach, a generally simpler fixture is used to only roughly position the part. So with this approach, features on the fixture are still used to “zero out” the system’s 5 axes of motion, but the resulting coordinate system is only approximate. For every part, the system still needs to accurately locate the datums and mathematically re-orient the part (in a way analogous to how a physical 6-point fixture physically reorients the part in space).

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s “Part Reorientation” tool is a powerful and intuitive tool to carry out 6-point iterative alignment. It uses the 700 Series’ LASER module to accurately locate the part’s surface at the datums, even on parts with complex geometries. The tool converges quickly to a stable and accurate solution. And it is extremely simple to then apply the corrections to part inspection programs. The tool also allows you to set limits on the corrections (to ensure collision-avoidance, for example).

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's 6-point iterative alignment tool accurately locates the 6 datum points on the part and mathematically "reorients" the part accordingly, along all of the part's 6 degrees of freedom
The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s 6-point iterative alignment tool
accurately locates the 6 datum points on the part and mathematically “reorients”
the part accordingly, along all of the part’s 6 degrees of freedom
The 700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator 5-axis inspection and measurement system is the ideal solution for the automatic inspection of parts with complex geometries.
The 700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator 5-axis inspection and measurement system is the ideal solution for the automatic inspection of parts with complex geometries. The Extended 24″ x 24″ x 24″ travel machine with trunnion configuration for big and heavy parts is shown above.

CAD Auto-Align™ – Automatic CAD Overlay Alignment

Automatic CAD Overlay Alignment with CAD Auto-Align™

 

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s ground-breaking CAD Auto-Align™ tool automatically aligns the CAD data to the part.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's CAD Auto-Align™ tool automatically aligns the CAD data to the part.

The CAD Auto-Align™ tool is very fast (it typically takes a second or two at most) and it produces repeatable and accurate results that are completely operator-independent!

The operation of the CAD Auto-Align™ tool is extremely straightforward. To run it, simply press the “Auto-Align” button:

VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's CAD Auto-Align tool makes aligning a CAD file as simple as clicking a button.

Checking the “XY” checkbox next to the Auto-Align button tells the Auto-Align tool to only carry out X,Y alignment, and to leave the CAD overlay’s orientation unchanged. This is especially useful when adapted fixturing already ensures that the part is properly oriented relative to the CAD overlay.

Checking the “R” checkbox indicates that a rotation-only alignment should be carried out. This is especially useful in the case of parts that are much larger than the system’s optical field-of-view. In this case, the following procedure is a common practice:

    • go to one extremity of the part and carry out a full X,Y,Rotation alignment,
    • set the CAD’s center of rotation at that position (with the “User” button),
    • and then to go to the other extremity of the part and carry out a rotation-only alignment (and thus not translating anything in the previous field-of-view).

 

This is a very efficient and accurate way to align a CAD file to a very large part.

When the “XY” and “R” checkboxes are both unchecked then the Auto-Align tool carries out full X, Y and rotation alignment of the CAD overlay to the part.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s powerful Auto-Align tool allows you to drastically reduce inspection times and obtain increased accuracy. It can line the CAD drawing up to the part along one or multiple datums, or it can do a “best fit” alignment. You can easily apply it to meet the requirements of your specific application!

Many VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator users combine the Auto-Align and Auto Pass/Fail tools to fully automate their inspections:

  • The operator loads the part in the fixture and scans the barcode on the traveller.
  • This causes the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator to load and run a part-specific program that automatically:
    • Reads-in the correct CAD file
    • Auto-Aligns the CAD file to the part
    • Produces an Auto Pass/Fail result that is collected in a Data Group and sent to Excel or an other external application…
    • In the case of parts that are larger than the system’s optical field-of-view, the stage moves the part and carries out the Auto Pass/Fail inspection at however many different locations are required. This way, the whole part gets inspected without having to “shift the overlay”. The CAD data tracks the part’s movement!

 

With the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools, the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is truly revolutioninzing how parts are inspected, quickly and accurately, directly on the shop floor!

Please contact us for more information including a detailed spec sheet, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, pricing, etc…

CAD Auto-Align™ – Automatic Overlay Alignment

CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ – Automatic Pass/Fail Results

Automatic Pass/Fail Results with CAD Auto Pass/Fail™

 

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator’s patented CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool allows you to automatically determine, very accurately and in real-time, if a part is within tolerance.

The VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator's patented CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool allows you to automatically determine, very accurately and in real-time, if a part is within tolerance.

The CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool can be either point-based or it can consider complete geometric entities. In point-based mode, the part’s deviation from nominal is evaluated at precise user-specified cross-sections to verify that the part is within tolerance at all of these locations. And the geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool verifies that the part is within tolerance over complete geometric entities. Note that the control-section-based and geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools can be used simultaneously on the same part!

The CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool can be either point-based or it can consider complete geometric entities on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
With the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator you can specify bi-directional tolerances at various control sections. The system then automatically computes and displays, in real time, the part's deviation from nominal at every control section and automatically displays a pass / fail result at every control section as well as for the overall part.
With the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator you can specify bi-directional tolerances at various control sections. The system then automatically computes and displays, in real time, the part's deviation from nominal at every control section and automatically displays a pass / fail result at every control section as well as for the overall part.

The geometry-based CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tool is especially well suited to parts with “peaks and valleys” where we don’t know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located…

The geometry-based Auto Pass/Fail tool is especially well suited to parts with "peaks and valleys" where we don't know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator
The geometry-based Auto Pass/Fail tool is especially well suited to parts with "peaks and valleys" where we don't know beforehand where the min & max deviations might be located... on VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator

Also, note that there are no restrictions on the tolerance values. So tolerances can be either the standard “plus/minus” tolerances, as well as “minus/minus” or “plus/plus” tolerances.

Many VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator users combine the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools to fully automate their inspections:

  • The operator loads the part in the fixture and scans the barcode on the traveller.
  • This causes the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator to load and run a part-specific program that automatically:
    • Reads-in the correct CAD file
    • Auto-Aligns the CAD file to the part
    • Produces an Auto Pass/Fail result that is collected in a Data Group and sent to Excel or an other external application…
    • In the case of parts that are larger than the system’s optical field-of-view, the stage moves the part and carries out the Auto Pass/Fail inspection at however many different locations are required. This way, the whole part gets inspected without having to “shift the overlay”. The CAD data tracks the part’s movement!

 

With the CAD Auto-Align™ and CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ tools, the VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator is truly revolutioninzing how parts are inspected, quickly and accurately, directly on the shop floor!

Please contact us for more information including a detailed spec sheet, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, pricing, etc…

CAD Auto Pass/Fail™ – Automatic Pass Fail Results