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.

New Horizontal Configuration for 400 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators

400 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparators are now available in a horizontal configuration. These systems are state-of-the-art inspection and measurement systems in a compact desktop format. The systems feature a large measurement envelope (up to 12″ x 12″), 3 manual stages (X, Y, and Z), high-resolution precision optics, X/Y 0.25 micron resolution encoders, VisionGauge® OnLine software, and much more.

The 400 Series VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator with manual stage motion in horizontal configuration.
The 400 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator with manual stage motion in horizontal configuration.

Note that you can obtain an updated product brochure (with specifications, etc) in .pdf format.

Extended Travel 700-Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator featured in Modern Machine Shop

A new article about the Extended Travel 700-Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator has just appeared in Modern Machine Shop.

Larger Digital Comparator Model with Trunnion-Table Design

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.

The article is also available in pdf format.

 

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.

700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator featured in Aerospace and Defense Technology

Please note that a new article about the 5-axis 700 series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator has just appeared in the February 2016 edition of Aerospace and Defense Technology:

700 Series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator Replaces CMM Inspection

You can also download the article in .pdf format.

The 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator
The 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge Digital Optical Comparator

Updated information for the extended-travel 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge® machine

Please note that updated information is available for the extended-travel 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge® machine.

This is a trunnion-based machine. It has a 24″ x 24″ x 24″ envelope and is designed to accommodate parts that weigh up to 100 lbs.

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.

 

Note that you can obtain an updated product brochure (with specifications, etc) in .pdf format.

Also, you can see a video about our 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge® systems below:

The extended-travel 5-axis 700 Series VisionGauge® machine is the perfect solution for a number of applications, including the inspection of cooling holes in IGT (Industrial Gas Turbine) parts.

“A New Paradigm for Aero Engine Holes Inspection” – Case Study

A new “case study” article about the 5-axis 700 series VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator has just appeared in the September 2015 edition of Manufacturing Engineering – Aerospace & Defense 2015 Yearbook:

A New Paradigm for Aero Engine Hole Inspection

In this case study, Paradigm Precision (a large aerospace sub-contractor to GE, UT, Rolls Royce and many others) explains how they are using the VisionGauge® system to carry out 100% inspection of cooling holes on a wide range of complex 5-axis parts, including blades, vanes and heat shields.

They mention that they are achieving a repeatability of +/-0.0001″.

You can also download the article in .pdf format.

The 700 Series 5-axis VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator inspecting various types of holes.
The 700 Series 5-axis VisionGauge® Digital Optical Comparator inspecting various types of holes.