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Laser scanners to assist Fiat-Tofas

Turkish automotive manufacturer Fiat-Tofas has installed Nikon Metrology XC65Dx-LS cross scanners and Camio multi-sensor metrology software as part of its new inspection methodologies for diagnostic measurement of sheet metal components and body-in-white (BIW) assemblies.

The new scanners and software are being retrofitted to an existing coordinate measuring machine and have helped halve the inspection time when compared to touch probes.

During vehicle development, the scanners are used instead of touch probes for inspecting individual car panels as well as for complete diagnosis of the BIW, after the car's sheet metal panels have been welded together but before the bonnet, doors and boot lid have been added. In this way, the vehicle’s entire sheet metal structure is inspected to very close tolerances, showing the interaction between the panels and allowing part issues to be separated from process issues. Completed vehicles are also inspected, mainly for gap and flush spacing between different car panels.

The cross scanners have been installed on two Hexagon Dea Bravo horizontal arm CMMs that are equipped with a continuous wrist CW43 interface. Incorporating three lasers in a cross pattern, the XC65Dx-LS captures full 3D details of features and surfaces in a single scan. By digitising complex features from three sides, the cross scanner acquires the complete 3D geometry of the features, driving the accurate extraction of positions and dimensions.

The XC65Dx-LS installed at Tofas has a longer stand-off distance that offers distinct advantages. By capturing geometry from up to 170mm distance, the scanner gains optimum access to BIW structures and can scan over the clamps that hold components in position.

Smart laser intensity adaptation allows any surface, such as those with varying colour or high reflectivity, to be scanned without the use of a matt spray or other user interaction. This is enabled by automatic, real-time adjustment of sensor settings between successive laser stripes and for each individual point along the laser stripe.

The scanners can be used in combination with tactile probes for alignment of a part or for a mixed measuring routine. DMIS-based CAMIO8 software from Nikon Metrology provides a rich programming environment, with intuitive software tools for both tactile and laser scanning applications.

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