Enhancing measurement systems with collaborative robots to create the cornerstone of an automated quality assurance system is nothing new for Bruker Alicona. What is a first, however, is the pick & place solution the company has developed by combining the µCMM optical coordinate measuring system with a collaborative robot arm - and this innovation is on show at EMO Hannover 2019. Visitors to the fair can see the exhibit in action for themselves.
The component being inspected live in Hannover using the coordinate measuring system is a tried-and-tested customer application from an industrial quality assurance background. Bruker Alicona has partnered with Stepper, one of Germany’s leading lights in high-performance punching tools, to demonstrate the automated measurement of 3-up stamping inserts. Only a single optical sensor is used to measure the position, shape and roughness of the tool. The stamping insert is found in stamping tools used to manufacture automotive contacts, among other things. Stepper manufactures up to 2,550 contacts every minute, which equates to three billion parts over just a few years. "Dimensional accuracy, surface quality and the position of the embossing die relative to the outer contour are the most important factors for stamping inserts," explains Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting at Stepper. "Thanks to Bruker Alicona, I can cover all that with just one sensor."
The µCMM optical coordinate measuring system is designed to provide the ideal solution in a whole variety of ways. The system exhibits excellent precision, even for shapes with tolerances measured in the single-digit µm range, and also ensures users benefit from efficient user guidance that has been designed so it can be used by several different operators. Stepper, which uses optical measuring technology as standard in quality assurance, believes the use of an optical coordinate measuring system ought to lead, first and foremost, to a clear reduction in measurement times. One crucial condition, according to the company, is that there should be no need to scan the entire component in order to check the relevant geometries with high precision. "We only measure the areas of the outer contour we really need to," explains Heisler. "This reduces measurement times by more than two thirds."