In today’s automotive industry, just-in-time and automated manufacturing workflows require exceptionally high levels of precision, repeatability and traceability. Car manufacturers, which work with parts assemblies from a vast array of different suppliers, need innovative solutions to ensure that components fit together optimally and guarantee their performance. One set of solutions that more and more manufacturers are adopting is 3D scanning.
Metrology-grade portable 3D scanning solutions, like the HandySCAN 3D scanner and MetraSCAN 3D optical CMM enable auto manufacturers to bring the physical world, i.e., parts and components, into the virtual world so that factory production teams, labs overseas and corporate offices can share critical design information upward and downward in the supply chain.
Flex-N-Gate is a forward-thinking manufacturer in the auto industry that is leveraging the tremendous possibilities 3D scanning can offer. Flex-N-Gate supplies large stamped metal and welded components, assemblies, and plastic parts for car manufacturers. During a recent interview with Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®, Aaron Boyer, Global Director – CAD/CAE at Flex-N-Gate explained that his OEM customers are now requiring that the company use 3D scanning technology to resolve quality issues.
Flex-N-Gate equipped 22 of its factories across 5 countries with Creaform’s MetraSCAN 3D optical CMMs. The CAD/CAE team is vying to equip the company’s entire 68 plants with a global 3D scanning solution. Aaron indicated that the auto industry greatly benefits from 3D measurement technologies because production teams can scan a part or sub-assembly in real time and get a precise image of the root cause of quality issues. Because Creaform’s 3D scanning solutions can be used anywhere in the design process, including product development and design, reverse engineering, and quality control and quality assurance, businesses in the auto sector can accelerate their time to market, resolve quality challenges, and reduce costs.
What makes Creaform’s 3D scanners stand out is their level of accuracy and vibration immunity. Whether they are used in labs or right on shop floors, the 3D scanners can acquire up to 1.8 million measurements per second on all types of complex parts, chrome surfaces, shiny black finishes or composite materials. In addition, the MetraSCAN 3D and HandySCAN 3D ensure minimal learning curves. Thanks to their intuitive ease of use and ergonomic design, auto workers of all levels, including union automotive technicians and inspection specialists, can operate the 3D scanners without the need for extensive metrology expertise.
An increasing number of automakers are turning to 3D scanners from Creaform to gain a competitive edge, thanks to the solutions’ high precision and time savings. And Creaform will continue to shape the future of laser scanning in the automotive industry.