Industry News

Mazak Expands Spindle Rebuild Center

Mazak Corp. has completed the expansion of its Spindle Rebuild Department at its North American headquarters in Florence, Ky., a $15-million project announced in May 2019. The project is among a range of capital-investment programs for the machine-tool developer, including new technical centers in Northern California, Florida, and Canada.

The expanded Spindle Rebuild Dept. has a 10-percent larger work-area and “a clean, bright and ergonomic workspace to streamline operational flow, efficiency, and speed.” The new workspace is placed closer to the Mazak Parts Department, and it incorporates some new, advanced technology, including spindle balancing units, especially intended to accommodate larger spindles.

Mazak’s North American manufacturing operations and headquarters in Florence have been steadily expanded over the past two decades, and the aim for the Spindle Rebuild Department was to establish a larger shop able to accelerate spindle rebuilds, from 70 to 100 spindles rebuilt each month, according the project announcement.

While new spindles continue to be an option for machine tool customers, the expansion allows Mazak to keep rebuilt spindles in stock and available for exchange.

The Spindle Rebuild Department supports every Mazak machine-tool spindle in North America, the developer emphasized, over 2,000 different models covering a wide range of horsepower ratings and speeds. The expanded department will keep upwards of 1,000 rebuilt spindles in stock, ready for exchange, especially for Mazak’s most popular machine models.

Factory-trained technicians use only genuine Mazak replacement parts to rebuild Mazak spindles. These technicians complete a multi-stage repair and rebuild process, providing comprehensive and trackable spindle documentation and conducting stringent tests of every spindle.

“Mazak’s Spindle Rebuild Department leverages over 30 years of spindle-build expertise to offer the industry’s best spindle warranty,” stated Matt Whissel, spindle repair manager, noting the new facility provides the capacity to return repaired spindles to customers in three to five days and ship remanufactured spindles in less than 24 hours.

Mazak’s expansion efforts also included installing a fully automated storage and retrieval system, six of Mazak’s most advanced machine tools, and several of its Mazak Smooth Technology digital process-monitoring solutions.

In addition to in-person visits, soon Mazak will offer an interactive 360 Kentucky Campus Tour, which will include the expanded Spindle Rebuild Department and the entire manufacturing campus as part of a digital customer experience that also will include online events and access to new Mazak manufacturing technology.

Share this post

Doosan Machine Tools Enters Partnership with Titans of CNC

Pine Brook, NJ – July 8, 2020 – Doosan Machine Tools is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with TITANS of CNC, Inc. As part of this partnership, Doosan Machine Tools will become the exclusive premier machine tool builder partner for TITANS of CNC.  

TITANS of CNC is focused on being the top global manufacturing education provider, and over the past few years, has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered. With its free, online, video-based, step-by-step, training system, TITANS of CNC continues to provide real solutions to real manufacturing problems.

“My team and I are extremely excited to partner with Doosan Machine Tools,” stated Titan Gilroy, CEO of TITANS of CNC. “They are a global leader in machine tool technology and are trusted by companies all around the world. Together we will close the skills gap and train machinists to produce real parts, allowing them to compete at the highest level.” 

For over 40 years, Doosan Machine Tools has been supporting the manufacturing industry with high performance CNC machine tools. “Doosan Machine Tools shares TITANS of CNC’s passion for educating manufacturing professionals,” stated Jim Shiner, Doosan Machine Tools America’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “The need for trained machinists is greater now than ever, and in our new partnership with TITANS of CNC, we are proud to recommit our efforts to building the next generation of young machinists.”

For more information on Doosan Machine Tools, please visit www.doosanmachinetools.com or call 973-618-2500. For more information on TITANS of CNC, please visit www.titansofcnc.com

ABOUT DOOSAN MACHINE TOOLS

Doosan Machine Tools is a leading provider of state-of-the-art CNC machine tools used to produce high precision parts.  We offer the industry’s broadest product line: more than 300 powerful, quick and reliable turning centers, machining centers, multifunction machines and automation solutions proven ideal for a breadth of applications. For more than 40 years, Doosan Machine Tools has brought to its many customers the latest in CNC machine-tool technology, together with highly responsive applications, sales and service. For more information, visit www.doosanmachinetools.com or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

ABOUT TITANS OF CNC

TITANS of CNC, Inc. has developed “TITANS of CNC: Academy” and “TITANS of CNC Aerospace Academy” and is the world’s leader in manufacturing education, teaching the latest breakthroughs in CAD, CAM, CNC, and Metrology. Their online video-based curriculum is FREE to anyone regardless of age, technical savvy, or prior schooling. By focusing on the fundamentals of advanced manufacturing, students learn via the power of repetition, through a model that flips traditional manufacturing on its head and gets students hands-on with part design FIRST. As each part increases in difficulty new methods are added so the foundation continues to build on itself. TITANS of CNC’s latest platform, the Aerospace Academy (www.aerospaceacademy.com) is taking their education platform to the highest levels of manufacturing previously only accessible behind the closed doors of the world’s top aerospace companies. For more information, visit www.titansofcnc.com or follow them on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Share this post

FANUC America Offers Free Trial of CNC Virtualization Platform

FANUC’s CNC GUIDE allows users to learn how to operate controls, create part programs and test designs in a virtual environment on a PC.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – (June 24, 2020) – FANUC America, a leading automation solutions provider, is offering a free trial version of CNC GUIDE – FANUC’s PC-based virtualization platform for control design, training and part programming.  

To assist machine tool operators and builders through the rough economic times created in 2020, FANUC is offering this simulation tool at no cost. CNC GUIDE offers an immersive and safe way to learn how to operate CNCs, even for novice operators. Because the software creates digital twins of machine controls, programmers can test G-code programs with no risk of damaging actual machines. 

CNC GUIDE can also help optimize machining operations since users can experiment in the virtual environment with performance-enhancing features in FANUC controls. In addition, the software used in tandem with our conversational programming tool, MANUAL GUIDE i, can act as a simplified CAD/CAM package. This platform enables programming on a PC instead of the machine tool, so equipment stays in production to minimize downtime and maximize throughput.

FANUC’s CNC GUIDE is not only beneficial for machine tool operators, but also builders. Machine tool builders can get a competitive edge by using CNC GUIDE to prove out their design concepts faster and get their equipment quicker to market. 

This limited-time offer is good only through September 2020 and available to FANUC America customers residing in the U.S. Interested parties need to contact FANUC through the CNC GUIDE Trial Offering page to get started. For more information, please visit: https://www.fanucamerica.com/products/cnc/software/cnc-guide/free-trial

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation.  FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability. 

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority.  We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.    

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, and has facilities in:  Auburn Hills, MI; Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Houston; Huntington Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Montreal; Pine Brook, NJ; Pontiac, MI; Birmingham, AL; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, and Manaus, Brazil; and Aguascalientes, Monterrey, and Queretaro, Mexico.  For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

FANUC America Corporation PR contact:

Factory Automation: Debra Schug

CNC Strategic Communications Specialist

T: 847.898.5673

E: debra.schug@fanucamerica.com

Robotics: Cathy Powell

Public Relations and Communications Manager 

FANUC America Corporation

T: 248-377-7570

E: cathy.powell@fanucamerica.com

Share this post

Powerful new software provides manufacturers of CNC grinding machines with an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for non-circular grinding

Naperville, IL, June 17, 2020 — Powerful new software from NUM provides manufacturers of CNC cylindrical grinding machines with an elegant means of adding non-circular grinding capabilities to their products – without incurring significant development time and cost.

Non-circular grinding is used in a wide variety of automated manufacturing applications, such as the production of camshafts, crankshafts, cams and eccentric shafts. However, it is an extremely complex task, because the non-circular contour leads to constantly changing engagement and movement conditions between the grinding wheel and the workpiece.

NUM has now added non-circular grinding functionality to its NUMgrind cylindrical grinding software, which forms an application-specific element of the company’s renowned Flexium+ CNC platform. It is fully compatible with other Flexium software, from release 4.1.20.00 onwards.

NUMgrind is specifically designed to simplify the creation of G code programs for CNC grinding machines through the use of a highly intuitive graphical human machine interface (HMI), conversational-style ‘fill in the blanks’ type dialogues or a combination of the two.

Unlike conventional CAD/CAM workstation tools for generating CNC machine tool control programs, NUMgrind is intended for use in the production environment. It enables shop floor personnel to handle everyday machining tasks very quickly and efficiently – and the work can be easily shared amongst several people and several machines. The NUMgrind HMI can of course also be run on an office PC. Application-dependent projects, and the corresponding ISO part programs, can be created, tested with NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software and transferred to the targeted machine.

The operator simply determines the sequence of the grinding process via the HMI and enters the necessary data for the grinding operations, grinding wheels and dressing operations in the dialogue pages. Programming is further simplified by the fact that the HMI is supported by a comprehensive library of predefined shapes, which includes eccentric circles, hexagons, pentagons, polygons, Reuleaux triangles and rhombi. The CNC program is then created completely automatically and stored in an executable form.

The closed shape of the workpiece is defined in the XY plane. However, grinding is performed by interpolating or synchronizing the X axis with the C axis (workpiece spindle). Axial movement in the Z axis can also be accommodated, by means of oscillation or ‘multi-plunge’. The Flexium+ CNC system’s NCK transforms the contour from the XY plane into an XC plane, and calculates the corresponding compensation and in-feed movements, taking the grinding wheel diameter into account. The speed profile is also transformed, so that the speed and acceleration are automatically adapted to suit the physical attributes of the machine.

NUM is one of the world’s leading suppliers of CNC solutions for machine grinding. Its expertise covers every aspect of the discipline, including surface grinding, external and internal cylindrical grinding, centerless cylindrical grinding and non-circular grinding.

NUM is active in social media. To become a follower visit: https://twitter.com/NUM_CNC

For more information, please contact:

Steve Schilling, NUM Corporation, 603 East Diehl Road, Suite 115, Naperville, IL 60563, USA.

Tel: 630 505 77 22; sales.us@num.comwww.num.com

Share this post

Methods Machine Tools Introduces OKK High Precision Vertical Machining Center for Die and Mold Machining

Sudbury, MA, U.S.A. (June 12, 2020) Methods Machine Tools, Inc., North America’s foremost supplier of leading-edge precision machine tools and automation, has introduced the OKK VB53α Vertical Machining Center (VMC) that is ideally suited for die and mold machining. The high-speed OKK VB53α features a range of features which minimize vibration and maximize accuracy, resulting in superior surface finishes for high-end die and mold applications, and precision parts.

“We are pleased to offer mold makers and manufacturers with a new, highly productive and operator friendly VMC solution from OKK,” said Bob Meier, Technical Sales Engineer, Methods Machine Tools, Inc. “In addition to providing exceptional reliability and precision, the OKK VB53α work space is designed with the operator in mind, offering up to 50% more accessibility than conventional machines.”

The OKK VB53α has several features for high rigidity and accuracy. A rigid machine base, wide size linear roller guide and fine pitch high-resolution ball screw increase machining precision. Enhancing positioning accuracy, a 0.05 micron resolution linear scale is offered. Soft Scale Cube technology features thermal sensors that monitor and compensate for any displacement in real time. 

An externally located isolated oil cooler removes a common source of machine vibration and results in better die and mold quality. Due to the coolant sheltered work environment, the machine casting is protected from chips and coolant to avoid thermal distortion. The Y-Axis shutter is designed to reduce chip accumulation and reduce operational downtime, while coil-type conveyors clear out chips quickly and efficiently. An automatic grease lubrication system ensures there is no waste oil contamination of the coolant.

The OKK VB53α features a powerful FANUC F31i-B control together with Hyper HQ control technology, which is critical for efficient and accurate manufacturing. Hyper HQ control consists of a 64-bit, high speed RISC processor including a look ahead multiple block (multi-buffer). It automatically detects the corner on parts from the NC part program, and controls the feed rate so it does not exceed the machine’s permissible acceleration rate. A large capacity, 1 GB data server holds large files and sends it through a high-speed Ethernet connection for external analysis on the RISC so that the VB53α is never starved for data.

The new OKK VMC features a 20,000 RPM, 20/15 HP spindle and has X,Y,Z travels of 41.3 x 20.8 x 20.1 (1,050 mm x 530 mm x 510 mm), respectively. The automatic tool changer will store up to 30 tools. The table work surface area is 49.6 x 23.6 (1,260 mm x 600 mm), and offers load capacity of 2,646 lbs (1,200 kg).  The OKK VB53α is a compact size machine with a footprint of 98.23 (2,495 mm) x 120 (3,050 mm) for economical use of floor space.

For over 100 years, customers worldwide have relied on OKK machines, including Vertical, Horizontal, and 5-Axis machines for quality, reliability, precision and innovation. To ensure 100% quality control, OKK produces all key machine tool components in-house such as spindles, mechanical gears, precision square slide guide ways and special controller features. 

Methods is currently representing OKK in North America with the exception of: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Virginia. For a complete listing of OKK machining centers and for information on regional availability, visit here.

About Methods Machine Tools, Inc.

Methods Machine Tools, Inc., headquartered in Sudbury, Massachusetts USA and in operation since 1958, is North America’s foremost supplier of leading-edge precision machine tool and automation solutions – providing superior products, engineering, service, parts, training, and integration. With over 300 employees, six Technical Centers, three Solution Centers, the Methods Precision Center, and over 40,000 machines installed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, Methods supplies high quality machine tools, automation equipment and more. For more information call 877-668-4262 or visit www.methodsmachine.com.

Share this post

OPEN MIND Technologies To Host Mill-Turn CAM Webinar on June 23rd

NEEDHAM, MA U.S.A. (June 9, 2020) – OPEN MIND Technologies, a leading developer of CAD/CAM software solutions worldwide, has announced a Webinar focused on Mill-Turn technology in its hyperMILL® CAM software on June 23rd at 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. EDT.

The hyperMILL® CAM software techniques for mill-turn will be presented during the Webinar. Mill-turn solutions are common today, offering multiple benefits such as reduced set-ups, improved alignment of multiple cutting processes, and reduced usage of a manufacturer’s floor space. The hyperMILL® Mill-Turn solution provides a streamlined operation with a unified milling and turning programming workflow including cycle specification, importing vendor tool holders, tool database, post-processing and simulation. The system works with mill-turn and turn-mill machines, and standard lathes.

Webinar attendees will see how these benefits are realized within a simple user environment. Together with well-known advanced milling strategies, the hyperMILL® Mill-Turn CAM solution can be considered by users having multiple machines and seeking one programming environment. Using a single interface, mill-turn strategies as well as all 2.5D, 3D and 5-axis milling can be used. Key points will be explained, and best practices will be demonstrated in the Webinar, including advanced 3-axis simultaneous turning for roughing and finish. OPEN MIND experts will be available to answer your questions. Click Here for more information and to register

About OPEN MIND Technologies AG

Headquartered in Germany, OPEN MIND is one of the world’s leading developers of powerful CAD/CAM solutions for machine and controller-independent programming. The company develops optimized CAD/CAM solutions that include many innovative features unavailable elsewhere, to deliver significantly higher performance in both programming and machining. Strategies such as 2.5D, 3D, as well as 5-axis milling, mill/ turning, and machining operations such as HSC and HPC, are efficiently designed into the hyperMILL® CAM system, providing maximum user benefit and compatibility with all current CAD solutions and extensive programming automation. OPEN MIND strives to be the best, most innovative CAD/CAM developer in the world, and has earned the top five ranking in the CAD/CAM industry according to the 2020 NC Market Analysis Report by CIMdata. OPEN MIND CAD/CAM solutions meet and exceed the requirements of the most demanding industries such as automotive, tool and mold manufacturing, production machining, medical, job shops, energy and aerospace industries, and is represented in all key markets of Asia, Europe and the Americas. OPEN MIND is a Mensch und Maschine Company. http://www.mum.de/  For more information visit www.openmind-tech.com.

Share this post

FANUC’s CNC Machining Workforce Development Solution Now Includes 5-Axis Simulation

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – (June 10, 2020) – To further develop the next-gen manufacturing workforce, FANUC America, a leading automation solutions provider, is expanding its CNC training offerings to include 5-axis simulation. 

FANUC’s Machining Simulation for Workforce Development provides training for controls operation and part programming in a virtual environment. The Complex Milling Extension option combines FANUC’s CNC Guide and simulation software that can now operate as one of the three main 5-axis mill kinematics.  The offering also includes training on a 3-axis mill and a 2-axis lathe for maximum configuration flexibility. Via a digital twin, the 5-axis machining simulation allows users to learn how to setup and operate three common advanced 5-axis milling machines: mixed type, tool type and table type.  

Growing interest in 5-axis machining continues as more operations look to produce complex parts used in high-tech industries, such as aerospace and medical devices. As this sector of the machine tool business increases, the demand for 5-axis operators will exponentially grow. Finding qualified workers to fill these positions will challenge many employers, who are already facing a tight labor market due to the widely known manufacturing skills gap issue.

Training new or existing workers in an effective and innovative way will be key to bridging this gap. FANUC is committed to working with industry as well as educational partners to help fill the growing 5-axis training demand. 

The addition of 5-axis simulation offers an immersive environment to practice and understand advanced machining techniques. Since 5-axis machining involves more complex machine setups, the simulation software effectively teaches users how to take advantage of the unique options and features. Additionally, the 5-axis machining simulation software allows operators to experiment with and prove out the machine setup and/or part program before modifying the actual machine.  

For more information on the 5-axis machining simulation software as well as other CNC workforce development solutions, please visit this page.

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation.  FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.  

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority.  We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.    

FANUC America is headquartered at 3900 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, and has facilities in:  Auburn Hills, MI; Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Houston; Huntington Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Montreal; Pine Brook, NJ; Pontiac, MI; Birmingham, AL; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, and Manaus, Brazil; and Aguascalientes, Monterrey, and Queretaro, Mexico.  For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

 

Share this post

IMTS Dedicates Resources to Help Rebuild Supply Chain

McLean, Va., (May 29, 2020) – For the manufacturing industry, “We’re all in this together” means rebuilding fragile supply chains and rethinking parts sourcing and production. To support these efforts, IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show has launched IMTS.com/supplychain, an educational section of IMTS.com.

Content includes stories, videos, webinars and podcasts that provides the manufacturing industrial base, including OEMs and job shops, guidance on how to rethink, reengage and reestablish its supply chain. Included are stories of how industry has responded and thought-provoking resources on the steps industry and government can take to ensure manufacturing self-sufficiency.

“The manufacturing technology community has a laser-like focus on rebuilding its supply chains, and we are dedicating significant resources to support their needs,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President & CXO at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS.

“The IMTS.com/supplychain microsite — ReBuilding the Supply Chain — shows OEMs how to rethink their current operations, how they can reengage with suppliers and secure trading partners and how they can reestablish connections for a more localized industrial base.”

The IMTS.com/supplychain site links to all COVID-19 and rebuilding stories. It includes a brief history of why the supply chain disruption occurred, and IMTS has mapped out future content to show steps that can be taken to secure the supply chain moving forward.

IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show the largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2020 will run Sept. 14-19. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology as well as connecting the industry’s supply chain. IMTS attracts visitors from every level of industry and more than 117 countries. IMTS 2018 was the largest in number of registrations (129,415), net square feet of exhibit space (1,424,232 sq. ft.), booths (2,123) and exhibiting companies (2,563). IMTS is owned and managed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

Share this post

Formlabs Expands Asia-Pacific Management Teams

3D printing company, Formlabs, announced the appointment of two new leaders to its Asia-Pacific management team to continue to scale the company’s growth in the APAC market: Jiadong Sun joins as China general manager and Yoshinori Hasebe as Japan general manager. Both leaders will play a key role in expanding Formlabs’ global footprint and will guide Formlabs’ business strategy in new markets as the company furthers its mission of enabling anyone to make anything.

“As Formlabs continues to expand our global operations, Jiadong and Yoshinori will provide strategic guidance as we expand and scale in the important APAC region,” said Luke Winston, Chief Business Officer of Formlabs. “These appointments will enable Formlabs to remain at the forefront of 3D printing as needs for additive manufacturing in major industries, including healthcare, continue to grow.”

Jiadong Sun has extensive experience leading global sales and marketing at leading tech companies spanning multiple industries. Prior work experience includes multiple positions at DJI, most recently as Vice President and Head of Marketing for Enterprise Solutions, where he spearheaded strategic decisions regarding sales and marketing, product development, and external partnerships.

Yoshinori Hasebe brings more than 20 years of management experience at multinational companies, along with comprehensive sales and business development experience for both products and services. With experience at FARO Technologies, Ernst & Young and Hewlett-Packard, Yoshinori is an expert in sales, supply chain management and leadership.

Formlabs enables its users in the APAC region, including Japan-based company WHILL, to iterate rapidly, localize manufacturing and efficiently cut lead times and costs. These key new hires, in addition to a new dedicated channel manager based in India, will empower the company to remain on the cutting edge of 3D printing’s role in revolutionizing the healthcare, manufacturing and engineering industries, and drive strong growth across the region.

Share this post

3D Laser Scanning Accelerates Production of PPE Masks for Covid-19 Pandemic

(Southlake, TX; May 2020) — Two recent PPE-related projects completed by NVision, Inc. demonstrate the growing role that non-contact scanning/measurement technologies are taking in the race to create new products and designs to minimize exposure to COVID-19.

NVision, Inc., a leader in 3D measurement and engineering services for more than 30 years, has assisted medical manufacturers in a wide variety of projects over the years, from measuring and inspecting surgical scalpels to reverse engineering heart stents and orthodontic braces.

In one recent project, NVision provided engineering services to a Texas PPE manufacturer, helping accelerate the company’s production of a much-needed protective mask earmarked for medical personnel. NVision engineers 3D-scanned plaster models of the mask, using the resulting data to create a computer-aided design (CAD) file which was used to build the special tooling necessary for production.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) includes clothing–gloves, coveralls, face shields, masks, and more–designed to protect the wearer against a number of potential hazards including viruses and infectious diseases. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, masks are a vitally important line of defense against the virus for healthcare workers, first responders and the general public.

NVision was contacted by a PPE manufacturer that needed a CAD model of a protective mask in three days in order to start creating the tooling for mass production. The company had only handmade plaster models of the mask; no previous computer models or designs existed.

“We had done work for this customer earlier on a Peterbilt Truck Project and they came to us with the mask project,” says Steve Kersen, president of NVision. “The plaster molds for the mask had extremely challenging contours and to hand-measure its complex curvatures using calipers and other tools would have taken the manufacturer months, postponing production significantly.”

The mask will be made of vacuum-formed plastic and consists of two parts–an inner and an outer part–with replaceable filter material. SolidWorks CAD models were required to facilitate the machining of suitable dies/molds, as the vacuum-forming process requires dies made from a more durable material, often wood or a metal.

After receiving the plaster models, NVision technicians quickly set to work using the company’s HandHeld laser scanner to collect data on the mask’s surface geometry and dimensions.

The HandHeld scanner is a powerful portable scanning device capable of capturing 3D geometry from objects of almost any size or shape. The scanner is attached to a mechanical arm that moves about the object, allowing the user to capture data rapidly with a high degree of resolution and accuracy. As the object is inspected, the scanner generates a point cloud consisting of millions of points, each with x,y,z coordinates and i,j,k vectors. These points comprise an exact duplicate of the object’s surface, down to the most minute detail. The scanner comes with integrated software that is used to convert the point cloud to an STL polygon and an optional tripod provides complete portability in the field. Intuitive software allows real-time rendering, full model editing, polygon reduction, and data output to all standard 3D packages.

The scanning of the mask models took only two hours, after which  NVision technicians converted the STL file to a native parametric SolidWorks CAD format from which tooling could be produced. “During the modeling process we were also able to make some changes that improved the mask’s design,” says Kersen. “We made it more symmetrical in shape and modified it to be more suitable for the manufacturing process.”

NVision engineers provided the mask manufacturer with a CAD model from which it could build the tooling to begin production and meet its deadline for delivery of the masks. “Without the fast and accurate measurements provided by laser scanning, the customer would have lost a great deal of time and money in performing manual measurements,” says Kersen. “With PPE, time to market is critical both for the health of those people waiting for masks as well as the business success of the manufacturers who need to reduce production time.”

In another project, NVision was asked to scan a series of credit card readers in order to create seamlessly fitting safety covers to prevent transmission of viruses. The covers needed to fit tightly on the readers, so it was essential to obtain the exact measurements of the readers. NVision again used its HandHeld scanner to obtain the precise measurements of the readers, first converting the point cloud to a raw STL file, then importing the file into specialized modeling software and processing the data to an IGES/STEP model, and then further processing to a native SolidWorks CAD model with full feature tree. From that point, client engineers were able to use the CAD model to create tooling for manufacturing the covers.

“Concerns about personal health and safety, in all our interactions, are understandably very high at this time,” says Kersen. “These two projects we recently completed show how advanced measurement and inspection can substantially reduce the time to market for those who are  making the products needed to help ensure our health and well-being. We’re proud to be part of the effort.”

For more information, contact NVision, Inc., 577 Commerce Street, Suite 100, Southlake, TX 76092. Tel: 817.416.8006, Fax: 817.416.8008, Email: sales@nvision3d.com, Web: http://www.nvision3d.com

About NVision

NVision, Inc. (www.nvision3d.com) was established in 1990 with one goal in mind: to provide customers with the highest accuracy non-contact optical measurement systems and services for Reverse Engineering and Inspection. Focusing our expertise on the aerospace, power generation, and oil/gas industries, NVision provides both contract scanning services and systems sales to companies throughout North America. Our elite team of engineers provides customers with an unmatchable level of experience and is able to advise and assist with the most difficult engineering challenges.

NVision’s clients include industry leaders such as Boeing, GE, Lockheed, Lear, NASA, Porsche, Raytheon, Siemens, Toyota, and every branch of the U.S. military.Media Contact: Steve Glad, Structured Information, Ph: 248.289.0610, Email: stephen_glad@strucinfo.com

Share this post