Lean Manufacturing

Shapegrabber 3D scanners can enhance existing Lean Manufacturing processes – or can spur new Lean programs in the Quality Control department.

Specifically, Shapegrabber automated 3D scanners contribute to two goals of Lean Manufacturing:

  • Improve production flow, by introducing significant efficiencies to the quality inspection and measurement processes.
  • Reduce waste, both material and manpower, by providing fast and complete inspection coverage of complex-shaped parts.

Improve Production Flow

One of the main advantages of a Shapegrabber 3D scanner is speed. Traditional inspection techniques can take hours (or days) to measure complex parts, and do not provide enough information to allow for efficient and effective troubleshooting of whole parts. Caliper and CMMs can also require specialized skills and resources that may not be readily available.

A Shapegrabber 3D laser scanner, however, can capture millions of data points in minutes and can be used by almost any trained member of the production staff. Not only is the measurement data collected quickly, but teams are able to make very rapid decisions about how to handle defects due to the amount of data that is captured. Specifically:

  • The surface geometry of an entire part can be captured quickly then inspected and measured.
  • The 3D scanner outputs a point cloud, which is essentially a complete map of the part’s surface geometry. This can be compared directly to the 3D CAD model to quantify the deviation of the part’s shape from specifications.
  • The resulting full-color deviation maps help users to quickly identify the specific part areas that are out of spec. Because the amount of 3D scan data is so great, it is possible to use rich and graphical tools to analyze the data, making troubleshooting intuitive: very subtle defects can be easily seen.

Based on this rich 3-dimensional data, quick and informed decisions can be made which dramatically reduce down-time in production as well as reducing defects shipped.

Reduce Waste

When brought into 3D application software like Geomagic Quality or Polyworks, the 3D scan data supports rapid and accurate quality inspection and measurement.

Today’s complex-shaped parts – such as injection-molded plastics, metal castings and stampings – include compound curves and multiple features that often stymie traditional measurement tools. By accurately inspecting an entire part and generating a 3D point cloud that represents its complete surface area, errors can be easily spotted which would otherwise be noticed only after production. More thorough inspections during the manufacturing process lead to fewer field defects, fewer returns, and the smooth production flow needed for a lean operation.

Automated 3D scanning also helps to reduce other forms of waste:

  • Manpower. A Shapegrabber 3D scanner can be easily operated by a technician after about a day of training. There is no need to use specialized engineering staff to incorporate the benefits of a Shapegrabber scanner into the quality inspection process.
  • Gauges. An automated 3D scanner can be used to replace multiple traditional hard gauges in the quality inspection process. Doing so enables manufacturers to cut costs and time in a number of areas while increasing production efficiencies. Learn more >>
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