Software Helps Automaker Speed Inspection
- True 3-D offset facility and visible graphical display
- Customized report generator
- Easy setup using plane/line/point
Lotus Cars, based in Norwich, United Kingdom, is world-renowned for creating award-winning sports cars at the forefront of vehicle design
technology. To improve the efficiency of its inspection routines, Lotus has adopted Delcam's PowerINSPECT inspection software.
PowerINSPECT provides a quick-and-easy method for the comparison of tooling, prototype parts or production samples with CAD data. This type of inspection is
becoming more important throughout the manufacturing cycle, as most design data are now issued as CAD models rather than as drawings.
With PowerINSPECT, inspection reports can be produced automatically, including pictorial, graphical and tabulated data, either to recognized international standards or
in a customer-specified format. By providing real-time results in an easy-to-understand format, PowerINSPECT allows problems to be identified earlier and corrected at lower cost.
Lotus' latest model, the Exige, is a racing car converted for road use. The new model uses the same sleek and aerodynamic bodyshell as other Lotus racing
models, although some changes have been made to make the car road-friendly.
The speed of inspection possible with PowerINSPECT, combined with a
FaroArm, enables the company to meet the high demand for the new model. "With PowerINSPECT, we have the ability to check a complete body side of a car within
10 minutes," says Chris Balls, engineering workshop supervisor at Lotus. "This includes the time taken to set up the FaroArm alongside the production line,
to set the datum and to check selected points and sections on each of the individual panels that make up the complete body side. This represents a huge improvement over our previous methods."
The portability of the FaroArm/PowerINSPECT combination is another big advantage. "We can inspect jigs and fixtures directly with the CAD model at the
production point and make any adjustment there and then," says Balls. "We also do a final verification once they are set up."
Similarly, portability is important in the manufacture of sub-assemblies for the cars. "We also use PowerINSPECT to verify the build of sub-assemblies at the
point of production. For example, with a door, this would include the positions of brackets, hinge points, glass channels, door handles, etc.," explains Balls. "We
achieve this by loading the different CAD files into PowerINSPECT as the door is assembled. Again, any problems are highlighted instantly, allowing solutions to be implemented much faster.
"Another benefit is the ability to customize reports to meet the requirements of individual engineers or projects," adds Balls. "PowerINSPECT, in conjunction with
the FaroArms, has proved to be an invaluable time-saving tool in bringing our new models into production."