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Belinda Jones


Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference 2007 Wrap-Up

Attendees and exhibitors come together to advance the field of portable metrology

Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - 23:00

The 23rd Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference convened at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, July 16-20, 2007. The CMSC Society hosts this gathering each year. The organization is comprised of 3-D measurement technology professionals, service providers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of portable coordinate measurement systems, software, and peripherals. This year’s conference offered a multi-faceted program consisting of a sold-out exhibition hall, advanced workshops, industry updates, and a full roster of white paper presentations by experts in the field of metrology, the science of measurement. The conference schedule also included numerous user appreciation events and networking opportunities for the CMSC community of experts and novices. Many attendees enjoyed a sold-out guided tour of Fallon Naval Air Station and Virginia City, which included panoramic views of the Washoe Valley, Reno, and the Sierra Nevada mountains.The CMSC uniquely serves the technology needs of the workforce performing close-tolerance measurement and inspection of manufactured/assembled components right on the factory floor. The conference provides an open, learning atmosphere for attendees to gain knowledge of the newest advancements and applications of any portable measurement solution that produces and uses 3-D coordinate data such as laser projection systems, laser trackers, laser radars, photogrammetry systems, articulating arms, scanners, indoor GPS, and more. Conference attendees hail from prominent science-research laboratories, and industries such as aerospace, space hardware, antenna, automotive, shipbuilding, power generation, and general engineering.

Authoritative voices in quality control, quality production, and precision assembly
The CMSC 2007 slate of 18 authoritative white papers and applications-based presentations were given by CMSC members, special industry guests, and veteran users of portable measurement technology for quality control, quality production, and precision assembly. Advanced workshops were conducted each day and included four informative sessions covering “Best Practices in Portable Metrology,” “Decoding GD&T,” “Taking Ownership of One’s Product Acceptance Software (PAS) and Quality System Requirements,” and “Full Consensus Standards for 3-D Imaging Systems”. The weeklong agenda included a variety of speakers from The Boeing Company, AirBus UK, NIST, U.S. Army Ordnance Museum, Samsung Heavy Industries Co., ASTM International, SME, John Hopkins University, the University of Hanover–Germany, the University of Melbourne–Australia, and more.

CMSC exhibitors roll out new innovations
In the spacious Reno-Tahoe Ballroom, the CMSC exhibitor hall showcased 42 leading companies who serve the industrial measurement marketplace. Historically, CMSC is the venue where technology providers roll out new technology, ideas, and innovations. This year was no exception. From new product introductions to special technology previews, CMSC exhibitors rolled out the red carpet for attendees seeking end-to-end metrology solutions and high-level services. From race cars to measurement contests, the show floor offered an expansive look at today’s field of 3-D portable metrology.

Newcomers to the CMSC
Multi Metrics introduced e-GAD (electronic GD&T-aided design), a Web-based software suite that manages and streamlines the application and use of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing within companies and their supply chains. Basis Software rolled out their Surphaser line of scanners with both short-range and medium-range models for reverse-engineering, dimensional control, historical preservation, architecture, and forensics.

Creaform, a technology center for reverse-engineering and 3-D digital solutions, debuted their Handyscan 3-D scanner, the first self-positioned, hand-held 3-D laser camera. Digital Light Innovations (DLI) showcased GFM’s full line of fast noncontact 3-D metrology scanners based on digital fringe projection, an optical measurement technique that combines triangulation and real-time interferometry.

SPG Data 3D is a supplier of image-based systems for 3-D measurement and inspection. Using their patented technology, they deliver turnkey systems for quality control and in-process inspection applications in aerospace, automotive, and energy industries.

Sokkia Company introduced their Net1 automated 3-D station for the MonMos 3-D coordinate measuring systems. This system is ideal for construction management and maintenance of ships, rail vehicles, and bridges, as well as deformation monitoring in tunnels, subways, dams, and more. Etalon AG made their debut with adapted systems solution for verification and calibration of CMMs and machine tools. The company presented LaserTRACER and the software suite of TRAC-CAL and TRAC-CHECK.

The CMSC was honored to have representatives from the Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) and Cerritos College this year. Cerritos College has begun new course work to support 3-D inspection and manufacturing at its Center for Applied Competitive Technologies. SME is the world’s leading professional society supporting manufacturing education and keeping the industry up-to-date on leading trends and technologies.

Verisurf Software demonstrated their full suite of Verisurf inspection and assembly software for the manufacturing industry. Verisurf solutions deliver real-time, CAD-based graphical metrology on one common inspection platform for ease of use and training. Rapidform was pleased to demonstrate Rapidform XOR, their highly advanced software for 3-D scan data processing, which allows users to create parametric solid and surface models from scan data, and move them into Pro/E, SolidWorks, UG NX, and CATIA V5.

New River Kinematics highlighted the latest features of their 3-D graphical metrology software Spatial Analyzer (SA), a traceable platform that makes it easy for users to build, inspect, and reverse-design large parts and tools with any combination of portable measurement technologies. Metrologic, a 3-D inspection software company, introduced their new Metrologic V5 inspection suite, which is an integrated online solution for CATIA V5 users—a CAA Gold V5-based solution. The company’s product line includes the Metrolog (online) and Silma (offline programming) software, and a universal controller for any CMM.

InnovMetric, developers of the PolyWorks 3-D metrology software platform, rolled out their new probing-only software for PolyWorks v10. The universal software integrates with laser scanners, arm-based and hand-held probing devices, laser trackers, and more. Delcam PLC unfurled PowerINSPECT’s new software features, including support for multi-axis on-machine verification, compatibility with the AIMS metrology system used by leading aerospace companies, and ease-of-use enhancements for a variety of different hardware platforms.

INORA Technologies Inc. exhibited their math engine software modules, including their INORAsrs (spatial reference system) used for quick and reliable volumetric accuracy verification of 3-D measurement devices and 3-D machine tools. Metrix Software Solutions showed the newest evolution in their Metrix3 product inline called Build!IT, which is a 3-D metrology software for reliable coordinate measurement, tool-building, inspection, and process automation. The software offers a traceable, model-based approach to job planning analysis and reporting.

Geomagic Inc. offered CMSC attendees a preview of Qualify 10, a new version of their computer-aided inspection software with enhancements to streamline workflow, improve alignment accuracy, and features to support user who want to take advantage of the combined strength of 3-D scanners and hard probes. QMC presented their CM4D product quality validation system that provides a common platform for the automated reporting of all data from in-house measurement equipment and suppliers. The solution allows as-built data to be analyzed in an “assembly” context as soon as it is collected on the plant floor. 

Leading OEMs of metrology hardware were in full force at the CMSC. Laser tracker manufacturer API prominently featured their new Active Target product, a compact device that automatically positions the reflector so it is always facing the laser tracker. API also offered two types of unbreakable SMRs with solid construction that renders durability without losing accuracy. NDI featured the ScanTRAK advanced laser scanning solution that incorporates the Perceptron ScanWorks V5 laser scanner, which is compatible with NDI’s multisided probe.

The Hexagon Metrology Portable Group was on hand to showcase the new Leica T-Scan II from Leica Geosystems, a next-generation hands scanner that is compatible with their series 840 Leica laser tracker and wireless Leica T-Probe. ROMER exhibited their INFINITE CMM, an ultra-accurate articulating arm with ROMER’s patented infinite rotation, quick-change probes with automatic probe recognition, and integrated WiFi.

FARO Technologies Inc. had a large presence at CMSC with its wide range of portable, computerized measurement devices and software for any application that requires detailed 3-D measurements, such as part and assembly inspection, factory planning, and asset documentation. Dimensional Photonics International (DPI) offers advanced 3-D shape scanning solutions. The company displayed its AFI 5000, a 3-D shape scanner for measurement tasks, such as manual and automated inspection, modeling, anomaly detection, and process control.

Geodetic Systems Inc. (GSI), the provider of V-STARS industrial photogrammetry systems based on the INCA3 camera, rolled out a new module for mapping of highly reflective surfaces. Metronor rolled out their innovative SOLO Twin system for assembly tool certification and alignment. Building the success of the SOLO system by adding a second camera in a single unit, the Twin offers a larger 70-degree field of view, which allows the operator to get very close to the tooling to be measured.

The LPT100 Laser Radar Projector was featured by Laser Projection Technologies (LPT).  This distinctive system combines an enhanced laser scanning system with image processing software to accurately scan parts and features of objects or assemblies. The product is very effective in referencing as-built objects against design models. At CMSC, AICON 3D Systems exhibited both static and dynamic 3-D measurement systems including DPAInspect for mobile part inspection and TubeInspect, an optical tube-measuring system. AICON also demonstrated their recently launched system TraceCam F, which is used for dynamic 3-D measurement.

Metris USA showcased an impressive range of 3-D hardware and software inspection solutions for the automotive and aerospace sectors. The company’s portfolio includes laser radars, IGPS tracking systems, laser scanners, and more. The NASCAR race car in their booth was a big hit with the attendees. Spectrum Metrology represents the Taylor Hobson range of electro-optical equipment worldwide. The company displayed digital inclinometers, levels, laser alignment equipment, and the popular alignment telescope used for a whole series of critical measurements.

Accessories for portable metrology requirements
A manufacturer of pressure-sensitive adhesive backed targets, WNBC in LA introduced a new tabbed construction for some of their target line, which enhances the clean removability of the target.

Brunson Instrument Company, a metrology mainstay, showcased their new product line of serialized SMR target nests. The company also manufactures optical instruments and instrument stands. Hubbs Machine & Manufacturing Inc. displayed their extensive product line of targeting and accessories for theodolite, photogrammetry, and laser tracker systems.

Value-added resellers/integrators of measurement technology
Capture 3D demonstrated how their ATOS noncontact 3-D scanners and TRITOP digital photogrammetry are utilized for first article inspection, quality control, FEA/CFD analysis, and reverse-engineering. Advanced technology integrator Virtek iLS (Intelligent Laser Systems) promoted their specialization in aerospace cell automation with expertise in targetless laser projection, metrology-guided assembly, automated inspection, and dynamic six degree of freedom (6DOF) rigid body tracking.

Servco Industrial, a leading distributor of 3-D metrology equipment, including laser scanners, laser trackers, and portable CMM arms, touted their superior engineering/technical support, training and customer service. Accurex Measurement Inc. discussed their high-precision 3-D measurement and scanning systems for industrial, scientific, and research applications. The company also has specialized systems for tube measurement, gap and flush measurement, and dynamic and deformation analysis.

Metrology service providers aid manufacturers with expertise and more
The Metrology services sector was well represented at CMSC 2007. ATT Metrology Services, a provider of precision measurement services and equipment leasing, promoted expertise in photogrammetry and rapid noncontact digitization for reverse-engineering and inspection.

4G Metrology Ltd. recommended their customized metrology solutions composed of products, subcontract dimensional inspection, and consulting services for the large-scale metrology arena. Northwest Laser Tracker presented comprehensive laser tracking rental and training programs to solve both short- and long-term portable metrology needs.

CMSC 2008 heads to NASCAR land
The CMSC Society will gather in Charlotte-Concord, North Carolina, for the 24th annual CMSC 2008. The CMSC Society publishes the top white papers presented at the conference in their bi-yearly Journal of the CMSC.


About The Author

Belinda Jones’s picture

Belinda Jones

Belinda Jones is the founder and owner of HiTech Marketing LLC, in Westbrook, Connecticut. For more than a decade, Jones has written articles and commentaries about manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CAE applications, and other high-tech topics. She has extensive experience in marketing communications, technical sales, and applications engineering. Before joining the computer industry, she was a broadcast copywriter for four years. Jones holds degrees in fine arts and mechanical engineering, and studied cultural arts in Europe.