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PrecisionPath Consortium Advances Large-Scale Manufacturing

Published: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 18:24

(CMSC: Weatherford, TX) -- The Coordinate Metrology Society, in collaboration with UNC Charlotte, today announced that the second working meeting of the PrecisionPath Consortium for Large-Scale Manufacturing will be held Feb. 24–25, 2016, at the UNC Charlotte Center City building in downtown Charlotte, NC. This working meeting will serve as a needs assessment and gap analysis workshop for the collaborative team working to identify and prioritize the technology needs of the aerospace, defense, energy, and other industries that manufacture large-scale, high-accuracy parts and products. This gathering is a continuation of their planning and visioning meeting held in late Oct., 2015. At that meeting, the group discussed critical production challenges and metrology system attributes, and solidified the framework of the PrecisionPath Roadmap. The new project is funded by an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Interested metrology professionals from the large-scale manufacturing community who can commit to attending PrecisionPath technical meetings and associated conferences in the next two years are invited to contact Ron Hicks, CMS AMTech committee chair, at ron.hicks@apisensor.com. As the meeting concludes on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 25, attendees will have a chance to tour the UNC Charlotte metrology laboratories in the university’s Center for Precision Metrology (CPM) and Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC).

 “The PrecisionPath Consortium is making strides for advanced manufacturing,” states Hicks. “The last working meeting was held in the true spirit of collaboration, where stakeholders are dedicated to progressing the state of industry and technology. The energy of the group is inspiring, as they strive to make headway and eliminate roadblocks facing the large-scale manufacturing sector in the United States.”

The PrecisionPath Consortium is comprised of representatives from leading manufacturing companies including Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Co., Spirit AeroSystems, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Siemens. Participating OEMs and metrology service providers included Automated Precision (API), New River Kinematics (NRK), Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, ECM Global Measurement Solutions, Nikon Metrology, and Planet Tool and Engineering. In addition to Hicks, consortium organizers include UNC Charlotte representatives Ed Morse, John Ziegert, Ram Kumar, and Antonis Stylianou. Thomas Lettieri of NIST serves in a consulting role for the consortium.

The PrecisionPath Consortium held their Planning and Visioning Council during the Quality Show in late October at the Rosemont Convention Center in Chicago, IL. The first session of the meeting focused on refining the project scope and boundaries. The council discussed the critical challenges in producing large products to precision tolerances, and then transitioned into identifying metrology technology families used by industry. This segment was followed by the team compiling the most important attributes of these systems for measurement and inspection.

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The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS)—presenter of the Coordinate Metrology Society Conference (CMSC)—is comprised of users, service providers, and OEMs of close-tolerance, industrial coordinate measurement systems, software, and peripherals. The metrology systems represented at the annual CMSC include articulated-arm CMMs, laser trackers, laser radar, photogrammetry and videogrammetry systems, scanners, indoor GPS, and laser projection systems. The CMS gathers each year to gain knowledge of the advancements and applications of any measurement system or software solution that produces and uses 3D coordinate data.