Article by Bertrand Gili, President of Metrologic Group


IT- End-to-End 3D Metrology as a way to grow and adapt to these COVID times 1

If you only have five minutes, here’s what you need to know about what a comprehensive universal 3D metrology software platform can bring you during these COVID times.

Forget your morning or afternoon shot of espresso! To get your brain going, I want to serve you up a strong and ultra-concentrated set of insights on how 3D metrology professionals are reacting to the COVID pandemic and are already planning for recovery. 

Since 3D Metrology can be used to drive productivity, I would like to show you how the End-to-End 3D metrology can help you save money, grow and adapt to these uncertain times and their significant changes.

 We have witnessed the world changing in the last few months.

What we and our customers have learned is that we need to change the way we all work internally and externally. Going forward in the post COVID-19 era will continuously be redefined and redesigned.

Staying on top of trends and available technology solutions is paramount now more than ever; and to manage this uncertainty change and continuous adaptation to new and evolving market conditions is a must.

I would therefore, like to share some thoughts on the way we develop software solutions that resist the test of time and can help industry navigate in these uncertain times.

Evolving needs among 3D metrology professionals in the COVID-19 Recovery

After carefully observing the evolution of the industry during this period, we have noticed the following trends:

  1. Reduced staff on site, some not working and others partially working remotely.
  2. Reduced metrology workload as manufacturing capacity decreases.
  3. A need to better control the overall metrology process and associated costs.

Though these trends are closely related, they outline the need for a common and holistic 3D metrology approach that moves focus from the simple improvement of measuring equipment or software, to more efficient use of all available data whatever the type at any time as well as from any location.

Tackling changes: adapt & renew. Staying in control whatever the challenge.

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Here are proven solutions to address the above challenges:

1. Full Digital Twin-based tools that include simulation which can be used to work remotely have shown their value in preparing programs without being on site or even having access to a part or the machine. This allowes seamless delivery to the production team, removing the need for urgent and lengthy programming to restart the business after the recovery. This applies to automated solutions, such as CMMs or Robots, or laser tracker-type solutions, with the preparation of the set-up, using a perfect Digital Twin of the real world behavior in a simulated world and this running on a simple computer or even a Virtual Machine installed remotely.

2. The reduction of workloads in metrology has led to under-used measuring equipment on paper, except that today there is no way of tracking it. We have dedicated tools to monitor the measuring equipment, especially automated cells like Robot or CMM’s, but it equally applies to any other type of 3D Metrology equipment. The simple aim is to have reliable data on the actual utilization of the equipment, allowing clear decision-making about retention or re-assignment of equipment to other departments/plants. We observed from end-users that the re-allocation of the unused devices based on the data from these simple monitoring tools has allowed them to make significant savings and react extremely fast.

3. The learnings from the current situation have also reinforced the need for more transversal tools, capable of optimizing the 3D measurement processes and finally “making sense of data”. As a result, Metrologic Group has strengthened its development of the global, all-in-one, Universal 3D Metrology platform, perfectly integrating it into any digital workflow, aiming to optimizing the entire metrology process.

More specifically, what can an end-to-end solution bring to your company at each step of the quality control process? Put simply, a strong added value to increase productivity, reduce significantly scrap rate and help you make the right decisions, all from a single point of advice.

What can End-to-End 3D Metrology do for you?

Our innovative end-to-end approach will change the face of the industry with reducing the total cost of ownership for industrial manufacturers by eliminating metrology silos, inefficient workflow and, in addition to lowering training costs, facilitating greater collaboration between teams and plants, ensuring consistency of measurement results, and increasing workforce mobility. With our End-to-End process, you can easily opt for a single step, single solution supplier, however our modular approach also allow you to simply pick a “missing piece” as we can integrate with any and all other software you currently use on your measuring devices. The choice therefore becomes simple based on where we add the most value for you: you can pick individual components from our offering or the comprehensive solution, depending on your requirements.

As this approach articulates seamlessly, I would like to take you through the entire End-to-End process, from the initial planning of your 3D measurement strategy to the full analysis of your inspection results and machine monitoring and illustrate how optimizing every step of your process is a game-changer.

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The 3D Metrology End-to-End Inspection Process is a 4-step open and collaborative ecosystem with a modular structure, where you can pick one, several or all of the puzzle pieces to boost your overall quality control process.

Step 1: Prepare: identify which features you want to measure, compute using basic 2D, embedded PMI data or also importing different inspection planning files (proprietary or standard ones like QIFF) to prepare the features to be measured

Step 2: Program: create your native 3D inspection part program, in a digital Twin, emulating your real world in a fully simulated world with full real world behaviors. Using our Silma X4 Windows-based solution, you can choose to create an easy-to-read program with our proprietary binary encrypted language, or you can opt to use Silma native DMIS language, based on the ISO DMIS 5.3 standard to create your native and optimized DMIS Program, in a text file that can be shared with any software.

Step 3: Execute: connect to your measuring device & execute the program using one of more than 120 direct machine interfaces developed by Metrologic (including the ISO I++ Standard). By seamlessly connecting Metrolog X4 software to your favorite device, you can drive it, capture the data and perform the complete analysis then report, export, and publish the data in any desired format including SQL database with simple connectivity.

Step 4: Manage: we live in a big data world and we have noticed that many customers do not make the most out of their 3D Metrology generated features. Not only do we provide built-in digital collaboration solutions, but we also make it possible to connect your favorite monitoring/supervision or statistical software to exploit all this generated data. You also have the choice to stay in our ecosystem and use one of the Metrologic statistical process control software applications if you don’t have your own. It’s simple, fast and efficient!

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Celebrating our 40th anniversary, we take real pride at Metrologic Group that we have created the most versatile and universal 3D metrology software solution, already used by thousands of blue chip customers worldwide. Today we are very excited to deliver a comprehensive yet modular software platform to the industry, respecting of our customer’s digital flow.

End-to-End 3D Inspection stands for an open ecosystem where you can simply pick one, several, or all puzzle pieces, based upon your existing and future deployment plans, industrial needs or simply the applications you already use and are happy to connect to one of our components. Efficiency cannot be simpler and more scalable than that!

You do not need to replace all of your current solutions, especially if you are happy with them; we simply offer the possibility of interconnecting them, with modules that can optimize any step of your 3D metrology process.

Your CMM New Best Friend

Do you have a Renishaw 5-axis REVO machine and do you have issues programming it offline?

No need to get rid of Modus – keep it, as your issue is not execution, but programming! Silma supports the ISO DMIS native programming language and therefore interfaces with all native DMIS-built inspection software with the full REVO kinematics and behaviors and probing strategy already built-in.

And this applies to all existent CMM brands on the market: Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Zeiss Industrial Metrology, Wenzel Group, Renishaw, Mitutoyo, Coord3, Erowa System Solutions, LK Metrology, Stiefelmaier, and many more…

Interested about our End-to-End approach or just curious to learn more? Would you like to have an onsite demonstration using your own data, own machine and part – pick your missing link from our offering! We will show you how easy it can integrate with your existing digital flow and software as a part of your industrial processes.

Go directly to the End-to-End page to discover the added value of the solution and contact us for a full test drive.