Amrikart had the opportunity to test Hexagon's latest 3D scanner, the Absolute Scanner AS1, lent for the occasion by Hexagon Canada.
This scanner allows a full automation with a Leica AT960 laser tracker, it can also fit directly on an Absolute Arm measuring arm, making it a very versatile 3D scanner and indispensable for large measurements.
For the test, Amrikart's automation team developed in less than half a day an automated 3D scanning application on a demonstration part. The AS1 scanner has been integrated as an effector of a UR10e collaborative robot, mounted on a wheeled cart allowing easy movement of the cobot and scanner anywhere in the factory.
Compared to its predecessor the TScan 5, which Amrikart has integrated into several projects, we note several significant improvements. At the Hardware level, the AS1 is shorter and its design allows better integration in exiguous places (in addition to its standoff of 165 mm compared to the 150 mm of the TScan 5). The frame of the LEDs also seems more rigid. Finally, its controller is even smaller than that of the TScan 5 and allows to be mounted in series on the power supply of the laser controller. A plug to connect directly to the robot is also available and Hexagon's UR10 integration kit is perfect for installing the AS1 as an effector. Regarding the Software, no more T-Scan Interface (and TwinCAT!), the AS1 is integrated into Hexagon's universal RDS platform. This platform allows you to manage the parameters of the scanner whether it is installed with an AT960 or an Absolute Arm. The new SHINE technology also makes it possible to optimize scans of highly reflective surfaces (see here). Finally, the bandwidth of the AS1 -150mm at the standoff- is 1.5x larger than that of the TScan 5, allowing to cover up to 50% more surface in the same time.
Amrikart quickly realized, through its Automation Platform ProjectX, the automation of the 3D scan of a demonstration part. The collaborative robot acts as a 3D scanner support, the scan is repeatable in quality and its cycle time is controlled.
The RDS interface is integrated within ProjectX, as is PolyWorks metrology software and RoboDK robotics software. ProjectX allows easy automation of the scan sequence and analysis using these 3 software in the background. It creates a very simple user interface to start measurements, perform 3D scans and review reports automatically. This platform also allows more complex calculation such as predictive assembly, assembly optimization, structural positioning, etc.
The 3D scanner and the collaborative robot are mounted on a wheeled cart. ProjectX redefines the robot trajectory by taking into account the actual positioning of the trolley in relation to the part to be scanned so that the scan is always identical. The actual positioning of the cart is measured automatically at the beginning of the inspection sequence, and the scan trajectories are recalculated each time to always have the same result. Thus, the robot does not have to be positioned precisely each time, a coarse positioning on its wheels is acceptable so that the scan remains repeatable.
The tests carried out show that the AS1 integrates perfectly on our high-volume mobile scanning solution available here.
AT960 laser trackers have a range of up to 30 meters with the AS1. Then, moving the laser tracker increases the range. It is therefore a very versatile mobile scanner solution that is presented. The laser tracker can be fixed at the center of a factory, and the mobile cart can be moved very easily on the different scan areas. A more affordable version is also available with the AT960-SR: the range is reduced to 5m with the AS1 (measuring sphere of 10m in diameter around the laser) but the cost is also reduced. The predicted uncertainty with as1 is ±50 μ m (measurements of elements of spatial length AS1 EUni:0DR:LT,MPE, source).
There are many applications for large parts or for production areas with several measurement cells. Direct applications are found in aeronautics, space, transport, maritime, manufacture of imposing structures (hydroelectricity, wind), composite.