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“Laser trackers can measure large items with precision not attainable by using other instruments,” says Steve DeRemer, GKS general manager in Michigan. “The technology is extremely accurate, even over long distances. For example, we recently completed several successful projects using laser trackers in power plants.”
Ideal applications for this technology are installing and aligning the large machinery in power plants and aerospace manufacturers, as well as tool building, part inspection and reverse engineering-jobs that use items that are too large to fit within a work envelope or an articulated arm’s reach.
Laser trackers perform discreet 3-D measurements with a high degree of precision and speed. They are able to capture and interpret 3-D shapes in any coordinate system. Trackers can measure vertically and horizontally over a range of up to 230 feet and the software then automatically recognizes and interprets the data. Projects within a 20-foot distance can obtain accuracies of 17 microns.
The laser tracker uses a laser distance meter and two rotating axes to track the exact position of a mirrored spherical probe that is guided along the object to be measured. High accuracy encoders measure the horizontal and vertical angles while state-of-the-art laser technology determines the distance from the tracker head to the sphere. Using computer-aided measurement (CAM2) software, the object’s precise 3-D coordinates can be digitally captured. They can be used in most any environment and provide a wide perspective in all dimensions in any location. The laser tracker technology complements the other measurement technologies used by GKS engineers, especially terrestrial scanning.