Quality Innovations: GagePlate Increases Reach

September 29, 2010
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The GagePlate system increases the inspection volume of the Master3DGage without sacrificing accuracy. Source: Verisurf Software Inc.


The portable CMM can now inspect large parts with the same accuracy as large stationary CMMs. Source: Verisurf Software Inc.

For quality engineers looking to inspect larger parts without sacrificing accuracy, Verisurf Software Inc. (Anaheim, CA) and select Master3DGage resellers launched the GagePlate System at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) last month in Chicago. This new innovation expands the capabilities of the Master3DGage portable rapid 3-D inspection solution by allowing operators to move this portable arm around larger parts during inspection and still maintain alignment between the part and the device without increasing any inaccuracies due to moving the arm around.

The Master3DGage inspection solution, which was launched earlier this year, integrates a Hexagon Metrology six-axis portable coordinate measuring system (PCMM) with Verisurf’s 3-D model-based inspection software that quickly and accurately verifies part quality. Combined with the GagePlate System, the Master3DGage has the capabilities of much larger CMMs and even laser scanners for a fraction of the cost and also delivers a precise, fully automated digital process to inspect directly to computer-aided design (CAD) models anywhere on the floor.

The Master3DGage GagePlate System is a black hard anodized aluminum tooling plate with calibrated and certified hole patterns and is available in sizes from 3 by 6 feet up to 6 by 12 feet. Master3DGage customers may also choose to implement their own calibrated hole patterns following detailed instructions.

Recently Verisurf launched a fifth generation of its Verisurf X software that allows for software implementation for the alignment into the plate. After the part is aligned with the PCMM, engineers can inspect in real time directly to the CAD model.

The idea for the GagePlate system came about as a result of customers wanting to inspect larger parts with a more cost effective arm. According to Dave Olson, director of sales and marketing at Verisurf, no other PCMM out there utilizes the same technology. He adds that the GagePlate System extends the reach of the smaller arm, but does it without increasing any inaccuracy because the position of the pattern is calibrated and certified.

“For the smaller machine shops it’s going to be huge because those are the companies that want to get into PCMMs but can’t afford a PCMM with an 8- to 10-foot reach,” Olson says. “So what they can do is buy a PCMM with a 4-foot reach, which by the way, is more accurate than an 8- to 12-foot PCMM.”

The qualified flat plate is able to give the PCMM a 12-foot reach at a $4,000 price point, as opposed to buying a $120,000 arm. Combined with a $33,000 PCMM, it is under $40,000 for the complete system and according to Olson provides greater accuracy than a $120,000 8-foot arm.

Olson adds that the GagePlate will mostly be used for parts that are not taller than 3 feet, but it can do very long parts as well. Right now the company is planning on building these gage plates anywhere from 8 to 12 feet long by 4 to 8 feet wide.

Despite its size, the Master3DGage is able to inspect parts with a wide range of shapes and sizes. The design is lightweight with a battery back power and Wi-Fi connectivity so operators can lift the system without having to worry about wires getting in the way. The portable base is stable enough that it can be picked up and moved to its next position or quickly realigned to then continue with inspection.

Olson adds that there is very little limitation to the GagePlate System except that the arm has to be moved, but it only takes a matter of 15 seconds to do so. Operators just need to pick up and move the arm, touch off on a minimum of two points and then the arm is automatically realigned.

For more information, contact:
Verisurf Software Inc.
1553 N. Harmony Circle
Anaheim, CA 92807
(866) 340-5551
info@master3gage.com
www.Master3DGage.com


Specifications

Sizes: 3' W x 6" L x 0.500" T or 5' W x 10' L x 0.75" T
Material: Dimensionally stable cast aluminum tooling plate
Stiffness: High strength to weight ratio
Flatness: Precision machined both sides 0.005" or better
Roughness: 20 RMS max
Finish: Corrosion resistant hard black anodized
Density: 0.096 lb/in³
Packaging: Wood crate on flat pallet

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