With continuous advances in optical inspection technology yielding 3D scanners that are today capable of stunning speed and accuracy, a growing number of companies are including this technology in their first article inspection (FAI) procedures.
When purchasing coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and vision or flexible gaging systems, fixturing is often overlooked until the inspection equipment has been commissioned and the first parts need to be measured.
Precisely measuring and validating parts made from low-density materials such as plastic can be tricky and time-consuming. For example, silicone parts readily bend and flex, leading to inaccuracies. Fixturing, the traditional solution to immobilize and align parts for measurement, is a lengthy process involving engineering, construction and validation of the custom fixture.
With more man-hours being spent on programming work, differences in worker-created measurement programs, and inefficient programs being created due to proficiency issues, the industry has moved from 2-D drawings to 3-D annotated models.