QMT Features: May 2010
Zeiss -new generation measurement
Productivity and process chain efficiency are two key themes advanced by leading metrology company, Carl Zeiss IMT, with a host of technical innovations. By Brendan Coyne, QMT.

“We at Carl Zeiss IMT  have done a lot with with our ideas , with lots of innovations to come  out of (last year’s) crisis,” says Dr Rainer Ohnheiser, president and CEO Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology Group.  “Over the last fiscal year, Carl Zeiss has invested in R&D at a  high rate -14% of sales turnover. Now, we are finding business very positive  in the Industrial Metrology Group, especially in regions such as Asia because we have the right products ready.”

Underlining this positive theme, two key messages of productivity and processes chain efficiency were promoted by Carl Zeiss IMT at the Control 2010 exhibition held in Stuttgart , May 4-7th. Presenting a host of technical innovations and measurement concepts, Dr Rainer Ohnheiser said, “I think its very important to give key messages to the market. For our customers: these are firstly, productivity and secondly, to follow the customer’s process chain - and here we have made impressive advances, both in productivity and with products that follow the process chain.”

An example of productivity gains is the advent of Zeiss’s VAST 5th generation of contact scanning.  A new generation of active probes delivers very high speed.  “For some time now, it has been recognised that scanning is the way to go forward for tactile probing. Speeding up the scanning process is what will deliver productivity to our customers,” said Dr Ohnheiser. The outstanding benefit of VAST Performance is the ability to scan over interrupted contours (FlyScan).

For example, in the past, 16 scanning paths were required to measure a flange that has a plane surface interrupted with boreholes. VAST Performance reduces this number to one. The existing method for this measurement required extensive programming that resulted in a measuring time of 75 seconds. VAST Performance not only considerably simplifies programming, but the measuring time for the feature is also reduced nearly 70% to 23 seconds – with absolutely reliable measuring results. “So with the Zeiss VAST performance you can achieve measurement productivity gains of  30% , 40%  or even up to 90%.”

Process efficiency
“From concept to delivered product, the issue is one of smoothing the  interfaces along the process chain. “ said Dr Ohnheiser. “At Control, we are showing a process chain for a car body where the start point is the CAD generated model. The process then goes through the design of the fixturing, through measurement of the tools and dies, then  to part programming and evaluation of the total carbody-in-white and, finally, reporting.  Our product offerings along this process chain  fits well together to shorten cycle times.

Our new software, Caligo, specially developed for car body parts and freeform surfaces is an  important element in automotive measurement, allowing much faster programming than previously”. CALIGO accelerates programming with intelligent functions such as change management via feature lists. The simulation function provides an extensive array of tools for the analysis of the measuring program before the real sequence starts.  Simulation can be done, whether employing  bridge type CMMs, dual arm cantiliver machines or even of optical systems. This makes it easier to identify and correct programming errors and further optimize programs using tools such as collision control, travel path track and collision ball.”

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