Bench-Top Coordinate Measuring Machine Brings AR to QA
Ian Wright posted on February 17, 2017 |
Pokémon GO uses augmented reality to bring video game characters into the real world.
Pokémon GO uses augmented reality to bring video game characters into the real world.
Have you had your first taste of augmented reality (AR) yet?

The roughly 8 million people who downloaded Pokémon GO last summer were given a glimpse of what AR can do, but the technology doesn’t truly shine until we leave the realm of video games for the factory floor.

We’ve already seen manufacturers exploring applications for AR at last year’s IMTS, even as companies like DAQRI continue to develop the hardware necessary for bringing augmented reality to industrial environments.

One of the latest examples of AR in manufacturing comes in the form of Keyence’s XM series bench-top coordinate measuring machine (CMM). The machines use a camera to capture the near-infrared light emitted from seven different markers on the probe made up of 100 LEDs. According to Keyence, this technology offers a repeatability of ±3 µm.

(Image courtesy of Keyence.)
(Image courtesy of Keyence.)
The advantage of this approach is that measurements can be taken from any angle, so long as the probe remains within the camera’s field of view.

The machines are also designed for an operating environment of 10-35° C (50-95° F) and 20 to 80 percent relative humidity, meaning that they aren’t confined to the quality lab.

But it’s the AR that really sets the XM series apart. A camera built into the handheld probe can be used to display the external appearance of target elements along with a description of the measurement and the measured value in real time. The measurement range for each element is also displayed, allowing operators to see which section was measured at a glance.

(Left) Measurement values and ranges for elements are displayed on the XM screen in real time. (Right) 1 shows the probe's current position; 2 shows the next measurement point and 3 shows the indicator for the distance between them. (Images courtesy of Keyence.)
(Left) Measurement values and ranges for elements are displayed on the XM screen in real time. (Right) 1 shows the probe's current position; 2 shows the next measurement point and 3 shows the indicator for the distance between them. (Images courtesy of Keyence.)
In addition, an interactive visual guide can direct users in making repeated measurements. In this mode, touching the target brings up an AR interface that shows the current position of the probe tip and flashes to indicate the next measurement point.

An indicator on the edge of the screen also displays the distance between the two points.

Measurement applications for the XM series include:

  • XYZ position of side holes
  • Cone and axis angles
  • Bending angles and measurement of virtual lines
  • PCD (pitch circle diameter) and angle allocation

The XM series is available with a fixed stage or an Xθ stage that allows for an increased measurement range by moving the part while keeping the probe within the camera’s field of view.

For more information, visit the Keyence website.

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