Partnership Creates First Precision Coordinate Measuring Robot
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on April 19, 2018 |
Stäubli Robotics and Metrologic Group merge technologies to create the first Coordinate Measuring Ro...

Accuracy and efficiency are two words that define expectations for a production line. As the industrial world moves toward smart factories, these can be achieved with technologies such as 3D scanning—a tool for geometrics and surface quality assurance, as well as reverse engineering, fit, finish and assembly applications—and robotics—ideal for tasks requiring speed and efficiency.

As quality assurance has moved closer to the production line, it only makes sense that the two would collide to create something new that makes it easier to conduct quality control on the production floor instead of off in a lab somewhere. A partnership between robot manufacturer Stäubli Robotics and 3D measurement software company Metrologic Group has produced the first Coordinate Measuring Robot (CMR) that can compete with traditional coordinate measuring machines (CMMS) in accuracy but without the use of a track.

The Coordinate Measuring Robot (CMR) incorporates 3D measurement software. (Image courtesy of Metrologic Group.)
The Coordinate Measuring Robot (CMR) incorporates 3D measurement software. (Image courtesy of Metrologic Group.)

The CMR combines Metrologic Group’s robot-dedicated 3D measurement, error mapping and compensation software with Stäubli’s 6-axis robots. The robots can achieve +/-100-micron accuracy in touch trigger mode, in a 1 cubic meter volume, and +/- 150-micron in optical laser scanning mode. Giving the robots Metrologic Group’s software allows them to accommodate any kind of touch probe or optical sensor of any make.

The CMR offers 3D metrology laboratory accuracy beside the production line and is equipped with a factory-ready software suite, making it easy to use, flexible and reliable. A trackless measuring robot can reduce the costs associated with track installation and maintenance, as well as the expense of additional parts such as a camera. In addition, the CRM requires less space. Combining the technologies not only can help improve the accuracy and integration of laser sensors and touch systems, but also allows the software to control the robot for enhanced inspection results. Additionally, while programming robots might have been difficult at one time, a software-loaded robot has the potential to make it easy for any metrologist to program it.

For more robotic innovations, check out Collaborative Robots Help Increase Throughput and Eliminate Injury and Getting Physical with Collaborative Robots to Program for Adaptability.

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