WRTL system offers one-of-a-kind wireless connectivity for large automated control projects with a laser tracker
Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division today announced the launch of its all-new solution for automated controls based on 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) laser tracker technology. WRTL solves common configuration problems faced by customers who use large automated control systems. It avoids the connection of a cable to the laser tracker and the scanner controller, which increases the mobility of these devices, if they are installed on an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or an automated guided vehicle (AGV). The system is intended in particular for large-scale inspections that are increasingly common in aeronautics and wind power.
Compatibility with the Absolute Scanner AS1, the revolutionary 3D laser scanner launched in 2021, makes it possible to collect high-density data with an impressive level of accuracy. The scanning system based on the WRTL solution therefore provides an accuracy of around 50 microns in a measurement volume with a diameter of 60 meters, regardless of the accuracy of the robot. Thanks to the greater configuration freedom that the WRTL offers users, factories can now run without operators, performing large volume checks autonomously at night. When the operator returns the next day, they can view the measurement report for analysis, and the manufacturing process is ready to move on to the next step.
" Before the introduction of the WRTL system, automated control was limited to fixed cells performing specified and repetitive tasks ," says Rodrigo Alfaia, Laser Tracker Product Manager at Hexagon. " We are making automated inspection truly mobile, which until then was only possible with handheld equipment. The control can be carried out here or elsewhere without the need to drill holes in the ground for robot rails or turntables. »
The flexibility to replace fixed robot rails with automated guided vehicles (or autonomous mobile robots) that can be moved throughout the plant and perform tasks at various locations, opens up new horizons in automated inspection and manufacturing. In the absence of the WRTL, it would be necessary to maintain and adapt a cable connection between the scanner controller and the laser tracker. The WRTL system solves this problem and makes both the laser tracker and the scanner completely mobile and flexible. This feature enables automated checks of large volumes that were previously impossible.
THE WRTL is the only high-volume scanning solution that offers absolute accuracy and wireless operation. Up to four robot scanner systems can operate in parallel with the WRTL: four trackers and four scanners mounted on autonomous mobile robots and working in pairs or in a cross-configuration, in which each laser tracker monitors multiple scanners. This flexibility brings a gain in productivity on the site. Thanks to the 6DoF features of the AT960 laser tracker over a long distance, these autonomous mobile robots can be placed 30 meters from the laser tracker without interruption or disruption of the measurement.