The Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced the launch of a new laser scanner. According to the company, the Absolute Scanner AS1 combines unmatched accuracy and data quality with an automatable data collection speed of 1.2 million points/s and unprecedented interoperability between portable measuring arm and laser tracker systems.
The AS1 is the ideal sensor for a wide variety of applications, for example in an automotive manufacturing shop – the same scanner can be moved back and forth as needed between a measuring arm used for indoor quality control and a tracker configuration in the pilot plant performing outcrop and spacing inspection to achieve a fully integrated and less expensive quality process.
The AS1 is a modular line blue laser scanner, the first in the industry to work with laser tracker systems and portable measuring arms. When used with a Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 laser tracker, it can provide scanning accuracy at just 50 microns for a distance of up to 30 meters, manually or automated.
For smaller applications, the AS1 scanner can be easily mounted on any current generation Absolute Arm 7-axis system, enabling precision scanning and inspection of hidden areas in a measurement volume between 2 and 4.5 meters in diameter.
The TRACKER functionality of the AS1 is powered by a new portable positioning unit, the Absolute Positioner AP21. The AP21 unit allows the AT960 tracker to collect complete information about the position and orientation of the scanner. The AS1 can be quickly mounted on the AP21 using Hexagon's patented kinematic seal – the same repeatable fastening system already found on Absolute Arm systems. It is thus possible for a workshop team in charge of projects, to pass the same AS1 scanner from a laser tracker system to an arm system without having to carry out a realignment or a tedious configuration.
"By developing an improved laser scanner for our trackers, we wanted to bring the Shine technology we developed for our portable measuring arms in high-volume aeronautical applications where trackers are needed," says Duncan Redgewell, President of metrological systems at Hexagon. Thebreadth of our team's hardware expertise has allowed us to develop a solution that breaks the established codes between each system, to allow users to enjoy better scanning performance in both measuring arm and tracker applications without having to invest in multiple scanning units. The AS1 can be used in the same way and with the same high-quality results, whether it is combined with our Absolute Tracker or Absolute Arm systems."
The laser scanning performance of the Absolute Scanner AS1 is based on the proven Systematic High-Intelligence Noise Elimination (Shine) technology that hexagon manufacturing intelligence made a great impression on customers when it was integrated with the RS6 laser scanner for Absolute Arm systems in 2019. The Shine concept makes it possible to collect very high quality and high precision data at full speed on almost any type of surface or finish with default exposure settings. This minimizes the need to constantly change parameters during the measurement process, as well as the training needs of the operators associated with them. Thanks to Shine, THE AS1 always offers optimal performance – any type of surface can be digitized at any time without the performance decreasing on the difficult surfaces, common with existing products on the market.
The dynamic tracking performance of the Absolute Positioner AP21 means that the latest Absolute Scanner is fully automated, enabling high-speed blue laser scanning within cells and automated structures, whether online, in-line, near the production line or in the quality room – a vital feature for the future of smart manufacturing in the aerospace sector. Hexagon's network of registered and accredited integrators is ready to develop customized automation systems based on this new metrology technology.
"Metrology-assisted automation is widely regarded as the future of large-scale manufacturing," said Daniel Moser, Technical Director of Products at Hexagon. Systems based on laser trackers have an important role to play in this future, mainly to ensure that quality is not sacrificed in the search for high productivity. One of our main goals in the development of AS1 was to provide a system built from the start with automation in mind, and which could be integrated into a wide range of automated manufacturing solutions for the aerospace sector. »
For Absolute Arm systems, the AS1 replaces the current flagship RS6 laser scanner, which will be removed from the market.
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