The Italian company Blacks S.r.l. was founded in November 2011 by a group of young specialists with extensive experience in composite materials. This company specializes in the design, prototyping and manufacture of components made of advanced composite materials (carbon fibers, glass, aramid, hybrids). The company offers services that cover the design and production of composite and metal parts for the automotive, aerospace, marine and sports industries.
Blacks customers demand extremely high dimensional accuracy. That's why the company has always been equipped with 3D measurement tools. 3D measurement technologies are used daily in the dimensional control and validation of incoming models, molds and outgoing components. In some cases, the technology is used for reverse engineering, to support production and design, simplifying the production process.
In order to improve its metrology equipment, Blacks decided to acquire creaform's MetraSCAN BLACK portable 3D scanner . This system was chosen because of its higher scanning speed, compared to previously used systems. Another decisive factor was the time saved by not having to apply targets or vaporizers to shiny parts. The Creaform system is faster, more versatile and more efficient in all situations and can be used for a greater number of applications. As Blacks was already using a wide range of different measurement systems, it was easy to implement the new system, as the use of Creaform's scanner is very intuitive. Operators quickly became familiar with the new tool and used it to its full potential.
MetraSCAN 3D ensures a perfect bonding process
The MetraSCAN 3D was used to check the bonding between two components. In the composite materials sector, bonding between two components is usually carried out using specific jigs to prepare and maintain the mutual position of the two parts during bonding.
Let's take the example of a race car, starting from the following assumptions:
- The components of racing cars have very strict homologation parameters (+/- 0.5mm / 1000mm)
- Stress dimensions are measured on the bond and not on monolithic components.
- The collage reaches a very high complexity, with important manual adaptations. Bonding is done between components whose areas are machined or worked by hand.
- Bonding jigs are calibrated to achieve the result but, in some cases, it is not possible to rely solely on the jigs: composite components, during curing, can undergo great deformations due to unbalanced layers. These deformations are not always perfectly predictable and in some cases the component does not adapt perfectly to the template.
Under these conditions, which frequently occur in the production of prototypes for the motorsport sector, being able to control the bonding in real time, during the adhesive consolidation process, makes it possible to achieve the optimal result in the production phase.
Here's what Blacks did: Since the value of the bonded assembly was more than €15,000, it was decided to manufacture a bonding template with continuous control during the hardening phase of the glue, in order to guarantee the correct mutual positioning of the parts.
Could Blacks have carried out the same check with the old measurement tool? It is impossible to know, because the strong limitation of the clouding of surfaces has always discouraged any attempt. This particular use of MetraSCAN 3D differs from standard everyday use, such as mold inspection and dimensional control at Blacks. However, it demonstrates its flexibility in all situations, such as gluing prototypes or installing glued components without the need to create dedicated bonding equipment.
MetraSCAN 3D helps Blacks win more projects
"Obviously, we could have carried out the described project with other equipment, but the costs in money and time would have been higher. It should also be mentioned that in some cases, higher costs can lead to the loss of the order and that, therefore, the use of a system like Creaform's MetraSCAN BLACK, is the determining factor of the project" comments Daniele Malusardi, Project Manager at Blacks Srl. "We will continue to use 3D measurement in the control of molds on a daily basis, models and components, in the case of reverse engineering and gluing of prototypes or unique parts. But we are still active in finding innovative application solutions to support production. In our experience, the strengths of the Creaform system are certainly the high scanning speed and versatility of the measurement technology. »