Streamlining reverse engineering

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has unveiled REcreate, a software solution designed ‘from the ground up’ to make it easier and faster to reverse engineer parts from metrology scan to CAD model.

Developed to remove complexity, REcreate provides a single working environment from scan to CAD model. Users can prepare CAD models and drawings from any point cloud data. The fully featured CAD tool suite is supported by analysis tools that enable manufacturing professionals to interrogate the 3D models and validate whether they are manufacturable before exporting as CAD or STL files for CAM or additive manufacturing processes.

While designed to be interoperable and slot into a customer’s existing processes, the solution offers additional benefits to those who use other Hexagon technologies in their workflow. Sites that deploy Hexagon’s portable arms for inspection can reduce training needs by allowing any operator to read inspection data directly from the device to reverse engineer using a single solution. REcreate is also rigorously tested with Hexagon’s production software tools for planning, optimisation and part programming processes.

Ken Woodbine, REcreate product manager, says: “We believe that by making reverse engineering software versatile and easy-to-use, REcreate gives design, production and inspection teams greater confidence in their reverse engineering processes. With the laser scanning technologies available today, there’s no reason why most use cases can’t be addressed by anyone who needs them, provided they have access to the data and tools required – be that ensuring a precise fit for replacement components, repairing legacy parts, or updating design files with adjusted geometries following prototype creation or production optimisations.”

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Trumpf buys Lantek

Trumpf has acquired sheet-metal software specialist Lantek, enriching its smart factory solution portfolio and taking another step toward efficient and connected sheet-metal production. Lantek has been trading since 1986 and has its headquarters in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. The company operates worldwide with 20 locations in 14 countries. More than 220 employees create software for sheet metal and metalworking with any cutting technologies. This suite includes CAD, CAM, MES and ERP solutions. Lantek will continue to operate under its current name as there are no plans for integration with the Trumpf brand.

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CT usability and uptime hits next level

Many improvements have been made by Nikon Metrology in its new 225 kV micro-focus X-ray CT (computed tomography) system: the XT H 225 ST 2x. According to the company, two of the new features are not present in any other industrial CT system. One is ‘Rotating.Target 2.0’, which thanks to more efficient cooling enables a 3x smaller focal spot size for clearer imaging. The other, ‘Half.Turn CT’, is a novel method for almost halving the angle through which a specimen rotates during the X-ray cycle, speeding the process without loss of image quality.

Operation is greatly simplified and efficiency doubled, enhancing the system’s suitability for a range of applications. The intrinsic benefit of X-ray CT is that it allows both the non-destructive inspection and measurement of a sample’s exterior and interior. Nikon Metrology’s XT H 225 ST 2x, which has undergone thousands of hours of rigorous testing, is distinguished by its ability to be tuned in line with the part under investigation so that optimal results are produced every time.

Rotating.Target 2.0 maximises the quality of data collected and hence image resolution. This feature also doubles the running time before preventive maintenance is required, lowering costs and raising equipment availability. Spinning the target dissipates the heat generated by the small focal spot size more efficiently, enabling continuous generation of high-power X rays and an increase in scanning speed and resolution, without the need for cool-down.

Another new feature is Local.Calibration, which allows rapid, repeatable, automated calibration of voxel size at any CT scan position, rather than the user having to perform the function manually. This leads to a radical improvement in measurement accuracy. Extra benefits are that the procedure is de-skilled and dimensional accuracy is traceable.

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Profile projector saves time

Baty International, part of the Bowers Group, recently supplied Broanmain Plastics with a Baty R14 profile projector to assist with its inspection and quality processes.

As a family-run technical trade moulder, Broanmain Plastics manufactures compression and injection moulded components used in various applications across many industries including, aerospace, electronics, railway signalling, filtration and climate management systems.

Between two sites in Surrey and West Sussex, Broanmain Plastics houses machinery with capacities up to 550 ton and a shot weight of over 1500 g. It is imperative to not only make sure the component is visually perfect, but also fail-safe where customers require the utmost safety from the part.

Looking to improve on the consistency of manufactured components, and work more effectively within time constraints, Broanmain Plastics decided to invest in the Baty R14 profile projector.

Managing director Jo Davis says: “Quality is vital for different reasons. For some, it’s safety-critical, for others the requirement may be more aesthetic. But what’s always required is consistency. I’ve been really pleased with the help, support and services from the Bowers Group. While I don’t operate the machine myself, we also use the shadowgraph in our tool room. The Baty R14 makes the process quicker and easier. It’s been an invaluable installation to both the quality team and the company as a whole.”

Speaking of the Fusion software, tool-room manager Kamil Stec adds: “Working with injection moulding, the parts we measure are often hard to fixture. We’ve found that the software’s feature align option saves a lot of set-up time. There are also several handy construction options available.”

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More jobs on the way

JCB has launched a fresh recruitment drive for hundreds more shop-floor employees and announced plans to give permanent contracts to hundreds more agency employees as demand for construction equipment continues to soar. Last month the company revealed it was hiring over 400 UK shop-floor agency employees and giving permanent JCB contracts (from 1 April) to more than 300 existing agency employees. Now, the company will recruit a further 450 agency shop-floor employees and provide permanent JCB contracts to an additional 400 agency shop-floor employees with more than one year of service.

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