Faro’s ‘sum of the parts’ aids Darchem quality

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is a phrase that could have been coined to describe the remarkable advantages gained through the interaction of three technologies from Faro. The synergy between the company’s FaroArms, laser line probes and proprietary eight-axis scanning platform, resulted in the creation of the Faro eight-axis ScanArm range – the first and still the only eight-axis portable metrology solution.

Faro says that its eight-axis Quantum FaroArm sets new industry performance standards for measurement consistency, reliability and speed. The use of an eight-axis rotary scanning platform removes the need for an operator to move around an item to scan it. Instead, the object under inspection mounts securely on to the rotating platform and revolves as scanning takes place. Each time the component is repositioned, precise data related to its orientation transmits to the system’s software. In addition, to reducing operator fatigue, Faro’s ergonomic innovation delivers reductions in inspections times of up to 40%.

With the intention of advancing the company’s scanning capabilities, increasing its precision standards and boosting inspection throughput speeds, Darchem Engineering recently implemented this advanced Faro system. A wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based TransDigm Group Inc, Darchem Engineering provides a range of products and services primarily aimed at overcoming the high-temperature and thermal engineering problems of customers.

Since its inception in 1954, the County Durham based business has developed into a leader in its chosen fields and now serves a range of technically demanding industries, including the aerospace, motorsport, on/off highway, marine, power generation, defence, nuclear, and oil and gas sectors.

Explaining the purchase and use of the Faro eight-axis Quantum FaroArm, Darchem Engineering metrologist Adam Clark says: “In collaborating with our customers across multiple industries, we design, develop and manufacture a variety of intelligent engineered solutions. We make our products from materials that include titanium and ‘exotics’ such as Inconel, which ensures their suitability for the most challenging of applications, like high-temperature lightweight thermal and fire protection fabrications.”

He adds: “Given the important protective functions for which our manufactured products are intended – and the safety-critical roles they perform – we carry out meticulous quality control checks at all stages of manufacture, then before dispatch we undertake thorough final inspection routines.

“Although we have been enthusiastic users of Faro Arms for many years, as an increasing number of our products are flexible and deformable, the contact probes of our previously used FaroArms had the potential to deflect some of our parts during inspection and cause dimensional errors.”

To remedy this situation, Darchem Engineering decided to contact Faro UK and check-out the company’s latest technologies.

“Along with looking to purchase Faro equipment that had both contact and non-contact scanning capabilities, we hoped to further improve our precision capabilities and boost the efficiency of our inspection routines,” explains Clark. “Faro’s technical staff suggested that an eight-axis Quantum FaroArm was would satisfy our needs and a demonstration was duly arranged.

“Having been happy with the performance of our previous FaroArm, in the course of the successful demonstration that was performed on a cross section of our products, it was interesting to see the many technical developments that had been made to the company’s latest-generation technology and an order was placed with Faro UK.”

He continues: “On delivery, it helped that our staff were already skilled in the use of our older Faro Arm. Therefore, following product training, our operators soon mastered the new instrument. Now in regular use, in addition to delivering advanced non-contact scanning, the Faro eight-axis Quantum FaroArm has enhanced our precision standards and significantly increased our inspection efficiencies.”

Before starting a scanning routine, Darchem fixes the component to its new FaroArm’s integrated eight-axis rotary scanning platform. Then, instead of moving the part around and manipulating the FaroArm into position, operators are able to remain in a relatively static position and rotate the component to ensure that all parts of the component can be easily accessed and quickly scanned. In addition to accelerating the company’s scanning routines, the use of the rotary scanning platform has reduced operator fatigue.

“It also helps that our Faro eight-axis Quantum FaroArm interfaces very easily with Polyworks, as we use this 3D dimensional analysis and quality control software throughout our factory,” states Clark.

For over 40 years, Faro has delivered 3D measurement arm technology, allowing manufacturers to quickly collect precise 3D measurements for verification of product quality during inspections, tool certifications, CAD comparison, dimensional analysis, reverse engineering and more.

The Faro eight-axis Quantum FaroArm, as purchased by Darchem Engineering, represents an all-inclusive contact and non-contact metrology solution that allows users to significantly accelerate and simplify their measurement and scanning activities. The high-resolution system provides high-accuracy, rapid data capture and is suitable for a multitude of inspection and quality control tasks. The Faro system is optimised for point cloud comparison with CAD, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering and the 3D modelling of freeform surfaces.

Darchem’s eight-axis Quantum ScanArm combines three innovative elements, a Quantum FaroArm, a FAROBlu laser line probe (LLP) and an eight-axis scanning platform.

The Faro LLP provides the optimum balance of speed and accuracy, with the added benefit of colour scanning. It features an extensive laser line width of 150 mm, enabling the scanning of a larger area quickly and efficiently. The extra-wide scan stripe and fast frame rate boosts productivity by increasing coverage and reducing scanning times.

Faro’s LLP is able to seamlessly scan across a multitude of challenging materials with diverse surface characteristics regardless of contrast, reflectivity or part complexity, without the need for special coatings or target placement.

The most recently introduced element to the Faro eight-axis Quantum ScanArm is its integrated eight-axis rotary scanning platform. This industry exclusive accessory decreases scan time by up to 40%, while maintaining accuracy. Whereas previously a user would need to register multiple point clouds together via post processing in point cloud software, through the use of Faro’s eight-axis table, the most complex of scanning tasks can be performed and captured in a single point cloud.

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