New wireless laser tracker automation system

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched its latest solution for automated inspection integration projects based on 6DoF laser tracker technology. The WRTL solves common configuration problems faced by customers setting up large, automated inspection systems by removing the need for a cable connecting the laser tracker and the scanner controller, opening up the possibility for the tracker and/or the scanner to be mobile through mounting on an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or automated guided vehicle (AGV). The system is particularly relevant for the large-scale inspection tasks increasingly seen in the aerospace and wind energy sectors.

Compatibility with the Absolute Scanner AS1, a 3D laser scanner launched in 2021, allows for the collection of high-density data at impressive levels of accuracy, reports Hexagon. This means a WRTL-based scanning system can deliver accuracy to within 50 µm across a volume measuring 60 m in diameter, independent of robot accuracy. Thanks to the enhanced level of freedom that the WRTL delivers to users when defining new system configurations, factories can now even run lights-out, with large-volume inspection tasks carried out autonomously overnight. When the operators arrive the following day, a measurement report will be ready for analysis, with the manufacturing process ready to proceed to the next production step.

“Before WRTL, automated inspection used to be limited to stationary cells completing repetitive and specified tasks,” explains Rodrigo Alfaia, product manager for laser trackers at Hexagon. “We’re now making automated inspection truly mobile, which was the case only for handheld applications before. Inspection can be carried out today here, tomorrow there, without drilling holes on the floor to install robot sliders or rotary tables.”

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