When it comes to job shops—small industrial subcontractors that use CNC equipment and other machining techniques to produce parts and components for larger companies—collaborative robots (cobots) are increasingly becoming a go-to technology. Many of these companies are currently faced with labor shortages that make it difficult or impossible for them to expand their staff. As a result, they are turning to cobots to automate smaller production tasks that in the past would have only been performed by manual workers.
At Automate 2022, Universal Robots’ demonstration featured a Universal Robots UR5E cobot outfitted with a Creaform HandySCAN 3D scanner. By using its motion capabilities to scan parts from various angles, the UR5E is able to automate the metrology and quality inspection process for parts before they are used in a full assembly.
After the data has been collected, 3D Infotech’s Streamline software is used to create a mesh model of the parts being scanned. From there, the mesh is compared to a 3D CAD (computer-aided design) file in Innovmetric’s PolyWorks metrology software to assess whether or not it meets all relevant requirements.
In the video above, Michael Crowley, director of engineering at 3D Infotech, provides a walkthrough of the system.