Delcam's latest PowerINSPECT inspection software at Make Measurement Matter


Delcam will demonstrate the 2012 R2 version of its PowerINSPECT inspection software at the GTMA Make Measurement Matter event to be held at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, Essex, on 17th October. A new module is available that allows PowerINSPECT to create efficient inspection sequences for use on dual-column CNC coordinate-measuring machines. This addition continues the drive to make PowerINSPECT the preferred inspection software for all types of metrology equipment.

This new release also continues the development of the reverse engineering functionality introduced earlier this year. The main development in this area has been an expansion of the "Digitised Curves” option to create a powerful re-engineering and modelling tool.

Improvements to the inspection functionality within the 2012 R2 PowerINSPECT release include a simplified procedure enabling users to quickly calibrate the probe assembly by probing a single point anywhere within the measuring envelope; an offset-alignment method that aligns the part with the axes of the CMM while setting the position with a single point measurement; and extra point-cloud options that make it easier to modify and reuse digitised curves and points, with options for editing, deleting and resuming measurement of the points and curves.

The automated section-measurement functionality, which was previously only available in the manual version of PowerINSPECT, is now available in both the OMV and CNC offline-programming versions.  This strategy for creating probe paths along a section of the component provides quick and easy comparison of a cross-section against the CAD model.  This type of section measurement is important for the measurement of blades and aerofoils, as well as for automotive inspection. 

The combination of a dual-column CMM and PowerINSPECT enables inspection times to be reduced by allowing the simultaneous measurement of different features on larger parts. A common application is automotive body-in-white inspection, where the evaluation of a large, complex and relatively symmetrical assembly requires intricate measurements on each side, combined with an assessment of the structure as a whole. Using this new module gives the ability to measure parts on these devices in a single coordinate system without repositioning.

In general, the dual-column mode works in a similar manner to the single-column CNC version of PowerINSPECT; models are loaded in the same way, inspection items are created using the same methods, and so on. An additional programming operation is needed to distribute the various items to be inspected between the two columns.

Additions to the offline-programming and program-running capabilities provide easy tools for moving inspection items between the two columns to balance the inspection time needed for each one. The user can switch columns in much the same way that they switch probes or tools in the standard version of PowerINSPECT.

To ensure safe operation of the CMM, the collision predictor within PowerINSPECT checks for possible collisions between columns by calculating their moves as the inspection proceeds and comparing their future positions in space and time. If any overlap is detected, the inspection is stopped and a warning displayed. This is the only reliable way to prevent collisions between columns because of factors like speed differences between the way the machines are programmed and the way they actually move.

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