OptiCell Non-Contact Measuring System
2006 - PACE Award Winner
What: OptiCell Non-Contact Measuring System
With OptiCell non-contact measuring system, CogniTens is revolutionizing the world of quality control inspection. Previously a part needed to be carried to a climate controlled metrology room and put on a granite table to have a probe tap out a hundred points, or a laser beam map out a similar number. Alternatively, a part could be locked into a check fixture to be measured with a feeler gauge at a handful of pre-selected points. CogniTens uses an altogether different approach, employing a digital camera triangulation system that allows capture of millions of data points very quickly. Due to its processing speed and robustness, there is no need to isolate measurement from the vibration and temperature variation of the production floor. With a cycle time of only a few minutes, the system can capture complete surface dimensional data of a stamping within a robot cell, with no need for machined and certified check gauges. This offers faster, denser and more convenient measurements with a 30-micron tolerance that more than meets the needs of sheet metal applications.
CogniTens' most important innovation, however, is software that allows tool-and-die and production engineers to understand the inspection data immediately, through easy-to-interpret color-coded outputs that highlight the deviations in a measured part from a CAD file or reference part. This permits identifying sources of problems that are often missed with the limited data points provided by traditional metrology. And OptiCell requires little training. Engineers can also utilize the OptiCell software to assist in part design and assembly simulation, and it can easily be reprogrammed for design changes or new vehicle platforms. The benefits include allowing users to speed up die development time and improve quality, while eliminating much of the cost for check fixtures, and even doing away with metrology rooms.
OptiCell is recognized as an innovation which, through its software, does more than improve existing metrology. This technology is stimulating industry to rethink inspection and validation practices, to capture benefits of more checkpoints and lower sample sizes, and it invites engineers to use an innovative measuring technology in new ways that were never before possible.