Sticker-free high-accuracy measurements with a handheld system?
For years, the metrology market has seen an increase in the number of solutions that rely on sticking targets along the part to be measured in order to accurately determine the positioning of each section and detail. The process consists on strategically placing these targets on the part and then using a camera (usually an extra to the measurement system, requiring more investment) to collect data about the location of the stickers. Only then is the user able to start measuring.
Maybe you’ve wondered why it is that, even after several years, we’re still looking at the same kinds of solutions. Well, the answer is simple: because the company who has the alternative isn’t sharing it with their competitors.
Imagine having to measure a medium sized part of about, let’s say, 2m wide. You look at your options: you consider an articulated arm, and read in its specifications that the measurement volume for that particular arm is 15m3. Perfect! That would do the job. But, wait, your part is 2m tall. Can the arm reach the top? And your part has features on the inside that also need to be measured. You realize that you will have to move either the part or the arm structure in order to complete your measurements – maybe more than once.
You then consider a different option: a hand-held solution that promises the convenience of measuring your part without the movement restrictions of an arm. There’s a catch though: stickers – lots of stickers. And extra equipment to be able to use the stickers. Why didn’t anyone mention that during the demo? So you’re left with deciding between moving your part, moving the measurement equipment and risk leap-frogging, or spending a ridiculous amount of time playing with stickers.
That’s where Metronor comes in. For the last 30 years they’ve been developing coordinate measurement systems that are portable and do not require the use of stickers to get high electro-optical volumetric accuracy.
What’s unique about these products?
Their cameras are able to read the position of the hand-held, cable-free probe real-time as you move it, and so the software can process where each feature of your part is. Knut Åmdal, Metronors VP Technology explains: “Metronor systems use a technology based on a special mathematical optical modelling method that sets it apart from other products in the market. Electro-optics and photogrammetry (the science of precisely determining the location of items based on images) let us accurately calculate where the handheld probe (called Lightpen) is located relative to the camera – both in terms of position and orientation. ”
Why is this life-changing?
“Because instead of taking 1 hour preparing for the measurement process, you can use that hour to measure your part, start to finish”, Knut says.
Meet Metronor One
Metronor just released Metronor One, their youngest family member, ideal for anyone who needs to measure within a 2.5×2.5×2.5m volume. The main differentiator from the other Metronor product lines, besides the limited working volume, is the fact that Metronor One was developed with people who have never used a measurement system in mind. “We wanted an out-of-the-box solution, that even people without 3d measuring experience could start using effectively and immediately”, explains Steve Hull, VP of the Industrial Business Unit in Metronor. “We kept receiving requests to develop a product in our line that could replace medium sized arms, started at a low price point and were so easy to use that anyone would be able to benefit from, regardless of their experience or field of work. With Metronor One the measuring process is fast and reliable – and you can measure even in polluted environments. Just take Metronor One out of its box, switch the PC and Lightpen on, place the camera on the tripod and start measuring” he adds. “Another unique feature is that we don’t have any hidden extras when it comes to pricing: your system arrives ready to use – software, laptop and all necessary parts included.”
The first Metronor Ones will be delivered in the beginning of the Q2 2018. You can visit the website for more information about Metronor One and their other solutions.