Providing a way to generate missing CAD files and update or create as-built documentation, reverse engineering allows users to quickly digitize a part or object and create a fully surfaced CAD model which can then be used to reproduce an item.
Using non-contact 3D laser scanning, FARO’s portable CMM and 3D documentation solutions integrate 3D modelling processes into a single step. FARO’s non-contact measurement solutions are ideal for a multitude of reverse engineering applications including the development of virtual simulations of automotive interiors, rapid prototyping in plastics manufacturing and composite surface inspections in aerospace assembly.
FARO – the “Power to Generate” Accurate Measurements
As the world leader in the construction and maintenance of integrated power stations, Alstom estimates that one in four of the world’s light bulbs are currently powered by its technologies. Alstom has solutions for all energy sources (coal, gas, nuclear, fuel-oil, hydropower, wind, marine) and is a leader in the development of innovative technologies for the protection of the environment.
The company has multiple facilities throughout the world, amongst them four sites located in Stafford, UK. Employing approximately 1,700 staff, Alstom is Stafford’s largest private sector employer and boasts a heritage of more than 100 years and 100GW of generator experience.
Alstom is currently the No. 1 service provider for Generator Service, Monitoring and Life Extension in the UK, Alstom’s Service Area Centre (SAC) and the Local Service Centre (LSC), provide a full range of power support and services, including field service, spare parts, repair, consulting and performance improvement. In addition, Alstom’s Stafford based Generator Service Factory repairs, restores and services Generators for customers throughout the world. The impressive Generator Service facility has been designated a global “centre of excellence” for rotor coil manufacture and boasts a comprehensive customer range of specialist services. Alstom’s Stafford facility encompasses all rotor coil designs, including hard copper hollow conductor and consolidated coils, rotor revalidation, winding and assembly of generator rotors of up to 1,200 MW, with corebuilding and winding of stators of up to 350 tonnes. In addition, the factory has an advanced balance and overspeed facility capable of balancing generator rotors of up to 100 tonnes.
David Evans, Alstom Power Services Design Engineer, explained: “Our comprehensive services catalogue caters for a wide array of power plant equipment, from key components, such as turbines or generators, to instrumentation and control units.”
He adds, “As our customers demand high quality parts for power plant maintenance, we strive to continuously improve our range of manufacturing, measurement and repair techniques. We wanted to achieve higher levels of precision and speed of data capture so we invited FARO to perform a demonstration on some of our most awkward to measure, tight tolerance components and assemblies.”
“We were very impressed by the outcome of the demonstration, in terms of ease of use, accuracy and speed, we bench-marked FARO’s products against those of other measuring arm / scanning equipment manufacturers, with the FARO system proving to be the ideal contact/non-contact system for our specific needs. Following a short training period, the five team members who now use the Edge ScanArm have become extremely proficient in the use of our new FARO measuring equipment. As we have a diverse mix of measuring routines to undertake we make regular use of the ScanArm’s advanced scanning capability, as well as its tactile probing system” highlighted Mr Evans.
“As a Design Engineer with Stafford’s Design Concept team, I have found the ScanArm invaluable for the accurate reverse engineering of a wide range of complex parts and surfaces when upgrading or repairing other manufacturers’ equipment. Faro’s easy to use software is also invaluable for part verification and for undertaking measured data comparisons against CAD models” said David Evans.
FARO provides a competitive edge with laser line scanning
The FARO ScanArm combines all of the advantages of the globally popular FaroArm with the benefits of an accurate, hand-held laser scanner and provides the perfect contact/non-contact measurement system. Unlike other scanning systems, the ScanArm’s hard probe and the Laser Line Probe is able to digitise interchangeably without having to remove either component. Users can accurately measure prismatic features with the hard probe, then laser scan sections requiring larger volumes of data with one simple tool.
Non-contact measurement devices are becoming increasingly popular. Handheld laser scanners provide a quick and effective way to inspect and reverse engineer complex parts and surfaces. The advanced technology is able to translate everyday objects into digital computer models. Soft, deformable, and complex shapes can be easily inspected – without the equipment user ever coming into contact with the measured part.
Throughout the world, industries such as the power generation, aerospace, automotive, metal fabrication and tool & die manufacturing use the FAROs ScanArm for rapid non-contact inspection and quality control tasks. The range of diverse applications include CAD-based inspection, rapid prototyping, first article inspection, and reverse engineering.
Portable CMMs from FARO simplify the implementation of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and provide efficient, easy-to-use solutions for CAD-based 3D inspections and nominal comparisons.
With their versatile contact and non-contact measuring capabilities, tools such as the FaroArm, FARO ScanArm and FARO Laser Tracker can utilise CAD overlays to check complex geometries against design or CAD comparison to evaluate deviations in surface form and ensure that every part is machined to an exacting tolerance.
David Evans concludes “Given that our FARO ScanArm is relatively lightweight and portable, we are able to use the equipment within the most remote parts of our factory, and when necessary, we can transport it to our customers’ sites in the UK and overseas. Not only is it now providing enhanced levels of measuring accuracy and repeatability, our use of FARO’s ScanArm has negated the need for expensive jigs and fixtures.”
The contours, charisma and creation of supercars
Automotive Inspired by Italian renaissance heroes, legendary car designer Horacio Pagani creates the world’s most exclusive supercars by a masterful fusion of manual craftsmanship and technology.
The Argentinian-born designer Horacio Pagani, has risen to the top of supercar industry making a name for himself through his application of advanced composite materials. At Lamborghini, he worked on the designs of various famous models before founding Modena Design and starting work on his lifelong dream – the Pagani Zonda. Between 1999 and 2011, 206 variations of the Zonda were created and built. In 2011, Pagani revealed his new Huayra. It is a stunning curvaceous creation that is to many eyes, the fulfillment of Pagani’s dream to create the most beautiful car in the world. While championing a commitment to renaissance artists and hand craftsmanship, Pagani is firmly settled in the 21st century when it comes to metrology: the company owns two FaroArm Fusion systems. It also has one FARO Laser Line Probe that can be attached to either measuring arm to provide seamless Laser ScanArm functionality. With these systems, Pagani is perfectly equipped for free form surface measurement, part inspection, part-to-CAD comparison, rapid prototyping and reverse engineering.
Horacio Pagani, you started as a one-man design studio making furniture over 20 years ago. What elements of your approach have stayed constant?
Firstly, when I was about 16, I started learning about Leonardo and the Renaissance. I was fascinated by the way he mixed art and science and I wanted to do the same: to be both an artist and an engineer. That has been the consistent theme throughout my professional life. Secondly, I have always admired plastics because they allow you to be more expressive as a designer. I realised the significance of advanced composites in the eighties and we have been investing in applications of that technology ever since.
Tell us about the mixture of inspiration and technology behind your design process.
The female body was clearly a source of inspiration for the shapes of the Zonda. We work manually in the early stages with pencils and resin models. There is a charm that only the hand can give. When we have the cosmetics perfected, we use FARO 3D portable measuring systems and move into the CAD realm to deal with structural calculations and progress towards CAM.
There are 3 FARO devices in operation in your workshops. What other roles do they play?
We design and build our cars from scratch and we now manage about 10,000 distinct components. We use FARO arms and the Laser Line Probe for all kinds of tasks from reverse engineering during design to inspection and alignment during construction. They are an integral part of everything we do.
What new ambitions fuel your vision today?
I still work on many different projects covering automotive, aviation, military, sports and industrial design. Discovering new materials and new technologies still fascinates me.
Jackson Jonson Enterprise Builds Custom Services Using the FaroArm
the FaroArm as hit the ground running offering services not possible without the FaroArm,” says Bradley Smith, Jackson Jonson Enterprise’s General Manager.
Jackson Jonson Enterprise is an independently-owned, design and fabrication company based in Austin, TX,offering product design, development and manufacturing services to a wide range of clientele including manufacturers, wholesalers, entrepreneurs and individuals. Specializing in reverse engineering, design, CAD and prototyping services, Jackson Jonson works with their clients to take any idea from the “cocktail napkin” stage to ready-for-market products.
As an integrated partner in the product development process, Jackson Jonson has expanded its capabilities over the course of the past year to include digital design, product description, precision measurement and rapid prototyping capabilities for the widest range of products possible. Using a custom tailored product development cycle consisting of four stages for each of its clients (Discovery, Feasibility, Definition,
and Execution), Jackson Jonson provides assistance in all aspects of the development process from drawing, modeling, materialspecification, project research, planning and
budgeting, to patent process guidance, marketability planning, and production.
Jackson Jonson recently acquired Air Force One Performance Industries, an automotive accessory manufacturing company with several lines of air intake products. As a growing company with a focus on providing clients with the best products and designs possible, the company knew they needed to equip themselves with the latest hardware and software. They wanted a CMM solution that would ensure that product quality was up to par with their new acquisitions, as well as provide them with a flexible, easy-to-use solution for reverse engineering and modeling of existing parts.
After comparing multiple products, the decision was made to purchase the FARO Edge ScanArm. As the latest generation of the FaroArm product line, the Edge improves production, quality, and reverse engineering processes by rapidly verifying or scanning parts with confidence and accuracy. The first ever “smart arm”, the Edge features an integrated personal measurement assistant that revolutionizes portable metrology by providing stand-alone basic measurement capability through its built-in touchscreen and on-board operating system. The addition of the FARO Laser Line Probe allows Jackson Jonson to significantly increase scan coverage without sacrificing accuracy, providing exceptional speed and feature definition. “From the purchase of the product through training, and even troubleshooting simple software tasks with customer service, implementing our FARO system has been very straightforward,” says Bradley Smith, General Manager of Jackson Jonson. Primarily used for drawing mounting points and
maximum tolerances in automotive applications, Jackson Jonson utilizes the FARO Edge along with CAM2 software to measure 3D spaces and objects quickly, easily and accurately. Jackson Jonson uses their Edge to measure the engine enclosures of vehicles for Air Force One Performance Industries intake products. This allows them to gather the critical dimensions in a digital format before they ever undertake a kit development. “By calculating the envelope in 3D space that we can fit our part into, the FaroArm allows us to build parts that fit the first time,” adds Mr. Smith. The portability, automatic reporting, and accuracy are key features that they rely on. Additionally, the Jackson Jonson team utilizes the Edge to measure bent stainless steel tubes that are used in the Air Force One Performance Industries’ automotive cold-air intake kits. The Edge has allowed them to quickly find the centerline bend radii on the tubes, as well as quickly model the assemblies with accurate hole placements, weld-on attachment placements, etc. As the most cost-effective solution among its competitors, the Edge provides Jackson Jonson with the versatility and flexibility they were looking for, in addition to a simple learning curve for new users. The portability of the device and the compatibility with various software platforms has helped Jackson Jonson to quickly gather precision measurements in any number of locations.
Return on Investment
Jackson Jonson has always looked for solutions to simple problems through creative applications of materials, design techniques, and fabrication methods. By integrating the FARO Edge into their toolkit, the team has found that nearly every project they take
on starts with some use of the FaroArm. Used in applications such as dimensional analysis, CAD-based inspection, prototype inspection and comparison, alignment in machining processes, and reverse engineering, the Edge has enabled Jackson Jonson to meet their customers’ 3D measurement requirements whenever and wherever they need them. “Jackson Jonson Enterprise was started with the FaroArm in mind; we have custom-built the service we offer to the public around the capabilities we
have gained. Because of how new we are, we haven’t so much replaced a process with the FaroArm as hit the ground running offering services not possible without the FaroArm,” says Mr. Smith.