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Dimensional measurement: production control and reverse engineering

by Marcello Cazzaniga July 26, 2017

Having a metrology room inside of die casting plant, focused on the dimensional control of the components, assures the requested dimensional quality of production in order to reach customer's needs in terms of lead time and minimize risks.


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 Considering the metrology room as a part of production process is an advantage: it becomes an integral part of the process, such as the design of the die, machine setting or finishing, not just a post-production control.

In terms of production the metrology room inside of die casting plant allows to manage important activities, such as:

- Constant monitoring of each production cycle
- Fast check of new projects and sampling
- Getting an overview about projects that have undergone changes over time
- Control of parts incoming from external suppliers
- Reverse engineering, both for the product and the die

To achieve these goals, a complete range of tools and innovative machines is needed, complementing the precision of a traditional CMM system with a 3D scanning one, combined with the most advanced software for inspection and statistics, allows to accomplish a complete dimensional control.

Following, you can find an analyses regarding applications of a metrology room inside die casting process.

Constant monitoring of each production cycle
Pieces are dimensionally tested when they are still in the production cycle to ensure the correct quality. Products are taken directly from the die casting machine for dimensional and statistical controls: to cyclically evaluate the dimensional quality and, in general, to continue monitoring the reliability of the process.

Fast check of new projects and sampling
A constant dimensional control activity, especially in the project start-up phase or sampling phase, it is strictly necessary to reduce time and costs. Having a metrology room inside the plant allows real-time control of the pieces produced to immediately confirm the precision of the process or, in the opposite case, to have a real-time response in order to make changes or updates in production cycle.

Getting an overview about projects that have undergone changes over time
In case of dies or products previously designed and developed by a different supplier, it could be necessary to analyse and check them to ensure the dimensional quality required by the customer. In fact, without similar controls, the new supplier could face the same issues. This kind of analysis is essential to avoid this situation. Instead, by getting a complete analysis of the project, the new die caster will be able to act directly for updates, ranging from simulation software to machine settings.

Control of parts incoming from external suppliers
Having a metrology room inside of die casting plant could be also really useful in case of complex products, that need to be assembled with other components from a different supplier. In fact, in addition to the control of produced pieces, it is important check all the other parts of the product. This method assures to minimize risks for the customer.

Reverse engineering 
Dimensional measurements are very important in case of reverse engineering actions, both on parts and dies. It can be a helpful activity in order to analyse the market, or pieces already in production, or rebuild a component starting from the die. This methodology can be applied on different purposes, to speed up some projects.

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