When an urgently needed, brand-new tool suddenly failed for its customer, German 3D scanning company Lometec digitised the mould tools using GOM scanning systems so that precise, rapid reworking was possible.

The customer produces, among other things, thermoplastic weather-proof housings designed for use in extreme climates. When the quantities in demand began exceeding the existing tool’s capacities, the company commissioned construction of a second, identical tool—and that’s where issues arose.

Initially the new tool was delivered and worked fine, as verified by 3D scans of the samples of the housing as part of the quality inspection process. Process capability was validated, and the customer was able to begin production with two tools at once.

But shortly after starting mass production with the second tool, it proved prone to faults. The tool manufacturer responded promptly and supplied spare parts—but these did not match precisely, making it impossible to simply exchange them, or to swap over the parts between the two tools.

The affected parts were scanned and measured, with the data then be used to rework the imprecise spare parts. This involved comparing the old parts with the new ones and returning all the parts to the customer again as quickly as possible, so they were able to maintain production with one tool at least.

Before conducting the measurements, the parts were cleaned, removing residues such as grease, then high-precision reference point markers were added. These ensured that the GOM software joins the separate scanned images correctly.

The GOM software used the 3D scan data from first tool’s parts to generate a 3D point cloud. Scan data from the second tool was used to compare the two tools actual-to-actual. The direct comparison clearly highlighted the differences between the two tools, and made it possible to modify the tooling mould inserts, so allowing them to be exchanged.

See the full Metrology News story here.