Companies rely on their suppliers to create and deliver custom-made parts. If these deviate from the specified dimensions, significant problems can arise during assembly. Companies therefore often inspect the components received from their suppliers by internal quality inspection or have them checked by third-party service providers.
Bombardier Transportation, now Alstom, which is located in Hennigsdorf, Germany, builds rail vehicles. It also integrates supplier parts and complete assemblies on the trains. These products are delivered from all over the world and subjected quality inspection before installation to ensure that no problems arise as the vehicle is being assembled.
Recently, a toilet cabin had to be measured. For the first delivered cabins, quality inspection tests of some of the parts was carried out in order to ensure the functionality of the door. The aim was to find out if there were any deviations from the original specifications as well as encourage the suppliers to further stabilise their manufacturing processes in order to improve the quality of delivered products.
An optical 3D scanner was used to digitise a complete toilet cabin, in order to document the condition of the door when opened and closed, plus the location of door drives and drill holes. Then a comparison was carried out to show areas of deviation on the physical parts from the original specified CAD dimensions.
“To ensure the proper functioning of the cabin, the door and system interfaces were examined with the 3D scanner. In particular, the dimensional shape and position tolerances were checked and adjusted.
“We were able to optimise the setting specifications and compensate for deviations in the geometry. Systematic adjustments, primarily on the door drive, ensured that the process would work reliably during final assembly in the vehicle,” said Winfried Hellwig, Concept Engineer at Bombardier Transportation.