Lead Forensics

Using 3d Scanners to Inspect Quality of Supplier Parts

Sep 7, 2023 | 3D Scanning, Manufacturing, Quality & Inspection

Companies rely on their suppliers to produce and deliver custom parts. However, if these parts do not meet the specified dimensions, it can lead to significant issues during the assembly process.

To avoid such problems, companies often conduct internal quality inspections or enlist the help of third-party service providers to inspect the components they receive from their suppliers.

Bombardier Transportation, now Alstom, located in Hennigsdorf, Germany, specialises in building rail vehicles. As part of their manufacturing process, they integrate supplier parts and complete assemblies onto trains. These products come from various locations around the world and undergo quality inspections before installation to ensure a smooth assembly process.

Recently, there was a need to measure a toilet cabin. For the initial batch of delivered cabins, quality inspection tests were conducted on some of the parts to ensure the functionality of the door. The goal was to identify any deviations from the original specifications and encourage suppliers to improve their manufacturing processes, ultimately enhancing the quality of the delivered products.

To accomplish this, an optical 3D scanner was utilised to digitize the entire toilet cabin. This allowed for documentation of the door’s condition when opened and closed, as well as the precise locations of the door drives and drill holes. A comparison was then made to identify any areas where the physical parts deviated from the CAD dimensions specified initially.

“To ensure the proper functioning of the cabin, we closely examined the door and system interfaces using the 3D scanner. Our focus was on checking and adjusting the dimensional shape and position tolerances. By optimising the setting specifications and addressing any deviations in the geometry, particularly in the door drive, we ensured a reliable assembly process during the final stages,” stated Winfried Hellwig, Concept Engineer at Bombardier Transportation.

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