Metrolog and Silma X4 i-Robot: Taming Robot Sophistication
The KMR iiwa solution allows including quality 3D measurement directly into manufacturing activities.
Modern 3D metrology (universal software packages, measuring robots, virtual programming –see article on simulation page 4–, quick point cloud computing) makes it possible for industrials to measure directly on, or just beside the production line. With modern metrology, measurements are fast, results are analyzed in real time. This allows for important economies of scale.
Precise robot cells, capable of measuring on the production line, instantly show exact 3D defects of the parts, eliminating the need for time-consuming back and forth trips to the 3D metrology lab.
As different part models now travel on the same production line –as it is the case in the automotive industry–, 3D measurements should be able to adapt and inspect them indifferently. Those inline or beside-the-line robot cells, programmed and controlled by universal and easy-to-use software packages such as Metrolog X4 i-Robot and Silma X4 i-Robot, are quickly adaptable and able to change their trajectories according to different parts and features.
Cobots are another essential asset of the 4.0 factory, as the most common vision now is not that of a factory where machines take over humans, but where machines work collaboratively with them, safely sharing working spaces. Here too, modern metrology and better software packages are helpful. They offer the possibility to manually and intuitively program measurement robots and allow cohabitation and safety.
An example of such a collaborative interaction is the mobile and autonomous inspection robot KMR iiwa from Kuka, an independent, flexible, programmable, and collaborative tool powered by Metrolog X4 i-Robot for 3D measurement. An operator can simply “teach” the robot its measurement positions by manually taking control of the iiwa. Metrolog X4 i-Robot singly controls measurements as well as robot movements and positioning. The software is able to provide inspection orders and monitor live measurement results. This unique combination between a mobile cobot and a universal metrology software works with a live link to the plant monitoring system. All these assets allow to include the KMR iiwa directly into manufacturing activities. With such a tool, integrating measurement operations in the workflow becomes very simple, without the need of dedicating one measuring device to one kind of operation, in a fixed place.
- Video illustration on Metrolog X4 i-Robot inspecting a car body with Leica T-Scan and T-Mac devices
- Video illustration on Metrolog X4 i-Robot operating 3D inspection with KMR iiwa