The ability to program inspection machines well in advance of the prototype stage is helping Jaguar shorten leadtimes from drawing board to forecourt. UK manufacturer LK has supplied the enabling technology by upgrading the measuring software in Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant.
Called CAMIO, the software is able to import the solid models of new car components directly from the design department months before the first prototypes are available. The team downloads component models from the CAD department with points marked where measurements will need to be taken at the prototype and production stages. Using the models, inspection programs are prepared in the early life cycle of a new car – all in line, says Jaguar, with its concurrent engineering philosophy.
With previous CMM software it was impractical to program off-line as graphical models could not be imported and it would have been time-consuming to work from the drawings. Engineers therefore had to wait for the first prototypes before being able to program the CMMs using the teach-in method.
Now, when the prototypes arrive, all programs have been written and need only minor editing before measuring cycles are run. Cycle time can vary from 10 minutes to three hours, taking in anything from 20 to 400 inspection points. Feedback of results to the engineering department is therefore much earlier than before.
Major vehicle assemblies are checked on an LK Metre 4, while individual panels and trim are measured on smaller CMMs. All of the CMMs at the plant have been retrofitted with the software package in a project valued at around £75,000.
A Jaguar specific feature enables measured results to be sorted automatically and given weighted scores according to how far out of tolerance a feature is. Pictorial reports are automatically produced from the imported model, a process which is seven or eight times faster than before.
LK Tel: 01332 811349; Fax: 01332 850149
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