As long as a 0.0003in tolerance is acceptable, Faro Technologies can deliver a compact, portable and easy-to-use alternative to the CMM.

The FaroArm, as it is called, saved the day in one company where a complex turret structure for an armoured gun system needed to be checked very quickly. The turret consisted of 60 or so plate components and had dozens of brackets and other small features. A conventional CMM would have taken two weeks to inspect the turret. The FaroArm was brought to the turret and inspected it in just 24h.

The portable arm is fast because it needs no preliminary programming; the operator simply begins taking the measurements.

As the operator moves from feature to feature, he automatically creates a measurement program for the next part.

Many CMMs are still point-to-point machines, accumulating data one point at a time. The FaroArm, on the other hand, can continuously record streams of points to quickly measure surface contours. The unit’s software can also use the dimensional data to plot profiles that can be directly compared to original CAD data.

The software’s `leap frog’ feature means that although the arm has an 8-foot diameter spherical measurement envelope, the operator can start with a reference point at one end of a vehicle, measure everything within reach and then use the leapfrog technique to reposition the unit and continue measuring. The computer references the measurements to the original startpoint.

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