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Delcam has added a new module to its Powerinspect inspection software that enables the creation of efficient inspection sequences for use on dual-column CNC co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

According to the company, the combination of a dual-column CMM and Powerinspect helps to reduce inspection times by allowing the simultaneous measurement of different features on larger parts.

The module is suitable for a range of applications including automotive body-in-white inspection, where the evaluation of a large, complex and relatively symmetrical assembly requires both intricate measurements on each side combined with an assessment of the structure as a whole.

Key information

  • In general, the dual-column mode works in a similar manner to the single-column CNC version of Powerinspect: models are loaded in the same way and inspection items are created using the same methods.
  • An additional programming operation is needed to distribute the various items to be inspected between the two columns.
  • Additions to the offline programming and program-running capabilities provide tools for moving inspection items between the two columns to balance the inspection time needed for each one.
  • To ensure safe operation of the CMM, the collision predictor within Powerinspect checks for possible collisions between columns by calculating their moves as the inspection proceeds and comparing their future positions in space and time; if any overlap is detected, the inspection is stopped and a warning displayed.
  • The dual-column version of the software offers the same inspection routines for taking simple measurements, for assessing geometric features and for analysing complex 3D surfaces.
  • The resulting reports present detailed information in an easy-to-read format that can be understood by engineers and inspection specialists alike.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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