Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Best Practice : Laser Cell/Waterjet/Fabrivision
(equipment: Behrens combination laser/punch/milling machine; Jetedge waterjet cutting machine; Metalsoft Fabrivision vision inspection machine)
Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) utilizes a combination of state-of-the-art machining technology and software to produce, inspect, and in some cases, reverse engineer flat sheet metal parts. Using Numerical Control nesting software (Optimation), the programmer and/or operator can automatically nest part programs to a specific sheet size and orient them according to the grain of the material for optimal bending efficiency. This part program is then downloaded to either a laser/punch/milling machine or a waterjet cutting machine. To increase quality control, RIA purchased a vision inspection machine (Fabrivision). With this machine, a flat sheet metal part is placed on a glass table. A series of cameras scan the part and produce a two-dimensional drawing which can be digitized to show critical dimensions. This drawing can also be overlaid onto a template drawing with any out-of-tolerance areas highlighted in color. This allows the programmer/operator to see at a glance any problem areas that need to be addressed before the part is set into production. This inspection procedure takes approximately 10 minutes on a simple part.
All current part processes in the Laser Cell have been reviewed and 368 of 682 parts have been converted to this new technology. First year direct labor savings totaled over $120,000 in setup hours and standard run hours. RIA also realized a substantial savings by the elimination of several part moves, manufacturing operations, and inspection operations from part processes.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.