20 November 2014–OGP’s SmartScope technology has evolved to incorporate a sophisticated array of sensors. Kenneth Sheehan, Product Manager, New Development, OGP was in Singapore recently and tells us more about its newest ZONE3 software, set to boost the performance of SmartScope multisensor systems.
Q1. What is unique about ZONE3?
ZONE3 is the next-generation metrology software that offers full 3D CAD-based programming multisensor measuring systems.
For years, engineers have designed products using CAD software, and the resulting CAD model which is a virtual copy of the part is used by manufacturing people to set up the manufacturing process. The people who measure the product – either in-process or as a finished part – want to be able to use the same CAD design as the basis for measurement.
So we’ve taken the best component blocks from QVI’s family of software products, for example the best-in-class in CAD modeling and unique algorithms for fitting and GD&T from the Kotem family, coupled with the image processing capabilities from VIEW Micro-Metrology and the 3D functionality from OGP, to improve process control feedback, and upgrade the user experience as well.
Q2. How will ZONE3 benefit users of OGP SmartScope products?
ZONE3 improves productivity by fundamentally changing the way users interact with a measuring system. It is true multisensor software, meaning that all sensors are simultaneously calibrated and available for measurement at all times. It has a simplified user interface that is very easy to learn. The set-up for each sensor uses the same paradigm. When you have learned to use one sensor, you will know how to use any sensor. 3D animations are used throughout the software to visually present the relationships between machine, part, fixture and sensors. Animated pre-views enable the user to see the results of steps before they are taken. In short, ZONE3 is not only the most capable measurement software available today, it is also the easiest to learn and use on a day to day basis. That’s where we’re starting with this new software. We’re launching it as an option for new OGP SmartScope systems to help users optimize multisensor performance. Very often, our customers want both software and hardware to function as a system at the highest accuracy level possible.
Q3. Can you tell us more about this new display technology for GD&T.
When the software debuts from Q1 2015, there are capabilities that will be in the market for the first time. There is a new patented software technology in this product. Particularly in the area of analysis, there is a standard for design and measurement called GD&T (geometric dimensioning & tolerancing.)
We’ve invented a new technology to help users understand and correctly apply the GD&T standards. GD&T is a standard used across many industries. Whether you are making aircraft parts or computer parts, GD&T provides the framework to explain how each dimension’s tolerances should be applied. Used correctly, GD&T offers the potential for significant cost savings in manufacturing. But understanding and experience is needed to make the most of GD&T. We invented a display technology that represents the GD&T standard in a way that lets the user instantly see the meaning and set up the measurement the way the designer intended, and evaluate it correctly according to the ISO GD&T standards.
Q4. What are the 3 key features of the new ZONE3 software?
- The ability to create a routine to measure a part even before the part has been manufactured. ZONE3 works with a CAD model and all the available sensors allowing the user to pre-program the part in a virtual environment. We can use video and laser and we can use contact probing – either single point or scanning – so there are many tools available to acquire the point data for each dimension of the part.
With ZONE3, the user can mix all of the tools and do the programming from the CAD model. We see the need for this from the market-programming from CAD using any and all sensors.
- ZONE3 is highly visual – 3D models and animations are used throughout to help users clearly see and understand the position and range of each sensor, and the GD&T symbols which can be cryptic at times, requiring lots of learning. Here we are using a common paradigm for programming, regardless of the sensor you are using. When the user has learned to use the laser, he will already know how to use the touchprobe or camera. This reduces the learning curve for the user. With ZONE3, we have cut training time to nearly zero.
- ZONE3 is sensor independent. We designed this software on a clean sheet of paper and we were looking ahead of the market. We used the most modern object-oriented technology. No matter what combination of sensors are on a system, ZONE3 offers the user the same capability and convenience. ZONE3 operates a single sensor system as easily as a system with a full array of sensors.