Accelerate: Oct. 2013
Turning the Lights On—Faster
Many municipalities have turned LED lights to illuminate their streets, in greener fashion. Despite the energy efficiency, the entry costs are high—in large part due to the complexity of the systems, not just the still-pricey light emitting diodes.
For Lighting Science (lsgc.com), which makes the RoadMaster street light, inspecting parts from suppliers to fit specifications has been an arduous process. The Roadmaster fixtures are built around aluminum die castings that are 2-ft long by 1-ft wide. The complex geometry of the parts would take up to a week to inspect with a coordinate measuring machine (CMM)—or about four hours to inspect each part because of the large number of points that need to be touched one at a time to validate the 3D geometry, the company notes.
Lighting Science began using NVision’s (nvision3d.com) HandHeld laser scanner to ensure their supplier parts actually match the original designs, in much swifter fashion than conventional methods.
“With the NVision HandHeld laser scanner we can, in about two hours, obtain the complete 3D geometry of a casting and compare it to the design intent to determine not only if the part meets the design intent but also whether it is trending in the correct direction,” said Richard Williams, manager of product quality assurance for Lighting Science.
The scanner is attached to a mechanical arm that moves around the object. The software allows full model editing, polygon reduction, and data output to all standard 3D packages. It takes an operator about an hour to scan the casting and generate a point cloud, with another hour to convert it to a surface model for comparison with a CAD model. Using NVision software, the scanned part can be compared with said design.