A constructor of special machines and made-to-measure tools, Numireal checks the dimensions of its products with a FARO Edge measuring arm. This has enabled Numireal to become immediately operational, despite a lack of measuring experience.
Created in mid-2011 by its parent company, Cadbaz, Numireal manufactures a wide range of parts, tools and special machines, mostly individually, and with dimensions that range from a few dozen centimetres to several dozen metres (up to 48 metres to date…). The strategy adopted when it comes to checks is directly linked to that selected for production, as Thierry Docquier, manager of Numireal, explains: “By equipping ourselves with the latest generation of machine tools, we decided to focus on mastering the manufacturing process. We regularly check the settings of our machines, and this guarantees high production quality.” It is thus possible to considerably reduce or even eliminate checking of manufactured items. The focus then moves
to checking at the end of the manufacturing process; in other words, on the structures and machines assembled.
When it came to deciding on a checking method, those in charge at Numireal knew something about the direction to take because they had observed the methods implemented by subcontractors used previously by Cadbaz for the production
of equipment designed by its research department. “We didn’t hesitate. It was clear that the laser tracker and the measuring arm would best suit our requirements and our strategic choices when it came to checks,” says Xavier Muszak, head of production
at Numireal. For reasons of investment capacity, the company opted for a measuring arm. An initial analysis revealed several constructors offering an acceptable solution. “FARO was the most responsive and took a close interest in our needs.
Technicians from the company came to do a demonstration on our premises, in our industrial context,” explains Xavier Muszak, who appreciated this visit all the more since the company is not situated in a region specialising in mechanical manufacturing.
Moreover, the FARO measuring arm was a pledge for the future: “Eventually, to gain time and ensure more precision when it comes to checking lengthy structures, we will acquire a laser tracker; we have known from the start that this will be a FARO model, because it will use the same measurement software (CAM2 Measure) as the measuring arm. We will thus be able to capitalise on this software and preserve our investment,” continues Xavier Muszak. Events went on to confirm these careful preparations. FARO provided training on site, involving four people for two days. In addition to theoretical aspects, this training was targeted to the needs of Numireal, and practical work focused on concrete cases (in particular the adjustment of tools). This all adds to time saved later! Numireal was seduced by how simple the arm is to use. Numireal and Cadbaz have put in place a complete digital chain with no paper plans. The dimensions that need checking are defined directly using CAD models of the piece. The importing of the CAD models (realized using Catia) into the FARO measuring software poses no technical problems.
The Edge model used by Numireal from the FaroArm range covers a working volume of up to 2.7 m, with a repeatability of 0.064 mm. It is possible to extend the measuring volume thanks to the “leap frog” technique, which consists of moving the base of the arm along the piece, taking down reference points before and after each movement. “But you lose fractions of a millimetre
(several hundred) with each movement. And when you have to check a machine that measures a few dozen metres, this becomes important! It is here that the laser tracker comes into its own, and where the measuring arm complements the laser tracker perfectly. With the Edge arm and its seven axes, we can gain access to points that are difficult to access, which is impossible with a just a laser tracker, which digitalises what it sees,” concludes Xavier Muszak.
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