Based in Gamo of Shiga Prefecture, Daihatsu Metal Co., Ltd. Hino Plant (Daihatsu Metal Hino Plant) is an integrated manufacturer that develops, produces, and processes automotive aluminum casting parts. Through managing and verifying its manufacturing process, the company hopes to ‘design a process that delivers only quality components’, so that finished products can sail through inspection checks smoothly. As part of this effort, Daihatsu Metal’s Hino Plant uses FARO’s portable 3D measurement devices to manage its molds in pre-production stages, and to inspect and manage finished product quality.
Even in a highly-mechanized plant, important tasks are still carried out manually.
Daihatsu Metal had previously already implemented a FaroArm at its other plant in Izumo. Once, the Hino Plant asked the Izumo Plant for assistance to cope with the heavy measurement workload. The team at Hino needed help to meet a deadline and their colleagues from the Izumo Plant produced the measurements for them in a timely fashion. The results were also presented in color map reports, which made it simple to understand. After this incident, the team at Hino conducted a review and decisively purchased a 6-ft FaroArm for their facility in July 2014.
The FaroArm is an arm-type 3D measurement device with multiple joints, which enables it to make 360° rotations. Due to its high degree of freedom, the device can acquire measurements of complex casting parts in a short amount of time. In addition, the non-contact laser scanner mounted on the FaroArm allows a user to fully evaluate the shape of a mold or product, as opposed to just having discrete measurements of selected points. The data obtained by the scanner can then be compared to existing CAD data, with the results presented in the form of a color map.
Scanning an automotive part with the FaroArm.
Before Daihatsu Metal introduced the FaroArm at its Hino Plant, the parts and molds were either evaluated with a fixed coordinate measuring machine (CMM), or with a manual method that determines angles based on two-dimensional (2D) drawing calculations. The results collected by the fixed CMM were typically presented in the form of points and numerical values, which took considerable time to evaluate and verify. In cases of non-conformance, the operator would have to identify the exact location of the problem area, and the extent of the disparity. As for the other method, calculating composite angles from 2D drawings was very time-consuming, amongst other things.
Commenting on the measurement results obtained by the FaroArm, Mr. Masakiyo Terasako, Manager of the Quality Control Division, Kawanishi and Hino Plants, said, “Evaluating shapes from a series of numbers takes time. However, when results are presented in color maps, all it takes is one glance to determine ‘good’ or ‘bad’. With this, verification can be done in a short time.”
Mr. Takemura, whose full-time responsibility is to take measurements, highlighted the merits of non-contact measurements. He said, “As compared to using the fixed CMM, I take only about one-third of the time with this new device. The FaroArm significantly reduces the number of man-hours. Given that the laser scanner evaluates the entire object, there will never be a case of ‘overlooked measurements’, or concerns over human error in pass-fail test judgment. Color maps facilitate our internal and external communications, whether with overseas affiliates or between departments. I find that it makes for faster and more accurate communications.”
Non-contact scanning allows complex shapes to be evaluated against CAD data.
In the casting of products, it is reasonable to say that the accuracy of the final product is dependent upon the accuracy of the original mold. Since the FaroArm can be deployed anywhere, the device may be used at the production site to measure molds, which are complex to dismantle and relocate. On one occasion, Daihatsu Metals discovered defects on its products and found it necessary to check the molds that manufactured those parts. However, it would have taken too much time to dismantle the molds, just to transport it to the measuring room. By bringing the FaroArm to the mold, the team established that the mold’s surface had become wavy over time, which then allowed the team to repair it.
Besides using the FaroArm for judgment calls and trend management on first articles, the team at the Daihatsu Metal Hino Plant also started using the device to compile a database for the molds they owned. Mr. Terasako said, “The portability of the FaroArm allows us to measure molds right where they are, and is a real benefit for large molds that are difficult to transport.
The ability to save the scanned data of the molds’ dimensions can help us establish a standard in future, to verify the wear-and-tear on molds, and to manage these changes through time using measurements that we take periodically. This is extremely important as good products come from good molds.”
He concluded, “We are now focused on enhancing the quality of individual aluminum casting parts and on improving our manufacturing processes. In future, we hope to take on jobs and to add more value for our customers.”
Daihatsu Metal Hino Plant is an integrated manufacturer that develops, manufactures, and processes automotive aluminum casting parts. The company’s main customers include Daihatsu Industries, Toyota Motors, Toyota Industries Corporation, and Nabtesco Corporation, among others.
In order to achieve its motto – “Quality is made in the process” – the company conducts employee training and information-sharing sessions regularly, so as to ensure ‘5S’ (Sort, Systematic Arrangement, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) on-site and design processes that deliver quality components.
For more information, please visit http://www.d-metal.co.jp.
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