Scan complex shapes by simply rotating the arm without changing the orientation of the parts.
ITO Racing Service Co., Ltd. is based in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture. The company manufactures prototypes of automotive metal parts and made-to-order research items, as well as the parts for motor sports for all automobile manufacturers in Japan. The prototypes are mainly engine-related parts and involve strict confidentiality. The intricacies of such parts and prototypes require precise measurements for the manufacturing process, and ITO Racing Service maintains the confidence of automobile manufacturers by employing the most trusted 3D measurement tools offered by FARO.
Named after the company’s president, Mr. Takeshiro Ito, ITO Racing Service has established a strong reputation for manufacturing a large variety of high quality prototypes in small quantities. It all began when Mr. Ito, who had previously worked in a company that developed racecars, resigned to take on the role of a mechanic. He began to explore manufacturing racecar parts because he often experienced outsourced components arriving late. Today, ITO Racing Service has established a strong reputation as a reliable and efficient supplier. Though its main business at the time of establishment was the production of race car parts, which often fluctuates due to market needs, now its main business activities revolve around the manufacturing of automotive prototypes and occupy approximately 90% of its sales.
ITO Racing Service specializes in manufacturing prototype automotive components for various parts of the car, such as the intake and exhaust system, oil and water piping, suspension, engine, and the chassis and bodies. However, with the rise of Chinese automotive parts manufacturers and the popularity of electric vehicles, there has been a major change in the landscape for the manufacturing of metal prototype parts.
Emphasizing the key traits that set them apart from their competitors in the prototyping industry, Mr. Kouichirou Tanahashi, managing director of ITO Racing Service, commented, “Despite the huge influx of Chinese manufacturers and electric vehicles, the demand for our prototype manufacturing services has remained steady, and ITO Racing Service continues to meet customer expectations in the products that we manufacture, through our speedy and flexible service.”
ITO Racing Service offers its clients a one-stop manufacturing solution by managing all aspects of the production cycle, which includes manufacturing the metal mold, pressing, welding, assembly, inspection, and shipping.
In order to enhance their production cycle, ITO Racing Service utilizes FARO’s 3D measurement devices to streamline its measurement and inspection processes. Previously, the company introduced FARO devices, such as the FARO GagePLUS and FaroArm Platinum. In 2017, it introduced the FARO QuantumS ScanArm and the device has been fully deployed, assisting the team in a multitude of tasks daily.
Mr. Tanahashi added, “We introduced the FaroArm Platinum in 2004 because it was physically impossible to accurately measure the race car body using a gantry-type 3D coordinate measuring machine. The FaroArm offers a great degree of freedom for its users and the advantage of portability, allowing operators to perform measurements wherever required. These features, as well as the consistent performance of the FaroArm, have won us over.”
“Originally, as the priority was to hasten installations as opposed to precision, measurements using a scale were considered to be good enough in the prototyping business,” said Mr. Tanahashi as he looked back on the old days. “The introduction of the FARO Gage-PLUS was a major breakthrough in enhancing the precision of prototypes, and the earlier introduction of the FaroArm Platinum had also improved the accuracy of our company’s prototypes significantly.”
However, even the FaroArm Platinum, which had aided ITO Racing Service in bringing a variety of excellent prototypes to the world over the years, had to make way and hand the tasks over to the FARO QuantumS ScanArm.
The user-friendly features of the QuantumS ScanArm were an important factor in the introduction. Mr. Tanahashi added, “The convenience of the QuantumS ScanArm enabled fast results and an increase in operation speed. It also offered an incredible boost in accuracy when compared with the FaroArm Platinum.”
ITO Racing Service currently deploys the QuantumS ScanArm in the inspection room, where it is utilized for contact applications such as the measurements of jigs, products before assembly, products supplied by customers, and its own finished products. Apart from contact applications, the QuantumS ScanArm is also used for quick non-contact measurements of the press panel and automobile body.
Onsite comparison of the acquired scan data against CAD data.
“With the new QuantumS ScanArm, we can easily collect measurement data for analysis,” explained Mr. Tanahashi. “We are also equipped to record measurements that were previously impossible, such as allowing us to compare the numeric values of the carved metal mold against the supplied data and the pressed product. This improves our control on product quality, aids us in identifying and correcting any defects, and enables us to offer effective advice to our customers.”
Group Chief, Mr. Yuji Yamamoto, an expert in onsite inspection, shared his experience with the QuantumS ScanArm, “I was surprised that the new ergonomic design allows me to reach areas that were previously inaccessible, expanding the types of measurements we’re able to record. FARO’s software has also improved greatly with the development of the hardware. I’m glad that the software allows operators to share their valuable input and annotations on the data. But the best part of the program is that it runs swiftly, is easy to understand, and can be replayed whenever required, making it very easy to create live data. I believe that this will be helpful as we can obtain an ample amount of data, which can be used later for analysis and quality control.”
The FARO QuantumS ScanArm leverages an optically superior blue laser technology, which allows for easy acquisition of data by scanning, even with complex shapes.
“The QuantumS ScanArm has debunked the notion that numerical characters cannot be captured,” Mr. Yamamoto remarked. “Offering more than double the accuracy of previous devices, the ScanArm easily obtains the geometric tolerance that was previously a challenge. It has also reduced measurement time by 50%, and our team can now complete the task of measuring parts for five automobiles within a mere 30 minutes. This has made the QuantumS ScanArm an indispensable instrument in our endeavor to provide prompt and flexible service to our customers.” The QuantumS ScanArm halves the measurement time of the tasks — which were previously performed separately by the FARO Gage-PLUS and FaroArm Platinum, according to the characteristics of each solution — as the new device combines the advantages of both tools on a single platform.
At present, three of ITO Racing Service’s personnel are trained to operate the FARO QuantumS ScanArm. Mr. Yamamoto added, “This is a good starting point for us to train less experienced employees, because we’ve seen that even new recruits can easily learn to handle this device within a month. Having another unit of this device in our company can be very useful for improving the overall quality of our products.”
ITO Racing Service has set its sights on new projects involving products that tackle environmental issues. 3D measurement devices are expected to play a major role in the manufacturing of various types of such products across industries, including carbonization furnaces, incinerators, the ‘WCCS’ water mixture combustion systems, the ‘Cut-ene’ fuel-efficient house humidifiers, and the ‘Bladeless Rotary Blades’ for mowing machines. Though the types of machines handled may change, ITO Racing Service remains committed to providing timely and flexible services and expects its business to accelerate further with the adoption of more FARO QuantumS ScanArm devices.
In addition, ITO Racing Service is also making headway in a non-manufacturing field of motor sports. The company aims to popularize and promote interest in motor sports, through its involvement in operating the Spa Nishiura Motor Park, a racing track near Gamagori, Aichi, Japan.
Established in 1972, ITO Racing Service Co., Ltd. began its business in the manufacturing of prototype car parts designed by automobile manufacturers. The forward-looking company invests in technologies capable of enhancing and streamlining its production processes and accumulates technologies to respond to any kind of manufacturing activity.
Apart from automobile parts, the company is also expanding into new areas of business, such as utilizing the press die technology and exhaust pipe production technology for the development and sale of non-automotive related products, including its unique bladeless rotary blade for grass cutting.
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