Where ATOS is used

ATOS is used in the automotive, aviation, aerospace and consumer goods industries, their suppliers as well as research institutions and universities.


Casting & Forging

In casting and forging processes, ATOS 3D scanners accelerate all areas in sand, pressure and precision casting: ranging from pattern and tool construction to the molding and core-making shop all the way to the initial sample test report and the optimization of the CNC machining.

In particular during production start-ups, ATOS Core is employed for initial sampling of cast and forged parts. Thus shrinkage, distortions, and measurements can be checked precisely. Determining wall thicknesses is also possible based on the measurement data. By means of real-time measurements of component movements – the tracking – the targeted aligning of components on CNC processing machines or palettes is also possible with material allowance control. For series measurements and trend analysis, the measurement as well as the entire analysis can be automated.

The conventional marking of casted blanks can be replaced by using ATOS. Features such as height lines and punch marks can be projected directly onto the component by the 3D scanner.

In addition to casted and forged parts, models, tools, gravity dies, sand cores, and sand molds can also be measured completely and without contact by the ATOS 3D scanner.

For tools, cores, and molds, ATOS is used for inspecting the results from CNC machining. The 3D scanner also supplies data for a virtual assembly analysis as well as a check of the fit of mold halves, core clearances and sliders.


Injection Molding

In injection, thermoplastic, and blow molding process chains, ATOS 3D scanners accelerates nearly all areas from tool construction and the initial sample test report all the way to the virtual assembly analysis.

In particular during the tool acceptance tests, ATOS Core is employed for the initial sampling of the manufactured parts. The full-surface measurement results allow for a comprehensive shape and dimension control. This helps quickly analyze part shrinkage and warpage.

For series measurements and trend analysis, the measurement as well as the entire analysis can be automated. When assembling plastic parts, the ATOS data can be used to check the gap and flush as well as performing a virtual assembly analysis.

With the help of ATOS 3D scanner, not only can plastic parts be completely measured but also prototypes, electrodes, and tools.

Starting in tool construction, ATOS is employed in the inspection of electrodes and the examination of milling results. The fit of mold halves, cores, and inserts can also be checked with the 3D scanner. This makes it possible to optimize multiple cavities.

Additionally, the ATOS 3D scanner offers the necessary database for reverse engineering to create CAD data, for example after repair work or for archiving.


Blades

ATOS Core helps manufacturers and suppliers of turbine blades create components ready for serial production more quickly with comprehensive control functions at their disposal even during production.

The ATOS 3D digitizers are employed in tool construction, for example for checking milling and eroding processes on injection and casted molds. The system also supplies data for a virtual wall thicknesses analysis as well as to check the fit of mold halves and sliders. In the course of the acceptance of wax molds, ATOS is used to inspect the wax models (shrinkage, ribs, and blisters) in order to modify the molds.

Measuring the turbine blades with leading and trailing edges, root and tip geometry is easily accomplished with ATOS Core. Based on the data, analysis can be made regarding part shrinkage, warping, and bending of the blades as well as the wear of molds and tools. This makes it easy to detect slight process deviations early on.

ATOS Core is also employed for checking molds and measurements of ceramic cores, for instance for the analysis of new cores or the initial sampling. A virtual assembly makes it possible to examine the cooling channels. The measurement and inspection processes can be automated for the in-process quality assurance.

Maintenance and repair of turbines are enormous cost factors in the product cycle. In addition to the wear analysis, ATOS supports the preparation and control of the repair tasks, for instance by acquiring damaged areas, material allowance control as well as the inspection of the final repair.

When turbines are modernized or retrofitted, ATOS provides precise measurement data of the components to be replaced, e.g. turbine blades. The 3D data forms the basis for reverse engineering to CAD. Based on the CAD models, the components to be replaced can be manufactured quickly and precisely.


Tool & Mold making

Despite experience, advance calculations, and simulations, components rarely meet the requirements of the drawings after carrying out first article inspections. This is because the process parameters and deviation influences are too complex. Several iterations are often required until a tool is approved.

This time and cost consuming process prior to tool approval can be reduced significantly by employing the ATOS 3D scanner. The system combines metrology with tool making.

Based on the full-field measurement data and the clear presentation of the results as color deviations in a nominal/actual comparison to the CAD, modifications of the machine parameters (such as pressure, temperature, lubrication, holding forces, etc.) can be quickly evaluated.

A clear overview is visualized of distortions, shrinkage, and shrink marks on injection molding and die casting parts as well as spring-back, trimming and cracking on sheet-metal parts.

The dense amount of data additionally allows the flexible application of various alignment methods to the CAD coordinate system (3-2-1, RPS or Best-Fit).

This is especially important if the component cannot be manufactured in the desired quality even though the machine parameters have been modified. For tool correction, the tool maker needs meaningful measurement data quickly. The accuracy of the correction depends significantly on whether an alignment of the measurement data to the CAD dataset can be found that requires only minimal modification of the tool.

This makes it possible for companies such as Lego, Samsung, or Jabil Greenpoint to cut the startup times for product introductions by more than half.

ATOS measurement systems are also employed for the implementation and archiving of tool modifications (morphing or reverse engineering) as well as during the duplication of accepted tools (copy milling).

During running production, ATOS determines the wear on the tools and supports maintenance and repair by detecting and localizing tool wear and tear. ATOS is also used to analyze the application amount and the positioning of the repair material (e.g. welded on material) as well as the final reworking of the repair measures.


Design

During the product development process, the goal is to bring the vision of perfect design in line with economic and functional requirements. In the course of this process design models are manufactured for illustrative purposes and function analysis and can be modified several times.

The models and modifications need to be transferred quickly back into digital data for CAD/CAM/CAE software. The ATOS 3D scanner can quickly and precisely scan model geometries. Scanning of the outer contours and the interior of a passenger vehicle can be accomplished within just a few hours for example.

ATOS 3D measurement data forms the basis for reverse engineering, in particular for the reverse engineering of class A surfaces.

The control over the surfaces and the contour lines, which are key features for any manufacturer, are becoming increasingly important.

The ATOS systems offer, in combination with the GOM Inspect Professional software, suitable tools to check the precise position and form of these contour lines that are important in the design area.

The flush and gap analysis is also an important quality feature which can be checked and optimized with optical metrology during the development of consumer goods such as electronic devices or body panels and the interiors of vehicles.

ATOS 3D measurement data also forms the basis for advanced material and component testing. Thus measured component geometries serve as reliable input parameters for simulation calculations and optimized CFD calculations in the field of numerical fluid mechanics.

Employing the ATOS 3D scanner supports the shortening of design and modeling phases. The measurement data makes it possible to inspect the geometries of functional models and optimize the component reliability in simulation examinations.


Sheet metal

In sheet metal forming, the ATOS 3D scanner has established itself for the inspection of sheet metal and the evaluation of body-in-white.

ATOS is also employed for tool construction. For larger forming dies that are manufactured from blanks, the 3D scanning with ATOS offers significant time-saving advantages during CNC milling. Based on the scan data (STL networks), milling can be done directly on the actual blank geometry. The advantage lies in reducing machine run times, because for example "air milling" can be avoided.

In the course of the tool acceptance, the manufactured sheet-metal parts can be inspected immediately by ATOS Core regarding shape and dimension accuracy. In particular, trimming and spring-back, but also hole patterns and material thicknesses can be analyzed. The spring-back can be compensated in the CAD. The 3D measurement data from ATOS helps reduce the iteration loops during the tool development. ATOS is also employed for first article inspection and quality control of sheet-metal parts: hole form, trimming, spring-back, tornado lines, gap and flush dimensions, as well as other typical characteristics of sheet metal forming can be inspected again.

The measurement and inspection processes can be automated for the series production quality control of sheet-metal parts and assemblies.

Manual changes to the tool can also be measured with ATOS. Using reverse engineering, the CAD archive is kept up to date so that the CAD will correspond to the actual tool a copy of a tool to be directly milled based on the ATOS data.