Delcam will launch three new versions of its PowerINSPECT inspection software at the Quality in Manufacturing Exhibition to be held at the Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on 15th and 16th June. In addition to an upgrade to the existing manual version of the software, the new versions will support CNC-based inspection techniques and On-Machine Verification.
Enhancements to the manual version will make the software even easier to use and give even more versatile reporting. Improved graphics, including new shading options, will make it simpler for users to develop the required inspection routine while new options for inspection simulation will give even greater confidence in the results.
Both fully shaded and transparent models will be able to be used in reports to make the results even easier to understand. In addition, the association of proportional length needles with the PowerINSPECT coloured dots will give a clearer indication of the degree to which any point is out of tolerance.
The new CNC version will allow PowerINSPECT to be programmed off-line for the inspection of sample parts against a master CAD model during production. Previously, the software could only undertake repeated inspection cycles through teach-and-learn methods.
This new off-line programming functionality will increase the productivity possible from any CNC co-ordinate measuring machine by eliminating the interruptions needed for manual programming. Full simulation capabilities within the software will allow the proposed inspection sequence to be tested on the computer, before being transferred to the CMM.
The most obvious benefit of the PowerINSPECT version for on-machine verification is for those companies that do not have existing inspection capabilities. Most modern machine tools either come with, or can be retrofitted with, probing capabilities to assist in the set-up of the job. With the OMV version of PowerINSPECT, this same equipment can now be used for verification at little extra cost. The ability to program and simulate complete verification sequences off-line means that there can be minimal interruption to the machining operations.
On-machine verification can give huge time savings by enabling the quality of the component being machined to be monitored at all stages in the manufacturing process. This will allow any errors to be detected earlier, and so corrected more quickly and at lower cost. For example, it will be possible to check that the correct amount of stock has been left on the component after a roughing operation, rather than having to wait until all machining operations have been completed before discovering that an error has been made.
Similarly, the extent of any damage caused, for example, by a tool breakage, can be assessed accurately and a decision made immediately to determine whether the part can still be completed within tolerance or whether it will have to be scrapped.
On-machine verification will also benefit companies with customers that insist on independent inspection of their work. By carrying out an initial verification on the machine, errors can be detected, and corrected, that might otherwise not be found until after the component had been shipped to the inspector.
All of the new releases will offer all the benefits that have established PowerINSPECT as the world's leading hardware-independent software for manual inspection. The program gives both quick and easy comparison of tooling and sample components against CAD data, and produces clear, comprehensive reports that can be understood by everyone involved in the product development process, not just inspection specialists.