Gap and Fold Edge Analysis Revolutionized by Swiveling Measurement Device

Multifunctional profile measurement increases process security and reduces costs

Graz – Precise measuring instead of calculating an approximation – facilitated by an innovative technology for the optical measurement of gaps and fold edges. The CALIPRI profile measurement device developed by the Austrian company NextSense uses no less than three laser lines for the scanning of profiles. This allows for the swiveling of the measurement device and enables measurements from different perspectives. Thanks to its swiveling capability, which is unique on the market, the device could be advanced so that now, alongside body gaps, even the fold edges of sheet-metal body parts that form gaps can be analyzed. With this, the CALIPRI method offers a huge technological advance compared to other methods. Other methods record gaps from only a few perspectives and calculate the missing data by mathematical approximation methods – and owing to the "missing perspectives," they cannot analyze fold edges at all. The multifunctionality makes possible the continuous use of the device across all body production stages.

Less is more – at least in premium-class vehicle construction. Because less clearance means more customer satisfaction: lower noise level and improved appearance are quality criteria that influence the buying decision. With "invisible" gaps and thus more hidden and more complex gap contours, the measurement requirements do indeed grow. And it's just exactly for these requirements that the Graz-based specialist for optical sensors, NextSense GmbH, has developed the CALIPRI method. By way of its swiveling capability, the CALIPRI makes the spatial scanning of complex gaps possible. Now the method has been extended by the possibility of measuring, alongside body gaps, also the fold edges of metal sheets.

Advanced CALIPRI method

Christoph Böhm, NextSense Marketing Manager, on the rapid development: "Right after its launch, CALIPRI was an immediate huge success. A contract worth millions from a car manufacturer in the premium class was 'merely' the beginning. Spurred by this demand, we developed the method in such a way that now fold edges are measurable as well." Actually, this enhancement of the device software optimally utilizes the most notable feature of the CALIPRI method: the ability of the measurement device to swivel. Regardless of whether it is hand-held or installed on a robot arm – CALIPRI can be moved freely over the component and combines the segments recorded by the laser into a complete profile that has been recorded even deep down.

The method affords the user several advantages: The measurement result is free from mathematical extrapolations; within a few seconds, it delivers a greater accuracy than any alternative methods. Concurrently, the flexible movement of the easy-to-use device allows for the measurement of significantly more complex gap contours than were hitherto possible. An advantage that is of increasingly greater importance, as Christoph Böhm relates: "Ever narrower body gaps improve both the efficiency and appearance of a vehicle. This is reflected in tightly folded body parts and gaps with complex contours that are difficult to access. But these tight radii of a sheet-metal fold in particular are hardly measurable with existing optical methods." The NextSense method, by contrast, can do it effortlessly: Moving the device over the fold radius allows for a seamless recording and quick calculation of the desired dimensions.

Twist to view

A crucial element of the CALIPRI's mobile flexibility is the patented tilt correction. It automatically compensates for any tilts and twists of the measurement sensor. Thus the device, which weighs no more than 500 grams, can be moved freely over any gap and fold contour. But that does not yet exhaust the versatility of CALIPRI; in fact, the innovative device can be used across all phases of automotive production. As a portable device or in the production line, CALIPRI thus increases both process reliability and quality in the production process. Measurement data and test plans can be exchanged easily between the CALIPRI systems and the quality assurance system of the user. The newly implemented system enhancement for the measurement of fold edges is available not only to new customers but can be added to devices already delivered without any difficulty.

With the newly developed system enhancement of CALIPRI, NextSense once again proves its innovation leadership in optical industrial sensors, which is based on comprehensive R&D activities, both in-house and with our institutional partners.

NextSense will present the multifunctional swiveling profile measurement device CALIPRI at the Control 2014, on May 6 – 9, 2014, in Stuttgart (Hall 5, Booth 5422).

About NextSense GmbH (status: February 2014)

NextSense GmbH offers laser-based, contact-free profile measurement devices and surface inspection facilities for a broad range of industries in the rapidly growing market of optical sensors. In addition to numerous renowned companies in the railroad-traffic and railway supply sectors (DB, ÖBB, SBB, Siemens, Stadler, Bombardier, Alstom, etc.), our customer portfolio includes automotive and steel companies such as Daimler, Magna-Steyr and voestalpine. The high-tech company is a spin-off of the Austrian research organization Joanneum Research and currently employs 40 staff members at its site in Graz.

Contact NextSense:

NextSense GmbH

Straßganger Straße 295

8053 Graz, Austria

T +43 / (0)316 / 232400 – 0

F +43 / (0)316 / 232400 – 599



More from Architectural & Civil Engineering Products

All Topics