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Empowering the QA Technician with Intuitive 3D Optical Inspection Tools



3D optical measurement tools are valuable for Structural Health Monitoring since they allow non-contact and precise analysis of the surface structure of an object. Traditionally these inspection tools always suffered the following challenges – (1) the long-learning curve necessary for a technician to master the effective operation of a tool (2) the time required for the operator to interpret measurement data, and (3) accessibility of the object of interest. This paper highlights how a focus on solving specific and chronic problems drives efficiency gains for measurement analysis; how implementing lessons from usability engineering and device response-times enables a more seamless, more productive and more enjoyable customer experience; and finally, how the use of augmented reality (AR) techniques makes measurement equipment easier-to-use. The 8tree® family of application-specific 3D scanners will be referenced to showcase a practical implementation of the aforementioned features. The relevance of this approach to both automated and operator-based vision equipment will be discussed in the context of quality inspection in Aerospace manufacturing, Aerospace maintenance and Oil & Gas industries. Ease-of-use also extends to the manipulation of the unit by the operator, in a way which is comfortable, convenient and safe, in particular when the object is too large to be brought to the measurement equipment. The challenge is to provide a portable unit that doesn’t compromise accuracy and precision. Applying usability engineering has a positive impact not only on efficiency but also on quality and repeatability of results. The effectiveness of this approach will be shown with data gathered in Gage R&R [1] analysis. The results show that the influence of the operator can be kept small even for a complex metrology instrument. The integration of the methods described above is illustrated in 3 case studies for measuring fastener flushness, dents and surface alignment.

doi: 10.12783/SHM2015/258

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