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Delcam to show easier inspection software at CMSC

The new mirror command in Delcam’s PowerINSPECT 2012 saves programming time for symmetrical components

Delcam will demonstrate the 2012 release of its PowerINSPECT inspection software at the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) to be held in New Orleans from 16th to 20th July. The new version includes a number of extra options to make inspection easier and quicker, plus the addition of basic reverse engineering functionality to the point-cloud module.

PowerINSPECT is firmly established as the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software, with the 64-bit version providing exceptional calculation speed where larger CAD files need to be manipulated, especially for very complex parts and multi-component assemblies. The software combines the ability to work on all types of inspection device with a comprehensive range of measurement routines for making simple measurements, for inspecting geometric features and for checking complex surfaces. The resulting reports present detailed information in easy-to-read formats that can be understood by all engineers, not just inspection specialists.

One option in the 2012 release offering significant time-savings, as well as improved ease of use, is the new mirror command that has been added for symmetrical components. This allows the inspection sequence to be mirrored from one half of a component to the other half, or from the left-hand version of the design to the right-hand copy. The new feature also reduces the possibility of programming errors and improves the consistency of the results between the two halves or parts.

The range of dimensions that can be displayed on the model has been increased to include more types of distance, angles and diameters, and radii. The options to display the various dimensions from the increased range have been made more versatile, to ensure the reports remain easy to read with only the required dimensions shown.

There are two important additions to the PowerINSPECT 2012 point-cloud module for laser scanners and other point-cloud devices. STL export provides basic reverse engineering functionality for scanned data. The STL files can be used within Delcam’s PowerSHAPE Pro design software for more advanced reverse engineering operations. Point-cloud display has been enhanced with an option to show any back-facing points in a second colour. This highlights any discontinuities in the data, including gaps or other problem areas, and so makes it easier to identify areas that may need re-scanning to capture the complete model.

Of more general benefit is the ability to measure edge points directly; it is no longer necessary to measure the surface first. This makes the process both easier and faster. However, it is recommended that both the edge and the surface should be checked if there is any likelihood of the part being distorted, for example, when checking sheet-metal components.

The inspection of castings and forgings, and similar near-net shapes, has been improved with the addition of a new best-fit option. This centres the component within the measurement data collected with PowerINSPECT so that the largest possible minimum stock is located around the part. It ensures that positive material exists in all areas of any semi-finished part before it is sent for further machining. The option can be used in combination with the PartAligner software to minimise set-up times.

A number of enhancements have been included to give faster and easier programming, with less chance of errors. A new "lock workplane” option automatically creates a datum scheme within PowerINSPECT’s GD&T True Position, matching the part’s coordinate system, while standard tolerances for Limit and Fit to ISO 286 and ISO 2768 have been included so that they can be selected from a pre-defined list.

14 May 2012

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