June 11, 2013

In-line measurement of flat profiles and shaped wire


Flat wires are used in medical equipment to minimise catheter profiles. They also serve as safety wires or helix coils for guide wires. Profile wires are today indispensable in sectors of industry such as aerospace, watch and jewellery making and dentistry; in other words, wherever there is a demand for absolute precision and an extremely long service life.

Shaped wire can be used to quickly create near net shape complex geometries and profiles at a significantly lower cost than with other production methods which require finishing work such as abrading. Grooves and edges? Not a problem with shaped wire.

Although flat profiles and profile wires can be used in a huge range of environments, all application areas have one thing in common: mediocre quality is not an option. Manufacturing tolerances are extremely tight, the surfaces of the cold-rolled profiles must be cleanly worked and exhibit no anomalies.


Ensure a precise form and top quality material


Keeping in mind the demands on material quality and a very low tolerance of deviations in form, it is clearly important to monitor production closely and raise quality testing to include as many available methods as possible. Manual measurements are still widespread today, because intervention in the production process remains problematic. In these cases, the measurement of height and width is restricted to the skilled worker’s sense of proportion. The procedure does not just interrupt the production flow but also consumes valuable time and involves a certain margin of error. And only very few manufacturers can still afford to make errors.

Contactless in-line measurement of profile shapes has always proven difficult. The majority of systems equipped with laser or CCD cameras measure the shadow height of a product. This, however, is subject to heavy fluctuation if the product is not precisely aligned with the laser beam. A 1° angle of twist deviation may already lie outside the permissible tolerance range. So how can perfect production of flat profiles and profile wires be ensured?

Our answer is in our product range. It includes various solutions for in-line height and width measurement of profiles which are able to measure with extremely high precision, regardless of position and twist, and thus. NO worries about incorrect measurement. Robust and compact measuring systems can easily be integrated in existing production lines. Measurements are performed using either laser technology or the light-cut method with image processing.Measurements are performed using either laser technology or the light-slit method with image processing.


Measuring with laser technology

Our ODAC® laser measuring heads measure the height and width of any profile without contact and ultra-fast (1,200 measurements/s). The extremely dirt-resistant scanners ensure maximum error detection and permanent calibration – incomparable with manual measurement methods and, in view of tight manufacturing tolerances, an advance in quality in every respect.

The pivoting mechanism of the DVW 1 support rotates the ODAC® laser measuring heads mounted on it continuously around the measuring axis within +/-2.5° , +/-5°, +/-7.5° or +/-10°. Extremely accurate measurements are ensured by the continuously pivoting motion of the laser heads together with the electronic “minimal value detection” of the relevant dimension.









With the DVO 2 oscillating device for ODAC®, the angle can be increased to +/-50°, thereby ensuring maximum possible measurements of profile dimensions. The values acquired from the DVW 1/DVO 2 and ODAC® are processed via a connected USYS system and used for automated production monitoring.


Measuring with the light-cut method

Product quality can also be assured using image processing profile measuring systems. Our PROFILEMASTER® PMM 30/50/80 are non-contact in-line and off-line high-tech systems for measuring profiles. The CCD megapixel gigabit Ethernet cameras used measure fields with diameters of within 30, 50 or 80mm. One to six laser / camera modules continuously measure the cross-section of the moving profile. A powerful PC-based processor adds the cameras’ partial images, consisting of straight lines and curves, together to yield the momentary cross-section of the profile. All relevant dimensions such as width, height, thickness, angle and radii are added together to form the full cross-sectional picture.


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