American BOA, Inc. Solves Hydroformer Alignment Issues with OASIS 3D Metrology Services (2)

In the first of this two part project spotlight, we discussed the issues that Brandon Clifton, Manufacturing Engineer at American BOA, was having with one of the hydroformers at the facility in Cumming, GA. In this conclusion, we delve further into how Li Guan, OASIS Metrology Engineer, was able to identify and repair the problem using a laser tracker. 

The laser tracker that Guan used for the inspection takes points in 3D space, and then, using these points, the software creates a model of the machine and verifies its center.  “The 3D Metrology tools enable us to see things we cannot see with the naked eye”, says Guan.

By using the laser tracker, Guan was able to build the model as he inspected the machine.  The advantage to this is that it eliminates steps that would otherwise be required, such as reviewing blueprints and inputting that information into the computer in order to create the model. Additionally, because the model was created on site, he was able to immediately confer with Clifton. Clifton was impressed with Guan’s tactics from here. “What [Li] did next was immediately indicative of his expertise with this piece of equipment. First we leveled the machine, and then Li worked with my tech to move the machine to several different positions, plotting a curve of the machine’s mis-movements, which allowed us to determine the root cause of the problem.”

Hydroformer inspection

Image shows data captured by laser tracker and displayed in real-time using 3D software.

Clifton comments, “He even named the machine components with logical names that would make it very easy for anyone reading his report to associate the parts of the machine with his readings.”

“After all measurements were taken, he worked with us using the machine’s adjustment bolts and we were able to take out nearly all of the misalignment,” remarks Clifton. So much so, that the scope of the project could be expanded. What started as an alignment project on one machine turned out to be for three machines. Guan’s quick success with the machines allowed for the scope of the project to expand beyond what was originally thought possible in this two-day project timeline.  Clifton continues, “By the third machine we were ready to compare some parts. [Li] took some of the production parts, found our quality lab, and with our optical comparator he measured the angular and lateral offset of parts from four different machines in our facility, noting the results of each inspection. Then he went back out and worked with us to align yet ANOTHER machine (#3) and get its parts perfected.”

Clifton was so impressed that he sent a glowing email to OASIS corporate headquarters.

I can’t even express in words how impressed I am with Li. Not only did he perform the measurements we expected but also measured parts, crawled over/under/around and through the machines with us, made suggestions to me and my staff, explained step-by-step what he was doing and how it worked, and ultimately got our machines back up and running like never before. I absolutely will suggest your company and especially him for any future work we need to do. I wish he was in my territory or I hope the guy in my territory is as good. He is without a doubt a top-notch employee and I believe your company is fortunate to have him.

“I was surprised to receive this email,” says Guan. He said this project was no different from any other and his approach is always the same. “We can always make it better.”

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