Due to customer demands and fast time-to-market requirements, many manufacturers are replacing their older equipment – or installing additional new machines – in order to meet increased customer needs. As anyone that has managed a machine installation project knows, the process of erecting a large piece of machinery can be a formidable task.
Fortunately, with the capabilities of advanced (and portable!) 3D metrology instruments such as the Leica AT960 laser tracker, T-Probes, and portable measuring arms, field service engineers can quickly and accurately:
- Interpret CAD dimensions or 3D models to layout exact locations of holes, scribe lines, and positions
- Establish proper alignment foundations – level and position sole plates, verify machine centerlines, create offset baselines, and determine cross-machine reference points
- Prepare parts assembly ahead of time – bolts, holes, and anchors can very quickly be located and marked by a single technician without having to “pre-position” heavy components
- Document existing equipment, location, and alignment
- Verify alignment was achieved to OEM specifications and tolerances prior to machine start-up
Efficiency is Key to Machine Installations
With a fleet of dimensional measurement tools including Leica AT960 laser trackers, T-Probes, and portable measuring arms – as well as the mechanical capabilities required to assist with machine installations, OASIS helps customers significantly increase efficiency during equipment installation and relocation projects. Included here, are two brief project overviews where customers saved time and money by partnering with OASIS.
New Component Increases Productivity for Aerospace Composite Manufacturer
When an aerospace composite manufacturer was looking to increase productivity on one of their carbon fiber lines, they elected to purchase an additional winder component. OASIS was called in to provide alignment and mechanical support during the installation of the new equipment. Using an AT960 laser tracker and T-Probe, an OASIS metrology engineer began by locating the machine baseplates per the print dimensions. Once the baseplates were set to dimensions, 40 holes were precision marked and drilled in order to install anchors. After anchor installation was accomplished, OASIS mechanical teams positioned the forms and completed the grouting of the baseplates. A rigging contractor was then able accurately install the new winder onto the baseplates.
The OASIS team immediately began aligning all of the major components using the laser tracker. When the alignment of all machine components was set parallel and to print dimensions, the OASIS team installed scribe lines and reference targets on the component selected by mill engineers to be used as the parallel datum. These references will allow mill personnel to adjust other machine components in the cross-machine direction in order to line with the centerline of the selected component’s centerline. Next, a baseline was installed using Stainless Steel Target Bushings (SSTBs). The baseline serves as a permanent reference for all future machine alignment inspections. This facility was able to save significant time during the install of this new component which will allow them to quickly get production up-to-speed.
Paper Machine Runs New Product after Optimization of Existing Components and Installation of New Major Components
Due to evolving customer and market demands, a paper mill made the decision to optimize one of their paper machines in order to run a new product on the line. Because this significant upgrade involved relocating existing components and installing new major components, the mill hired a general contractor for the project. The contractor knew they needed highly accurate precision measurement capabilities and brought in OASIS to assist.
The OASIS portion of the project consisted of assisting with 3D imaging of the entire machine as well as detailed mapping of the location of columns and structural supports. Additionally, prior to the relocation of the existing major components, OASIS surveyed the line from headbox to winder. The largest aspect of the project for OASIS, was the collection of layout data in preparation for the installation/relocation of the components. Due to the extensive nature of the layout work, OASIS utilized four to five industrial metrology teams using laser tracker technology each shift over a number of weeks, in order to accurately locate the new soleplates and collect the layout data for literally thousands of bolt holes. Once this was completed, the new components were installed. After installation, an OASIS metrology engineer again used a laser tracker to final align the components of the entire line. The mill had zero alignment related issues upon start up.
Looking for more information on the benefits of using 3D metrology instruments for layout work? Check out our additional resources related to this topic:
Please contact us if you would like to discuss the ways that OASIS can assist during your machine installation or relocation project. Be sure to subscribe to our resources for regular updates on precision measurement and machine alignment tools, methodologies, case studies and more.