LMI Technologies Launches Next Evolution in 3D Scanning and Inspection

2019-01-26
LMI Technologies (LMI), the global leader in 3D scanning and inspection, is pleased to announce the official release of three new game-changing products. All three were displayed at Vision 2018 in Stuttgart.

Gocator 2500 Smart Laser Profiler Series – Blazing Speed

With dedicated FPGA processing, advanced optics, and a high speed 2.4 MP custom camera, the Gocator 2500 sensors excel at the scanning and inspection of fast-moving parts in a compact, all-in-one industrial package at rates up to 10 kHz. Users can leverage onboard processing for 3D surface generation, 6DOF alignment, part segmentation, and built-in 3D measurement tools for feature extraction and decision making to build a full inspection solutionfrom raw image data to 3D results for 100% quality control. In comparison, “non-smart” sensors have to send profile data downstream to PCs or external controllers to carry out 3D surface generation and apply measurement tools, adding data latency and unnecessary cost and complexity.

Gocator 3504 Smart 3D Snapshot Sensor – Highest Resolution

This stereo snapshot sensor offers point-and-shoot 3D in a compact, industrial form factor that delivers exceptional resolution. The Gocator 3504 leverages a number of technology advancements in order to achieve a high level of performance at 6.7 micron XY resolution with a Z repeatability of 0.2 microns, and an industry-leading speed of 6 Hz (with acceleration)making it an excellent upgrade over traditional confocal or white light interferometry measurement systems.

GoMax Smart Vision Accelerator – The Next Step In Vision Performance

GoMax simplifies how factories achieve inline production speed by leveraging a new breed of computing based on the NVIDIA TX2 Jetson module. Simply add GoMax to a single or multi-Gocator sensor network to dramatically improve overall scan and inspect cycle times. Inside GoMax is a preloaded Linux OS with the Gocator Accelerator (GoX) runtime offering 3D point cloud generation and measurement tool processing optimized for execution on the 256 CUDA cores.

GoMax offers a small form factor and a low power usage of only 15 watts. Plus, setup is quick and easy. Just power up, connect via web browser, and activate acceleration for any Gocator 3D smart sensor to get improved speed.

About LMI Technologies

At LMI Technologies we work to advance 3D measurement with smart sensor technology. Our award-winning, FactorySmart sensors improve the quality and efficiency of factory production by providing fast, accurate, and reliable inspection that leverages smart 3D technologies. Unlike contact based measurement or 2D vision, our product removes complexity and dramatically reduces implementation cost.

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Eckhart Acquires PRI Robotics & Automation

2019-01-26
Eckhart, Inc. announced today that it has acquired PRI Robotics & Automation, a specialty robotic systems integrator located in Plymouth, Minnesota. Eckhart is an Industry 4.0 leader that designs, builds, and integrates turn-key systems for the largest industrial companies in the world. Eckharts suite of solutions includes AUTOCRAFT autonomous guided vehicles, collaborative robotics, 3D printing, automated conveyance & assembly systems, mechanical & electrical design services, simulation, and specialized ergonomic assembly line tools and equipment.

PRI Robotics & Automation, established in 1995, designs, builds, and integrates robotic systems for applications that include machine tending, assembly, dispensing, material removal, arc welding, and quality inspection. Located in the heart of the Twin Cities with direct access to nineteen Fortune 500 headquarters, one of the largest privately held companies in the world, and the 2nd largest medical device manufacturing center in the United States, PRI Robotics serves a diverse customer base spanning many industries and end markets.

John Quinn, President of PRI Robotics & Automation, said, “Our team has been designing and integrating highly engineered robotic systems for over 24 years. From welding safety critical products used out on the oil fields of North Dakota to completing the assembly of high precision medical devices in Puerto Rico, our team of technical experts deliver reliable solutions that make customers lives easier. As companies accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology, our team helps them build flexible manufacturing systems that improve safety, quality, and productivity by automating repetitive tasks.” Quinn continued, “With an installed base that exceeds 500 systems, we sought a partner with an established track record of bringing innovation and new ideas to coworkers and customers. The integrity of Eckharts leadership team, their proven commitment to invest locally, and their desire to expand solution offerings was compelling. Their continued investment in service and support represented a significant opportunity for both my coworkers and our customers to succeed.”

Eckhart President & CEO Andy Storm said, “This acquisition signals our unwavering commitment to Industry 4.0 and the systems expertise we believe is requisite to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies across the manufacturing spectrum. PRI Robotics & Automation will help us expand and grow our footprint in the Twin Cities region, enable unmatched local service & support for our growing list of customers across Americas heartland, and provide direct access to some of Eckharts most valued technology partners who are also located in the Twin Cities.”

Storm continued, “The unprecedented growth and continued geographic expansion of our company is a testament to the hard work of all Eckhart employees. As a team we will continue to seek out opportunities to help customers solve difficult problems and together we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies to industries that we believe will shape the future of the world.”

About Eckhart, Inc.

With over 60 years of experience and based in Warren, Michigan, Eckhart engineers advanced industrial solutions that enhance the quality of life. Eckharts proven portfolio of Industry 4.0 technology includes AUTOCRAFT autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), collaborative robotic systems, traditional robotics, assembly line design & simulation, 3D printing tool development & production, and ergonomic assembly tooling solutions for the worlds largest manufacturers. Eckhart serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers that include General Mills, Cargill, Stryker Medical, Boeing, John Deere, Bradford White, and Schneider Electric. For additional information, please visit http://www.eckhartusa.com

About PRI Robotics

Established in 1995 and based in Plymouth, Minnesota, PRI Robotics & Automation has been designing, building, installing, and servicing robotic systems for over 24 years. Core solutions include automated machine tending, assembly, dispensing, material removal, arc welding, and quality inspection for the agriculture, refrigerated transportation, medical device, automotive, and outdoor/recreational industries. As one of less than thirty FANUC Certified Servicing Integrators in the United States, PRI Robotics & Automation provides industry leading service and support to an installed base that exceeds 500 robotic systems. PRI customers include Honeywell, Medtronic, Federal Mogul, Case New Holland, ThermoKing, Toro, Horton, Bobalee, and Post Consumer Brands. For additional information, please visit http://prirobotics.com

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Students Schooled on Careers in NDT and Manufacturing

2019-01-26
Current worker shortages nationwide have begun changing community conversations about the future of the next generation and the value of trade-based occupations, according to Kate Lufkin with the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce. On Wednesday, Flathead High School sophomores, juniors and seniors got the opportunity to explore some of those trades through hands-on learning with professors at Flathead Valley Community College and tours of local businesses.

Dubbed “Pursuing the Trades,” the event, organized by Lufkin, Mike Kelly of the Flathead High School Career Center and the Occupational Trades Department at FVCC, offered an educational first look at some potential careers for the students selected to attend.

“I dare you to look around and find something that wasnt manufactured,” Lufkin said. “You cant do it. Everything has to be made and somebody has to make it.”

Todays job market, according to Lufkin, supports seven trade jobs for every one position that requires a masters degree.

The majority of the students in attendance, according to Lufkin, expressed little to no interest in pursuing a college career, but show aptitude and interest in more vocational skills.

FVCC offered a unique opportunity for those students to learn about some of the training, equipment and real-life applications for trades such as welding, heavy equipment operation and electrical work…

Read the full article at DailyInterlake.com.

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Optics How-to: The Makings of a Successful Imaging Lens

2019-01-26
Imaging and machine vision technology is under more pressure than ever to meet the increasingly demanding needs of a diverse set of markets, and truly understanding imaging is becoming quite the valuable skill. The first part of this article series reviewed how to create a specification to meet your application need and finding the proper balance between cost, development time, system size, and weight. In part two, we reviewed how those earlier decisions translate into a design and the possible trade-offs between performance-based specifications that could be required. Finding balance between the perfect nominal design and a design that can be manufactured is critical. Finally, in this article we will cover lens testing methodology and creating alignment between validating your desired performance and your suppliers production and testing processes.

SETTING EXPECTATIONS DURING TESTING

Once you have your final lens design, it is critical to set proper expectations with your supplier about everything that will happen next before you cut the orders for prototypes or production units. In the earlier parts of this series, we saw that there are many details required to create your full lens specification. The specification document for your project could be 50 or 100 entries long. What is your expectation about testing every line in that matrix? Do you actually desire or require testing on only a few critical parameters? Do you want detailed, highly granular testing reports, or is pass/fail data sufficient? Is the testing methodology, philosophy, and equipment utilized important to end goals?

Taking the time to answer these questions now can prevent issues and delays from occurring later. Make sure you and your supplier have a detailed, written understanding of how you will both validate that the supplier delivered what you both agreed to at the end of the design process…

Read the full article at Vision-Systems.com.

Image: Interferometry is used to quantify the surface accuracy of individual glass components.

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Introduction to Automated Macro Indentation Testing

2019-01-26
Industrial infrastructure components undergo time-dependent material and property degradation associated with thermomechanical loads (temperature, pressures, dynamic loads) and operating environments (corrosive media, H2) which influences the structural integrity, and in rare scenarios lead to failure. The traditional approach has been to schedule periodic inspections to evaluate defect size, location and statistics which is represented as solid line in bath tub curve.

The emerging trend is to go beyond traditional risk-based inspection (RBI) to knowledge based inspection (KBI) which aims to understand mechanisms and use information to schedule the next inspection, represented by the dotted line in the bath tub curve. The benefit of this approach is an increase in plant availability factor as well as extended operational life beyond design limits.

AMIT (automated macro indentation test) falls in the category of knowledge-based inspection system.

What is AMIT ?

AMIT, automated macro indentation test, is a technique used for in-situ determination of key mechanical properties of components, such as yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), strain hardening exponent (n), hardness (BHN) and fracture toughness (KIC). This technique was jointly developed by Ducom Instruments in partnership with NML, Jamshedpur.

Read the full article at Azom.com.

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SuperSoniX – A new UT Couplant with a Historic Name

2019-01-24
In May of 1940, Floyd Firestone, a Professor in the department of Physics at the University of Michigan, filed US patent 2280226 in which he described an instrument for the detection of flaws and measuring thickness in metal objects. Dr. Firestone used the term “Supersonic Vibration Waves” to describe what we now refer to as pulse-echo Ultrasound Testing (UT).

The term “Supersonic Inspection” was used in reference to UT officially until the first manned aircraft flight by USAF Captain Chuck Yeager exceeded the sound barrier of 768 mph in October of 1947. Captain Yeagers flight in the Bell X-1 “Rocket plane” became known as supersonic flight. Gradually the term Ultrasonic Testing replace d Supersonic Testing in NDT.

Echo UltraSonics new water-based gel couplant, SuperSoniX, is named in honor of Dr. Firestone and his work which gave rise to our world of UT.

SuperSoniX is our third-generation acrylic polymer water based couplant that improves on the electrolyte stability and reduces the tendency for the polymer to collapse when exposed to corrosion or marine salts. In practice this means less reapplication of couplant during a test procedure, especially on objects that are exposed to the environment.

SuperSoniX offers several benefits, including; a broader operating range, a slower evaporation rate, a longer drying time, improved stability against corrosion salts and is environmental and operator friendly.

While many couplants will couple sound and perform adequately for the same inspection, often one will deliver performance that will make a significant improvement on inspection reproducibility and defect detection (the #1 goal of UT). The right couplant can minimize couplant re-application during an inspection, reduce total time for the inspection and lower cost. Let us recommend the most appropriate couplant for your application and temperature range.

Contact Marian (360) 671-9121 or [email protected]) for more information and free samples. We have over 50 years of history developing and manufacturing most of the couplants in use yesterday and today and can help in selecting the best couplant for your specific application.

Echo Ultrasonics, LLC / www.echoultrasonics.com / Bellingham, WA USA

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Improving Inspection Processes with Wireless Technology, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning

2019-01-23
In August of 2018, TechKnowServ approached Workpad LLC to investigate possible solutions for an automated pipe wall thickness data collection and analysis system. TechKnowServ has a number of customers who utilize a diverse selection of pipe components in the field, including elbows, tees, and connectors used to pump drilling fluid at elevated pressures. These components have a limited working life, and are inspected both when new and at regular intervals for wall thickness, corrosion, and defects.

The current method of using ultrasonic thickness gauges in the field resulted in many inefficiencies and inaccuracies in the data generated by the field inspectors. Transferring data manually with memory cards to a stand-alone computer was slow, and offered no ability to securely store data and analyze at scale.

TechKnowServ endeavored to build an integrated inspection, data collection, and analysis system which could improve the efficiency of this process and create a repository of useful data which could provide not only a history of individual parts, but also predict expected service life of components. The goal was to enable customers to predict the service life of parts and assemblies segmented by manufacturer, part geometry, operating environment, and other factors.

Download the case study and learn how Workpad implemented an automated system with machine learning capabilities to improve the process and accurately predict in-service lifetimes of piping components.

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CWI Prep Courses MN and TX

2019-01-23
Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) Exam Prep Courses Offered in Texas and Minnesota

(Baxter, MN) The interest and talent entering into trades have dropped in the past decade at alarming rates. Mechanics, welders, plumbers and more are now in more demand than ever before and the numbers are dwindling.

To help encourage more people to invest their time and energy into these trades, the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC offers quality training and exam prep courses to help ensure students have the best chance of success possible. Now, the company is proud to welcome John Pariseau to the AINDT team as the Director of Curriculum Development and the instructor for all AWS related Prep courses.

“Our CWI Exam Prep Course starts with a 60-hour online course that students are able to move through at their own pace,” stated American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC spokesperson Don Booth. “The online part of the CWI exam prep course covers the fundamentals of welding technology, which was established by the American Welding Society as well as in-depth training in the navigation of welding codes. This in-depth training into the welding code part of the exam is based on the code selected for a students AWS exam, AWS D1.1 or API 1104. The training coincides with Part A and C of the CWI Exam.”

“The remaining 40 hours of your exam prep course takes place in either Houston, Texas or our Baxter, MN facility,” continued Booth. “This part of your training consists of extensive, practical hands-on visual inspection techniques that meet the specification of the NEW Part B of the CWI exam, in addition to extra lectures, study preparation, as well as practice exams covering welding fundaments and codebook portions of the exam.”

After the online training is complete, students are given the opportunity to take the AWS CWI exam at the training facility on Saturday directly after completing the CWI Exam Prep Course.

More information about the courses offered, as well as the new staff member can be found by visiting the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC website.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING, LLC

Dedicated to providing high-quality online and hands-on training for individuals and companies, the American Institute of Nondestructive Testing, LLC is continuing to enhance their services and offerings.

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Pioneering NDT Researcher Retires from Penn State

2019-01-18
During his 45 years of teaching, with 27 of them at Penn State, Joseph Rose often used storytelling and his own lifes lessons in class to help students transition from academia to the “real world.” Now, Rose has added a new chapter to his story retirement.

An international leader in the fields of wave mechanics, ultrasound and ultrasonic guided waves, Rose served in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) since 1992 as the Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing in the College of Engineering. He has applied for a professor emeritus position within the ESM department.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Penn State and all my years of teaching the work was like being on a vacation every day, as I could work on projects or teach courses that I was passionate about,” said Rose.

During his time with the department, Rose was the principal adviser to 40 doctoral students and more than 60 masters students. He has been honored by the University for his teaching and research with a 2011 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award, a 2002 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Premier Research Award, a 1997 PSEAS Outstanding Research Award and a 1996 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

Rose has also received numerous industry awards for his innovative work in ultrasonic guided waves for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring, including the 2014 Roy Sharpe Prize from The British Institute for Non-destructive Testing (BINT), the 2014 Mentoring Award from the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), the 2011 International Society for Optics and Photonics Smart Structures/ NDE Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2006 ASNT Research Council Award for Innovation and the 2003 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nondestructive Evaluation Engineering Division Founders Award. He was also honored for his accomplishments in ultrasonics at the 16th U.S. National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 2010.

Rose began his academic career at Drexel University as an assistant professor in 1970. In 1988, he was named Albert and Harriet Soffa Professor in Mechanical Engineering, a position he held for three years. While at Drexel, he advised 20 doctoral students. Rose also worked in industry for several years at Hale Fire Pump (known today as Hale Products) and SKF Group.

He earned a doctorate in applied mechanics from Drexel University in 1970 and a masters degree in applied mechanics from Drexel Institute of Technology (DIT), now named Drexel University, in 1967.

Rose is a Fellow of ASNT, ASME, BINT and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He holds 30 patents, has authored five text books and published more than 600 articles on such topics as ultrasonic NDE, wave mechanics, medical ultrasound, adhesive bonding, pipe and tubing inspection, bridge and rail inspection, composite material inspection, ice detection, structural health monitoring, signal processing and pattern recognition. His publication work has received more than 18,000 citations.

Rose is also the founder and chief technology officer for Guidewave (FBS, Inc.), which plans, designs, builds and maintains guided wave solutions for pipeline, rail, aviation, power generation, manufacturing, civil infrastructure, natural gas and oil, nuclear and military industries.

At Penn State, Rose taught a class titled Business Opportunities in Engineering, where he alerted students to the many entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship paths to success. One of his most famous quotations for both engineering and business students that hell be remembered for is “Failure is on the path to success. If youve never failed, it means that you are not doing anything.”

Rose said he will certainly not be sitting still in his retirement. He intends to continue guided wave research and product development as it relates to structural health monitoring. He also plans to interact with Cliff Lissenden, professor of engineering science and mechanics, and the departments four new ultrasonics faculty members.

He also will spend more time doing the things he loves spending time with his family, being involved with church activities, golfing, reading and enjoying the mountains and seashores.

“I will miss many things and many people, but mostly, I will miss my interaction with graduate students and helping prepare them for successful careers,” he said.

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IIA Field Services Appoints Darren Billings as Director of Sales

2019-01-18
IIA Field Services (IIAFS), a subsidiary of Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA), is pleased to announce the hiring of Darren Billings as Director of Sales.

Billings joins IIA Field Services with over 18 years of sales experience in the industrial industry. He will be responsible for directing sales and marketing efforts, including the development and publishing of IIAFS many great stories and the industry problems that they address. Darren will also be accountable for expanding the effectiveness of the existing revenue producing team, as well as developing and building a highly effective sales organization. Darrens appointment supports IIAs strategic direction of expanding further into the markets that we are in and developing a reliable method of reaching prospective clients who really need what we offer.

“We are excited to have someone with Darrens experience join the team to support the growth initiatives of IIA Field Services. The addition of Darren brings another level of knowledge and a track record of organically growing business,” says Zach Bailey, General Manager of IIA Field Services.

Most recently, Billings served as the Founder and CEO of Atlas Inspection Technologies, LLC, an IIA company that provides critical information, solutions and equipment to clients in the petroleum refining, pipeline, power generation and related industries that require unparalleled reliability, safety & environmental control. Billings intends to integrate marketing with sales so that customers can find and know IIAFS prior to sales involvement.

“I am looking forward to the work that lies ahead,” states Billings. “My goal with Field Services will be to grow our ability to sell all our services. This company has many fantastic offerings. I intend that the people and customers who need to know about us, will know about what we provide them and when they do our sales and revenue will naturally expand rapidly.”

About IIA Field Services

Established in 2017, IIA Field Services is known for their field radiography and field NDT services to the midstream, infrastructure, and fabrication industries. Field Services meets customers needs to ensure continued operation of critical assets. Their NDT solutions achieve this standard by combining state-of-the-art technology with more than 30 years of industry experience.

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