Faro Technologies, Inc., the 3D measurement technology provider, has announced that Caterham F1 Team, the Formula One team based in Leafield, Oxfordshire, chose Faro Arm ScanEdge to optimise their in-house quality control options.
The Faro Arms will be utilised in two contexts. One will be to support wind tunnel tests by checking both the dimensions and the orientation within the tunnel of model parts being subjected to tests. The other will be to bring both the manufacture and associated quality control of the patterns machined from an expo material. They are used as templates for making moulds from which carbon fire components for the team's cars are produced as well as checking the dimensional accuracy of the moulds.
From now on Caterham F1 Team plans to manufacture patterns in-house following the purchase of a five-axis machining centre that will be programmed with information derived from the Caterham Catia CAD system. The parallel purchase of the Faro arms with their probes, scanners and associated Faro CAM2 Measure 10 Software allows Caterham F1 Team to close the loop with the whole cycle of design, manufacture and checking of dimensional accuracy. Before, the team's capability to carry out dimensional quality control was restricted by the limitations of its in-house CMMs which could not be used with parts that exceeded limits of 1.2m length and 1m in width. So they were totally dependent on its contractors for checking the accuracy of larger parts.
The Faro ScanEdge Arms will also provide higher flexibility due to their portability. Tim Nolan, head of inspection for Caterham F1 Team, emphasises that they are also able to check components on the cars directly. The decision whether to use probing or scanning will depend on various factors including operator preference and the geometry of the part.
The major benefit for the Caterham F1 Team will definitely be the reduction of measurement time especially when scanning parts with large smooth surfaces. Procedures that might have taken an hour on a CMM should now need less than half an hour when using a Faro Arm instead.