3D scanning seen as the ideal solution for aftermarket industries

In today’s current climate, aftermarket industries are often faced with numerous challenges involving shifting competition, digitalisation and increasing quality and compliance requirements. As a result, aftermarket industries are constantly looking to identify new approaches to overcome these challenges, one of which has been 3D scanning. This article is going to discuss which aftermarket industries are utilising this technology and its use has aided them in addressing the challenges they face, starting with reverse engineering:

Reverse Engineering

An issue that aftermarket industries have often found difficult to overcome is maintaining in-date CAD files of existing parts. Outdated files can halt the design process for any new or customised part. This then has an adverse effect on aftermarket suppliers as they are unable to sell online or integrate with manufacturers’ ERP systems whilst the design is incomplete. 

Since using 3D scanning technology though, engineers have been able to quickly capture precision measurements of an existing product then recreate this an exact, 3D model replica that can be saved for later use. The benefits do not stop there though as 3D scanning can also be used to reverse engineer competitor components to improve or expand upon existing product portfolios. 

Product Engineering

The rise in demand for new product development on parts and components seen in aftermarket industries in recent times has been the result of constant innovation from manufacturers in their respective fields. The timespan engineers have for getting these parts out on the market is growing increasingly shorter too, so demand is becoming much more difficult to facilitate. 

To combat this, aftermarket suppliers are turning to 3D scanning to speed up product development and prototyping. When working on new and highly complex parts, R&D teams will use 3D scans to digitalise manufacturers’ equipment in order to develop or optimise the parts for an optimum fit.  

Quality Control

Quality standards in aftermarket industries are forever changing and becoming increasingly stricter, whether they are required from regulatory bodies or clients. Obstacles they may be, but quality standards must be adhered to and aftermarket industries should look to align themselves with whatever is required from them. 

To do this, R&D and quality control teams use handheld 3D scanners to carry out inspection during the prototyping and production stage of a products lifecycle. By inspecting the product at such an early stage, any issues regarding the design or tooling of a part can be identified down to the root cause and ultimately be resolved swiftly. For high volume production runs in particular the use of 3D scanners at this stage of the process helps prevent any costly bottlenecks as it irons out any preliminarily issues before the product goes on sale. 

Manchester Metrology is an industry-leading metrology company offering sub-contract engineering work and metrology equipment for hire or purchase. Through continuous investment into the latest metrology equipment, Manchester Metrology now offers the Einscan Pro, Cybergage 360 and Faro UK scanners such as the Faro Arm, Faro Gage and Faro Focus through specialist contract measurement services.

In addition to Manchester Metrology’s wide range of metrology equipment, it also offers metrology software packages and runs training courses for a range of metrology software programmes. Examples of metrology software covered by the team at Manchester Metrology include; Polyworks, Delcam Powerinspect, Geomagic and Spatial Analyzer. Manchester Metrology also offers a range of metrology equipment accessories including products for Faro UK technology; all products can be viewed on our online store here.

If you would like more information about any of Manchester Metrology’s services, call on 0161 637 8744 or contact us here.

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