SMARTTECH 3D SCANNER USED IN THE CREATION OF KRONES PRODUCTION LINES IN USA
Krones company is a renowned global supplier of automatic production lines for filling and packaging. The main North American engineering center is located in Franklin, Wisconsin, USA.
The specific of Krones case study can presented based on the bottle production and filling line, where the entire technological process is focused on the bottle. Each project starts with the design of a bottle itself. Basing on its shape a range of equipment for particular applications is selected that will create a unique production line.
In the design process, Krones engineers encounter technological and design barriers related to the requirement to individualize the appearance of the bottle and the quality of its manufacture. The first step is to create or modify a physical prototype model that will be accepted by the end customer. The next step is to transfer it to computer software in order to create appropriate production forms and obtain a CAD model used in the quality control process on the production line. Efficient and precise representation of the approved model is the key to further conflict-free work on the client's project.
In earlier years, Krones company used a manual measuring arm with a laser scanner for measurements. However, this process was time-consuming and due to this has been a bottleneck in the design process. This prompted Krones to look for a different technological solution among many manufacturers of 3D scanners.
SMARTTECH 3D was among the invited guests. The engineers performed a demonstration measurement of several bottles. 3D scanning was carried out on site at the Krones factory. A SMARTTECH UNIVERSE 5Mpix scanner was used for all measurements.
Due to the large variety of bottle shapes, Krones was looking for the best option to increase throughput while reducing the workload of engineers. The higher accuracy of the obtained models was also important. The result of the benchmark was the final selection of the SMARTTECH 3D scanning system. The decision was dictated by the possibility of full automation of the process eliminating the need for manual scanning by the operator and the high quality of received data. An additional advantage was also the dedicated SMARTTECH3Dmeasure software included in the system with the option of generating virtual cross-sections and saving them in .IGES and .OBJ formats.
After the implementation of SMARTTECHs’ 3D scanner, the mold making process efficiency was doubled and the quality of the measurement results increased significantly. Another positive aspect of using the device was the elimination of manufacturing defects and errors. Krones was aware that, even small change in the shape of the bottle was connected with high risk of errors on the production line. Having efficient 3D scanning device has prompted Krones to implement the process of controlling the geometry of the bottles by scanning the sample piece from each batch with a 3D scanner. Comparison of the reference model with the produced one, presented in the form of easy to read colored deviation map gave Krones engineers feedback that was used to optimize the created final version of designed production line. Concluding, purchase of new 3d scanner has resulted in time/cost reduction and increased the satisfaction of companies customers.