ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik’s Processing business unit, based in Ennigerloh, Germany, recently announced that it had acquired a high-performance 3-D laser scanner system to improve its spare-parts optimization and quality management, and expects the system to enable it to offer additional new services.

The 3-D laser scan system, according to TKF, will handle a number of evaluative tasks that previously were impossible to perform with conventional measurement or were costly and lengthy processes. Formerly, for example, spatial representation of processing plants was possible only by photographs and drawings, but the new system allows TKF to scan large or inaccessible areas of facilities and equipment in order to create a realistic image, which can be used for variance comparisons on-site or edited afterwards by means of special software.

The system’s maximum scan width of 120 m allows for data acquisition of whole plants, at rates of more than 970.000 points per second. The virtual-reality models produced by scanning, in combination with 3-D CAD data, can be used for identification of trouble spots or for optimization potentials as well as for accelerated planning of new or replacement parts. The accompanying figure shows 3-D analysis of a crusher cone at a customer’s site by means of 3-D scanning. The wear rates of the component are marked in different colors by software, providing a precise variance comparison and an exact forecast of remaining service life. In this case, said TKF, two hours of noncontact measuring helped the customer understand and plan for future maintenance without dismantling the crusher and generating additional downtime.

To provide even more precise measurement of individual components, TKF also uses a  “scan arm” as an extension to the new 3-D system. Offering an extremely high resolution at close range, TKF said this accessory is extremely useful for rapid prototyping, 3-D modeling and reverse engineering purposes. Integrated software allows both the scanner and scan arm to be controlled from a laptop on site.