GapGun Laser Measurement System

August 22, 2017
GapGun Laser Measurement System

Third Dimension says its laser measurement system, GapGun, has proved so valuable to quality inspection at Bombardier they have bought additional GapGuns for use on two London rail services. Bombardier is using GapGun to assist quality inspection for the production of 66 train carriages - on order for Transport for London’s Elizabeth line service - and is now planning to use the system on 45 carriages for the LoTrain project for London Overground.

They are being used to build the transport manufacturer’s new Aventra electric multiple unit passenger trains, which will deliver a significant increase in capacity for London rail passengers.

GapGun provides potential savings of millions of pounds to Bombardier by enabling significantly more efficient quality checking along the length of the production line.

Operation Quality Manager, Colin Mellor, described the GapGun as a “culture changer,” which has already saved the company huge amounts of time and money.

He said: “Since we started using the GapGun we have been able to speed up the production process and check each part as we go along, meaning we can head off problems before they arise. We have recently sold our first Elizabeth line train and it’s clear from this first sale that the procurement of the GapGuns was indeed a wise investment.”

The new trains are being manufactured and assembled at Bombardier’s plant in Derby, supporting more than 750 manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships.

The firm is using GapGun to check components and the gaps, flush and radius of panels before and after being fitted.

Using the GapGun means not only is the time taken to check each panel considerably reduced, but also problems can be rectified well ahead of completion.

Mellor added: “The GapGun completely removes ambiguity and subjectivity. It is so accurate it leaves no margin of error. We can also use the accurate data the GapGun records to predict problems before they even happen.

“Plus, it’s really easy to use after just a couple of hours training and it doesn’t just measure gaps. It accurately measures flush and radius of features, which can drastically reduce the costs of having to make corrections at the end of the production process.”

Third Dimension’s GapGun has the ability to provide manufacturers with a fully auditable trail of every product measured.

The modular and portable system has a unique range of flexible and ergonomic profile measurement capabilities that use optical triangulation to measure gaps, shapes and forms, quickly and accurately.

GapGun is hand-held and can measure without ever needing to touch the surface. This maximises the accuracy and repeatability of measurements, enabling the measurement of soft or unfixed parts and eliminating potential surface damage.

Peter Rogan of Third Dimension, said: “Now with just a simple point and a click of the GapGun, measurements can be taken in seconds.”

GapGun can be used in virtually all manufacturing industries for quality inspection and has already been widely adopted in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.

The wealth of measurement data GapGun supplies is conducive to retrieving useful information that can help improve production lines in real time, to become more efficient and deliver better quality products.

Other benefits of the GapGun include:

  • The ability to measure extremely complex features, customisable to measure virtually any surface or shape, including multi-coloured
  • Total integration with customers’ existing systems and software to facilitate improved processes
  • Product quality management for manufacturers, using for example Inline view and advanced data logging
  • Complete autonomy with built in Wi-Fi
  • A range of VChange measurement sensors that offer four different field of view options, which can be interchanged quickly and easily
  • Uniquely adjustable laser cap to configure a short or split laser line to measure a range of complex features
  • Rotating sensor heads and removable standoffs for better positioning
  • Easy to view, high definition colour touch screen, with quick visual guide for the operator
  • Optimised processing power for fast throughput
  • Instant data for an enterprise wide impression of how quality is being managed
  • The ability to view performance without disrupting the operator
  • The GapGun can be used in conjunction with GapGun Link, an integrated software system, to enable results to be extracted