Digitizing Cast Parts with Laser Scanners VULKAN measures coupling components optically

To dampen dangerous vibrations in ship engines, elastic couplings must be precisely tailored to the needs to each individual ship and its engine. Therefore, the models and varieties of couplings from the manufacturer VULKAN, which produces couplings and gear systems, are appropriately diverse. To exactly analyze this great diversity of couplings, the company looked for a fast and accurate solution to digitize them – and opted for a T-SCAN CS laser scanner from ZEISS.

How Vulkan succeeds with ZEISS Solutions:
ZEISS colin3D
ZEISS T-SCAN
Success:
  • Quickly and precisely digitized
  • Production process accelerated
  • Rejects and rework reduced

Digitizing Cast Parts with Laser Scanners from ZEISS

The Challenge: Measure a large variety of couplings

The couplings in the RATO S product line from VULKAN consist of several cast parts. To achieve the required elasticity, two of these castings are joined in a technique known as vulcanization. The problem: technical drawings and actual cast parts did not always correspond 100%. This meant that the employees needed additional time to rework them. To improve the production process, the first thing that was needed was an exact analysis of the cast parts. "We have over 40 versions and sizes in this product line," says Andreas Ladwig, Junior Lean Production Officer. "We would have needed years to capture their geometry using slide gages." A faster and more exact approach was required.

Andreas Ladwig, Junior Lean Production Officer, and Ralf Redecker, a colleague from the Vulcanization department, examining a coupling segment.
Andreas Ladwig, Junior Lean Production Officer, and Ralf Redecker, a colleague from the Vulcanization department, examining a coupling segment.
The optical distance display makes scanning easier.
The optical distance display makes scanning easier.

The solution: ZEISS T-SCAN CS manual laser scanner

VULKAN introduced a T-SCAN CS laser scanner from ZEISS. This digitizes the topography of the workpiece with 210,000 single points a second. The data capture software from ZEISS generates a 3D model of the workpiece from these point clouds. The operator first mounts the cast parts on a vise in the production area. During the scanning process a ZEISS T-TRACK CS+ tracking camera mounted on a stand nearby records the points captured by the laser scanner in a virtually clamped coordinate system.

“With the T-SCAN CS laser scanner from ZEISS the scanning went quickly and the data were complete."

Andreas Ladwig, Junior Lean Production Officer

High measuring speed thanks to the manual laser scanner from ZEISS

The benefit: Fast digitization, fewer rejects

Ladwig and his colleagues compared the CAD models with the scans using the INSPECTplus software from ZEISS. They then updated the 'old' CAD models and sent them to the cast parts supplier. They subjected the 'new' cast parts to initial sample testing via a laser scan. "It's all incredibly fast," says Ladwig. "If my colleague scans in the morning and I have time for the analysis in the afternoon, then we can complete the initial sample testing for the component in a single workday. We used to need weeks to do this." The optimization process has led to a major reduction in both the reject rate and in the time and effort required for reworking.

Ralf Redecker, an employee in the Vulcanization department, digitizes a coupling segment using the T-Scan. There are already initial signs of successful process optimization.
Ralf Redecker, an employee in the Vulcanization department, digitizes a coupling segment using the T-Scan. There are already initial signs of successful process optimization.
About VULKAN

Founded in 1889, the family-run VULKAN GROUP has been in business for more than 125 years. Today the company has around 1,200 employees at twenty different sites worldwide. VULKAN COUPLINGS is the most profitable of the company’s three divisions. Its focus is on diesel-engine applications in shipping and generator systems. The challenge: diesel engines produce vibrations which could severely damage the drive shafts without the use of dampening couplings. This requires a challenging combination consisting of a power transmitting mechanism, offset compensation and torsional vibration damping. This is one of the core competencies of the family-run company. For more than 50 years, VULKAN couplings have been used throughout the world in all types of ships.