Labeled as “the first-ever direct scanning laser tracker”, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division recently released the Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600. It is meant for digital localization and inspection of large parts and surfaces that are out of range of a traditional handheld 3D laser scanner, touch probe or reflector.
While a familiar concept in the surveying industry, target-less 3D scanning is new to the world of metrology-grade laser tracking. This means the new solution can now combine reflector measurement and direct scanning, resulting in a complete picture of the assembly, while reflector measurement delivers a more accurate position reference. The new product offers an essential combination of direct scanning and reflector measurement that eliminates the need for a reflector at the point of measurement.
The new solution is targeted at metrology applications, with a focus more on “measurement usability and processing speed”, when compared to its predecessor, the portable Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL. The ATS600 is characterized by the first ever Scanning Absolute Distance Meter (ADM), used for accurately locating a point in 3D coordinate space. The ATS600 produces a (customizable) measurement grid that defines the target measurement surface, using the measurements of various points in space. The ADS600 can locate a point to within 300 microns from up to 60 meters away. The instrument also comes with the PowerLock function, that allows an interrupted line-of-sight to the measurement target to be automatically re-established with no user interaction required.
Use cases and product integration
Hexagon’s laser tracker systems provide high-accuracy probing, scanning and reflector measurement for large-scale inspection and assembly applications, such as surface inspections in the automotive body shop to large-volume measurements in energy industry installations, or metrology-guided automated aircraft assembly systems.
Metrologic Group, a 3D inspection software and electronics provider, has already integrated the ATS600 with its Metrolog X4 measurement software, that analyzes large volumes of point cloud software. In addition to this, the ATS600 has also been integrated with Metrolog X4 i-Robot, an inline robotic inspection solution that’s based on a high-speed acquisition laser scanner attached to a multi-axes robot wrist. The solution is used in automotive, aerospace and their sub-contractors for the manufacturing lines metrology control.