Konica Minolta introduces Non-Contact 3D Digitizer RANGE7

KONICA MINOLTA RANGE7, a Non-Contact 3D Digitizer with 40µm accuracy and the high reliability required for industrial applications

Konica Minolta Sensing, Inc. (Hiroshi Furukawa, President; hereinafter referred to as “Konica Minolta”) is proud to introduce the Non-Contact 3D Digitizer Range7, a high-accuracy instrument for measuring the three-dimensional shape of subjects such as forged or cast parts, press-formed parts, plastic parts, etc.

Product:Non-Contact 3D Digitizer KONICA MINOLTA RANGE7
Start of sales: Planned for latter half of March, 2008

3D digitizers are equipment that perform the work of scanning a physical object (such as a part, mockup, etc.) to obtain three-dimensional data and uploading that data to a computer.

In 1997, Konica Minolta introduced the VIVID 700 (known as VI 700 in Europe), a compact camera-type non-contact 3D digitizer that utilizes laser light for non-contact instantaneous measurements of the three-dimensional shape of objects. Since then we have led the non-contact 3D digitizer market with the introduction of the popularly-priced VIVID 300 (VI 300) and the VIVID 900/910 (VI 900/910) for diverse industrial applications as well as measurements of cultural artifacts and the human body. Further, in 2004 the high-accuracy VIVID 9i (VI-9i) was added to the lineup and has been evaluated highly in the R&D and manufacturing areas of for industries involved with cast or forged parts, press-formed parts, molded parts, and mold or die manufacturing.

With the recent spread of 3D CAD, it has become common to exchange information and specifications in terms of 3D data rather than on the previous drawings basis. Further, along with the need for high-level quality control in manufacturing, there are also demands for catching and solving problems at an early stage in the development and initial manufacture of parts and products. Against this background, the market for non-contact 3D digitizers has expanded rapidly from being centered on the automotive industry to a wide variety of manufacturing fields, and this has been accompanied by increasing demands for higher accuracy and reliability.

The new KONICA MINOLTA RANGE7 continues the VIVID (VI) concept as the first product of a new series of high-performance instruments to meet the needs of the market. It utilizes a 1.31 megapixel CMOS sensor and provides the highest level of guaranteed accuracy1 for a non-contact camera type digitizer: ±40µm in ball bar2 accuracy evaluation according to VDI/VDE 26343.

1 Accuracy: Measuring instrument accuracy expressing the error limits under defined conditions.

2 Ball bar: Equipment for evaluation of accuracy, consisting of a bar to which balls have been attached to both ends.

3 VDI/VDE 2634: Optical 3D Measurement Systems testing guidelines issued by Germany in 2002.

The employment of testing methods utilizing ball bars is planned to be included in the proposed Japanese Industrial Standards related to the testing of CMM (coordinate measuring machines: equipment that measures three-dimensional coordinates by contact or non-contact methods) which are currently in the process of being defined. For the industry pioneer RANGE7, Konica Minolta has introduced testing using a ball bar calibrated by AIST based on VDI/VDE 2634 Part 2, one of the strictest standards. This testing is performed for all RANGE7 units. In this way, high reliability is ensured for manufacturing areas (particularly those requiring high accuracy such as reverse engineering from development to prototype stage or verification that the produced object matches engineering drawings) in a variety mechanical processed parts fields including general forming such as cast or forged parts, press-formed parts, extrusion-molded parts, etc.

AIST: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology; Japanese public research organization established to conduct research on measurement standards and fundamental industrial technology, with the aim of exploring new industrial fields and popularizing research results.

The Konica Minolta RANGE7 offers not only high performance but also excellent operating characteristics. It has a compact, lighweight (approx. 6.7kg) design that is less than 1/2 the size and weight of previous models to provide high mobility at measurement locations. The RANGE7 can take high-speed scans of approximately 2 seconds per shot, and utilizes interchangeable lenses to provide a broad scan range.

In addition, it is equipped with a multi-focus mode driven by advanced focusing technology available only from Konica Minolta to enable high-quality measurement results to be obtained with ease. Plus, the RANGE7 offers improved operating characteristics, such as a 3D preview function to let users quickly predict what the measurement results will be like, a navigation function to guide users through the measurement process in the software, etc. so that even people who have never before used a non-contact 3D digitizer can operate the RANGE7 smoothly.

Konica Minolta takes full advantage of the high-speed, high-accuracy 3D measurement technology cultivated over its long history and its diverse accumulated experience to offer a valuable solution for applications in manufacturing fields from research and development to the factory floor.

Product features

1 Provides high accuracy of ±40µm* and high reliability unaffected by the environment where it is used

Utilizing a new 1.31 megapixel CMOS sensor that can detect finely detailed shapes as well as newly designed optics, the RANGE7 achieves the highest level of guaranteed accuracy for a non-contact camera type 3D measurement instrument, with an accuracy of ±40µm* according to ball bar accuracy testing based on VDI/VDE 2634 guidelines.

In addition, the RANGE7 has been designed with the concept of on-site use, minimizing the influence of instrument tilt, temperature changes, etc. at the time of measurement in order to provide high reliability in actual use environments such as in factories, etc. Further, the new sensor and original measurement algorithm provides an expanded dynamic range. Even objects with gloss, such as metallic surfaces, etc. can be measured.

2 High-speed scanning of approximately 2 seconds per shot and various other new functions provide improved operating characteristics.

Original high-speed processing circuits enable high-speed scanning of approximately 2 seconds per shot. TELE and WIDE lenses can be interchanged according to the measurement subject to provide a broad scan range.

In addition, the RANGE7 is equipped with a 3D preview function that lets users predict the measurement results and check for scan area depth, dead angles, scan problems due to surface conditions, etc. beforehand to greatly reduce scanning mistakes. Plus, the autofocus (AF) function has further advances that only Konica Minolta could provide, with a multifocus mode that automatically shifts the focus position to provide sharp, high-accuracy 3D measurement data and a point AF function that adjusts the focus to the point specified by the user, enabling scanning work to be performed without being concerned with fine positioning of the measurement subject.

3 Compact, lightweight (approx. 6.7kg) design is less than 1/2 the size and weight of previous models.

The size and weight of the RANGE7 are both less than 1/2 those of previous models, and the compact, lightweight design enables the camera and controller to be integrated in a single body weighing approximately 6.7kg to provide high mobility in measurement environments.

In addition, when the optional special stand is used, the RANGE7 can be easily moved about and measurements taken when necessary for stress-free work. (Of course, as with previous models, a tripod can also be used.) Plus, user calibration can be performed with the RANGE7 mounted on the stand.

4 Newly developed scanning software can handle large volumes of data and provides improved operating characteristics.

The newly developed 3D data-processing software RANGE VIEWER controls RANGE7 scanning and provides editing functions from measurement data alignment to merging. RANGE VIEWER employs a new GUI that provides seamless operation between scanning work and scan data editing work. In addition, RANGE VIEWER is Windows Vista 64-bit compatible, enabling the handling of large volumes of data. Plus, the navigation function displays operating methods and procedures in a navigation window, so that even first-time users can operate the RANGE7 quickly and easily.

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