Feb 22, 2017 | By David

Pioneering Swedish-Swiss technology leader ABB is the latest company to join the 3D technology revolution, announcing today that it has acquired 3D scanning company NUB3D. Founded in 1999, Barcelona-based NUB3D has built up a strong reputation over the last few years for producing high-end 3D scanning devices, which can be used for quality control in the manufacturing process. ABB hopes to expand the reach of its business by making NUB3D its new global application center for 3D metrology, which it identifies as a key part of the future of flexible manufacturing and industrial digitalization.

The acquisition of NUB3D by ABB was the next logical step after previous successful collaborations between the two companies. The FlexInspect and InspectPack projects combined NUB3D’s 3D scanners with ABB’s robotics technology, resulting in state-of-the-art quality control solutions that can be used for off and in-line inspection. Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Motion division, described the combination of robotics and software as '‘pivotal in implementing digitalization.’' 

The CEO of NUB3D, Jorge Rodriguez, also stressed how well ABB’s work complements NUB3D’s own use of digital technology, explaining that '‘ABB’s leading robotics portfolio and vast global footprint will ensure that we can make the most of our early-mover advantage in integrated robotic inspection solutions.”

NUB3D’s 3D scanning devices have been described as some of the fastest 3D metrology systems on the market, with the SIDIO XR having the ability to measure up to 9 microns in 0.3 seconds.

The technology works by shining white light on an object and using a sensor to record highly detailed surface and geometric data, which is then used to generate a high-resolution 3D scan. This image is compared to digital CAD designs for the product in question, in order to find any flaws or defects in the finished product.

This allows the inspection and quality control stage of manufacturing to be entirely automated, as well as greatly increasing its accuracy and speed. The image can also be used for reverse engineering, further contributing to the optimization of the production process. Not only does the implementation of 3D scanning allow productivity to be boosted in this way, it also affords greater scope for product variation and customization.

With the aid of NUB3D's 3D scanning technology, ABB‘s ABB Ability platform will now be able to produce quality control solutions that can be used in a wide range of industries. Aerospace companies, automobile part manufacturers, and sectors such as metals and plastics all stand to benefit from what 3D scanning has to offer. 

ABB specialises in introducing cloud computing technology to store information, networking sensors at all stages of the manufacturing process and enhancing connectivity across all areas of a business, effectively developing a ‘Smart Factory.’ The ongoing digitalization and automation of the industry, which ABB has been at the forefront of for over four decades, looks set to continue apace, and the role of 3D technology in these developments is continuing to expand.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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