Pixargus GmbH

Pixargus: First all-side inline measurement of complex profile shapes

Precise optics and sophisticated algorithms for measuring, controlling and regulating functions in high-precision profile making – a novelty

At Metec, Pixargus will present the new PCD-X360 ME systems for measuring the complete contour of precision metal profiles through their entire circumference of 360°. With an accuracy of +/- 1 to 2 µm, they ensure 100 percent measurement of the product during running production, capturing most minute deviations from the nominal geometry.

PCD-X360 ME measures the contour of steel and NF-metals profiles with cross-sections of up to 500 x 200 mm. As the system uses several cameras to measure the complete contour, also sections with complex shapes, such as extruded profiles and roll-formed sections, can be captured 100 percent. The cameras automatically adjust to changing geometries of the work piece.

The systems are used to measure products such as precision profiles. For these products it is extremely important to have a reliable measurement of the radii and curvatures, in addition to high absolute measuring accuracy. Another application is the measurement of roll-profiled steel strip. Here it is of key importance for the production process that the individual process steps are performed with maximum precision.

Patented sensor technology

Up to twelve high-performance, calibrated cameras integrated into the sensor head detect most minute deviations from the nominal profile in real time. These systems are the first to achieve a so far unattained measuring precision between 1 and 2 µm. They can handle process speeds of more than 60 m/min. The likewise new, fully automatic lighting control of the high-capacity LED makes it possible for the PCD-X360 ME to automatically adjust to the different surface properties of steel and non-ferrous metals. The system handles matt and shiny surfaces equally well.

With its sturdy, encapsulated housing it is perfectly suited for use in the steel and NF-metals industry. The measuring head is designed with a C-slot so as to enable the system to be moved into and out of the production line while production is running. The optional DHP (Dynamic Head Positioning) sensor head follows the profile movements dynamically, ensuring that the profile is at all times within the measuring field.

As the measurement is in real time, production to nominal dimensions is attained quickly after restart of the production line. The advantage: minimized start-up loss and, as a result, reduced material use.
Additionally, the PCD-X360 ME is fitted with a comprehensive range of functions that make it possible to react to deviations from the nominal profile contour swiftly and in a targeted manner. The “shape” feature facilitates easy and quick comparison of nominal and actual values of complex curved shapes.

The system marks and stores defects. It has outputs for the control of plant components and SCADA/SPS communication features for the control of marking, sorting and cutting devices. Comprehensive analysis tools (online statistics, process capability indices Cp and CpK) provide multiple evaluation options.

Fitted with a LAN interface, the PCD-X360 ME has network-wide access to data. Via an SQL database link, SQL applications such as production schedules are available. Additionally, the system edits printable PDF reports for documentation of batch, day and shift logs and has integrated outputs for the control of machines, such as automatic laser welding machines. This ensures optimal positioning of welded seams on sections and tubes.

Operation is extremely easy. The “Setup” function reduces manual system setting to a minimum. Operating errors are reliably avoided. Also new, complex profile geometries are set up in just a few minutes.

The operators can optimally view the three modes (profile, trend or combined display) thanks to the freely and dynamically configurable monitor and the intelligent operator support.

PCD-X360 ME is an investment in the future: The modular system design and the scalable sensor head with LED light ring enables system configurations customized to the specific product range and cuts investment costs markedly.