January 21, 2009
FARO, a provider of 3-D measurement and imaging technology, has won the Defense Manufacturing Excellence Award from the National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT).
The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) assembled a team to improve manufacturing methods for Naval submarine tapers and carrier propulsion drive shafts.
The team consisted of the NCDMM, the Applied Research Laboratory of Penn State University, and FARO. Their solution included developing an advanced measurement system that reduced the in-process and final inspection stages for the shafts. FARO adapted the technology and software for the solution, which employed a FARO Laser Tracker that accurately mapped the entire surface of each taper while the shaft remained on the machine tool.
The solution reportedly reduced inspection time from 72 hours to 24 hours for a 66 percent reduction over the previous method and easily transitioned to multiple shafts and shipyards. The project resulted in more consistent inspection processes, longer shaft life, elimination of costly gauge masters, and increased flexibility to accommodate design changes.