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Using Precision Laser Scanners for Quality Control in Manufacturing


The amount of waste produced in industrial manufacturing has increased annually and is the highest in Australia, statistically. Despite the focus on recycling to create a circular economy, there is still a long way to go due to a large amount of waste we produce. Therefore, optimizing the manufacturing process to minimize waste should be the priority.

One of the most significant contributors to manufacturing waste is materials used for processing. This can be grouped into rejected products that do not conform to the manufacturing standards. For example, roofing tiles that do not fit with each other or an extra layer of thickness of plasterboard. Often, these can be referred to the processing line if manufacturers can detect these deviations during their quality control.

Quality control is essential to manufacturing, ensuring the final products meet the required standards and specifications. In manufacturing construction and building materials, the quality of materials used in buildings is critical as it directly impacts the safety and longevity of the structure. This mix of materials refers to concrete, bricks, wood, steel, stone, glass, asphalt, and insulation materials. As such, manufacturers must implement rigorous quality control processes to ensure that their products are fit for purpose and meet the expectations of their customers.

The manufacturing process must also be carefully monitored to ensure the finished products meet the required quality standards. Manufacturers not only have to implement quality control checks at every stage of the manufacturing process, but they also need to install a monitoring system to ensure that the final products are accurate and consistent with the requirements specified by the customer. This includes dimensional measurement, testing the products for strength, durability, color, and other properties, and checking them for defects or irregularities. Products must meet the required quality standards to be accepted and sold to customers.

Dimensional measurement is critical in manufacturing building materials as it helps ensure consistency, compliance, safety, and customer satisfaction. They must be consistent so that the products can fit together and function as intended. In addition, it is also to comply with industry regulations and minimize the risk of structural failures.

With the rising innovation of advanced measurement technology, engineers now have endless options rather than relying on traditional techniques such as using a digital caliper. While it is still commonly used in various measurement applications, it is prone to inaccuracy and is limited in keeping up with the production pace. Non-contact sensors may be more suitable for fast-paced manufacturing environments. Examples include:

  • Laser profile scanners: Laser scanners can be integrated into the quality monitoring systems at the end of the production line to quantitatively measure the property of materials such as thickness, edge angle, dimensions, gaps, 3D measurement, etc.
  • Ultrasonic thickness gauges: Ultrasonic thickness gauges use high-frequency sound waves to measure the thickness of materials such as metal, plastic, or glass. They are commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries to measure the thickness of components such as engine parts or airplane wings.
  • Optical micrometers: Optical micrometers detect the object dimension detecting the interruption of the light path emitted from the transmitter light source to the receiver unit. They are commonly used in manufacturing to measure the dimensions of small components such as gears or bearings.

The laser profile scanner from Micro-Epsilon, scanCONTROL, is amongst the highest-performing profile scanner due to its unparalleled precision and measuring rate. While the sensor head has an integrated intelligence controller for various measurement tasks, customers can manually program the sensor for integration into their applications. The scanCONTROL is suitable for integration in the production environment due to its compact design and flexibility to interface with industrial protocols.

Some applications of scanCONTROL laser profile scanners for measurement applications include:

Dimensional measurement is only one aspect of quality control in manufacturing building and construction materials. In some cases, manufacturers also need to determine the color of the products to ensure that they match the provided values. Failures to meet the standard set by the customers will result in products going to waste. An inline color sensor can be integrated into the production line for this application.

locally, Micro-Epsilon scanCONTROL profile scanners have been used to develop an automated inspection machine to determine the dimension and profile of plasterboards. This is done through local system integrators to design and program the interface. Some of these systems have been used in the production environment with satisfactory performance.

Contact us today at 03 9540 5100 to enquire about our products and services. Speak with one of our engineers to find out how we can assist you in improving your manufacturing process with high-precision sensors.

Product Used:

Micro-Epsilon ScanCONTROL Laser Profile Scanner

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