How To Perform First Article Inspections in Under 10 Minutes

Verisurf inspection software uses CAD for rapid inspection work
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 0 comments

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) have been around for a long time. But the goal of transforming to full model-based definition (MBD) has been elusive. That is using CAD models with associated embedded information to define the part. One of the key disciplines where it has not been incorporated is in Quality Control. While organizations have partially employed model-based methods for CMM (coordinate measuring machine) inspection, most QA departments have continued to rely on drawings, manual techniques, and other non-digital means to complete the process. But now, moving the enterprise towards a fully model-based process not only yields technical and process control benefits, but it can also greatly reduce the time and cost of inspection and buy-off of manufactured goods. Most companies would jump at the chance to reduce their first article inspection (FAI) time to a few minutes instead of hours or possibly days. Today, Advanced Manufacturing model-based inspection with a modern metrology platform is the solution.

Fast First Article Inspection is performed in 4 quick easy steps:

1. Load CAD model – Import CAD model into metrology software – about 1 minute.

2. Align – using CAD-based metrology software, such as Verisurf, quickly create automated alignment by picking targets on CAD features (datums), then run the routine by probing each target on the part as directed by the metrology software’s CAD display – about 2 minutes.

3. Inspect – probe the part by taking data on each feature to be reported, with modern metrology software this process is simple and fast since the user is provided live feedback throughout the process, no need to pause to interpret anything. What should be emphasized is the analysis ability of the metrology software, how fast, how easy with PDF screen shots and reporting with color deviations for In-tolerance and Out-of-Tolerance conditions. Time to complete about 5 minutes.

4. Report – modern CAD-based metrology software automatically formats data for reporting and uses the CAD model for nominal data as well as GD&T with PDF photo snapshot of the part, in Color ! – approximate time 1 minute.

Job Complete !

With a properly prepared CAD model an operator should be able to both set-up and complete the alignment routine in less than 60 seconds. Metrology software should be self-sufficient, and come with built-in capability to prepare the CAD model without any help from Engineering. Model-based inspection for fast first-articles can be speed-up even more with the addition of further automation. With advanced software applications, one can import the CAD model, pick features on the model via mouse clicks aided by clever visual indicators, and fully automate the inspection process. There should be no need for advanced training or special programming languages. This provides the ability to create a routine that does not require high levels of operator skill and is easily performed in just a few minutes. The bonuses do not stop there. The automated routines insure a totally controlled process, one that is repeatable and is well-suited for SPC reporting.

Fast first article inspection begins with a CAD model. These days one almost always exists since everything is designed in CAD and is very often manufactured via Mastercam CAM technology using Haas CNC machining or some other computer controlled or robotic process. Any modern model-based inspection software system such as Verisurf should have a robust, powerful CAD engine that provides an easy means of importing the CAD model accurately and fully intact. Since most prime contractors deal with several vendors and since most sub-tiers supply to many customers, the software must be able to work effectively with CAD models originating from all popular CAD platforms.

There is a common misconception that model-based inspection adds complexity and cost compared with traditional methods thought to be simpler and less expensive. In fact the contrary is true. While there is some capital investment required for a modern digital inspection device and CAD-enabled metrology software, so to are the multitude of hand tools, drawings, mylars, check fixtures, and other enabling equipment needed with older manual methods.

Newer techniques with lower cost, more flexible hardware such as portable CMM arms used in conjunction with modern model-based inspection software offer considerable productivity improvements and cost savings for manufacturers of all types of products.

Verisurf 3D CAD-based Metrology Software is a Industrial software company. With diversified clients such as Boeing, SpaceX, NASA, General Atomics, GE Energy and General Motors, including their supplier base. The need has never been greater for skilled technology persons. To support the skills demand from Verisurf industrial customers, Verisurf supports educational institutions with software, hardware and curriculum packages for continuous skills training. The need is constant for the next generation to fill the pipelines of hiring needs our industry customers demand for technologists, with Quality Control skills using Verisurf Coordinate Measurement Machines; Portable CMM Arms and Laser scanners that compliment Verisurf CAD based metrology software. Another attribute, like Verisurf is the ability to operate many popular CMM types and models from around the world. One software powering multiple types and styles of CMM equipment.

Verisurf encourages educators and students to visit Verisurf EDU web links and You Tube videos for customer case study applications.

Article first introduced March 2009, Quality Magazine,

Ray Elledge
Verisurf 3D Measurement Solutions
ph: 7143812322


Leave a Reply

HTEC Terms and Conditions
es fr pt

Terms and Conditions

Your access and use of the Haas Automation - HTEC Network website (the "Site") ( is subject to the following terms and conditions ("Terms and Conditions") and all applicable laws. By accessing and browsing the Site, you accept, without limitation or qualification, the Terms and Conditions and acknowledge that any other agreements between you and Haas Automation, Incorporated are superseded and are of no force or effect.

1. You should assume, unless otherwise noted, that everything you see or read on the Site is copyrighted and may not be used, except as provided in these Terms and Conditions or in the text on the Site, without the written permission of Haas Automation, Incorporated. Haas Automation, Incorporated neither warrants nor represents that your use of materials displayed on the Site will not infringe rights of third parties not owned by or affiliated with Haas Automation, Incorporated.

2. While Haas Automation, Incorporated uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up to date information on the Site, Haas Automation, Incorporated makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Haas Automation, Incorporated assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content on the Site.

3. Your use and browsing of the Site is at your risk. Neither Haas Automation, Incorporated nor any other party involved in creating, producing, or delivering the Site is liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages arising out of your access to, or use of, the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, everything on the Site is provided to you "As Is," without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non infringement. Please note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so some of the above inclusions may not apply to you. Check your local laws for any restrictions or limitations regarding the exclusion of implied warranties. Haas Automation, Incorporated also assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages due to computer viruses that may infect your computer equipment or other property on account of your access to, use of, or browsing in the Site, or your downloading of any materials, data, text, images, video, or audio from the Site.

4. Any communication or material you transmit to the Site by electronic mail or otherwise, including any data, questions, comments, suggestions, or the like, is and will be treated as non confidential and non proprietary. Anything you transmit or post may be used by Haas Automation, Incorporated or its affiliates for any purpose, including but not limited to reproduction, disclosure, transmission, publication, broadcast, and posting. Furthermore, Haas Automation, Incorporated is free to use any ideas, concepts, knowhow, or techniques contained in any communications you send to the Site for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to developing, manufacturing, and marketing products using such information. Images of people or places displayed on the Site are either the property of or used with permission by Haas Automation, Incorporated. The use of these images by you, or anyone else authorized by you, is prohibited unless specifically permitted by these Terms and Conditions or specific permission provided elsewhere on the Site. Any unauthorized use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

5. Unless otherwise noted, the trademarks, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on the Site are registered Trademarks of Haas Automation, Incorporated. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on the Site without the written permission of Haas Automation, Incorporated or such third party that may own any Trademarks displayed on the Site. Your misuse of the Trademarks displayed on the Site, or any other content of the Site, except as provided in these Terms and Conditions, is strictly prohibited. You are also advised that Haas Automation, Incorporated will aggressively enforce its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law, including the seeking of criminal prosecution.

6. Haas Automation, Incorporated has not reviewed all of the sites linked to this Site (if any) and is not responsible for the contents of any off Site page or any other sites linked to this Site. Your linking to any other off Site pages or other sites is at your own risk. Although Haas Automation, Incorporated may from time to time monitor or review discussions, chats, postings, transmissions, bulletins boards, and the like that may appear on the Site, Haas Automation, Incorporated is under no obligation to do so and assumes no responsibility or liability arising from the content of any such locations, nor for any error, defamation, libel, slander, omission, falsehood, obscenity, pornography, profanity, danger, or inaccuracy in any information contained within such locations on the Site. You are prohibited from posting or transmitting any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic, or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law. Haas Automation, Incorporated will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing Haas Automation, Incorporated to disclose the identity of anyone posting any such information or materials.

7. Haas Automation, Incorporated may at any time revise these Terms and Conditions by updating this posting. You are bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to review the then current Terms and Conditions to which you are bound.

(or press ESC or click the overlay)