While Delcam’s PowerINSPECT has included collision detection for some time to warn users when there was a possibility of any collision between the probe and the item being inspected, users had to manually make the required changes to the probe path to avoid the collision.
With its 2015 version, PowerINSPECT software adjusts the probe path automatically if a direct move between inspection features could produce a collision. The software calculates a new motion path that avoids the obstacle, typically by moving up and over the obstruction or around it.
Collision avoidance is carried out when the initial probe path is generated, when the sequence of measurements is re-ordered, and when features are added or removed. As well as preventing collisions, automatic collision checking will save significant programming time, especially when inspecting more complex items.
The user still has the option to override the path produced by the software, which might be required if any accessories not modeled in the CAD data are present, for example, any clamps or fixtures being used to hold the part.
A number of improvements to PowerINSPECT 2015 have made both data import and report generation faster. The differences will be particularly apparent when reading large CAD models, such as a complete vehicle bodies, and when producing longer reports with more graphical images.
Another improvement in reporting gives users greater control over the contents of any report. For example, it is easier to produce a summary of the complete set of results as a management report. Similarly, a more concise report can be produced when greater detail is not needed, as when results are well within expected tolerances.
The 2015 release also offers improved display of results from point-cloud data, including a better shaded display of the color map, complete with the colored scale of the tolerances. The new format is more consistent with the reports produced by PowerINSPECT from data from other types of measurements making it easier to compare the results from different devices or measurement methods.
In terms of usability enhancements, the representation of changes to the probe or to the probing parameters is clearer and easier to understand. These improvements will be especially useful when creating longer inspection sequences for CNC coordinate-measuring machines and for on-machine verification. They will also make it easier for CMM operators to follow measurement sequences developed by another user, for example, when the inspection routine is created by the company’s metrology expert but then carried out by less experienced users.
Another usability enhancement is the addition of scale-model inspection. In this mode, the measurements from a scale model, such as a half-scale vehicle or system, are displayed as though they were the results from the full-size item. This makes the reports easier to understand at first view and makes it quicker to exchange digital measurements with the CAD system as there is no need to compensate for the scaling in the model.
It has also been made easier to handle more complex CAD data structures, with data split over a series of levels. In particular, it is easier to match the CAD view to an item contained within a history tree.
Also, a new intersection item has been added to the range of geometry that can be measured with PowerINSPECT; the intersection between a sphere and either a cone or a cylinder. This option will be useful when measuring ducting and pipework.
Its last update from the fall of 2014 featured a new interface with new icons that made the software more intuitive and easier to use. Other enhancements included the ability to create compound items, and so speed up and simplify repetitive measurements, enhancements to the measurement dialogs, and further increase the range of geometric features that can be inspected.