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Measurement software WinWerth®

The universal measurement software for coordinate measuring machines with optics, stylus, computed tomography and multi-sensor systems

The operation of machines with a wide variety of sensors, but also the evaluation of volume data and point clouds are possible with WinWerth® in a unique combination. The Werth image processing software is based on 40 years of experience and is the foundation of probably the most powerful image processing sensors for coordinate measuring machines currently available. Optical distance sensors, conventional styluses in single-point or scanning mode, the Werth Fiber Probe®, X-ray computed tomography or machines with a combination of several sensors are all supported by the uniform concept. Measurement results in the form of measurement points, 2D images or volume data can also be conveniently evaluated with regard to geometrical characteristics or with nominal-actual comparison. In order to meet the most diverse requirements, the software has a modular structure. Different machines can be operated, from simple measuring projectors to complex multi-axis coordinate measuring machines with multi-sensor systems or even with X-ray tomography sensors.

Modern coordinate measuring machines cover a wide range of differently complex tasks. The qualifications of the machine operators range from employees with little training, who only occasionally determine a few Sizes, to specialists who, exploiting all technically feasible options, also handle very difficult measuring tasks. The very different working methods are optimally supported by the structure of the WinWerth® software for device operation. For example, there are several access levels that are adapted to the different qualification levels of the operators. Interfaces to CAD systems for target data import and to CAQ systems for statistical evaluation enable the adapted integration of the coordinate measuring machines into software structures of companies.

Simple graphic user interface measurement

Image processing measures almost by itself

In practice, a few sizes of production parts often have to be determined "quickly". This task is also carried out by employees who do not permanently deal with the operation of coordinate measuring machines. To enable effective work in this environment, the operation is limited to the most necessary. The "intelligence" of the WinWerth® measurement software then takes over, for example, the exact determination of the object area to be captured, the selection of the geometrical element to be measured (e.g. straight line, circle, corner point) as well as the linking algorithms for determining geometrical characteristics such as distances, angles and diameters.

Simple graphic user interface measurement - Image processing measures almost by itself
Measurement points are distributed automatically

Measurement points are distributed automatically

For more complicated measuring tasks, the procedure described above is no longer sufficient. The operator can therefore take over parts of the actually automatically running processes (set window, select feature) himself and gradually familiarise himself with the more detailed control of the measurement sequences. To support this, measurement points or scan lines are automatically distributed on the geometry elements to be measured, taking into account the necessary bypass paths. Measurement sequences specified in this way can be saved and called up as an automatic sequence in case of repetition.

Programming of complex measurement sequences

User-friendly display of the test plan in the user interface

The programming of the measurement sequences is supported by corresponding tools of the WinWerth® measurement software. The sensors are selected directly on the user interface of the multi-sensor coordinate measuring machine. A "feature tree" represents the test plan and thus the structure of the measuring programme in a tree-like structure. Here, the relationships between geometrical characteristics, geometrical elements and technology parameters such as sensor type, illumination setting, scanning speed, evaluation algorithm and valid alignment become visible. Parallel to the feature tree, the geometric features and the features with the associated measurement results are also displayed in the graphical representation of the measurement sequence and in the numerical measurement log. Link operations to geometric elements (intersection, intersection line) or geometrical characteristics (distance, perpendicularity) can be programmed either in the feature tree or in the graphical view.

Programming of complex measurement sequences - User-friendly display of the test plan in the user interface
Testing and changing made easy

Testing and changing made easy

The feature tree in the WinWerth® user interface also controls the test and change mode, in which programmes can be run step-by-step and changes can be added. A text editor, available in parallel, allows experienced operators to directly enter or change DMIS programme code while teaching in programmes. By selecting a programme section with the mouse, it can be defined as a loop for repeated processing or outsourced as a subroutine. With the aid of feature-oriented measurement, selected functionally relevant test dimensions can be determined.

Measurement with CAD data

Easy operation with CAD-Online®

Another benefit of the CAD module integrated in WinWerth® is that CAD information can be used to position the coordinate measuring machine. Werth was probably the first manufacturer of coordinate measuring machines to introduce this technology as early as the mid-1990s under the term CAD-Online®. The entire measurement sequence can be controlled by selecting the geometric features on the CAD model. The measuring machine automatically moves to the generated measurement positions and measures with the selected sensors.
In this way, measurement points can be automatically captured as point clouds with probes, for example, or larger surfaces can be measured in high resolution with the Werth 3D Patch or confocal sensors by automatically placing the individual measurements next to each other. Technology parameters such as the illumination setting for the image processing sensor can be adjusted by direct operation on the measuring machine, taking into account the interaction between illumination, measuring object and imaging system. Collisions are avoided by automatically modifying the motion sequences based on the workpiece and machine or sensor geometry.

Measurement with CAD data - Easy operation with CAD-Online®
Time-saving programming with CAD-Offline®

Time-saving programming with CAD-Offline®

The WinWerth® measurement software can also be operated without the measuring machine on a CAD-Offline® workstation. Werth was also a pioneer in this field and supplied solutions to customers as early as the beginning of the 1990s. Here, the inspection programmes are created and tested only on the CAD model. The device simulation for offline programming is carried out on the 3D CAD model of a workpiece. The collision analysis takes place in the background. With CAD-Offline®, expensive machine time is saved. The test plans are already completed when the first workpiece or measuring object is produced. Measuring object-related influencing factors can then be reworked in a test run in single-step operation. Online and offline work can be carried out with a consistent operating concept from one source and the "correctness" of the measurement results is ensured. This is not the case with programming workstations that are independent of the measuring device manufacturer.

PMI information makes work easier

Many CAD systems now offer the option of integrating PMI (Product and Manufacturing Information) data. In addition to the geometry description of the CAD features, the resulting CAD data sets also contain the dimensioning specified by the designer. When the geometrical characteristics are selected, the WinWerth® measurement software distributes measurement points or scan lines on all geometrical elements that are to be linked to find the solution, and the measurement sequence is created at least partially automatically. Unfortunately, due to the increased requirements for the creation of the CAD model, this solution is still not very widespread.

If the complete measurement sequence is to be generated fully automatically, all necessary parameters must be stored in the PMI data or determined automatically by the measurement software. If these prerequisites are met, the complete measurement sequences for the measurement of close-tolerance metal tools for the production of injection moulds for contact lenses, for example, can be generated fully automatically in WinWerth®. The measurement is carried out with a multi-sensor coordinate measuring machine using a combination of optical distance sensor systems with image processing and with the aid of an automatic rotary/tilt axis for the workpiece.

PMI information makes work easier
Werth image processing - Evaluating images perfectly for optics and computer tomography scan
Werth image processing

Evaluating images perfectly for optics and computer tomography scan

The image processing algorithms used to evaluate the image contents and determine the measurement points also have a significant influence on the quality of the measurement results from image processing sensors or the evaluation of cross sections during tomography scans. Today, the evaluation is mainly realised by PC hardware and software. In a first processing step, the image can be improved with image filters (optimising contrast, smoothing surface disturbances).

Contour image processing for reliable measurement

In contour image processing, the image is viewed as a two-dimensional whole within an evaluation window. Contours are extracted from this image using suitable mathematical algorithms (operators). Each image point of a contour corresponds to a measurement point. The measurement points are strung together like a string of pearls. This makes it possible to detect and filter out interfering contours caused by surface structures, breakouts and dirt during measurement (contour filters) without changing the mould of the contours. It is important for practical use that several contours can be distinguished within one capture range. In a further step, modern systems interpolate the coordinates of the measurement points within the pixel grid and thus allow higher accuracies.

Contour image processing for reliable measurement
Raster scanning: resolution independent of the measuring range

Raster scanning: resolution independent of the measuring range

Contours larger than the field of view of the respective lenses can be captured as a whole by automatic contour tracking in conjunction with the CNC axes of the coordinate measuring machine (contour scanning). This scanning method is well suited for reverification tests of a few relatively large contours, e.g. on punching tools.

Another method for capturing larger departments of the workpiece is "raster scanning HD". Here, the image processing sensor captures images of the workpiece at high frequency during movement. These are resampled and superimposed to form an overall image with up to 4000 megapixels (as of 2021). In the "in the image" evaluation, 100 bores can then be measured in 3 s, for example. By measuring even large departments with high magnification and averaging over several images, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio, the accuracy is also increased. The method can be adapted to the requirements of the measurement task.

Volume Section Sensor

With 2D contour image processing and the associated image processing filters, measurements can also be taken in any cross section of the CT volume or point cloud. Among other things, this makes the measurement of workpieces made of several materials particularly easy.

Volume Section Sensor
Special measurement methods for computer tomography scans - Increasing the resolution and extending the measuring range by rastering
Special measurement methods for computer tomography scans

Increasing the resolution and extending the measuring range by rastering

In Raster Tomography, several sections of the measuring object are captured one after the other and the corresponding image stacks are stored. Scanning can be performed along the rotary axis (X-scanning), perpendicular to the rotary axis (Y-scanning) and in both orientations (XY-scanning). During the evaluation, the corresponding pixel or voxel information is merged for the entire object. This is done without stitching, using only the highly accurate coordinate axes. Capturing a small workpiece at a higher magnification with multiple grid steps increases the resolution, while capturing a large workpiece in multiple sections extends the measuring range.

Eccentric sections can be scanned tomographically with high resolution and linked metrologically with Multi-ROI CT

Eccentric Tomography scan allows the workpiece to be placed anywhere on the rotary table (patent). This eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming alignment of the workpiece and increases ease of use. With the help of section tomography or ROI tomography (ROI: Region of Interest), parts of the measuring object are measured with high resolution without having to capture the entire measuring object, e.g. with Raster Tomography, in a completely high-resolution and thus time- and memory-consuming manner. Multi-ROI tomography offers a combination of the benefits of eccentric and section tomography scans. Several parts with high resolution can also be selected at any position in the measuring object.

Eccentric sections can be scanned tomographically with high resolution and linked metrologically with Multi-ROI CT
Measuring multi-material workpieces with Dual-Spectra Tomography scan

Measuring multi-material workpieces with Dual-Spectra Tomography scan

In X-ray tomography measurements of metal-plastic components such as fed connectors, the metal pins often cause artefacts due to beam hardening and scattered radiation, which complicate the measurements on the plastic housing. In Dual-Spectra Tomography scan, the measurement software combines two CT measurements at different cathode voltages into one volume. The radiation spectra are matched to the two materials.

Reduction of measurement time through continuous rotation of the device axis with OnTheFly-CT

With tomography scan in conventional start-stop operation, the rotary motion is interrupted for the acquisition of each radiographic image to avoid motion blur during exposure. OnTheFly Tomography scan makes it possible to save dead time for positioning the workpiece by continuous rotation. With this method, on the one hand the measuring time can be greatly reduced with the same data quality, and on the other hand the data quality and thus the measurement uncertainty can be improved with the same measuring time.

Reduction of measurement time through continuous rotation of the device axis with OnTheFly-CT
Increasing automation

Automatic measurement of workpieces

Regardless of the type of programming, the measuring machine can execute the measurement sequence automatically or semi-automatically (on manually operated machines). This means that the machine can also be used by users who do not know the inspection process in detail. Operation is reduced to inserting the parts, determining their location by measuring a coordinate system on the workpiece (pre-alignment) and starting the programme. The pre-alignment can be automated or even omitted by using fixtures. Such fixtures can also hold several workpieces simultaneously (pallets). This allows set-up times to be reduced. The WinWerth® software then automatically repeats the measurement sequence at the various locations on the pallet.

Integrated into the production process

For users untrained in the operation of measuring devices, WinWerth® offers the possibility of simply selecting the part number and starting an automatic programme sequence with it. Alternatively, this can be done by scanning a barcode on the production order. An automatic fault handling function helps, for example, if the parts are not inserted correctly.

Alternatively, a workpiece changing system (utility model) can be integrated into the housing of the TomoScope® coordinate measuring machines without further precautions for radiation protection. With several ready-loaded pallets, measurements are possible overnight and at weekends.

Automatic feeding by means of feeding devices can also be integrated. For this purpose, the measuring programmes can be prepared remotely at offline workstations. The workpieces are fed into the robot's safety area via an airlock. In this way, the geometrical characteristics of workpieces such as valve blocks, housings and castings are determined almost every half minute, a nominal-actual comparison is carried out with the measuring point cloud of a master part and the workpieces are tested for defects such as burrs. The measurement results can be determined with the help of parallel evaluation computers and merged in a common protocol, also with the measurement results of interlinked multi-sensor devices.

Integrated into the production process
Specific access to measurement results in production with WinWerth® Scout

Specific access to measurement results in production with WinWerth® Scout

The WinWerth® Scout user interface enables quick and easy access to all measuring processes in the company. Measurement orders that are still being processed are listed. There, next to the identification number of the job, is the current status, such as "Job started", "Tomography", "Tactile measurement" or "Evaluation". Completed jobs are automatically moved to another list and colour-designated according to their status: green for "in tolerance", yellow for "intervention limit" and red for "out of tolerance".

If several workpieces are measured at the same time, one or more workpiece groups are created. If you click on a measurement job in the list of finished measurements, another window opens with a list of all measured workpiece groups or workpieces whose status is also colour-coded.

Clicking on the group or workpiece in the list view opens the WinWerth® 3D viewer. For workpiece groups, an overview display of the workpiece elements appears. The workpiece elements are displayed as spheres whose colour reflects the status of the workpieces. Right-clicking on the workpiece element of interest opens a selection list with the result representations for the respective workpiece.

Nominal-actual comparison

Deviations of the workpiece from the nominal state are displayed in colour-coded form

In order to illustrate the deviation of the workpiece geometry from the nominal values, a comparison to the CAD model with a colour-coded display of the deviations in WinWerth® is suitable. This procedure is absolutely necessary for the inspection of free-form surfaces. For measurement, the departments of interest are scanned or captured as a point cloud. WinWerth® then compares the measured values with the CAD model. The result is documented in each case by vectorial or colour-coded representation of the deviations to the CAD model. This evaluation can be carried out as part of the measurement sequence on the machine or in offline mode at a separate evaluation station. The colours of the measurement points illustrate the deviation between target and actual. For the inclusion of the part tolerances in the display, a subdivision into four basic classes is made:

  • positive within tolerance
  • negative within tolerance
  • positive outside tolerance
  • negative outside tolerance

The amount of deviation is represented by colour coding. Alternatively, the user can configure colour coding according to his wishes.

Nominal-actual comparison - Deviations of the workpiece from the nominal state are displayed in colour-coded form
All options are open when choosing the datum system

All options are open when choosing the datum system

Depending on the task, the measurement results are either calculated or displayed in a reference coordinate system that has been measured beforehand (e.g. vehicle coordinates in automotive engineering) or in a coordinate system that has been generated by optimally fitting selected surface areas relative to the CAD model.

The two fitting strategies WinWerth® BestFit and ToleranceFit® can be easily illustrated using the example of a 2D cross section. In the first case, the location of the measured points is optimised by minimising the distances to the nominal points. Since tolerances of different object areas are not taken into account during fitting, tolerance overruns may be detected although the tolerance could be maintained by shifting the coordinate system. This method is therefore only suitable to a limited extent for quality control.

The optimisation criterion with WinWerth® ToleranceFit® is to keep the distance between the measurement point and the tolerance limit as large as possible or, if the measurement point is outside the tolerance limit, to keep the tolerance overrun as small as possible. Objects detected as faulty according to the BestFit method (red departments present), but which are actually not faulty, can be classified as functional according to the ToleranceFit® method. The contour is reverified as with a gauge.

Measurement results are fed back into production

In order to incorporate the measured or calculated deviations into the production process, the default data can be modified with WinWerth® FormCorrect. For this purpose, the deviations between the original CAD model and the measured data of a sample workpiece are determined and mirrored on the model. From this, the measurement software generates a corrected CAD model with which systematic manufacturing deviations of the plastic injection moulding process and 3D printing can be compensated. For high-resolution corrections and for the modification of even internal surfaces, the use of coordinate measuring machines with X-ray computed tomography is recommended. A similar procedure is possible with the 2D BestFit software. The mould correction can be used both during the running-in of new cutting tools (profile grinding, form milling) and during wire erosion to correct positioning deviations.

Measurement results are fed back into production
Automatic burr detection

Automatic burr detection

A special feature of Werth is the automatic detection and measurement of burrs or chips during the measurement sequence. The result is a colour-coded deviation plot of the burr and the maximum burr length. The deviation display optionally shows only those points where the burr length exceeds the tolerance limits. The burr length along the entire burr can also be displayed numerically via analysis markers. For example, every 0.5 mm a flag is set that contains the maximum local burr length.

Evaluate point clouds

Easily evaluate point clouds from optical sensors or computer tomography scans

If no CAD data is available, the operator can select the measurement points interactively. In WinWerth®, both direct selection with the mouse and automatic decomposition into rule geometry elements are possible. For this purpose, starting from a starting point, further points are automatically added all around until the form error of the selected feature (e.g. cylinder) increases noticeably. This signals that the limits of the feature have been reached and the process is completed.

It is more effective to define the measurement sequences using 3D CAD data. By simply selecting CAD features, the necessary measurement points are automatically selected. Starting from the selection of CAD patches, all measurement points of the measured object that can be geometrically assigned to this patch are selected, taking into account predefined edge distances. This results in a complete capture of the mould of the corresponding feature with the maximum number of points.

In practice, it is common to define drawing dimensions in 2D views and cutting edges. This must also be taken into account when evaluating tomographically generated measured data. For this purpose, planes can be defined in the workpiece coordinate system and intersected with both the CAD nominal data and the actual point cloud. WinWerth® automatically extracts contours representing the nominal data and the actual contours. The same software functions that are available for evaluating contours scanned with image processing or a probe are used to evaluate the 2D sizes in cutting contours created in this way.

Evaluate point clouds - Easily evaluate point clouds from optical sensors or computer tomography scans
Evaluate volume data - Testing the material structure and analysis of mounted assemblies
Evaluate volume data

Testing the material structure and analysis of mounted assemblies

WinWerth® also provides a selection of software tools for material analysis on the volume data. The visualisation of the volume data is integrated into the 3D module of the WinWerth® measurement software. The volume is visualised in the mould of grey values representing the density of the material. In general, the volume is displayed brighter with increasing density. Three different views can be used in parallel and individually faded in or out. It is possible to display the entire volume, i.e. all voxels with their respective grey value. In the "ISO surface" view, only voxels with the selected grey value are displayed. 2D cutting edges can also be displayed after selecting the cutting plane. All variants can be rotated in three dimensions and can thus be analysed from all sides. CAD model, voxel volume and measurement point cloud are imaged superimposed in the same coordinate system. They can be pleasantly visualised by colour and transparency settings and used to evaluate the data. The entire workpiece can be virtually ablated and tested plane by plane.

Special software tools are used to automatically identify voids or inclusions in the measuring object. These can be detected, classified according to size and counted according to their class assignment. In this way, a fully automatic evaluation with tolerancing can be carried out. The identified malfunctions can also be graphically displayed in colour-coded form according to their size. Similar software tools also exist for crack detection, for example. Material irregularities caused by fibres can also be visually reverified. The same software can also be used to analyse mounted assemblies.

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