HITCO & SpatialAnalyzer®
HITCO & SpatialAnalyzer®
HITCO Carbon Composites provides aerostructures and composite materials to the aerospace, defense, and other industrial industries. Based in the Los Angeles area and founded in 1922, HITCO is the oldest, continuously operating composites provider in the US.
HITCO Carbon Composites Inc. started using SpatialAnalyzer® (SA) in 2004 and has since applied it to all of its major programs. “SA is a powerful analysis tool for performing inspections of parts and tooling, involving both modern and legacy environments, utilizing CAD and/or drawing-based definition,” says Alex Bereczky, HITCO Quality Assurance Engineer IV.
While SA can certainly utilize a CAD model to provide nominal feature definition, it doesn’t always require one. HITCO has found this flexibility helpful, particularly in the situation where both a CAD model and drawing are required in order to inspect the part. This ability distinguishes SA from other metrology software packages, thereby enabling it to have unlimited application, regardless of the form of part definition. Furthermore, SA has the unique ability required in the drawing-based environment such as creation of multiple coordinate systems and easy import of feature nominals for holes.
SA's Analysis features are unique in their ability to handle multiple collections of data, each representing a variant of the measured dataset. This feature enables the analyst to experiment with different scenarios of datum-setups. So, a "bad" part may often be found "good" by addressing otherwise un-utilized "float" within multiple tolerance zones of the feature datums. This then enables Quality Assurance to provide useful information to Engineering on how to fix a bad part, often with very simple direction, such as remove material from one of the datums, in order to attain the proposed result.
SA’s ability to work off-line, using imported measurement data from a previous inspection, allows one shift of inspectors to collect data, while later analysis may be done as a separate operation. This enables great flexibility for scheduling—for example, HITCO will have second shift collect data, then conduct analysis the following day on first shift. Similarly, it enables re-analysis of a failed inspection using, for example, exported CMM data in an effort to take advantage of SA's robust analysis environment.
Bereczky says, “I consider SA to be quite user-friendly in that it is easy to install and takes only minimal time to perform normal licensing upgrades. The minimal time for licensing upgrades alone has saved me weeks of time over the course of a year. In comparison to other metrology software packages, SA takes a matter of ten minutes per year versus two days per month!”
He continues by saying, “the bottom line is that SA has saved many failed jobs that were started in a different software, but the opposite has never been the case... SA has always been able to perform any analysis task given it.”
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