QMT Features: October 2017
Mind the gap
Train-maker Bombardier is using laser measurement systems on new London trains

Bombardier is using Third Dimension’s GapGun laser measurement for quality inspection in the production of 66 train carriages – on order for Transport for London’s Elizabeth line service. It is now also planning to use the system on 45 carriages for the LoTrain project for London Overground.

The systems are being used on new Aventra electric multiple unit passenger trains, which will deliver a significant increase in capacity for London rail passengers.
GapGun make quality checking along the length of the production line more efficient and has already saved the company a ‘huge’ amount of money according to Operation Quality Manager, Colin Mellor.

Mr Mellor who has described the GapGun as a ‘culture changer’ said: “Since we started using the GapGun we have been able to speed up the production process and check each part as we go along, meaning we can head off problems before they arise.

“We have recently sold our first Elizabeth line train and it’s clear from this first sale that the procurement of the GapGuns was indeed a wise investment.”
The new trains are being manufactured and assembled at Bombardier’s plant in Derby, supporting more than 750 manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships.
The firm is using GapGun to check components and the gaps, flush and radius of panels before and after being fitted.

Using the GapGun means not only is the time taken to check each panel considerably reduced, but also problems can be rectified well ahead of completion.
Mr Mellor added: “The GapGun completely removes ambiguity and subjectivity. It is so accurate it leaves no margin of error. We can also use the accurate data the GapGun records to predict problems before they even happen.

“Plus, it’s really easy to use after just a couple of hours training and it doesn’t just measure gaps. It accurately measures flush and radius of features, which can drastically reduce the costs of having to make corrections at the end of the production process.”

GapGun can also provide manufacturers with a fully auditable trail of every product measured. The modular and portable system has a range of flexible and ergonomic profile measurement capabilities that use optical triangulation to measure gaps, shapes and forms, quickly and accurately.

GapGun is handheld and can measure without needing to touch the surface. This maximises the accuracy and repeatability of measurements, enabling the measurement of soft or unfixed parts and eliminating potential surface damage.
Peter Rogan of Third Dimension, said: “Now with just a simple point and a click of the GapGun, measurements can be taken in seconds.”

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