VTube-LASER Advantages

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Contents


Icon Legend

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This icon means Advanced Tubular Technologies invented and/or were the first to introduce this technology for the tube fabrication industry.

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This icon means that the technology is unique to VTube-LASER when compared to other tube fabrication measuring systems.





ADVANTAGES LIST

The DCF (DUAL CYLINDER FIT) Engine Measures TWICE When Users Measure ONCE

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We invented DCF in early 2017.

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No other system uses this feature.


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DCF (Dual Cylinder Fit) is the major enhancement for VTube-LASER in version 2.8 (April 2017) because...

  1. It replicates measuring the tube TWICE in one pass when the user measures the tube the first time.
  2. It requires 4 total pass-fail checks for cylinder calculations.

This feature ensures repeatability of the cylinder measurements on-the-fly using a LASER scanner like no other system.

See DCF - Dual Cylinder Fit for details.

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CLAMPS ARE NOT NECESSSARY - MEASURE TUBES ON ANY TABLE OR FLOOR WITH CUT PLANES

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This is the first tube-fabrication specific application to use the idea.

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Competing fork-probe measuring systems cannot use this feature.

Work holders with clamps are not needed with VTube-LASER. Measure the table surface to set the CUT PLANE, then lay the tube on the table during scanning. VTube-LASER will automatically ignore the table.

CUT PLANE gives two important advantages:

  1. It allows flexible tubes to rest on a large surface to control flexing - rather than placing them in tube clamps - which can induce distortion.

  2. It removes the time required to setup the clamps to hold the tube. (Over a period of time, this results in accumulated time savings.)

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THE DCP (DIAMETER CUT PLANE) FEATURE REMOVES BACKGROUND DATA AUTOMATICALLY

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We invented DCP in 2016.

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No other tube measuring system uses this feature.

Only VTube-LASER uses DCP (Diameter Cut Planes) to keep the first tube the laser finds and remove any other tube (or any object) scanned beyond allowed DCP radius width limit.

For example, Holly MSD uses this feature to scan tube headers.

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AUTOMATICALLY BUILD 3DSKETCH PARTS IN SOLIDWORKS

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We are unaware of any other tube measuring system that can duplicate this feature.

VTube-LASER can draw a measured part in SOLIDWORKS in just a few seconds. In this image, we measured four tubes in VTube-LASER, automatically drew each part in SOLIDWORKS, then combined the four parts into an assembly using the SOLIDWORK's assembly feature.

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SPLIT BEND MEASUREMENTS HANDLE 180-DEGREE BENDS ACCURATELY

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We invented the SPLIT BEND feature in 2011.

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Fork-probe measuring systems must treat 180-degree bends as if they have a straight (which they don't). This can create a high wobble deviation in the centerline creation.

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This feature solves a huge accuracy problem that many other measuring centers have when trying to handle 180-degree bends.

VTube-LASER uses the SPLIT BEND process to accurately measure any bend that equals or exceeds 180 degrees using math based on point-cloud data from the inside and outside apex area of the bend.

Any collapse or ovality in the bend region does not reduce the accuracy of the Split Bend centerline placements in VTube-LASER.

VTube-LASER assumes that the bend is an unpredictable shape and uses math that finds the exact center of whatever shape it measures at the apex of the bend.

For details, see the VTube-LASER Split Bend Feature page.

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TROUBLE-FREE IMPORT OF TUBE MODELS FROM ENTIRE ASSEMBLIES WITH COMPONENTS

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Other systems may struggle with importing tubes with extra objects in the file.

VTube-LASER can import entire assemblies in STEP and IGES formats. This software lets you find the centerline of any solid model tube inside any assembly.

VTube can even find the centerlines of straights that are drilled with holes or end copings.

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BUILT-IN EXTENSIVE BENDER COMMUNICATIONS

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Other systems require that you purchase bender communications functionality.

One of our competitors comes with one bender interface. Additional bender interfaces is a purchased option. (As of 2017, the price from this competitor is $1400 per additional bender.)


VTube-LASER includes communication with up to 100 benders with no additional license charge for many bender types.

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ONE PROBE FOR ALL DIAMETERS - EVEN STRING CENTERLINES

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Competing fork-probe measuring systems cannot duplicate this feature. They must change fork probes for wide ranges of diameters. Also, to the best of our knowledge, no other systems can measure STRING centerlines like VTube-LASER can.

VTube-LASER is completely immune to diameter changes because it measures the diameter on-the-fly. (The diameter value entered in Part Setup is only for visualizing the model on the screen.)

This means that VTube-LASER can measure ANY diameter without changing the probes or scanners. The same scanner can measure a paper clip or a 12-inch diameter pipe.

VTube-LASER uses the FARO ScanArm capability to measure a tube using either the ball probe or the laser probe – all in the same tube. This feature lets you alternate measuring technique depending on what works best at the moment.

VTube-LASER even has a feature for measuring STRING centerlines. We added this for the US Navy.

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SCANS SURFACES TO COLLECT DENSE POINT-CLOUD DATA

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Vision-based systems examine the OD silhouette only. Fork-probe systems use a sliver of data from either tangent on each straight.


VTube-LASER takes in an actual point cloud of the diameter surface then solves for a centerline cylinder.

This is why VTube is immune to changing diameters, and why it always returns the Out-of-round% for every measure.

VTube-LASER has built-in filters that let you control the density of the point cloud on the scanned surface.

If you want to, VTube can even scan the bend sections to give you the actual average radius value (shown in the image).

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BETTER REAL TIME VISUAL FEEDBACK WITH SURFACE POINTS AND TRUE ORIENTATIONS

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Heavy surface point display has been part of VTube from the beginning. The TRUE VIEW feature was added in version 2.8 in April, 2017.

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Other systems hide much of the real time feedback or show none at all.


VTube-LASER shows you the actual model of the scanned points on the screen immediately after the scan in its TRUE VIEW orientation. This allows the operator to visually verify that the scan was good before moving to the next straight or end. If there are outliers or flyers - you can easily see them in this screen. (See the top image.)

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After the inspection is complete, VTube creates solid model images that are designed to clearly show you where the tube passes or fails the tolerance envelope. In the bottom image, it is easy to see that the measured-aligned tube (the pink tube) is too long because it moves far past the end length tolerance envelope - which has turned bright yellow because the measured tube is outside the envelope.

You can see exactly how far it exceeds the tolerance by looking at the Inspection Results grids.

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USES THE MORE-ACCURATE LEAPFROG FOR MEASURING TUBES LONGER THAN THE ARM REACH

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Some systems rely on less-accurate and less-flexible MOVE commands for longer tubes.


The LEAPFROG feature allows VTube-LASER to measure any length tube shape accurately by moving the arm around longer tubes and pipes.

This method of measuring tubes longer than the arm's reach is far more accurate than operations that use TUBE MOVES.

Leapfrog also works regardless how long the preceding straight is. When other systems use a MOVE command, they require you to measure a preceding bend or two. VTube-LASER can measure even a straight tube with no bends that is longer than the arm reach with leapfrog.



Leapfrog Targets:
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INCLUDES THE POWER OF VTUBE-STEP

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We introduced VTube-STEP on March 15, 2010.

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No other system includes VTube-STEP as part of the software license.

Every VTube-LASER comes with VTube-STEP because the MBD (Model-based Definition) STEP mode is the foundation of VTube-LASER mode.O.

Not only can you import any solid model - but you can do some very complex operations on them as well. For example, you can unbend the parametric tube with components or holes following the unbend. And you can include elongation in the unbend too.

In the top image, VTube has unbent part of the tube with end solid model components and brackets following. This new unbent configuration can be exported to any solid modeling package with the STEP EXPORT feature.

In the bottom image, we've used VTube to prepare a tube shape with coping on either end for export to a LASER cutter CAD software package.

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HANDLES TUBES WITH SMALL-ANGLED BENDS

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Vision-based systems cannot easily measure small-angled bends.

VTube-LASER can measure tubes with very small bend angles.

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HANDLES UNINTENTIONALLY-CURVED STRAIGHTS

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Some systems may not be able to measure bowed straights well.

VTube-LASER can measure curved straights using the MULTISCAN feature.

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