Beng Chieh Quah, Head of Marketing – Asia Pacific, FARO

How has 3D Measurement technology evolved with the growing demand for speed and productivity? What is the role of 3D Measurement systems?
As per burgeoning need of timely quality production, the demand for 3D measurement technology has witnessed a rise. As time is money in today’s industry and considering that 3D measurements provide quick response, this is the need of the time. If we go back to time for measurement technologies, the processes were time taking and lengthy, accuracy was a concern too. Previously measurements were done by vernier calipers and height gauges, which are not fast enough to give successful results in today’s time. This is where 3D measurement solutions come into picture.

FARO has observed an increase in demand for accuracy, reliability, and ease of use across the sectors and industries that it serves. Industries are moving away from conventional hand tools such as vernier calipers, height gauges, etc which are prone to measurement errors. The portable coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and 3D imaging devices allows companies to maximize efficiencies and improve processes.

You recently launched products like Freestyle3D ObjectS, VantageE, FARO Cobalt Array Imager solution. Please tell us more about these technologies and how does it help customers across the globe?
FARO Freestyle3D Objects – With a measurement range of 0.3m – 0.8m, it allows fast capturing of small to mid-sized components and products. It is ideal for challenging measurement applications such as reverse engineering for product design and crime/crash scene investigation in public safety forensics.  The real-time point cloud visualization with automatic flash supports the intuitive data acquisition, even for untrained operators.

FARO VantageE – It is designed to serve customers who do not require the extended measurement range that is provided by the premium Vantage solution but still demand the trusted and robust features the Vantage platform provides.  With innovative features such as mobile device control, exceptional portability, battery operation, ruggedness, and high accuracy, VantageE set the standard in workflow productivity management for large-scale metrology applications.

FARO Cobalt Array Imager – This is a metrology-grade, non-contact scanner which utilizes blue light technology and on-board processing to capture millions of high resolution 3D coordinate measurements in seconds. It delivers fast and consistent measurements for dimensional inspection and reverse engineering applications. Compact and lightweight, the Cobalt Array Imager is easy to use across multiple applications.

The combination of flexibility, portability, speed and accuracy makes FARO’s solutions an ideal choice for customers with metrology needs.

FARO launches several new technologies every year backed by some high-end R&D activities; please tell us more about innovations at FARO…
FARO’s technologies are developed keeping the end-user in mind. Our research and development (R&D) team creates solutions that support and accelerate the overall manufacturing process. We consistently invest in R&D activities to design products that feature the most cutting-edge technologies in order to anticipate the evolving needs of the industry.

What future trends do you foresee in the 3D Metrology and inspection industry?
We expect that future projects and product designs will become more complex. This will influence manufacturers to change and evolve to retain their competitive edge in their respective markets. At the same time, companies will also demand for more advanced technologies to support their goals.

This impacts FARO, as we believe that demand for innovative technologies will drive greater demand on the requirements and specifications of future 3D measurement, imaging, and realization devices. Technologies will become more multi-functional and cross-functional, with greater accuracy, lower cost, smaller form factors, higher efficiency, and measurement effectiveness.

Which are your best selling products in India and why?
FARO makes solutions keeping in mind customer’s requirements and market demands. Considering India is a tier 1 market for auto and machine tools segment, our variety of solutions fits into various market needs. Be it auto component checks or aero component assembling, FARO has a solution for each industrial application.

India is currently undergoing significant changes with the vast infrastructure investment, related to the country’s ‘Smart Cities Mission’ – which was launched in 2015 to boost economic development, technological innovation, and sustainable growth in the country. The initiative involves a tremendous amount of construction and building projects, many of which will call for high precision measurement (e.g. for rail construction) and high accuracy scanning (e.g. building construction). In this regard, FARO’s recently launched innovative products, such as the FARO FocusM 70 and the FARO Laser Tracker VantageS, can provide effective support.

The FocusM 70 provides an ideal entry point for professional laser scanner users, particularly those from the construction BIM/CIM and public safety forensics markets. Its key features include an Ingress Protection (IP) Rating of 54 (for use in high particulate and wet weather conditions), HDR imaging, an acquisition speed of nearly 500,000 points per second, and extended temperature range – enabling indoor and outdoor scanning at a distance of up to 70 meters and an accuracy of ±3mm.

Separately, the new FARO Laser Tracker VantageS addresses large-scale metrology challenges in applications such as alignment, part and assembly inspection, and reverse engineering. With an operating range of 80 meters, the VantageS offers users a truly portable measurement solution with its integrated master control unit (MCU), hot interchangeable batteries, and industrial grade Wi-Fi.

How different is the demand between India and the European countries?
Every economy in the world requires advance measurement as their economy evolves and advances the technological ladder. These results in the ability to manufacture products of greater complexity. The demand pattern is greatly dependent on the product complexity and the industries they are in.

FARO has developed many solutions for many of the industries that are present in both Europe and India, and what we observed as the main difference is in the adoption rate of these technologies rather than any real difference in the demand of technology.

India is a price sensitive and competitive market. What are the challenges you face here?
FARO has served and will continue to serve the Indian market by offering sophisticated solutions that provide greater accuracy, measurement effectiveness, higher efficiency and lower costs. We observed that manufacturers are adopting higher standards and demanding greater precision and speed in their operations, especially for inspections and quality checks. The challenge for us here is to constantly innovate and develop specific solutions to meet these demands – which FARO has been actively doing.

How is the business outlook in India?
At present each and every industry is going through a radical change in India whether it is B2C or B2B. As the government is making new norms and laws the change will continue to happen. It is a balanced change which will boost India’s economy.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. With the Indian government pushing for infrastructure investments, the immediate future is bright for companies operating in the industrial manufacturing and construction segments. For these reasons, we continue to see India as a key part of FARO’s business, and we endeavor to overcome the challenges in this market.

What are your plans for Indian market?
Moving forward, FARO will continue to take part in major trade events across different verticals in the country. In 2017, we will be exhibiting at major trade events, including Automotive Engineering Show, BLECH India, Asian Machine Tools Expo (AMTEX), Survey India, Sustainability in Design & Construction India (SICI), and Machine Tool Expo.

We will also be organizing the FARO 3D User Conference to connect with the 3D communities again in September. Held in Mumbai, the event will focus on uncovering the potential of 3D terrestrial laser scanning technology and solutions. FARO will continue to launch new solutions for the industry, to address industrial manufacturers’ real, felt needs.

By Nishant Kashyap

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