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An Automated Measurement Strategy


Coventry-based manufacturer Unipart Powertrain Applications (UPA) is part of the wider Unipart Manufacturing Group (UMG). UPA is a leading Tier 1 supplier of components to the global automotive industry and yellow goods and electrical components for the rail industry.

UPA have used Creaform Technology for a number of years, the original objective for using the 3D scanning technology was to improve speed, accuracy, and versatility in relation to conventional measurement strategies. This innovative technology achieves all three of these goals whilst providing UPA the ability to showcase and demonstrate cutting-edge technologies to their customers. 

However, due to the complexity and level of detail of the product being inspected, combined with the frequency of inspections, meant that significant manual input was needed for the scanning and processing of the results over the course of two shifts. So on that basis, UPA engaged with MSL to find a solution to address the high level of manual input. 

Creaform MetraSCAN


To address the high level of manual input a new automated application is now being used to meet the inspection demand of multiple scans per shift and a fully closed loop system has been created.

The Creaform hardware IO Module has been seamlessly integrated to establish automated communication between a Collaborative Universal Robot (UR10), the existing Creaform MetraSCAN and Polyworks software, in order to support the increase of inspections in an efficient and effective way.

The existing MetraSCAN was automated using the UR10 and is now used alongside a linear track and part manipulator to ensure an accurate scan across the full product, within one program. This has removed the need for manual input and all inspections are now feeding directly 

“Working together with MSL to create an Automated Measurement Strategy allows us to demonstrate cutting edge technologies to our customers, whilst also enabling us to provide quality and repeatable parts”. 

Nathan Smith, Manufacturing Engineer, Hyperbat (A joint venture between WAE and Unipart Manufacturing)

Scanning Fuel Tank

The Challenge

Unipart’s aim was to increase inspection output and efficiency, with a reliable, repeatable, and cost-effective solution. The complexity of the product in addition to the inspection frequency was a key driver for using the existing MetraSCAN, but measuring the component with traditional measurement strategies would prove challenging and time consuming. 

Unipart Powertrain Applications have been implementing state-of-the-art automation solutions for many years and this experience combined with MSL’s bespoke IO Module allowed the handshake between the Cobot and Scanner to exist. This allowed a fully automated solution to be implemented and almost entirely removes manual input from the process. 

“Using the MetraSCAN 3D as part of our automated measurement strategy provides an innovative way of part inspection whilst maintaining accuracy, efficiency, and versatility”.

Unipart Powertrain Applications

Unipart Automated Measurement

The Final Outcome

Unipart have been utilising Creaform scanning technology for many years, but by introducing automation to the same application, they have been able to improve their productivity and efficiency by measuring more dimensions on more parts without compromising on accuracy. 

With an automated 3D scanning solution Unipart Powertrain Applications can now detect quality and manufacturing issues even quicker with live measurement data export and SPC. Compared to traditional CMMs, the application is much faster, providing a gain in productivity and improved efficiency. 

“UPA are now increasing inspection output and efficiency, with a reliable, repeatable, and cost-effective automated solution based around the MetraSCAN 3D”.

Majid Yaqub, Automation Account Manager, MSL

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