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    Hexagon accelerates large surface inspection with new 3D laser scanner for handheld and automated robotic applications

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    The Absolute Scanner AS1-XL brings flagship-quality scan definition for extra-large surface measurement, for both portable arm and laser tracker systems. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced the release of a new modular 3D laser scanner designed for large surface inspection, for use with both its laser tracker and portable measuring arm devices. The new Absolute Scanner AS1-XL is built on the same SHINE technology as its flagship Absolute Scanner AS1, allowing it to collect extremely clean 3D data at very high speeds from even the most challenging surface types. With a wider scan line, the new scanner is designed for inspecting large surfaces and deep cavities across inspection applications such as aerospace panels, marine propellers and large automotive castings.

    The AS1-XL boasts an ultra-wide scan line of 600 millimetres at mid-range. Together with its 1.2 million points per second point acquisition rate and 300 Hertz frame rate, this makes it ideal for scanning large surfaces quickly without losing inspection detail. The scanner also features an extended measurement stand-off distance of 700 millimetres, which paired with its 600 millimetre working range allows for hidden point measurement capability of up to a metre.

    “Since even before the launch of the AS1 we’ve wanted to deliver that same level of data collection quality and automation readiness in a device focused on large surface inspection,” says Daniel Moser, Laser Tracker Product Director at Hexagon. “We’ve seen with our previous generation of scanners that the appetite and applications for a dedicated large-scale scanning device are out there in the market. With the AS1-XL, we’ve been able to deliver on the promise of that large surface measurement concept in a far more satisfying way thanks to our new scanning technology that is ten times faster than our previous generation, the LAS-XL.”

    The proprietary intelligent exposure algorithms that make up Hexagon’s SHINE technology are key to the performance of the AS1-XL, allowing it to digitise almost any material, including multiple surface types and colour finishes, within a single scan pass with no need for settings adjustment. It is this and the scanner’s automation compatibility that set it apart from the previous generation LAS-XL, a handheld-only device. The high measurement speed and large stand-off distance of the AS1-XL make it ideal for a wide range of automatable inspection tasks – the former allowing the scanner to keep up with modern robot technology rather than being a bottleneck to robot path speed, and the latter minimising risk of collision by not requiring the robot path to pass so close to the inspection object.

    As with the Absolute Scanner AS1, the AS1-XL has been designed with a modular concept that allows for compatibility with both Hexagon’s flagship laser tracker and portable measuring arm systems – the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 and Absolute Arm 7-Axis respectively. The quick-mount design and minimal warm-up period make the AS1 and AS1-XL a hot-swappable combination, allowing users to move quickly back and forth between high-density detailed scanning and larger surface inspection using either a portable arm or laser tracker at a moment’s notice.

    “The Absolute Scanner AS1 has really been embraced by the market since its launch in 2021, and it’s great to be completing the 3D scanning toolkit of our portable measuring arm line-up with an equally impressive device in the AS1-XL,” says Anthony Vianna, Portable Measuring Arm Product Director at Hexagon. “Our Absolute Arm range offers a market-leading measurement volume of up to 4.5 metres in diameter, making it an ideal platform for a large-scale device like the AS1-XL. And even with our smaller diameter models, the hidden area coverage provided by that extended stand-off distance opens up a lot of applications that have previously been hard to cover, such as automotive, rail and aerospace interiors.”

    As with the AS1 and latest iteration of the Absolute Arm range, the AS1-XL is IP54-rated, allowing for safe and reliable operation in the challenging shop floor environment into which quality inspection is increasingly being taken.

    The AS1-XL is available to order now from local Hexagon representatives, and more information is available on the Absolute Scanner section of the Hexagon website.