The T3.J2.2 NIMTech project aimed to improve the manufacturing capacity of European manufacturing industries by increasing the understanding of complex measurement systems. To achieve this, necessary metrological tools required to ensure traceability and accuracy measurements of complex and large parts, and that provides input to standard specifications and encourage best practice in 3D coordinate metrology have been developed.
A preliminary and thorough review of the challenges facing the manufacturing industries in 3D coordinate metrology was conducted by the participating NMIs to obtain in-depth information required to develop suitable and effective solutions to meet the challenges. In the outcome, two key unresolved metrological challenges were identified; detailed analysis of each of them was made, and formed the two focused areas addressed in this project:
- traceable measurement technique for complex geometrical structures ranging from 0.5 metre to several 10 metres;
- Software validation technique and internet-aided infrastructure for the validation of the coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) evaluation algorithms.
The technical aspect of the project comprises of five work packages, excluding project coordination and management, and impact (exploitation, dissemination and knowledge transfer). The latter two activities were dedicated work packages one and seven.
The objectives of the NIMTech project has been fulfilled as described in the JRP consortium agreement and beyond; the project outputs and foreground intellectual property (IP) have been transferred to various industries, NMIs and other metrological institutions.
In the technological results, measurement standards required to ensure traceable measurements addressed been thoroughly – a novel involute gear standard which is also first of its kind has been developed; uncertainty evaluation for multi-sensor networks has been comprehensively investigated – various good practice guides, procedures and software components have been developed; a multi-lateration measuring system (M3D3) with novelty of implementing measurement of large and complex parts which include task specific uncertainty measurement –laboratory and shop floor, and error mapping on CMMs has been developed. Furthermore, ICT has been contrived into the internet aided software validation (IASV) infrastructure, which is built on the basis of ISO 10360-6 and PTB existing data sets. This infrastructure enables the client to communicate directly online with the NMIs server for the purpose of validation of their measuring systems evaluation algorithms.
The NIMTech outputs have been brought to different companies, our measurement techniques and measurement standards have attracted different technical applications and testing. IP knowledge has been transform into different metrological services such as interferometer, laser tracer calibration, etc; IASV now is opened to external clients.