The FaroArm? promotes world-class quality, shortens measurement time, reduces workload and improves quality. Located off Biwa Lake at the foot of Mt. Kagami in Japan, Komatsu Cabtec Co, (Komatsu Cabtec) is part of the Komatsu Group, best known as the world's second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Established in 1918, Komatsu Cabtec specialises in developing and manufacturing driver's cabins (cabs) for construction equipment. Komatsu Cabtec currently owns two units of Faro Arm Platinum, of 12 ft and 8 ft in length. They are used to measure the prototype of cabs, first-article model, as well as in the sample inspection of cabs and parts. The introduction of the FaroArm® on Komatsu Cabtec's shop floor was as a result of a chance encounter at one of its mould-maker vendor's premises.Komatsu Cabtec was at the time in search of a new measuring instrument to replace its aging layout machine. The machine had an extremely time-consuming measurement process as it required anywhere from 30-60 minute for the set-up. For parts with curved surfaces, it was necessary to rotate the object to make measurements in multiple angles. And with each shift, the machine had to undergo recalibration, which would take up to an hour. All in all, the measurement process for a curved part took about four hours to complete.Recent developments in the industry had also made the layout machine increasingly ineffective. Greater emphasis on the design of construction equipment cabs saw a higher usage of curved surfaces so as to enhance appearance, and the layout machine was unable to accurately take these types of measurements. This meant that Komatsu Cabtec needed a measuring system that could cope with the change in requirements. "When I first saw the FaroArm® at our vendor's shop , it was capable of measuring the angle of slope in 15 minute. I was amazed by its ability to measure objects without the use of a surface plate," said Kataoka, Supervisor in charge of Quality Assurance Division. "It can even measure complex objects easily."The FaroArm® made a great first impression, and Komatsu Cabtec then decided to purchase it after discussion with several companies. This was based on the key merits, namely that the FaroArm was user friendly and capable of measuring objects with complex shapes.Komatsu Cabtec currently owns two units of FaroArm Platinum of different lengths. The 12 ft measuring arm is used primarily to measure the cabs as it has a larger measurement range. Utilised from three to four days in a week, the 12 ft FaroArm® measures the prototypes, first-article models, and also performs sampling inspections. With the FaroArm®, Komatsu Cabtec was able to easily and quickly compare its prototypes with the CAD data to detect deviations, which resulted in substantial time-savings.The second arm, 8 ft in length, measures a large number of small parts that are used in the cabs. Equipped with the Laser Line Probe (LLP), this arm has the additional ability of performing non-contact laser scanning. Approximately, 30-100 parts are checked and measured monthly before they are fitted into the cabs. "The measurement time is reduced by half, leading to an increase in measuring speed," remarked Kataoka. "Furthermore, we purchased a 32" monitor last year and it enabled us to verify the scan data on a big screen. With the use of a large monitor, we are able to perform measuring accurately and speedily."Kataoka added, "Cab measurements used to take us three hours to complete but now they can be done in just one hour. The reduction in hours resulted in cost-savings, and the FaroArm® is serving us well in that respect. Also, parts measurement now takes just half the time to complete, and all this has contributed to a reduction in inspection workload." Komatsu Cabtec has a basic environmental policy in place to conserve energy and eliminate waste and there has been a company-wide effort to implement various eco-friendly measures throughout its facilities. As a result of the adoption of the FaroArm®, the improvement in energy savings made by the Quality Assurance Division has been commendable.In another example, some of Komatsu Cabtec's vendors purchased the FaroArm® simply because they believed FaroArm® is the right choice since Komatsu Cabtec is using it. The use of the same measuring instrument by various part suppliers has improved data reliability across the cabs manufacturing supply chain. As a result, the same method of measurement shared by the part suppliers has led to an overall quality improvement.In addition, Fujii from the Inspection Department of Komatsu Cabtec's Quality Assurance Division is working on the acquisition of skills and training for technicians. His department participates in the Kansai regional skill contest, organised by Komatsu on an yearly basis. In this measuring contest, 3D measuring systems are used and Fujii's department has topped the contest with full marks for two consecutive years. The department began with two technicians. Now, there are four and that number will increase to six within 2011.As the FaroArm is easy and simple to use, anyone can pick it up quickly. However, the job still requires technical expertise and a three-month training programme is conducted for technicians so that they can measure objects more quickly and accurately. Hence, Komatsu continues to be committed to maintaining world-class quality, and Faro has been an important factor in helping Komatsu to sustain its leadership position in the industry.Faro is a global technology company that develops and markets computer-aided coordinate measurement devices and software. Portable equipment from Faro permits high-precision 3D measurement and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes.The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, inventory documentation, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes. They are also employed to generate digital scans of historic sites. With Faro, 3D measurement and documentation needs can be fulfilled confidently. As a pioneer and market leader in portable computer-aided measurement, Faro consistently applies the latest advances in technology to make its industry-leading product offerings more accurate, reliable, and easy to use. The focus is on simplifying workflow with tools that empower customers, thereby dramatically reducing the on-site measuring time and lowering overall costs. Worldwide, approximately 10,000 customers are operating more than 20,000 installations of Faro's systems. The company's global headquarters is located in Lake Mary, Florida, with its European head office in Stuttgart, Germany and its Asia-Pacific head office in Singapore.