DELTA OPERA: streamlining large part-loading for safety and efficiency

A major challenge for quality professionals is ensuring that the integrity of parts is protected when loading for measurement. The rework and bottlenecks caused by part damage can be costly and time-consuming, particularly when working with high-value components.

This is an issue that affects manufacturers across a range of applications, from extremely large aeroengine parts to tiny medical components. But for manufacturers working with large, fragile parts, there are some specific challenges that metrology solutions are now addressing.

For example, let’s say you’re working with aeroplane winglets. These aircraft structure parts are vital to optimising the plane’s aerodynamic performance, so accurate measurement is critical. At the same time, these parts need to be handled carefully due to their size and construction from a variety of composite materials.

This poses two general challenges. Firstly, there is the issue of transporting the part to the CMM for measuring. Essentially the more time that the part is spent being moved around then the higher the risk of damage.

The other primary challenge is loading and unloading the part. Parts this large typically require a gantry CMM for measurement. Traditional gantry machines are usually designed with columns to support the Y-axis beams. This restricts access to the measurement volume, which can make loading and unloading large parts like winglets very cumbersome.

It was manufacturers’ struggles with these challenges that motivated us to design a solution that made part-loading safer, more convenient and efficient.

Primarily what our product development team aimed to do was create a CMM that offered the measurement volume size of a gantry machine but with accessibility more akin to a bridge-type CMM. This required some outside-the-box-thinking, since for years the standard gantry machine has been based upon a fundamental, proven structural design concept.

The final product DELTA OPERA brought a unique structural innovation to CMMs to help manufacturers tackle these challenges. The CMM’s open structure design allows users to load and unload parts from three sides of the CMM. This simplifies the process, while also reducing the risk of part-column collision and subsequent damage. Parts are further protected by the CMM’s flush floor installation. DELTA OPERA also offers optional LED lighting to further increase measuring volume visibility, enabling users to ensure that the part is securely fixed and clean.

DELTA OPERA can also be installed close to production. This helps manufacturers to reduce the amount of time/distance travelled spent transporting cumbersome fragile parts. Furthermore, the machine can be installed with metal coverings for additional protection in hash environments without the need for a dedicated conditioned cabin. This helps to reduce costs in terms of energy consumption and maintenance.

As well as streamlining part loading and unloading, DELTA OPERA is optimised in numerous ways to help make large part measurement as accurate and productive as possible. Visit the product page to learn more about this solution can make your large part measurement smarter.


  • Marco Mussino

    Marco joined Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division in 2005. He developed his experience over a number of years with the Special Systems department, always with a strong focus on customer applications, until eventually becoming Project Management Leader. Since 2018, Marco has held the position of Product Manager for the division's Horizontal Arm and Gantry CMM systems.

  • Join our HxGN LIVE Events Worldwide

    Hexagon hosts exciting HxGN LIVE events around the globe! Experience our technology innovations in a location near you.

  • Recent Posts