It's measurement, made better and faster. 3D sensing and noncontact scanning technologies are transforming how many manufacturers gather measurement data both for machinery parts and assembled products – enabling faster and more accurate inspections and improved quality control. And in today's "lean"-obsessed manufacturing environment, the time savings and accuracy that 3D scanning promises for a variety of applications can translate into significant efficiencies for plants.
"I think (3D) scanning is on the cusp of great growth in the next couple of years," says Jerry Hardy, a segment marketing manager for Lake Mary, Fla.-based FARO Technologies, which makes the Focus line of 3D scanners. FARO has one of the biggest stakes in the industrial 3D scanning market, but recent analysis from Allied Market Research seems to back up Hardy's assertion. In a report issued last summer, Allied estimated that the 3D scanning market will reach $4.9 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.4% through that time.