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Industry 4.0 – What is the role of laser scanners?

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 – What is the role of laser scanners?

Industry 4.0 is about striving for a perfect digital working process in classical production. Implementation is currently being worked on in various steps and stages. What is the role of laser scanners?

3D laser scanners in use for Industry 4.0

Regarding the development of new products, Industry 4.0 is theoretically easy to implement: digital engineering in CAD, production in CAM, then interaction of the machines with each other and with the components as well as with the user. This is a complete digital workflow from start to finish.


For the manufacture of new products, however, we will not focusentirely on the construction of new production lines. About 75 – 90 % of all required production facilities already exist; economically, it makes no sense to tear down everything here.

This is where the 3D laser scanner comes in. With the laser scanner, components or complete production plants can be digitized quickly and accurately. Thus, a complete digital basis is now also available for the digital process steps of Industry 4.0. In the past, obsolete 2D plans were often used and “something” was reconstructed in CAD. This was also digital, but it often did not correspond to the actual reality, since the plans are often very outdated. It should be noted, however, that only geometric information can be captured with the scanner. The scanner cannot capture material properties or other characteristics.

The perfect combination of hardware and software in the digital process chain of Industry 4.0

It is taken for ganted that the laser scanner is not a panacea. Many users think that a CAD model is available immediately after scanning. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Scanners always provide raster data. Many measuring points are generated, the so-called point cloud. Some scanners, especially handheld scanners and structured light scanners, often already generate STL nets, so-called meshes. These can already be used for some applications in CAD design. However, most of the data still needs to be vectorized by reverse engineering or manual or semi-automated modeling. These steps can be very time-consuming. Therefore, it is important to set up the right workflow and the best software solution for the analysis of scan data.

Thus, the laser scanner alone does not help much in the digital process chain of Industry 4.0. Only the combination of the hardware with the optimum software and the user’s knowledge generate the maximum benefit.

How can Laserscanning Europe help you to implement the requirements but also the advantages of digital operation?

We support you in the changeover to future methods of operation and provide the following services

  • Evaluation of whether laser scanning is a great solution for your application
  • Selection of the best scanner for your tasks
  • Selection of the required software products for your existing CAD environment or customer requirements
  • Trainings on hardware and software

This article was submitted by laserscanning-europe.com

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