FARO Technologies Innovation named Popular Science "Best of What's New!"

December 14, 2011

Focus3D Generates Recognition and Opportunity

Imagine a product the size of a book that can scan a building, object or environment, record millions of data points, then turn that data into detailed, three-dimensional, color

images — all in a matter of minutes. Then, think about how that product could be used in endless applications, from forensic and accident scene investigations to architecture, civil engineering and building renovation.

The product is real, currently on the market and the winner of a coveted Popular Science Best of What’s New award honoring the highest level of achievement in innovation. It’s the Laser Scanner Focus3D, developed and manufactured by FARO Technologies, the world’s leading provider of portable measurement and imaging solutions. Part of the Philadelphia Region’s manufacturing community, FARO Technologies operates a plant in Kennett Square, Pa.  The company is headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, and was recently named Manufacturer of the Year by the Manufacturer’s Association of Florida.

Technology Enhancing Reality

The FARO Focus3D creates a precise, virtual copy of reality in millimeter accuracy, documenting scenes in minute detail and producing precise data and three-dimensional surface models of objects of every possible shape and size. The visualizations that result enhance detail beyond what can be seen with the naked eye. This capability makes the Focus3D an ideal solution for police and insurance investigations, machine component inspections, product design and reverse engineering, documentation of buildings and building components, construction progress monitoring and much more.

Innovation Creates Opportunity

A company that embraces innovation as part of its corporate culture, FARO Technologies is committed to applying out-of-the-box thinking to both its processes and its products.  Brad Lloyd, FARO Technologies’ director of customer experience and Kennett Square facilities manager, notes that, “We have plenty of competition, both known and unknown. The next big idea could come from a guy in a garage. FARO recognizes this. Our leadership and our engineering team work to add value by continually pushing the envelope of innovations.”

That push for creative approaches has resulted in re-engineering of subcomponents of the Focus3D that has reduced the product’s cost from $90,000 to a starting price of around $30,000 – making it affordable for organizations to purchase for in-house use.

DVIRC/GPIC Connections

One opportunity currently on the horizon for FARO Technologies and the Focus3D is the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC).  Connections between GPIC and FARO Technologies are being facilitated with the help of DVIRC, a founding GPIC partner.

Headquartered at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, GPIC is a consortium of academic institutions, federal laboratories, global industry partners, regional economic development agencies and other stakeholders led by Penn State University that joined forces to secure up to $130 million in federal grants, including $122 million from the Department of Energy, to establish an Energy Innovation Hub.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has also committed $30 million of new capital funding to support GPIC facilities at the Navy Yard.

The goals of GPIC are to improve energy efficiency and operability, and reduce carbon emissions, of new and existing buildings, and to stimulate private investment and quality job creation in the Greater Philadelphia Region, the larger Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond. The GPIC will focus on full spectrum retrofit of existing average-size commercial  buildings. Regional manufacturing and technology companies have an opportunity to participate in areas including advanced lighting, HVAC system components, construction materials and power management.

The opportunity for FARO Technologies comes in the planned full-spectrum retrofit of older buildings for energy-efficient technologies.  Studies have shown that existing commercial buildings consume 40 percent of the energy in the U.S.  However, as is typical with existing structures, precise blueprints, drawings and plans of structural elements and building components may not be available. The Focus3D laser scanner could be an ideal solution for creating visualizations of these items.

DVIRC has arranged for a GPIC introductory event for FARO Technologies.  In January, FARO Technologies executive management personnel will visit the Navy Yard, tour facilities and meet with GPIC representatives. “GPIC represents a significant opportunity,” noted Lloyd.  “We’re looking forward to exploring how FARO Technologies can be involved.”

To learn more about FARO Technologies and the Focus3D laser scanner, visit www.faro.com.

Click here for information about GPIC opportunities.