The “Go Anywhere, Do Anything®” philosophy has been a way of life for Jeep owners since the 1940s. Originally built for the U.S. Army as a ‘light reconnaissance vehicle’, the first Jeep was designed in just two days! 75 years later and the modern-day Jeep Wrangler was one of the top 25 vehicles sold in the U.S in 2016.
Mark A. Smith, a legendary outdoorsman and Jeep lover, is credited with launching 4x4 off-roading as a sport way back in 1951. Smith started the Jeepers Jamboree, a driving adventure along the famous Rubicon trail between Georgetown and Lake Tahoe. Those jamborees continue today, allowing Jeep owners a guided two-day, four-wheel-drive adventure along the very same trail.
Although a stock jeep can handle a drive like this, Jeep owners customize their rides with aftermarket parts to improve off-road capabilities. They’re called Jeepers, they belong to clubs, love to modify their Jeeps and even have their own wave to other Jeepers! The modifications can range in complexity from skid plates and Rocker Rails up to body armor and full replacement suspension systems.
What is MetalCloak?
MetalCloak, based in Rancho Cordova, California, specializes in body armor and suspension systems for the Jeep Wrangler platform, as well as a few other trucks and SUVs. Blake Martin, Senior Design Engineer, began working with MetalCloak back in 2009. He needed to purchase a portable arm for some basic point probing. Blake had experience with a ROMER Absolute Arm from a previous job and after extensive research into various portable technologies in the market, he knew the ROMER Absolute Arm was the right decision and had the right combination of features that would meet their requirements. The data gathered using a simple point probe allowed MetalCloak to design parts that fit the first time, and had a superior fit to any other manufacturer in the market.
Fast forward to today, Blake uses the ROMER Absolute Arm with Integrated Scanner to employ a two-step approach to data-gathering. First, he gathers as much scan data as possible on a specific section of the Jeep body. MetalCloak’s products don’t require a full-body scan. Instead, Blake strategically positions the measuring arm to gather as much data as possible for each individual product. He then probes any features that are critical (especially mounting points). The ROMER Absolute Arm with Integrated Scanner allows him to switch seamlessly between scanning and tactile probing, making it ideally suited to gathering point-cloud data that is needed for MetalCloak’s aftermarket parts. As he leapfrogs the arm to the next location, the software automatically gathers unique overlapping features from both locations for a global alignment. A seamless fit is mandatory, from a design perspective but also for functionality. The fallout from suspension components that do not stay in place, or that fail in a way that puts the passengers lives in danger, would be catastrophic. That reality is an ever-present consideration when they design suspension components. An easy installation for the customer adds to the challenge as well.
MetalCloak continues to use the ROMER Absolute Arm for scanning and probing in addition for a few quick quality control measurements, especially on rubber parts that are difficult to measure with traditional tools. In the future, they would like to use the ROMER Absolute Arm for quality control within the production departments as well.
The competition in this segment of the market has greatly increased in the last 10 years, and demand for quality products is greater than ever. The ROMER Absolute Arm has been crucial in realizing that goal and continuing to provide the best fit on the market. To learn more about MetalCloak and their products, visit MetalCloak.com.
Andrew Scarella is the Digital Marketing Manager for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America. He contributes to this blog as well as updates the North American website and provides content for the company social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.