For more than 30 years, API has pioneered advancements in laser-based metrology equipment for industrial inspection and calibration. API is continually developing products to deliver innovation and automation to the manufacturing floor.
API’s advanced 6DoF Laser Trackers, Scanners, and Dynamic 9D LADAR provide customers with tools to complete complex production tasks with next-level speed and efficiency. Our customers can perform in-line inspection, automated measurement, and precision robot verification to increase production and decrease costs.
A LEGACY OF INNOVATION
In 1983, API Founder and CEO Dr. Kam Lau invented the Laser Tracker while working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Shortly after, Dr. Lau founded API to be one of the first laser-based dimensional metrology equipment companies in the world.
In December 1989, API signed a contract to teach Leica/Hexagon AB how to make Laser Trackers based on API's initial prototype. Wild would go on to become Leica Geosystems and later become a part of Hexagon AB. The royalties from these initial tracker sales from ’89-’99 allowed API to begin to flourish. Using some of Dr. Lau’s other designs from his time at NIST, API created the XD Laser and Ballbar to lead the successful Machine Tool Calibration (MTC) and CMM product lines.
In 1999, API developed the second-generation Laser Tracker, called the T2, which was smaller, faster, and lower cost than the design licensed to Leica. API offered the new design to them but were turned down. At which point, API began manufacturing and selling Dr. Lau’s tracker designs for the first time.
The move sparked a decade of rapid development for the company. They moved into the current-day Rockville, MD facility after ten years at the warehouse in Cessna Ave. The company also began to expand overseas, first in Beijing in 2000, and then opening their first European office in 2005. Later, the company would expand to France, Brazil, and India as well.
21st Century (cont.)
From Rockville, API spearheaded the next generation of trackers with the T3, the OT2, and the current Radian Tracker series. They’ve advanced tracker target technology with probes like the vProbe and automated targets like the Smart Track Sensor (STS). And they’re leading the charge towards Dr. Lau’s original goal of using the tracker to measure and improve the performance of robots with the Checkbox, featuring Robot Measurement Software (RMS) and Smart Factory Inspections Systems (SFIS).
In 2022, API was again at the forefront of the industry and technology, released Dynamic 9D LADAR a non-contact high volume scanning device with unparalleled speed and accuracy, which is set to revolutionize modern manufacturing processes for greater speed and automation.