Subcontract market making steady progress

Building on strong figures for the first quarter of 2017, the subcontract manufacturing market edged ahead another 6.7% in the second quarter, with strong demand for machining in June offsetting a dip in May. According to the latest Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) figures, the index for the second quarter stood at 174, compared with 163 for the first quarter, although it was 8% down on the corresponding quarter of 2016 when demand was particularly strong and the index stood at 188. The baseline figure of 100 represents the average value of the subcontracting market during 2014.
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India Day at EMO 2017

Are ‘Modinomics’ fuelling an industrial renaissance in India? This question will be addressed during the India Day hosted by the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) at EMO 2017 in Hanover, Germany, on 20 September. EMO’s India Day aims in particular to explain clear perspectives for the mechanical engineering, automotive and aerospace sectors.
The day will be supported by the Indian government, with the organisers hosting Shri Sivanand, Joint Secretary of the Department of Heavy Industry in the Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises. He will be spotlighting the government’s initiative for boosting the manufacturing sector. EMO will also be welcoming six delegations of high-ranking Indian entrepreneurs, which will be organised and accompanied by various Indian customer associations and staff from the VDMA’s liaison office in Kolkata.
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IMS drives cost savings at Bosch Rexroth

Drive and control specialist Bosch Rexroth has reported two years of maintenance-free production at its plant in Schweinfurt, Germany, following the installation of its own Integrated Measuring Systems (IMS) on its machine tools, a move that has saved the company tens of thousands of euros in maintenance and running costs.
The plant, which manufactures precision linear motion components such as profiled rails, runner blocks and ball screw drives, as well as entire linear motion systems, has not experienced a single instance of machine downtime, while producing materials with a repeatability of ±0.25 µm.
Bosch Rexroth has now converted its cost savings into a “Total Cost of Ownership“ tool, which allows manufacturers to calculate their own savings, as well as the potential savings for mechanical engineers and end users.
Until 2014, Bosch Rexroth relied on optical position sensors, or glass scales, to achieve the desired accuracy with its metal-cutting equipment. These solutions were expensive because they required regular cleaning and maintenance. At times, they were even responsible for machine failures because they were prone to introducing contaminants. As a result, Bosch Rexroth installed IMS, which can detect the absolute position of an axis down to ±3 µm/m, into its ball and roller runner blocks.
“Accuracy requirements are becoming more exacting in virtually every metal machining application,” says Stefan Dorn, head of advanced engineering and technical product management for linear motion technology. “To meet this challenge, Bosch Rexroth has been using its maintenance-free IMS solutions in upgraded machine tools for more than two years. Since replacing the glass scales, we have achieved five-figure savings in terms of maintenance costs and availability.”
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NDT for aerospace

Creaform has announced that it will extend its expertise in NDT to the aerospace industry. By expanding access to its inspection solutions, the company aims to better enable airlines, as well as MRO service companies, to more efficiently perform the evaluations of in-service aircraft safety, while cutting costs and saving downtime.
“As predictive maintenance becomes more prominent, aviation maintenance professionals and aircraft MRO providers are increasingly on the lookout for innovative methods that enable quicker and safer decisions to be made on the outcome of part defects,” says Steeves Roy, NDT product manager at Creaform. “The mapping of external surface defects on aircraft parts, which can prove difficult to obtain using traditional methods – namely hail damage, bird impacts and lightning strikes on the fuselage and wings – can be assessed with 3D scanning. When paired with advanced inspection tools, such a solution cuts down on the operator’s impact on measurements, shortens time to get the final report and reinforces decision making.”
To ensure that the solution matches aviation maintenance industry requirements and properly reflects market needs, Creaform is partnering with major aircraft manufacturers for beta testing. The surface inspection solution dedicated to aerospace applications is set for release in October 2017.
Well-known for its NDT solutions offered to the oil and gas industry, Creaform’s NDT product solution is comprised of its flagship HandyScan 3D portable metrology-grade 3D scanner and its Pipecheck NDT software, both of which allow automatic on-site inspection, detection and characterisation of pipeline defects. With traceable and repeatable inspection data and results, operators can access critical information for making safer decisions.
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Total service to industry

Midland Metrology Ltd is a long-standing specialist that has been providing a “total service to industry”, ever since its establishment by current managing director Bob Coles
in October 1988. The company is best known for stocking and supplying metrology application solutions such as optical profile projectors, CMMs, hardness testers and various other inspection, test and
calibration tools.
“We sell both new and used metrology equipment to sectors that include automotive, aerospace, medical and oil and gas,” says Coles. “The company prides itself on being able to respond to customer enquiries quickly, offering ready solutions to their problems. We can provide a fast and friendly service with an efficient turnaround of items in our calibration laboratory. The lab also provides a comprehensive inspection service for the measurement of customer components, which includes full detailed spreadsheet reporting.”
The company’s 4,000 sqft facility at Coventry features a dedicated showroom and dimensional temperature controlled laboratory. Equipment can be bought or sold and, as a concentrated specialist, Midland Metrology can source competitively priced solutions from a number of manufacturing brands.
Stock includes basic equipment such as micrometers, calipers, bore gauges, depth gauges and height gauges, while more sophisticated machines and equipment include profile projectors, video measuring machines, a full range of portable hardness testers, CMMs and roundness testers.
More recently, the company has introduced a range of brand new black granite products, and is now able to supply granite tables and surface plates, granite squares and tri-squares, straight edges, vee blocks, and parallels.
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