Length gauge for harsh environments

A new incremental length gauge for precision measuring and in-process control applications in harsh environments has been introduced by Heidenhain. The length gauge is suitable for use in the working area of grinding machines, lathes and other metal-cutting machine tools, and produces results accurate to ±1 μm over its 30 mm measuring range.

Called Specto ST 3087RC, the unit has a special housing to protect its mechanism. A built-in spring keeps the plunger, surrounded by a rubber bellows, retracted behind a guard and splash cap when the gauge is in its rest position. The extension of the plunger to the measuring position is actuated by compressed air, normally with the coolant switched off.
An increase in productivity and a reduction in floor-to-floor time result from not having to transfer components to a measuring station external to the machine tool, or to a quality control department. Should rework be necessary after metrology functions have been completed, in-process gauging preserves accuracy by eliminating the need to set the component up again for a second operation.
High-accuracy positional values over the full stroke of the gauge allow diverse components to be measured from the same fixture. Furthermore, internal photoelectric scanning of plunger position by means
of a DIADUR scale grating with a 20 μm period, together with the use of a durable ball-bush guide, permit consistent repeatability of probing even when measuring oblique or curved surfaces.
The IP67-rated ST 3087 RC is protected against ingress of dust and unaffected by high-pressure coolant jets – and even short periods of immersion. The length gauge is also tolerant to extremes of temperature, vibration and shock.
For further information www.heidenhain.com

Students benefit from measuring arm

Barrow-in-Furness based Furness College, south Cumbria’s largest training provider with more than 4300 students, has purchased a Faro Edge ScanArm HD with CAM2 Measure10 software. The measuring arm combines the advantages of a measuring arm with the advanced attributes of a hand-held laser scanner. Among other tasks, the college’s Faro system is now used by students to inspect and reverse engineer complex parts and surfaces into 3D models.

Gordon Higgins, curriculum leader, says: “The AMTC is helping to meet growing local demand for highly skilled workers by enabling students to develop skills on real-life projects. As we work with more than 700 employers across a range of businesses, in order to meet their diverse needs it is important that we provide students with access to the latest high-tech equipment and machinery. An example of our students’ exposure to, and training on, the kind of cutting-edge equipment that they will encounter in the ‘real world’ is our Faro Edge ScanArm HD with CAM2 Measure10 software.
“In addition to witnessing an impressive Faro demonstration, it helped our purchasing decision that industries such as shipbuilding, metal fabrication and tool and die use the Faro Edge ScanArm HD for inspection and quality control routines,” he adds. “Also, several of the major employers that we work closely with, including BAE Systems, use Faro systems.
“Now in regular use, the logical nature of Faro’s CAM2 Measure10 software and the simplicity of our Faro Edge ScanArm HD, enable students to quickly master the system’s operation and fully understand the results they achieve.”
For further information www.faro.com

NTG invests in third Aberlink CMM

The mainstay of quality and inspection at Gateshead-based NTG Precision is its collection of Aberlink CMMs. Indeed, the requirement for the company’s inspection department to keep pace with increasing levels of production recently prompted the purchase of NTG’s third Aberlink CMM.

“Just as we pursue a policy of remaining loyal to suppliers who deliver premium-quality machine tools and first-class levels of service, we have remained loyal to Aberlink for the same reasons,” states NTG’s operations manager Mark Withycombe. “As well as accuracy, speed and ease-of-use, we have been very impressed with the machines’ reliability and the excellent levels of service the company provides.
“Although we were very happy with our previous two Aberlink CMMs, as other manufacturers’ machines may have improved, we looked at a couple of alternative CMMs,” he adds. “Satisfied that Aberlink’s Axiom Too best suited our needs, we were happy to remain loyal to the brand and place another order.”
Now installed and fully operational, just like NTG’s existing Aberlink CMMs, the new machine is able to get through large volumes of component measurement routines, and has removed the potential for delays in the inspection department.
“Given the nature of many of the industries we serve, such as oil and gas, subsea, power generation and automotive, the ability to offer the highest standard of component inspection is a prerequisite for gaining contracts. In addition to providing the required accuracy and speed, it helps that our three Aberlink CMMs are able to automatically generate the detailed inspection reports demanded by our customers.”
For further information www.aberlink.com

IAP measuring equipment made available in UK

A new range of measuring equipment by India-based Innovative Automation Products is now available in the UK and Ireland from Master Abrasives. The Innovative Automation equipment for grinding processes covers optical, air, co-ordinate and other areas of metrology.

Ian Meredith, applications engineering manager at Master Abrasives, says: “Adding measuring equipment to our range of products means we can offer a more complete package for grinding processes alongside machines, abrasives and coolant nozzles. I visited Innovative Automation Products last year and was impressed with their manufacturing capabilities and portfolio of solutions. As a result, we have agreed to become their official UK and Ireland representative, and our showroom is now equipped with their 2D height gauge, air gauge and profile projector.”
Innovative Automation Products offers a 1D and 2D height gauge that are manual or motorised with a measuring length of 325, 625, 1025 or 1150 mm. A 3D CMM is also available as manual, motorised or CNC type. The air gauges are available with single or multi-channel, and single or double displays. Both vertical and horizontal profile projectors are available: the V400-HP with a screen diameter of 400 mm is on display in Master Abrasives’ showroom.
Innovative Automation Products’ V400-HP profile projector combines optical non-contact measurement and inspection with a measuring range of 250 x 150 mm. The vertical light-path arrangement is suited to the inspection of parts such as cutting-tool inserts, machined components and shafts weighing up to 10 kg.
For further information www.master-abrasives.co.uk

New face at MTC

The MTC has appointed Vicki Sanderson as HR director, who is looking to use her role to inspire more women into the engineering profession.

Sanderson officially started the role – a newly-created position with a seat on the MTC board – on 8 January, having held similar positions at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, and Domino Printing Sciences. “I hope that in my role I can play an active part in bringing more female engineers to the MTC,” she says. “I’ll also be looking at ways to outreach, increase diversity and promote STEM, which I am passionate about.”
For further information www.the-mtc.org