A recent interview with Nikon’s corporate vice president Tadashi Nakayama provides insight into the strategy of the firm’s Industrial Metrology Business Unit, of which he is deputy general manager.
In particular, he explained the company’s strategic focus on Quality 4.0, where digital, automated and connected inspection enables complete process control from design through to manufacture.
The core elements of a Quality 4.0 based process are the requirement for the automated measurement of key features on components, as close to real-time as possible, plus the need to acquire digital results and feed them back directly to machinery, thereby controlling production automatically. In this way, the quality function drives the manufacturing process, guaranteeing the best possible products.
Nikon Metrology is committed to ensuring that its measuring systems lead the field in Industry 4.0, and this policy was underlined by Nakayama. At the heart of Quality 4.0 is the interconnection of inspection and production. The goal is to enable manufacturers to produce better products at lower cost, accelerate their response to changes in demand, shorten the time to market and achieve greater overall competitiveness.
Nikon Metrology has already supplied Industry 4.0-enabled QC systems to customers in Europe, Asia and the US. One example in the German automotive industry involves rapid, automatic measurement of the position of studs on the underbody of cars in a production line. Accuracy is checked to within 100 µm using multiple laser radar systems.
Nikon Metrology’s strategy over the next few years will be two-fold. First, from a technical perspective, the collection of digital measurement data will be paramount to enable intelligent process control systems, whether locally or in the cloud. Secondly, Nikon is increasing its focus on building even stronger relationships with customers.
For further information www.nikonmetrology.com
At the recent Advanced Manufacturing show in Birmingham, UK, GOM shone the spotlight on its fifth generation of ATOS sensors for 3D scanning over large measuring areas.
The ATOS 5 and ATOS 5X are fast and precise following the introduction of new features and developments. For instance, the Blue Light Equalizer has been developed especially for the light source in the ATOS 5 to make the system independent of ambient light conditions. The ATOS 5X takes this a step further with the introduction of a laser light compressor to generate ultra-bright light for the scanning process.
More speed and light in cameras allows for a shorter exposure time, with scan times down to 0.2 seconds per measurement and 100 frames per second.
As a result of this new technology, both systems achieve high-precision data for a diverse range of manual and automated applications, from tools and moulds, to plastic and metal parts. With the ability to scan small scale items such as aerofoil components, up to full car body inspection, the ATOS 5 is flexible and capable over multiple applications. At the same time, fixture design can be simplified as a larger surface is captured and fewer reference points are required.
The trend for automated measuring is supported by installing the ATOS system inside an ATOS Scanbox. This option combines all the functions in one automated measuring machine. What’s more, by utilising Virtual Measuring Room software, the measurement environment is represented in a virtual simulation. All robot movements are simulated and checked for safety before being performed in the actual environment.
For further information www.gom.com
Dormer Pramet has acquired Wetmore Tool and Engineering, a privately-owned US-based manufacturer of customer-specified HSS and solid-carbide cutting tools.
Based in Chino, California, Wetmore Tool and Engineering is a manufacturer of adaptive shank drill technology, as well as fasteners, reamers and rivet shavers. The company specialises in cutting tools for hand-held skin-drilling applications performed by several global aerospace organisations.
As part of the acquisition, Wetmore becomes a product brand of Dormer Pramet, alongside its current Dormer, Pramet, Precision Twist Drill and Union Butterfield assortments. Jerome David, CEO at Wetmore Tool and Engineering, will continue in his position and play an important role in overseeing the transition as a member of Dormer Pramet’s senior management team.
For further information www.dormerpramet.com
Staffordshire-based Goodwin International manufactures components for a range of sectors, including the nuclear, defence, oil and gas, power generation, aerospace and renewable industries.
From large primary circuit reactor components standing at 4 m in height and 5.5 m in diameter, to machined and welded assemblies of up to 100 tonnes in weight, Goodwin International is able to manufacture a multitude of large, high-specification components.
As a result of the size and the demanding dimensional tolerances of many components, the company makes use of one of the largest capacity CMMs in the UK. However, given the problems associated with transporting large, heavy workpieces to
the CMM, the company also uses a range of Faro portable CMMs with both tactile measurement and scanning capabilities to perform regular in-process checks.
A growing order book and increasing need for the scanning and dimensional inspection of large components – and comparing them to CAD models – prompted Goodwin International to purchase a
4 m version of Faro’s recently launched Quantum FaroArm, used in combination with a FaroBlu Laser Line Probe HD (High Definition).
Goodwin International’s quality control manager Mark Woolmer says. “Having compared several options, I came to the conclusion that Faro’s 4 m Quantum ScanArm was the ideal portable CMM for our needs. It shares many of the qualities of our existing portable CMMs, although the new Quantum ScanArm boasts the latest FaroBlu Laser Line Probe HD and delivers even faster scanning times. In fact, its speed and ease of operation means that, without compromising on accuracy,
we have cut our scanning inspection times in half.”
For further information www.faro.com
More than 100 future engineers from schools in 15 countries will meet in the West Midlands for the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge world finals.
Students will compete to design and build miniature remote-controlled 4x4s over four days (13-16 April 2019) at the University of Warwick, near Jaguar Land Rover’s headquarters in Whitley.
Thousands of young people have taken part in the competition since 2006. Moreover, the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge was extended internationally in 2015 and now runs in 20 countries. The world finals will bring together all the national champions, with students travelling to the UK to compete for the world champion’s trophy. Student teams around the globe are now preparing for the finals and working hard to produce a world-beating, remote-controlled, scale model off-roader which incorporates lessons learned in their national final competitions.
For further information www.4x4inschools.co.uk