Latest Vickers hardness tester

Bowers Group has introduced the Innovatest Falcon 600 pre-configured automated hardness testing system into the UK marketplace. The Falcon 600 provides a fully integrated platform for complete Vickers, Knoop and low-force Brinell hardness testing needs, with a standard force range of 1 gf to 62.5 kgf (with the option of going down to forces of 0.1 gf).

“Fully automatic as standard, the Falcon 600 is a cost-effective alternative to the fully specified Falcon 500 machine, while retaining Innovatest’s mechanical design and optics,” says Martin Hawkins, Bowers Group sales director.
Innovatest Falcon 600 units also boast a range of CNC stages, with an 18 Mp, 4K HD camera system featuring zoom and automatic focus, as well as full colour image technology. Furthermore, the 15” HD touchscreen operator interface offers easy-to-learn workflow control.
Bowers Group represents Innovatest’s range of high-end hardness testers in the UK and Ireland. Made in the Netherlands, the Falcon 600 is covered by Innovatest’s newly introduced 25-year warranty programme, which the company says is a first in the material testing industry.
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Thermal imagers for industrial furnaces

Ametek Land has introduced two short-wavelength radiometric infrared borescope imaging cameras, NIR-B-2K and NIR-B-640, for a range of continuous industrial furnace process monitoring and control applications requiring highly accurate temperature measurement.

The NIR-B-2K, which provides a thermal image with a definition of nearly 3 million pixels (1968 x 1472), is unaffected by the hot atmosphere and gases of the furnace, and allows operators to measure from any of three full radiometric-calibrated megapixels, providing data to optimise furnace temperature. This capability helps to save energy, increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
Designed specifically to produce high-definition thermal images in a temperature range from 600 to 1800°C, the NIR-B-2K delivers continuous process monitoring and control for large furnaces. Needing only a narrow opening in the furnace wall, the wide-angle lens provides a 95° x 71° field of view to ensure an extensive measurement area covering stock, refractories and burner/heating zones in a single thermal image.
The second release is the NIR-B-640, a short wavelength radiometric infrared borescope imaging camera for continuous temperature measurement in furnace applications with a higher differential temperature in the field of view.
Measuring in a range from 600 to 2000°C, the NIR-B-640 provides a high-resolution thermal image with real-time, continuous, high-accuracy temperature readings. The device utilises the latest wide dynamic range imaging technology, providing the highest available temperature reading accuracy over the entire temperature range, for accurate, continuous temperature profiling of the furnace and stock, says Ametek Land.
Ametek Land’s NIR-B-640 can accurately measure ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ areas in one frame or image. This functionality allows the entire process to be monitored without switching to different temperature ranges during operation.
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Fablink makes Quantum leap with Faro

The Fablink Group is a privately-owned company specialising in the manufacture of cabs, pressings and assemblies to a number of global OEMs. To help inspection staff at the company’s Brixworth Technical Centre keep pace with rising production levels, and to improve the company’s measurement capabilities, Fablink researched measuring tools that had both tactile probing and scanning capabilities, as well as offering the generous measuring capacities required to cover such large assemblies.

After witnessing several demonstrations, an order was placed with Faro UK for a 3 m measurement range Quantum-M ScanArm fitted with a FaroBlu Laser Line Probe SD.
Fablink’s head of quality Glenn Wright explains: “As we serve a range of challenging industries where consistent quality and competitive pricing are of paramount importance, it is vital that we remain at the cutting edge of the technologies that support our quality ethos and our continuing pursuit of efficiency improvements.
“It was these factors and an increased workload that recently prompted our search for large-capacity technology that would boost our inspection competencies and further improve efficiency levels,” he adds. “After seeing three scanning systems perform demonstrations, we came to the conclusion that the Faro Quantum-M ScanArm was both the easiest and fastest system to use. We were very impressed with its accuracy, repeatability and the standard of the useable real-time data, alongside its ability to reduce our previous scanning times by up to 75%.
“Although intended for use mainly at our Brixworth site, as the Faro solution is portable and quick to set-up, it is available for use at our other facilities. The Quantum-M has also proved invaluable for the routine inspection and calibration of jigs and fixtures.”
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AM software boosts quality

InfiniAM Sonic acoustic process monitoring software has been launched by Renishaw to complement the company’s existing InfiniAM suite of additive manufacturing (AM) monitoring tools. The software enables engineers to detect acoustic events within the AM build chamber and turn this data into useful information about build quality. The software is said to be the first of its kind in the AM industry.

Renishaw’s InfiniAM Sonic is installed into the RenAM 500Q system as a factory-fit option and includes four acoustic energy sensors to detect vibration in the build. These sensors detect minute vibrations and collect sound waves so that they can be heard, viewed and analysed. Using four high-frequency sensors in different locations results in a slight time difference, due to the speed of sound. The software uses this time difference to triangulate the position of noise on the build plate. In addition, the software presents a level of certainty regarding where the noise occurred, and the magnitude. This data can then be combined graphically with other sensor data to build a comprehensive view of the part and the conditions at time of build.
The software works alongside InfiniAM Central and InfiniAM Spectral, which provide improved understanding of build quality, increased confidence in the build process and accelerated process development, reports Renishaw. A mobile app, InfiniAM Central, is also available, so that users can receive notifications on their build process in near real-time.
David Ewing, AM product manager at Renishaw, says: “The rapid heating and cooling that takes place during an AM build leads to residual stress in the part. While each laser weld results in a small amount of stress, residual stress can build up within the part, and if it increases past the strength of the metal it may lead to a fracture in the support material or part itself.”
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Duct cradles

The in-house fabrication department of ECS Engineering Services has recently completed the manufacture of 49 steel duct cradles destined for the main reactor building at a UK nuclear power plant.

All of the structures were delivered within six months. The duct cradles ranged in size from 1400 to 1800 mm wide. A channel framed structure was mated with plate-work supports to increase strength. This design ensured that the cradles could easily accommodate the sizable stainless-steel ducts which would be installed on top of them at the facility.
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