Improving the quality of weld testing

Looking to keep its service in-line with customer requirements, Solus Testing has introduced an Innovatest Falcon 507 micro/macro Vickers hardness tester from Bowers Group to its Worksop facility. Solus Testing is a mechanical and NDT laboratory that carries out weld procedure qualification records and welder qualification to ASME IX and BS EN standards.

For Solus, quality and accuracy are the most important aspect of its service. In this particular instance, the Falcon 507 performs weld testing, allowing confirmation of any property changes that may have occurred during the welding process. The testing of a weld’s heat-affected zones must be particularly precise, usually on a microscopic scale, to ensure absolute safety of the finished product.

The Falcon 500 series provides users with micro-Vickers, Vickers and micro-Brinell hardness testing functions, improving conventional methods by focusing on eliminating user influence on the test results. A proprietary force actuator system utilises an electronically controlled closed-loop system and force sensor technology to achieve its high accuracy.

With its automatic indent measurement, two indenter positions, four objective positions, 5 mP HD camera and anti-collision system, Solus operates the Falcon in a laboratory setting that allows the hardness testing process to be carried out in a space where external factors cannot affect the results. The machine is in constant use and, with its high workload, it is important that the testing instruments can cope with demand.

Rob Tinsley of Solus Testing says: “The quality of the results that the Falcon 507 achieves is paramount. We must always reassure our customers that if production welding is carried out the same way as the welding test, the product will meet all standards required.”

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Robotic welding at LaShip

Following strong organic growth in US markets, Pemamek has delivered a Pema VRWP-C robot welding station to the LaShip shipyard in Louisiana. The Pema VRWP-C robot station is a compact solution to automate micro-panel welding, but also other small-to-medium-sized assemblies. The basis of the system is Pema WeldControl 200, which Pemamek says enables easy weld-path creation and robot programming. Additionally, thanks to the station’s compact size, commissioning and ramp-up is possible within one week.

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Mills CNC adds business manager

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has appointed Martyn Jones as business manager for the Birmingham and West Midlands region. Jones is a seasoned CNC machine-tool sales professional who has acquired over 20 years’ experience in the sector at companies that include Gardner Aerospace, Arrowsmith Engineering and, more recently, as an applications engineer at a machine-tool distributor and area sales manager for a well-known machine-tool manufacturer.

“Mills CNC has an unrivalled reputation in the market for the quality and technical excellence of the Doosan machine tools it sells, and for its well-resourced and industry-leading after-sales and support services,” says Jones. “I’m delighted to have joined such a customer-focused and progressive company, and believe I have the experience, business approach and skill set to make a positive and telling contribution to Mills’ continued growth and success.”

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On-demand learning centre for Esprit

Esprit is unveiling its on-demand CAM training platform, Esprit Learning Center, to the general public. The new portal is an online training platform with on-demand, self-paced training courses created specifically for Esprit CAM programmers. Among the first learning paths available are: ‘New User Milling’, ‘New User Turning’ and ‘New User Mill-Turn’. Each learning path includes five to seven training courses that guide users through several different machine models and part models.

The main purpose for creating discrete online learning paths is to replicate what a student can learn from an on-site training class. Users can learn at their own pace by taking the course anywhere, and at any time. Each learning path also comes with one Esprit student licence for each learner, so users can take the courses at home or in their free time, without interrupting their daily programming or production work.

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Ensuring machine assembly accuracy

For machine-tool makers, achieving manufacturing efficiency depends on fast and accurate quality-control processes. With traditional error testing methods beginning to hinder operations, Takam Machinery recently turned to Renishaw’s XK10 alignment laser system to deliver precision, efficiency and speed.

In an increasingly competitive global market, the more traditional methods of identifying potential geometric and rotational errors, including granite squares, dial gauges and autocollimators, were impeding Takam’s manufacturing and quality-control processes.

To resolve the inefficiencies and inconsistencies from a range of traditional error-measurement tools, Takam is benefiting from Renishaw’s XK10 alignment laser system. An all-in-one digital measurement solution suitable for a range of different CNC machine tools, the XK10 comprises: a launch unit for primary laser transmission; wireless transmitter and receiver units; a portable display unit; and a fixturing kit. An additional kit allows users to carry out parallelism measurements.

The XK10’s compact size, wireless connectivity and versatile fixturing means it is suitable for use in many different configurations, enabling error measurement across all types and sizes of machine tool. It can check that linear rails are straight, square, flat, parallel and level, and check spindles and chucks to assess the direction and coaxial correctness of rotary machines.
Huang Zhifeng, factory manager at Takam, says: “The system has increased overall testing efficiency by at least a factor of three compared with previous traditional testing tools. For example, we needed two operators working for more than four hours just to measure the linearity, flatness, verticality and parallelism of a 20 m gantry-type machining centre. But since we brought in the XK10, a single operator can complete the process in less than two hours, so the workforce can be allocated far more flexibly than before.”

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