Blum helps firm achieve 2 μm precision

A complex component incorporating four long slots among other features was posing problems for Timo Lehmann, the CEO of Karlheinz Lehmann GmbH in Oberwolfach, Germany. The solution for the subcontract manufacturer was ultimately provided by a Citizen Cincom M32 turning centre and a TC76-Digilog touch probe from Blum-Novotest.

“Highly complex components are part and parcel of our business, but manufacturing a quick-coupler for a compressed-air input was a tough nut to crack,” says Lehmann of the challenges posed by a project for customer Parker Hannifin GmbH. “The key components are made from hardened and coated free-cutting steel with threads, bores and four lightly tapered slots. The slots were the crucial point of the whole design.”
The parallelism of the slots was only allowed to vary by 2 μm from the reference values. Otherwise the fully automated machine that assembles the component unit at Parker-Hannifin, would abruptly stop. Moreover, the quick-coupling would not work if the tolerance was exceeded.
Blum’s TC76-Digilog touch probe proved the only cost-effective means of verifying the design’s dimensional accuracy. Analogue measurement is always advantageous for assessing areas or lines. If a switching digital probe were to be used in the Lehmann application, a very large number of points on the slots would have to be measured in order to attain an adequate resolution. In contrast, the TC76-Digilog scans across the surface at a measuring speed of 2 m/min. As this is happening, the system generates an extremely large number of values (50,000 per second in fact) in a fraction of the time required for analogue data acquisition.
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