CMM offers more accuracy and speed

UK-based CMM manufacturer LK Metrology has designed a new, more efficient air bearing and carrier, which the company now fits as standard to its Altera-C range of ceramic-bridge, multi-sensor CMMs. By significantly augmenting the pre-load on the structure, stiffness has been uprated without making the guideway thicker, leading to more precise motion control.

According to LK, the results are higher measuring accuracy, whether a touch-trigger probe or scanning probe is used, coupled with the possibility to increase speed of operation and raise inspection efficiency. The Altera-C machines, which are available in three sizes with measuring volumes of 700 x 650 x 500 mm, 1000 x 650 x 500 mm and 1000 x 650 x 650 mm, carry a 10-year accuracy guarantee covering dimensional stability.

In terms of speed, all machines now accelerate at 1900 mm/s2, representing an increase of 15% for the two smaller models and 20% for the largest model. Velocity is up by 38% across the product range to 720 mm/s. As regards accuracy, the maximum permissible measuring error on all machines is now 1.7+L/333 µm when measurements are taken of a feature L mm in length (between 18°C and 22°C), irrespective of whether a TP200, SP25, TP20 or PH20 probe is used. This performance represents length measurement accuracy improvements of 22%, 22%, 32% and 43% for the four respective probes, while maximum permissible probing error is also better, as is repeatability of measurements (by 15%) when using a PH20.

Optimisation of the pre-loaded, wrap-around air bearing configuration was feasible due to the inherent rigidity of LK’s ceramic guideway, which allows it to maintain structural integrity under extreme conditions.

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Creaform extends HandyScan 3D

Creaform has added to its HandyScan 3D line-up with the Silver series. As a result, this portable metrology-grade 3D scanner, which already has 5000 users, will now be available at an accessible price for professionals looking to grow their business by acquiring state-of-the-art measurement solutions.

The Silver series captures accurate and repeatable 3D measurements of complex surfaces in any location. Creaform says that the Silver series offers a versatile professional 3D scanner, with all the features that made the HandyScan 3D scanners the reference in the industry.

Among the benefits are: the provision of reliable and maximised scan quality with an accuracy of up to 0.030 mm; the ability to capture the surfaces in the entire field of view with a scan area of 275 x 250 mm; and, with one device for all shapes and sizes, the mastering of various objects regardless of part size, complexity, material or colour.

The device is also plug and play. A simple user interface and real-time visualisation offers ease-of-use and a short learning curve, whatever the user’s experience or expertise, says Creaform.

On-the-go scanning is assured thanks to HandyScan’s portable and lightweight characteristics, while quick set-up means it can be up and running in less than 2 minutes, either in-house or on site.

“For professionals who need to adapt quickly to their customers’ needs and provide better answers to their enquiries, a reliable 3D scanning solution is indispensable,” explains Simon Côté, product manager at Creaform. “The possibilities presented by gathering such precise data can open doors to new projects and strengthen partnerships with existing clients.”

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Streamlining reverse engineering

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has unveiled REcreate, a software solution designed ‘from the ground up’ to make it easier and faster to reverse engineer parts from metrology scan to CAD model.

Developed to remove complexity, REcreate provides a single working environment from scan to CAD model. Users can prepare CAD models and drawings from any point cloud data. The fully featured CAD tool suite is supported by analysis tools that enable manufacturing professionals to interrogate the 3D models and validate whether they are manufacturable before exporting as CAD or STL files for CAM or additive manufacturing processes.

While designed to be interoperable and slot into a customer’s existing processes, the solution offers additional benefits to those who use other Hexagon technologies in their workflow. Sites that deploy Hexagon’s portable arms for inspection can reduce training needs by allowing any operator to read inspection data directly from the device to reverse engineer using a single solution. REcreate is also rigorously tested with Hexagon’s production software tools for planning, optimisation and part programming processes.

Ken Woodbine, REcreate product manager, says: “We believe that by making reverse engineering software versatile and easy-to-use, REcreate gives design, production and inspection teams greater confidence in their reverse engineering processes. With the laser scanning technologies available today, there’s no reason why most use cases can’t be addressed by anyone who needs them, provided they have access to the data and tools required – be that ensuring a precise fit for replacement components, repairing legacy parts, or updating design files with adjusted geometries following prototype creation or production optimisations.”

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CT usability and uptime hits next level

Many improvements have been made by Nikon Metrology in its new 225 kV micro-focus X-ray CT (computed tomography) system: the XT H 225 ST 2x. According to the company, two of the new features are not present in any other industrial CT system. One is ‘Rotating.Target 2.0’, which thanks to more efficient cooling enables a 3x smaller focal spot size for clearer imaging. The other, ‘Half.Turn CT’, is a novel method for almost halving the angle through which a specimen rotates during the X-ray cycle, speeding the process without loss of image quality.

Operation is greatly simplified and efficiency doubled, enhancing the system’s suitability for a range of applications. The intrinsic benefit of X-ray CT is that it allows both the non-destructive inspection and measurement of a sample’s exterior and interior. Nikon Metrology’s XT H 225 ST 2x, which has undergone thousands of hours of rigorous testing, is distinguished by its ability to be tuned in line with the part under investigation so that optimal results are produced every time.

Rotating.Target 2.0 maximises the quality of data collected and hence image resolution. This feature also doubles the running time before preventive maintenance is required, lowering costs and raising equipment availability. Spinning the target dissipates the heat generated by the small focal spot size more efficiently, enabling continuous generation of high-power X rays and an increase in scanning speed and resolution, without the need for cool-down.

Another new feature is Local.Calibration, which allows rapid, repeatable, automated calibration of voxel size at any CT scan position, rather than the user having to perform the function manually. This leads to a radical improvement in measurement accuracy. Extra benefits are that the procedure is de-skilled and dimensional accuracy is traceable.

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Profile projector saves time

Baty International, part of the Bowers Group, recently supplied Broanmain Plastics with a Baty R14 profile projector to assist with its inspection and quality processes.

As a family-run technical trade moulder, Broanmain Plastics manufactures compression and injection moulded components used in various applications across many industries including, aerospace, electronics, railway signalling, filtration and climate management systems.

Between two sites in Surrey and West Sussex, Broanmain Plastics houses machinery with capacities up to 550 ton and a shot weight of over 1500 g. It is imperative to not only make sure the component is visually perfect, but also fail-safe where customers require the utmost safety from the part.

Looking to improve on the consistency of manufactured components, and work more effectively within time constraints, Broanmain Plastics decided to invest in the Baty R14 profile projector.

Managing director Jo Davis says: “Quality is vital for different reasons. For some, it’s safety-critical, for others the requirement may be more aesthetic. But what’s always required is consistency. I’ve been really pleased with the help, support and services from the Bowers Group. While I don’t operate the machine myself, we also use the shadowgraph in our tool room. The Baty R14 makes the process quicker and easier. It’s been an invaluable installation to both the quality team and the company as a whole.”

Speaking of the Fusion software, tool-room manager Kamil Stec adds: “Working with injection moulding, the parts we measure are often hard to fixture. We’ve found that the software’s feature align option saves a lot of set-up time. There are also several handy construction options available.”

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