All-new TruMotion rotary table

RPI UK, a specialist in precision rotation and angular positioning, launched its TruMotion rotary table at the Control 2022 exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany earlier this month. According to the company, TruMotion verifies small or medium circular parts with an accuracy more commonly seen in the standards laboratory. Manufacturers in the high-precision and general machining industries will be able to check roundness to the required accuracy of any turned or ground parts.

TruMotion is operated manually and enables the inspection of circular components such as pinions, gears, gauges, bearings, aero-engine components and optical assemblies in a production environment. It will be used to measure small and medium sized round parts, with dimensions of up to 400 mm diameter by 220 mm high, weighing up to 50 kg. TruMotion has a radially adjustable articulated probe holder and an axial and radial bearing performance of less than 1 µm.

Peter Marchbank, managing director of RPI, says: “Precision engineering companies, from global producers to small machining workshops, will now be able to easily verify and inspect small and medium sized circular parts with the required accuracy.”

RPI grew out of acquisitions from Optical Measuring Tools, Airmatic, Horstmannn and Eimeldingen. The company is now one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of solution-driven, highly accurate inspection systems and services that measure circular geometry and angular positioning.

Using its 75+ years of rotary expertise, RPI supplies progressive engineering industries, including the aerospace, gas turbine and dimensional metrology sectors, with low-maintenance products that offer a service life measured in decades, not years.

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Bowers Group launches Baty R400

The longest-standing profile projector manufacturer in the UK, Bowers Group, has launched an improved version of the Baty R400. This new bench-mount profile projector combines high-accuracy, non-contact measurement and in-depth inspection. Its robust design makes it suitable for use both on the shop floor and in the standards room.

Among the improvements are positive adaptations to the lighting system and focal length that make it suitable for a wide range of parts. The integration of the LED lighting system replaces the existing Halogen profile lighting, reducing annual service costs and eliminating potential downtime due to lamp failure. However, the LED system still incorporates helix adjustment for thread measurement and runs at much lower temperatures than the traditional halogen set-up.

Other improvements include changes to the focal lengths of the lens, thus facilitating larger components. With lenses available in 10x, 20x, 50x and 100x magnification, and with an increased distance between the lens and object, there is more space to measure bigger and more complex parts quickly and efficiently. The use of a common, spring-loaded detent lens-mount enables fast and easy lens changes without any need
for tools.

The new model comes with the screen-mounted optical edge sensor now set in a fixed arm so that the screen can rotate independently of the probe itself, maintaining the cross-hair/probe offset that is stored within the FT2-E software. An internally mounted edge sensor option is also available if required, leaving the projector screen completely unobscured. The feet of the machine are in the same position, meaning the footprint of the new R400 is identical, and remains compatible with the existing cabinet stand.

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Measure contours and surfaces with one system

Accretech has announced the launch of the Surfcom NEX. An evolution of the Accretech Surfcom range, the new measuring system allows both surface and contour measurements to be made flexibly and accurately using a single machine. Furthermore, the instrument delivers up to 60% faster measurement processes.

In addition to use within cleanrooms, due its ability to function across a range of temperatures, the robust instrument can also be used within production environments.

Surfcom NEX innovations include the use of a hybrid detector for simultaneous contour and surface measurement, an electromagnetic drive that allows the detector to move without wear and tear or vibration, and a linear drive system which ensures quick, low-oscillation measurements with no disruptive noises or vibrations.

Marcus Czabon, head of the metrology business unit at Accretech, says: “The new Surfcom NEX is the result of many years of intense dialogue with our customers. It offers versatility, precision and, most importantly, reliability. In terms of equipment and features, it sets a benchmark in contour and surface measurement, not least when considering procurement and operating costs over the product lifecycle.

“We want to accommodate the changing demands in production and tool inspection,” he adds. “In simple terms, more parts need to be checked in a shorter time. So, diverse application options are a driving factor. Our customers want to use just one machine for surface texture and contours. It must be possible, therefore, to combine detectors freely or to carry out hybrid measurements.

“However, reliability should not in any way be compromised by faster and more complex measurement processes. That is why the Surfcom NEX has a newly developed hybrid detector, which has over twice the coverage of traditional machines.”

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New wireless laser tracker automation system

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched its latest solution for automated inspection integration projects based on 6DoF laser tracker technology. The WRTL solves common configuration problems faced by customers setting up large, automated inspection systems by removing the need for a cable connecting the laser tracker and the scanner controller, opening up the possibility for the tracker and/or the scanner to be mobile through mounting on an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or automated guided vehicle (AGV). The system is particularly relevant for the large-scale inspection tasks increasingly seen in the aerospace and wind energy sectors.

Compatibility with the Absolute Scanner AS1, a 3D laser scanner launched in 2021, allows for the collection of high-density data at impressive levels of accuracy, reports Hexagon. This means a WRTL-based scanning system can deliver accuracy to within 50 µm across a volume measuring 60 m in diameter, independent of robot accuracy. Thanks to the enhanced level of freedom that the WRTL delivers to users when defining new system configurations, factories can now even run lights-out, with large-volume inspection tasks carried out autonomously overnight. When the operators arrive the following day, a measurement report will be ready for analysis, with the manufacturing process ready to proceed to the next production step.

“Before WRTL, automated inspection used to be limited to stationary cells completing repetitive and specified tasks,” explains Rodrigo Alfaia, product manager for laser trackers at Hexagon. “We’re now making automated inspection truly mobile, which was the case only for handheld applications before. Inspection can be carried out today here, tomorrow there, without drilling holes on the floor to install robot sliders or rotary tables.”

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Winbro precision decision: Mitutoyo

Winbro Group Technologies (WGT) is a designer and manufacturer of high-technology machines that produce holes and forms in components used in the most demanding parts of aero and industrial gas turbines, as well as in high-precision applications in the semiconductor, fuel cell and medical sectors.

Given the nature of the demanding industries served by Shepshed-based Winbro, the quality of its products and services are of paramount importance. In addition to frequently updating staff skills in this vital area, the business invests in advanced inspection equipment, including Mitutoyo CMMs. The most recent addition to Winbro’s Mitutoyo CMM collection is a state-of-the-art Crysta-Apex V.

Dr Alan Duffield, Winbro Group business development manager, explains the purchase and use of the group’s CMMs. “Since we first started using Mitutoyo CMMs in 2014, we’ve enjoyed outstanding service from each of the machines, alongside excellent back-up from Mitutoyo UK. Therefore, when the need arose to increase our inspection capacity further, we again contacted Mitutoyo. We were pleasantly surprised to see the impressive technical developments in areas such as accuracy, performance, speed and versatility, made in the company’s recently launched Crysta-Apex V models. As it suited the size range of the parts we manufacture, we placed an order for a CRYSTA-Apex V CMM with a capacity of 500 x 700 x 400 mm.

“Following trouble-free installation and operator training, the new Mitutoyo CMM is now making a major contribution to our important quality control work,” he continues. “In addition to accurately measuring one-off parts, our operators are able to load multiple parts on to the new CMM, recall pre-written programs and instigate fast, fully-automatic, CNC inspection routines. As well as providing the levels of precision that we need, the speed of inspection and flexibility of our Crysta-Apex V CMM has increased our measurement efficiency levels.”

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