CMM specialist buys 10 rotary tables

Measurement and inspection equipment specialist Mitutoyo has integrated three QuadMatic and seven QuadSlimLine rotary tables from RPI into CMMs at its Japanese and UK operations.

RPI engineers travelled to Japan to support Mitutoyo with training and maintenance, and were also on hand to help integrate a two-axis rotary table at Mitutoyo in Halifax, UK.
RPI’s rotary tables are designed as a fourth axis, and are accurate to ±0.5 arc-seconds, which is equivalent to hitting a golf ball at a hole more than 22 km away and scoring a hole in one every time.
“It’s great news that Mitutoyo has chosen to invest in 10 of our Quadrant range rotary tables,” says Jim Palmer, RPI’s sales manager. “As well as significantly improving overall measurement accuracy and reducing uncertainty, our rotary tables greatly increase measuring volume, thereby improving the flexibility, productivity and efficiency of our customers’ CMMs.”
Adding Mitutoyo to its customer base means RPI now supplies all the major CMM manufacturers which use rotary tables, including Hexagon, LK and Wenzel. RPI has been supplying the CMM market since 1977 and can boast more than 750 successful installations worldwide.
The QuadSlimLine and QuadMatic ranges are part of RPI’s Quadrant range of CMM tables, which also includes the QuadDualPurpose, QuadProfile and the QuadUniversal. These tables come in a wide size range, from 200 to 1,500 mm diameter, and can be fully integrated to the host machine controller.
For further information www.rpiuk.com

Faro solution in the pipeline for Alltube

Daventry-based Alltube Engineering, a manufacturer of flexible and rigid pipeline products, has invested in a Faro Quantum E ScanArm.

Technical director Paul Fuller says: “Achieving optimum 3D shapes is never easy as, for instance, a bend with a small angular error at one end of a long pipe can result in an inaccuracy of several millimetres at the opposite end. Hence, to satisfy the challenging briefs provided by our customers, designs often feature demanding 3D geometric forms with extremely tight dimensional and geometrical tolerances. To ensure that each hydraulic pipe adheres to the required design specification, we inspect all products before dispatch.”
As the use of physical measuring devices for inspecting rigid pipes is both cumbersome and long winded, Alltube recently investigated the latest non-contact measuring systems. A practical demonstration of a Faro Quantum E ScanArm fitted with FaroBlu Laser Line Probe SD, measuring a selection of the company’s most complex products, proved it was the answer to Alltube’s inspection problems.
“Not only was the Faro ScanArm much quicker and easier to use, it proved more accurate than our previous inspection methods,” says Fuller. “It was also able to link to our CNC pipe-bending machines, and automatically generate customer inspection reports. Last, but not least, the Quantum E FaroArm/FaroBlu LLP combination is capable of both contact and non-contact measurement. By using the ScanArm’s 3D laser-scanning capabilities, we’ve reduced our inspection times by approximately 90%, and by association, reduced our delivery times.”
For further information www.faro.com

R&A gets into the swing with Mitutoyo

Many companies in the sporting and leisure industry are benefiting from the latest metrology equipment. A case in point can be seen at The R&A, situated close to the home of golf near St Andrews, which has taken delivery of a contour and surface roughness instrument from Mitutoyo to help it evaluate submissions of new equipment for conformance to the official rules of golf.

When it comes to golf clubs, the rules and specifications are divided into five separate categories: club (general), shaft, grip, club head and club face. Having used a previous-generation Mitutoyo Formtracer instrument for measuring the impact area markings on club faces for some years, the organisation recently took delivery of the newly launched Mitutoyo Formtracer Avant.
At The R&A, the Formtracer Avant is being used to precisely measure the profiles, widths, depths, edge radii and separation distances of the grooves located on the impact areas of club faces against the relevant specifications detailed in the rules. Surface finish is also inspected using the Formtracer Avant, which avoids the need to invest in two separate devices as it is able to convert from a surface roughness measuring instrument into a contour measuring device – and vice versa – within seconds.
Andrew Johnson, assistant director – research and testing at The R&A, says: “Each week we receive 30-40 submissions of new equipment for evaluation. Our Mitutoyo Formtracer has proven reliable, and provided the necessary levels of accuracy and ease-of-use. Replacing it with the new Avant model has ensured that we are able to keep pace with the high volumes of contour and surface roughness testing.”
For further information www.mitutoyo.co.uk

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.
For further information www.ametek-land.com

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.”
For further information www.renishaw.com