Height gauge improves efficiency

With tolerances on components getting tighter and customer requirements getting stricter, Chelburn Precision was keen to improve its measurement abilities. Based in Rochdale, the company found the solution in a Trimos V7 height gauge supplied by Bowers Group.

Chelburn Precision is a subcontract engineering company making large precision components, mostly for the canning, rubber and plastic, paper converting, and mining industries. Already working with a smaller height gauge, the team found it was holding the company back when measuring larger sized components.
In particular, the team was not able to reach the full height of components with the existing height gauge, resulting in the need to either turn jobs over to measure from a different plane, or make time and room on one of its machine tools to carry out checks. This task not only required extra time, but stopped the production of both the machine tools and their operators while the quality inspectors requested and verified checks to ensure part conformance in line with specifications.

The Trimos V7 is one of the tallest height gauges on the market and highly suitable for workshop environments, says Bowers. Notably, the height gauge features a pair of lateral insert holders, offering robustness and flexibility that allow the use of diverse probes up to 400 mm long.

Michael Horsfall, production director at Chelburn Precision, says: “We have used Bowers Group before for many different measuring devices that we own, so we were in good hands. They even loaned us a smaller unit for us to trial as they were confident that we would be impressed by the quality, accuracy and ease of use of the Trimos height gauge.”

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Creaform unveils VXelements 9.0

Creaform has released the latest version of its VXelements platform. Several new features, as well as enhancements to existing functions, provide significant improvements. Whether in VXscan, VXinspect, VXmodel or VXscan-R, Creaform says that experts and beginners alike will discover new and improved tools that will make their work easier, faster and more profitable.

In a desire to perfect VXelements and the synergy between the software and hardware, Creaform has upgraded each VX module to meet the ever-changing needs of users and today’s constantly evolving industries.

Among the important advantages of this latest version is the new VXelements viewer. Used for data sharing, this free version of the platform will enable customers or colleagues outside the team to visualise data first hand, making collaborative projects simpler and faster.

In addition, ‘smart resolution’ is now available for the latest generation of Creaform 3D scanners. This new feature allows users to generate scans from multiple resolution levels to better reproduce details, edges and high curvatures. Higher levels of resolution can be automatically created in several ways: by software intelligence; by being triggered from the scanner; and by being generated from a selection on the mesh or from a template.

With the addition of features such as ‘flatten’ mesh, ‘extrude’ boundaries and ‘extend’ boundaries, the VXmodel module will enable users to carry out post-treatment operations on 3D scan data simply and effortlessly, reports Creaform.

Regarding VXinspect, quick inspection tools – such as one-click entity creation, new construction methods for geometrical entities, and new reporting capabilities – are just a few of the improvements that will add simplicity and flexibility to the 3D inspection software.

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Automated in-line dimension measurement

Nikon Metrology has added two new models to its Nexiv S-range of CNC video measuring systems, which are suitable for in-line, automated dimensional measurement tasks. The latest systems can automatically measure the dimensions of component features using Nikon’s optical and image processing technology. By analysing the captured image of a component, detecting feature edges at high speed accurately and repeatably, it is possible to quickly measure components with simple or complex features.

In November 2020, Nikon released the first in its line-up of new VMZ-S systems, the VMZ-S3020, which is part of the fourth generation of the series. Today, the VMZ-S4540 and VMZ-S6555 join and expand this line-up and are solutions for inspecting medium and large components, or multiple smaller components. Now that the full line-up is available, it is possible to select the most suitable machine according to a customer’s applications and installation environment.

Nexiv systems achieve high measurement accuracy using a stage featuring high-precision linear encoders. The Nexiv VMZ-S series is capable of capturing and processing images at higher speeds than the predecessor range. This advance has made it possible to reduce component measurement times without compromising accuracy or reproducibility.

Nikon has designed an optimised optical system to deliver high-quality images and acquire accurate measurement data from within the field of view. With a movable LED ring light and eight-segment LED illumination, users can resolve and capture the edges of complex shapes. In addition, a high-speed laser scanning at 1000 points per second is able to acquire the cross-sectional profile over a surface and evaluate the relative heights. This capability meets surface quality and feature measurement needs across a variety of samples.

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Mitutoyo solution aids inspection efficiency

The recent installation of a turnkey CMM solution at Tecomet Sheffield, illustrates the design and build capabilities of Mitutoyo Gauging Technology (MGT), a specialist division of Mitutoyo. Throughout the project, MGT worked closely with Mitutoyo’s dedicated subcontract measurement department – Measurement Services.

Based on a Mitutoyo MiStar shop-floor CMM, the resulting inspection system allows the rapid, accurate and automated dimensional inspection of a range of femoral knee joints. Using custom-built, multi-station fixtures to enable the loading of multiple part batches, the solution features a dedicated user interface for ease of use, while a tailored reporting output aids part sentencing and quality control.

Explaining the reasons behind the recently installed Mitutoyo inspection system, Tecomet Sheffield product engineer Nigel Smith says: “Having won a long-term contract to produce femoral knee joints, we took the opportunity to carefully consider all of our related production and inspection options, and develop a range of effective new methodologies that would further increase our efficiency levels.

“As we regard inspection as an integral and vital part of our femoral knee joint production processes, we investigated ways of gaining additional efficiencies in this important area, while also seeking to improve our precision standards,” he continues. “The answer to our search was found in a custom-designed, highly-efficient inspection system from MGT.”

The MiStar 555 boasts a maximum permissible length measurement error specification of (2.2 + 3.0L/1000) μm and an XYZ measuring range of 570 x 500 x 500 mm. Mitutoyo’s CMM benefits from the company’s recently developed smart factory functionality that allows real-time monitoring of machine performance data, as well as measurement data.

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Skills for durable and reliable products

Durability and reliability expert HBK is running a series of online training courses that will enable engineers to address work challenges utilising nCode and ReliaSoft software. The courses – created around the needs of engineers from a range of industries such as automotive, aerospace and energy – can develop skills in the areas of reliability, maintainability, durability and fatigue analysis, through a deeper understanding of background theory, hands-on examples and real-world case studies.

Upcoming reliability and maintainability courses include ‘Fundamentals of Reliability’, where attendees will learn how to analyse and model reliability data using ReliaSoft Weibull++ and BlockSim. The course provides a solid foundation of the methods, analyses, applications and associated tools in reliability engineering mathematics – from basic data analysis and modelling to advanced methods and concepts.

Delegates on the ‘System Reliability and Maintainability Analysis’ course will learn system reliability, maintainability and related analyses using the ReliaSoft BlockSim tool. The instructor will show how to build reliability models, explore advanced concepts and applications – and provide optimisation using a reliability block diagram or fault tree analysis approach.

Upcoming durability and fatigue courses include ‘nCode GlyphWorks: Signal Processing and Test Data Analysis’, where attendees can learn how to apply techniques for signal processing, statistical analysis and durability assessment with nCode GlyphWorks. CAE engineers can learn how to make accurate fatigue life estimations from finite element results at ‘nCode DesignLife: Fatigue Analysis using FEA Results’.

Advanced courses covering more in-depth concepts like the fatigue of welds and predicting the fatigue life of products that experience dynamic stresses, are also available.

Courses are delivered over a series of three-hour sessions presented by Prenscia application engineers, who provide real-time instruction in a virtual meeting environment.

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