Batten & Allen is a precision stampings specialist based in Gloucestershire. They manufacturer components to a range of industries including electronic, medical, motorsport and solar energy.
As cheap, overseas labour costs pose increasing competition, it has become essential for Batten & Allen to equip themselves with cutting-edge machinery across their manufacturing process.
Batten & Allen have incorporated a selection of OGP UK SmartScope metrology machines. These advanced systems assist Batten & Allen in ensuring high-quality standards for their diverse customer base.
Batten & Allen maximises efficiency by utilising automatic presses that can stamp the entire required format for a component in a single operation. To ensure accuracy, dimensional measurement is required, assessing features such as: diameters, pitches, widths, thicknesses, angles, and form positions. Given the small size of many of Batten & Allen’s components, proper illumination is crucial for precise and accurate measurement.
“Originally we had two machines similar in principle to the OGP UK systems,” explained Phil Purser, Batten & Allen’s Management Systems Representative.
“However, component complexity [of their components] would often mean two set-ups were required to inspect the part, which in turn meant setting up both machines and transferring components between the two. This was deemed inefficient and not in keeping with our production ethos.” [Phil]
Recognising the crucial significance of inspection within their manufacturing process, it became evident to Batten & Allen that they needed to upgrade their measurement system.
Batten & Allen implemented an OGP UK SmartScope ZIP 250, which revolutionised their measurement process by enabling full measurement analysis in a single operation.
Featuring proprietary illumination technologies, the SmartScope multi-sensor measuring machines integrates a sophisticated system of fixed LED lights that precisely track along the x-axis, delivering square-on profile lighting.
This exceptional illumination not only facilitates precise measurements but also allows Batten & Allen to capture clear and detailed images of their components, invaluable in identifying potential issues early on. During the product development stages, these images assist in discussing specific concerns with customers, promoting effective communication and problem-solving.
The exceptional performance of the ZIP 250 led to the additional acquisition of two identical models, accompanied by the SmartScope Vantage 250 coordinate measuring machine.
“The accuracy of our new Vantage 250 ensures we are future-proofed,” says Mr Purser. “The tightest tolerance currently specified on our parts is 0.05mm, which is a dimension we need to measure in the z-axis.”
Batten & Allen’s quality engineers utilise OGP UK’s intuitive MeasureMind 3D software to program the Vantage 250. The software enables the creation of fully automatic measurement routines within minutes and the data outputs can be customised to meet specific reporting formats or utilised by analysis packages for computing 3D surface profiles, conducting part-to-CAD comparisons, implementing SPC (Statistical Process Control), or facilitating reverse engineering processes.
“We are very comfortable with MeasureMind,” said Phil.
“We can program offline or online as the need requires. Typically, many of our parts are minor variations on similar themes, so it is sometimes quicker for us to make program changes at the machine.” [Phil]
Why OGP UK?
OGP UK machines have proven very reliable for Batten & Allen, having experienced very few issues with the metrology machines, which have now been in place for several years.
“Overall, we are very pleased with our SmartScope technology,” Phil says.
“The machines have increased our accuracy capability and boosted our speed considerably.”