Make impossible measurements possible with multi-sensor metrology systems
They say that many hands make light work.
During the manufacturing quality control process, however, many hands increase the potential for inaccuracies.
Traditionally, a combination of anything from a co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM), shadowgraph, height gauge, micrometer, laser scanner or caliper has been required to sufficiently inspect small parts and components with intricate features.
Manual measurement methods not only slow down production but, by definition, are subjective. That makes them prone to the sort of human error that businesses can ill afford when their customers are demanding ever-tighter tolerances in highly regulated industries.
Then there are the parts whose extreme complexity means they simply cannot be measured sufficiently using any of the above methods – and that’s where multi-sensor metrology systems are the only solution.
A ‘hole’ new level
Turbine blades and vanes in the aerospace industry require complex cooling holes and channels to avoid self-destruction under extreme forces and temperatures.
Effective cooling improves component efficiency, leading to reduced fuel consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions on today’s generation of lightweight, low-noise jet engines.
The small dimensions, narrow distribution and diverse inclination angles of the cooling holes can make inspection incredibly challenging, particularly as those made with electrical discharging machining methods can be an irregular shape.
For functional reasons they are often created at an angle to the surface or lie in a heavily curved section of the turbine blade, rendering probe access difficult.
OGP UK’s world-leading multi-sensor metrology systems have proved game-changing for cooling hole applications and other safety critical aviation parts. Each OGP machine houses superior optical, laser and tactile sensors, automatically selecting the right tools for any given task in one routine.
The technology operates with unrivalled speed, capability and accuracy, offering real-time data reports that identify any noise in the manufacturing process and therefore allow users to take any necessary intervention at the earliest possible stage.
When – from a single unit – a business can achieve ultimate control over its production line, the result is guaranteed right-first-time products, reduced scrap, increased capacity and a burgeoning reputation among its customers.
Speed and accuracy time and time again
Winbro Group, a world leader in the design and production of machines and technologies based on non-conventional processes, is one OGP UK customer specialising in producing these miniature cooling holes and forms.
The Leicestershire-based firm has worked with OGP solutions for almost a decade and now uses three of its SmartScope systems – a CNC 300 and two Vantage 450s.
The process of edge detection capability gives reproducibility and repeatability and, with advanced ZONE3 metrology software, a programme will run and do the same ultra-precise job over and over again.
In addition to reducing measurement programming time from hours to minutes in some cases, manufacturers have reported how metrology tasks that were taking an hour on a CMM are now taking just 10 minutes with an OGP machine.
Adwin Spring Co, a producer of prototypes in both wire and flat materials, found that traditional part-measurement methods were no longer fully satisfying the speed or accuracy needs of its growing customer base.
It could not measure its springs using a traditional CMM as any contact would move the product instead of making a definite assessment. Clients were demanding more accurate 3D results, reports and feature sets.
The West Bromwich-based firm opted for an OGP CNC 300, a robust shop-floor system which uses a high-quality auto-calibrating camera and supports a combination of touch probes, micro probes and laser scanners.
The machine now runs detailed inspection programmes in 30 seconds rather than the five minutes it took checking things on a shadowgraph, while completely eliminating inaccuracies and improving the quality of product.
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