Category Archives: Case Studies

Providing Precision to Power Aerospace Engines

Over recent years, a wide range of advanced machine tools have been developed to help satisfy global aerospace manufacturing industry’s requirement to produce parts faster than ever before. Although these innovative machines manufacture complex components within much faster cycle times, often increased production levels create bottlenecks in inspection departments. To help avoid these hold-ups, increasingly progressive aerospace manufacturers are including state-of-the-art inspection technology in their investment plans. Having selected the most appropriate machine tools to enable the efficient production of blisks and IBRs (aero-engine components consisting of a rotor disk and blades), the management of ITP Engines Ltd. recognized the need to invest in advanced quality control equipment. The proposed inspection system needed to be capable of accommodating the demanding dimensional tolerances of the company’s blisks and IBRs, and also have the required high-speed, high-accuracy scanning...

Metrology Helps Hone Precision

Mitutoyo helps meet customer expectations in the realm of deep hole boring, where diameters are more than 20 mm. One of the specialties offered by Hone-All Precision Ltd. of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, is the machining of nickel-chromium-based super-alloy components to tight tolerances. These oxidation and corrosion-resistant materials, typified by Inconel and Hastelloy, are well-suited for service environments subject to extreme pressure and temperature, and therefore, are favorites of the petrochemical industry, however, they are very difficult to machine. Accelerated tool wear is a constant concern. This is particularly true in the case of bored-hole features that sometimes approach three meters in length and which usually have to be finished by honing to meet stringent customer specifications. Form accuracy shaped up Due to the length of a typical bore, obtaining the accuracy potential of single-point tooling is impractical, except...

Measuring the Future with High-Tech Metrology Equipment

Recent investments in high-level metrology equipment at Birmingham-based GB Precision mean customers in demanding industry sectors, such as aerospace and motorsport, can be assured of receiving components offering pinpoint dimensional accuracy and geometric conformance. Uncompromising quality is the ethos at GB Precision, a progressive engineering company with a continuous improvement strategy that is continually reviewed and developed. For instance, the recently refurbished metrology laboratory at this specialist in complex tooling solutions and machined parts houses a wealth of measurement and inspection technology that make it the envy of other toolrooms and machine shops. Taking center stage are two Mitutoyo coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) providing a measuring volume of up to 700 x 1000 x 600 mm. These CRYSTA Apex 7106 and BHN-710 models feature full CNC control, scanning capability, indexing probes and probe changing racks for...

Coordinating Quality at Express Engineering

Mitutoyo UK recently completed the installation of the company’s largest ever coordinating measuring machine (CMM) sold in the UK. The Crysta-Apex C CMM, with a measuring volume of 2,000 mm x 4,005 mm x 2,005 mm, enables Express Engineering to undertake the rapid, accurate inspection of large oil and gas components, including huge wellheads. Established in 1973, Express Engineering has grown from its origins as a precision engineering and tool-making company to what is now a leading global contract manufacturing group. Express Engineering supplies the global oil and gas market with a wide range of highly integrated precision machined components, kits of parts and fully assembled pressure tested products, including wellheads, christmas tree valves, manifolds, completions, tooling, flowlines and connections. During the past four decades the company has earned an enviable reputation for producing high integrity products...

Autocraft Finds a Precision Solution

Investment quickly pays off for engine remanufacturer. Autocraft_1Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions, operating from a 56,000 square-meter site near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, is the largest independent engine remanufacturer in Europe, supplying such well-known OE manufacturers as Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo, Aston Martin, JCB and Chrysler. Engines are not the only drivetrain components processed – the company also handles transmissions and precision-machined components such as cylinder heads and blocks, plus sub-assembly of automotive parts. A new opportunity – and a challenge In common with similar engineering concerns, Autocraft absolutely depends on fast and accurate production machinery backed by an efficient inspection resource to grow the business. This reality was highlighted recently when the company was presented with a commercial prospect involving inspection of various complex components, all manufactured to a high level...

Validating Tolerances

Ultra-precise dimensional measurements critical to risk mitigation under AS9100 Rev. C. CIMG0495Gear Manufacturing, Inc. (GMI), Anaheim, CA, was founded in 1989 with a mission to manufacture high-quality custom gears and gear-related components and assemblies. Housed in 27,500-square-foot facilities, the company is equipped with the latest CNC machining centers supported by extensive engineering capabilities and leading-edge software. The company makes almost every type of precision gear configuration imaginable, which it produces in materials ranging from tool steel and titanium to cast iron, copper, all types of alloys and engineered plastics – virtually any material that can be used to cut a gear. Approximately two-thirds of GMI’s output is dedicated to the aerospace and defense industries and includes customers such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, as well as...

CNC CMM Delivers Greater Productivity and Accuracy for Automotive Supplier

Looking for speed and accuracy for its unique processes, an automotive supplier incorporates a surface finish probe in a CMM to obtain dimensions and surface testing in a single operation. “In the remanufacturing business, you can take apart a transmission, clean it, replace all the soft parts and get it back to the customer when they need a new part,” said Gary Noel, chief operating officer and member of the board at Dynamic Manufacturing, a premier supplier of world-class OEM new and remanufactured drivetrain components for the automotive industry. “The real creativity comes from developing unique processes that can repurpose that experienced part so that it performs as good as new.” Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, IL, Dynamic Manufacturing is a TS 16949, ISO 14001 and WBENC-certified woman-owned and -operated business with operations covering...

Plating Tolerances Guaranteed

Incorporating a laser scanning micrometer into a quality control routine pays off for metal plating ad coating services supplier. Tawas Plating Co. & Tawas Powder Coating Inc. (Tawas City, MI) provides metal plating and coating services to automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing sectors. Almost from the beginning, Tawas experienced strong demand for its electroless nickel plating, which provides a combination of lubricity and wear-resistance, as well as dimensional control, corrosion protection and superior cosmetics. As the name suggests, electroless nickel plating does not rely on passing an electric current through a solution to form a deposit. Instead, the process depends on an auto-catalytic reaction to deposit a nickel coating on a substrate. According to Al Alexander, plant manager at Tawas Plating Co., an important advantage of the electroless process is the relative ease with which it can be...

Custom Solution Meets Demanding Automotive Manufacturing Requirements

Vision system facilitates measurement when heavy fixturing constrains access to a workpiece. Ramcel Engineering Company (www.ramcel.com), located in Northbrook, IL, was founded in 1950 with the mission of providing precision, custom metal stamping, as well as contract mechanical assembly services, and robotic MIG & TIG welding services. Ramcel Engineering serves diverse markets with its output evenly split across automotive, computer/telecom and consumer applications. Housed in up-to-date facilities totaling 60,000 square feet, the company is equipped with a full range of stamping presses supported by extensive engineering capabilities, leading-edge software and automation. Ramcel prides itself on accepting and successfully delivering jobs that its competitors often find too challenging. Safety-critical steering column component Such is the case with a component currently in development for use in an automobile power steering column. The program was awarded to Ramcel Engineering when the work...

Mitutoyo Contracer: A More Efficient Measuring Method

At Advics Manufacturing Ohio Inc., a CNC setup has dramatically transformed contour measurement of automotive brake components from a 45-minute specialist’s task to a 3 1/2-minute generalist’s job. Founded in 1987 and located about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, Advics Manufacturing Ohio employs more than 500 people dedicated solely to production of disc brake calipers and ABS units. These are supplied to automakers around the world for installation in more than 20 different vehicle models by the company, which has a reputation for being a quality-leader for brake products made in North America. Improve safety, comfort and environmental responsibility Advics’ mission is to add value to society by creating products to improve safety, comfort and environmental responsibility. Evidence of this pursuit is the implementation of a program of continuous improvement, which impacts every operation. One area targeted for...