Category Archives: Case Studies

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...

Innovative Polishing Systems/Mitutoyo Scratch Gage

Innovative Polishing Systems and Mitutoyo develop scratch gage

Mitutoyo America and Innovative Polishing Systems, Inc., Stuart, Florida, recently collaborated on development of an instrument capable of accurately and easily measuring the depth of scratches in glass. Innovative Polishing Systems’ business is to polish-out scratches in the repair of high-value glass typically found in architectural, auto, marine and aerospace applications. If the glass cannot be restored, it must be discarded. Polishing is feasible only if the scratch is not too deep, generally no more than 0.002”. So having good data on scratch depth is critical in determining the course of remedial action. As a result, Innovative Polishing Systems decided it would be beneficial to replace traditional, imprecise “manual” methods of determining scratch depth (feeling with a finger nail, or by visual comparison of the damage to...

Space Metal Fabricators/Mitutoyo Helicopter Blade Adjuster

Space Metal Fabricators and Mitutoyo America Collaborate on helicopter blade adjustment tool

Space Metal Fabricators of Columbia, South Carolina, and Mitutoyo America Corporation have jointly developed a tool to help helicopters fly smoother. While flying, helicopters generally experience a low frequency vibration in the main rotor blades. This is due, in part, to slight differences in each blade’s aerodynamics. These vibrations are not likely to cause structural damage but may adversely affect electronics; they also absorb power. To dampen vibration, some main rotors incorporate trim tabs located on the blades’ trailing edges which can be adjusted to keep blades rotating smoothly. Some systems incorporate electronic, in-flight rotor track-and-balance systems that provide information used to adjust the pitch of the tabs. Specialized tools then are used to physically bend the tabs. Besides in-flight indication, tab adjustment may result...

Assuring Performance of Long Gage Blocks

McNeal Tool Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid Iowa Tools, Inc., specializes in the sales and support of precision metrology instruments and services.  This includes provision of gage calibration services to a national manufacturer of window and door products that are sold into residential and commercial markets. According to Wayne Schneider, McNeal Tool Field Engineer, “Many of the customer’s products include wood and extruded or roll-formed materials processed to length using tenoners, molder/profilers, or saws.  The length of these pieces can measure from around 90” to 140” or more, with tolerances typically kept to within ± 0.002”. To help keep machining processes centered on nominal values, the customer utilizes an SPC measurement routine that includes periodic use of long, single-axis measuring tables specifically designed to verify accuracy of long workpieces. The measuring tables are about...