Mitutoyo Helps The R&A To Ensure Fair Play On The Fairway

Currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of its establishment, Mitutoyo UK has earned an excellent reputation for the accuracy and quality of its products and the wide range of metrology and testing disciplines it covers. Within the fields of contour and surface roughness measurement, Mitutoyo services the needs of many hi-tech industries, such as the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors. In addition, the company provides non-engineering business, that have their own specific contour and surface roughness measuring demands, with an extensive range of contour and surface roughness instruments.

A recent Mitutoyo contour and surface roughness instrument installation demonstrates the diverse nature of the company’s customer base and also helps to illustrates the rigorous conformance standards applied to golfing equipment. Situated close to the home of golf near St Andrews, The R&A engages in and supports activities undertaken for the benefit of the sport of golf. Together with the USGA, The R&A governs the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions while sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards.

The R&A’s Equipment Standards role can be divided into three main areas – evaluating submissions of new equipment for conformance to the Rules of Golf; conducting fundamental research into the science of golf and constantly reviewing the equipment rules to ensure that they remain relevant to today’s equipment and that they continue to ensure that skill remains the dominant determinant of success.

The rules and specifications related to golf clubs are divided into five separate categories, club (general), shaft, grip, clubhead and club face. Having used a previous generation Mitutoyo Formtracer instrument for measuring the impact area markings on club faces for some years, the organization recently took delivery of the newly launched, advanced Mitutoyo Formtracer Avant model. The Formtracer Avant is now being used to precisely measure the profiles, widths, depths, edge radii and the separation distances of the of the grooves located on golf club faces’ impact areas, against the relevant specifications as detailed in the Equipment Rules. In addition, as the Formtracer Avant is a flexible hybrid instrument, it is also used to inspect the surface finish of club face’s impact areas against the Equipment Rules.

“Each week we receive 30 – 40 submissions of new equipment for evaluation against The Equipment Rules”. Explained Assistant Director – Research and Testing at The R&A, Andrew Johnson. “We use a wide range of precise testing procedures, depending on the product categories submitted for assessment, to ensure that manufacturers’ submitted equipment does not exceed the set limits.”

“Our previously purchased Mitutoyo Formtracer has proven to be reliable and has provided the levels of accuracy and ease of use that we needed. Replacing it with the new Avant model will help to ensure that we are able to keep-pace with the high-volumes of contour and surface roughness testing.”

Mitutoyo Form Measuring Systems are available for efficiently assessing a range of complex shapes and to provide a wide range of accurate surface roughness readings. The innovative Mitutoyo Formtracer Avant series avoids the need to invest in two separate devices, as it is able to convert from a surface roughness measuring instrument into a contour measuring device and vice versa within seconds.

The easy to operate, benchtop machines feature a motorized granite column and stand, plus a remote control box that enables quick and accurate machine positioning. Fast, accurate CNC operation further aids efficient operation.

The flexible Formtracer Avant C-3000 series boasts a large vertical range, high resolution and a built-in drive unit inclination mechanism, allowing easy measurement of a large workpiece. Also, as an advanced hybrid instrument, it is able to deliver precise surface roughness and contour measuring results across a wide range of objects, including those with small features.

Complementing the Formtracer Avant’s robust and accurate hardware, Mitutoyo’s dedicated analysis software interprets and displays both contour and surface roughness measurement results in the quick and efficient manner that is required in busy testing facilities and quality control departments.